September 17, 2013

Fun by the Falls Weekend

September 23 and 24

St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin and Taylors Falls, Minnesota straddle the beautiful, Wild and Scenic St. Croix River. Home to the National Park Service visitor center, Interstate State Parks and the gorgeous Dalles of the St. Croix River, this area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. But arts and culture also abound these sister cities and nearby communities.

The third weekend of Take Me to the River is an ideal time for a weekend getaway whether you are coming from the Twin Cities or Chicago. It is easy to make one of the local bed and breakfasts your base for exploring. Whether you choose Taylors Falls, Osceola or Center City, you will be in easy reach of all the Falls area has to offer.

You will want to start at  Guillermo Cuellar & Friends: Fall Pottery Sale on the St. Croix Trail on a bluff over looking the St. Croix Valley just north of the Osceola Bridge along Hwy. 95. Each year, Guillermo is joined by fellow potters and artists. This year Jim Lorio, Mike Norman, Alana Cuéllar, Dick Cooter and Debbie Cooter will be on hand to discuss their pottery and textiles. The welcome atmosphere, comfort foods and beautiful views of the St. Croix Valley only pale in comparison to the beautiful fine crafts on display.

Heading north, you will find Franconia Sculpture Park’s Art and Artists Celebration, their annual party celebrating the newly installed sculptures. In addition to larger than life sculptures dotting a picturesque prairie, you will find fun activities, food and music to make this even more of an end of the summer season party.

Right the Hwy. 8 traffic circle north of Taylors Falls you will find Peter Jadoonath Backyard Pottery Sale. Peter moved his studio from St. Paul to Shafer a couple of years ago and now invites his friends to join him at his annual backyard sale. This year you will be able find amazing pottery by Peter, Joe Singewald, Mike Helke, Jason Trebs and Sarah Dudgeon. Don’t be surprised if you see a few chickens checking out the pottery too.

Head over to St. Croix Falls on Saturday night for a lively bluegrass concert featuring Brian Wicklund and Mike Cramer at Festival Theatre’s Franklin Square Black Box. Both musicians are nationally know for their bluegrass fiddle and guitar.

Sunday offers even more fun. St. Croix Falls has so much to offer art and nature lovers. Stroll along the Gaylord Nelson Riverwalk and enjoy the fall beauty of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. Be sure to see St. Croix Falls Art Bench along the Riverwalk. It is part of the Art Bench Trail, a series of artist and community built benches in towns along the lower St. Croix River.

You saw the river from the overlook, but you should really take the opportunity to get out on one of the nation’s few Wild and Scenic Rivers with the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours. Their experienced pilot/guides will take you up close to the famous Dalles of the St. Croix and point out how this area was formed by glaciers.

Details

  • Brian Wicklund and Mike Cramer at Festival Theatre, Franklin Square Black Box, 125 N. Washington St., St. Croix Falls (Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $26.00)
  • Franconia Art & Artists Celebration, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer (Sept. 23, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.)
  • Guillermo Cuellar and Friends: Fall Pottery Sale, 1885 263rd St., Shafer (Sept. 22-24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; free admission)
  • Peter Jadoonath Backyard Pottery Sale, 30208 Tern Ave., Shafer (Sept. 22-24, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; free admission)
  • Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours, 155 South Street, Taylors Falls (Weekend and weekday cruises, excursions vary by day and duration, full schedule and ticket information)

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