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Sarah Stultz: What events are in store this summer?

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Let’s be honest. People are getting a little antsy to attend the summer events that we have grown to love over the years. I know I am.

As I have started working this week on our annual Summer Times publication, I’ve been reminiscing about times of the past — times when people didn’t seem to have a care in the world.

One of my favorite times in Albert Lea is the Fourth of July — with the parade, the fireworks, the car shows, food trucks and sometimes even carnivals. Even though it’s usually hot as blazes outside by that time of year, I love seeing the patriotism and the community spirit — getting together with all our friends and family and welcoming out-of-town visitors to this place I call home.

Our family sometimes slips away to the small-town festivals in the neighboring communities for car shows or other events, and it’s fun to see what these little towns have to offer.

I think it’s safe to say we all have taken these events for granted in the past, and after living through the last year and a half I know I found a newfound appreciation for those who take the time to plan these events in the community.

I’m crossing my fingers that many of the summer festivals and annual events will take place this year, and with Gov. Tim Walz slated to announce a dialback of some of the state’s coronavirus restrictions on Thursday, this is looking more and more likely.

Last year, our Summer Times publication looked unlike any other year since I have worked at the Tribune because many of the longtime events were canceled due to COVID-19.

With minimal events to include in the publication, we instead focused our efforts on the established outdoor opportunities available in the community and the events that were able to take place either in-person or virtually.

Through that process I was reminded that even though the events weren’t taking place, we still had a lot to offer for outdoor recreation — be it biking and walking paths, camping, golfing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and visiting the state park, to name a few.

As we’re preparing this special section this year, we’d love to know if you have an event you’re planning.

While we’ve heard about a few cancellations, such as the Freeborn County Fair, we know there are several events moving forward.

Please email me at sarah.stultz@albertleatribune.com or give me a call at 379-3433, so we can let readers know about these opportunities.

I’m hopeful of a fun-filled summer ahead — if it’s not fully back to normal, it will definitely be closer than last year.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.