Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest back with new, growing activities“Going Back In Time” is the theme for the 2012 edition of Cottage Grove’s Strawberry Fest. After a soggy 2011 event perhaps “Rain, rain, go away,” would be more apt.
“Going Back In Time” is the theme for the 2012 edition of Cottage Grove’s Strawberry Fest. After a soggy 2011 event perhaps “Rain, rain, go away,” would be more apt.
Last summer’s Strawberry Fest saw parade-goers soaked and Saturday events cancelled by torrential downpours.
Organizers are crossing their fingers for weather that’s a bit more cooperative this time around.
“We’re hoping we have a great weekend,” said Lori Olsen, president of the Strawberry Fest Committee that plans the annual get-together. “Last year we were able to move a lot of (Saturday’s events) to Sunday and actually the rain didn’t interfere” with bands or fireworks.
“What was impacted the most was the parade and the business expo,” Olsen added.
Strawberry Fest kicks off with a revamped Thursday night. What was a teen night last year is now what Olsen called a “community night” featuring craft projects, train rides for kids and the popular kids’ tractor pull event that used to be a Saturday fixture. The band Blatant Youth will also perform.
“We want to try to get more families involved (earlier in the festival),” Olsen said of the new community night.
What else is new?
Been itching for a birds-eye view of Cottage Grove? Now you’ve got your chance, thanks to a new attraction at this year’s Strawberry Fest.
MN Helicopters, Inc. will be offering helicopter rides to those who want to take to the skies. Rides will be available at Kingston Park from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Olsen said the cost of a ride will depend on its length and the number of passengers.
Will she have time for a ride?
“You know, I actually thought of it,” Olsen said. “But, we’ll see.”
Biz expo keeps growing
Alongside food, fireworks and carnival rides, the fast-growing Strawberry Fest Business Expo is quickly becoming a festival fixture.
This year’s expo, located on the athletic fields at Kingston Park, will showcase more than 60 local businesses and will run all day Saturday. Fair-goers will also be able to connect with some businesses as early as Thursday, Olsen said, when some will set up during the first day of the festival, a change from years past.
Looking for entertainment?
Strawberry Fest again has a full lineup of bands for those seeking some musical entertainment this weekend.
Teenaged band Blatant Youth will lead things off Thursday night with a set from 7-10 p.m. Mixed Bag will take the stage from 5-7 p.m. Friday to perform covers from the ‘80s and ‘90s before the night’s headliner, Minnesota-based Brat Pack Radio — featuring former American Idol contestant Jesse Langseth on vocals — takes over from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Saturday, The Teddy Bear Band will perform for kids and parents beginning at 1:30 p.m. Strawberry Fest’s music sets wrap up Saturday night with Rockfist, a band playing covers of everything from Metallica, Bon Jovi and Motley Cru to Prince, Cee Lo Green and Jason Aldean. Rockfist is scheduled to play from 8 p.m. to midnight.