Archive for the ‘America’s Prettiest Towns’ Category

Happy Holidays From Lanesboro

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014




Happy Holidays!

Nostalgia seems to be a significant part of the Holiday Season for many people, myself included. I recently found myself thinking of the day I moved here last November…a light snow had fallen the night before and everything looked pristine. In the early morning hours, we decided breakfast was a good idea before we got too serious about putting our belongings away, and decided to walk downtown to the Pastry Shoppe to get a bite to eat. Walking along in the light chill of the morning, I found myself thinking that if Norman Rockwell was still alive, he’d have been living in Lanesboro!

Quaint and quiet, I was awestruck by the beauty and somewhat overwhelmed by the emotion this community inspired in me. I was feeling as if I had finally “come home.” I could hear the occasional scrape of a shovel against the sidewalk, reminding me that despite appearances, we weren’t completely alone…in fact, as we walked, quite a few of our new neighbors came out of their homes, introduced themselves, chatted for a bit, and made us feel welcome to our new community.

When I have mentioned that experience to people since then, I have often told them that I made more friends in that 3 hour walk than I did in 35 years of living in the Twin Cities. It’s just one of the many things that make Lanesboro special. I knew we had made a great decision in choosing to join this community. Our soon-to-be Mayor, Robin Krom, recently summed up the feelings this community creates in its residents rather well, as he stated that for him, coming to Lanesboro “felt like a hug.” I wholeheartedly agree!

I think we are all blessed to live in this community together, and a big part of it is that “hug” we feel. Probably even more important is the community’s willingness to share that “hug” with new residents and visitors throughout the year. It is a big part of what has made us a tourism and residential destination for so many.

If you are newer resident or vistor to Lanesboro, I would love to know what attracted you to the area, and if you were born/grew up here, I’d love to learn why you’ve stayed. Please share a “feel good” line or two in the reply area below and I will post them over the Holiday Season!

By Dee Slinde/Executive Director/Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce

A HUGE Congratulations to Lanesboro Arts!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014



Guest Post by Dee Slinde

Congratulations to Lanesboro Arts on receiving a 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation! The prestigious prize was awarded to ten organizations in a three-state region that have demonstrated a strong commitment to creative, innovative problem-solving.

As residents of Lanesboro, we are blessed to have a higher than average number of visionaries amongst us, and the Bush Prize for Community Innovation is an incredible recognition for the hard work and extraordinary efforts of the Lanesboro Arts team shown above. Sara Baskett, Program/Marketing Director; John Davis, Executive Director; Courtney Bergey, Director of Advancement; Robbie Brokken, Gallery Director, have worked with the City of Lanesboro, the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and the community as a whole to implement art in unique ways to resolve community challenges and opportunities.

Again, congratulations, and we will look forward to the innovations this can bring to our community!

Bush Prize Press Release


Shop Small to Support Your Neighbors

Thursday, November 20th, 2014


Guest Post by Dee Slinde

As the chill of winter settles on Lanesboro, we are reminded of the upcoming Holiday Season, and all of the joy and giving of thanks that goes with it. It is usually considered to be a time of family, friends, remembrance and appreciation. Over the years I’ve noticed each holiday becoming more commercialized, often to the detriment of the true meaning of the holiday. Shopping for holiday gifts on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday has become an artform, a competition and a controversy as big box retailers compete for consumer dollars, and consumers compete with each other to find the cheapest deals.

Over the past few years, as a counter to the massive consumerism that has brought us what some have referred to as the “Happythanksween” season, there has been a movement to encourage shoppers to be more thoughtful in the spending of their holiday dollars. We are encouraging folks to ‘Shop Small’ on Small Business Saturday, November 29th, 2014. The effects of this are twofold: it allows families to focus on their traditions of being able to gather together to give thanks on the actual Thanksgiving holiday, and it encourages people to shop at the locally owned and operated stores to keep our local community’s economy thriving.

The dollars spent at our local stores and restaurants directly affects not only our neighbors that own the businesses, but also many other businesses and ourselves when those dollars recirculate throughout the community. For example, the purchase I make at a local merchant’s business may  be used to pay the wages of the business’s staff, who will then spend it on food, housing, utilities and so forth in our community. Some of my purchase goes to pay the taxes and utilities of the business, which helps the City to provide the services we enjoy, such as plowed streets, beautiful parks, and quality schools. Some of my purchase might be used to pay a local plumber or carpenter for a remodeling project at the business. Perhaps the carpenter likes the community and may decide to build a new home in the area that will add to our local tax base, and in a roundabout way, helps to keep my taxes lower in the process. Pretty profound, when you think about it.

