By Teri Knight, News Director
The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) recently hired a new executive director, Greg Siems. He has only been on the job for three weeks, so last week at their presentation to the Northfield City Council, NDDC board member, Kathleen Holmes, shared the organization’s 2018 accomplishments, including the Main Street Designation. She said, “We also had the opportunity to partner with the Chamber, the CVB and the City to help promote Northfield as a finalist in the Minnesota Monthly’s Best Minnesota Town competition and, although we didn’t win, we were in the top five and we were
absolutely the best represented.” Holmes also highlighted the NDDC’s Friday Art Nights launched in May of last year, the Taste Tour, and their social media engagement. The NDDC also sponsored a campaign to light the footbridge (over the Cannon River) for the holidays. They received grants from Minnesota Mainstreet to provide opportunities to work with arts partners and local artists for temporary projects and they’ll also have new banners in downtown this fall. When the NDDC was formed, nearly two decades ago, the idea was to become self-sustaining. They’ve been subsidized off and on at different amounts over the years from the City of Northfield. The NDDC is currently in year two of a three-year contract with the city for $35,000 a year. Holmes said, “It’s important to note that, as a board and a Main Street community, we believe that a level of financial support from the city is integral to the work that we do. We are already taking advantage of new sources of funding like grants and fundraising and, regardless of what we learn from that benchmarking, ongoing support from the city will be absolutely critical to the NDDC, our standing as a Mainstreet community, the success of downtown as a whole.” Holmes said they’re looking to deepen their relationships with city boards and staff, the chamber, the CVB and the NEC. Their plan is to align with the Four Points of the Main Street designation: Economic Vitality, Design, Organization and Promotion. The Chamber of Commerce, an organization made up of local businesses, does not receive any funding from the City. This was just released by the NDDC regarding the Artists on Main Street and the artists selected: Artists on Main Street PR to Dan-1
The artists’ projects will be displayed or presented at various times and locations between June 2019 and October 2019.
Memorial service highlights voting as many came to honor the fallen
With the rainy weather, this year’s Memorial Day service was held indoors at the St. Olaf College fieldhouse. Once again, the Northfield High School Band did an outstanding job, and Sam Ryden and Joey Dempsey led the audience in song. Northfield Legion Post 84 Commander Roger VanVeldhuizen gave the Commander’s Address and spoke of the importance of exercising the right to vote as we honor those military members who gave all for that right and privilege. He said politics are irrelevant when the knock at the door is someone saying “we regret to inform you….” This year’s Voice of Democracy address was made by Annie Frank and entitled, “Dear Democracy,” with the message of the importance of one vote. The guest speaker was Retired Army Captain Michelle Haas Bornick, who spoke of a young man she served with, a soldier named Paul Nakamura, who gave his all and was the first medic to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom at aged 21 after over 200 missions. The Auxiliary placed wreaths recognizing every military conflict, Girl and Boy Scouts placed flowers for those veterans who died this past year, and tthen members of the Northfield High School Band, along with Caroline Pritchard and Sam Dwyer, performed an exceptional rendition of Taps. The rain poured as people headed to the VFW for Northfield’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon picnic which was moved from Lions Park. Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Riverwalk Market Fair opens June 1
Northfield’s RiverWalk Market Fair opens this coming Saturday. Board member Rick Hirsch said that new this year is a collaboration between Carleton College and the high school to bring some of the “high level artists into town on Saturday morning so they can display their wares and learn a little bit about entrepreneurship and sales and marketing.” Newly hired marketing manager April Kopack added that she’s been recruiting additional businesses to expand the market fair, and expand the family activities and youth involvement. Their goal is to expand from Bridge Square across the bridge at 4th street. Hear their full interview on kymnradio.net.