Many studies have been done to track the value of a dollar that is spent in the local economy, and most studies indicate that for every dollar we spend locally, it will recirculate through the local economy an average of 7-8 times…in other words, the dollar you spend locally compounds by 700-800%…if only my stocks would produce such a return! The simple act of shopping at a small/local business has far reaching effects.

Lanesboro will be hosting Winter Windows Live on Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014. Being in a community that is filled with nothing but small, independent businesses, we invite you to shop thoughtfully/Shop Small! 

Schedule of Events

10:00 am: Free kids movie at the St. Mane Theater (Muppet Christmas Carol/sponsored by Lanesboro Arts, Pedal Pushers Cafe, Merchants Bank and Lanesboro Web Management Group.)

11:30 am: Winter Windows Live (free events) = artist Leisa Louis Grill at Lanesboro Arts, musician Tom Schramm at Amish Experience, scenes from “A Christmas Carol” at E2 Boutique, lefse-making at Pedal Pushers Cafe, Ekstrom Family Christmas at Beste Byen, Santa’s Workshop at the Cottage House Inn, Heart Strings Harp Circle concert at Coffee Street Fitness, Christmas games at Stone Mill Inn, and a Christmas sing-along at the Commonweal Theatre!

1:30 pm: The Commonweal Theatre presents “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)”  Families and kids welcome, tickets available in advance or at the box office 507-467-2525.

Sharing Lanesboro is Good for Lanesboro

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Ann Han

Guest Post by Dee Slinde

As I’ve mentioned before, I get together with a group of longtime friends several times a year to get away from our busy lives and reconnect with each other. After copious levels of subtle hints, gentle cajoling, and eventually, downright nagging over the past few months, I’ve finally managed to get my ‘ let’s go up north’ friends to forego the annual fall colors weekend trip to Duluth. This year, they agreed to come to Lanesboro instead! Granted, it has something to do with missing the best fall colors due to the earlier than usual peak in the northern half of the state, but hey, whatever it takes to get them here, right? None had visited Lanesboro previously, and all have questioned my sanity for leaving the “Big City” to live and work in this rural community. The opportunity to show off Lanesboro during one of the most beautiful times of the year was exciting! The hardwoods that line the bluffs, trails and neighborhood streets were at full color by the second weekend in October, and they were all pleasantly surprised by the unique beauty we enjoy in Bluff Country.

The hardest part was figuring out how to share all that is Lanesboro with them in just 3 days. How could I possibly plan an itinerary for this eclectic group? My visitors included corporate and governmental leaders, customer service workers, artists, real estate entrepreneurs, waitresses, and more,  with the only common thread being that we’d all known each other for a long time. After a while, I finally gave up on the whole itinerary idea, and figured I would just let Lanesboro be Lanesboro. There is always plenty to do on any given weekend; let them discover Lanesboro’s charms on their own terms.

The Hoot on the Root Music & Arts Festival  was at the forefront of the schedule October 10-12, the weekend they arrived. There were plenty of local and regional performers playing, plus great BBQ provided by location hosts Smoky River BBQ. That became the hub where my visitors reconnected after exploring whatever interested them throughout their visit. The Lanesboro Area Arts Trail was taking place , as was Over the Back Fence; the Commonweal was doing one of the few remaining performances of ‘Around the World in 80 Days‘,  all of which were attended by at least some of my friends.  Others took an Amish tour or shopped. Some wanted fine dining while others wanted more basic fare. Some rented bikes, others went canoeing.

All in all, much of what makes Lanesboro such a great place to live, work and play was sampled by someone in my group, and perhaps more importantly, was shared with the rest of the group through enthusiastic conversations about their experiences in the community. In fact, the conversations continued long after the weekend ended, and have resulted in several ‘friends of friends’ coming to visit Lanesboro. Many from the group plan to come back to try out a few of our B&Bs, and some are planning to bring their families back in the future.

As it turns out, sharing our pride Lanesboro is also pretty good for our local economy. My new philosophy? Share if you care!