Our View: Autumn in Minnesota holds winter, and politics, at bay

October 5, 2018

These are the golden days of autumn, with colorful leaves, crisp air and hopefully a bright sun. In other words, it’s our last chance at frivolity before the Minnesota winter sets up shop for the next several months.

So far, you’ve been to an apple orchard and taken the kids to the local pumpkin patch. What next?

That’s where we’re lucky here in southeastern Minnesota. Knowing that favorable weather is soon to be in short supply, events have been scheduled every weekend this fall. Most of these events are designed to get us out and about to share activities with folks of all ages and persuasions.

In Rochester, Fall Fest will be held Saturday on the Peace Plaza — the site of so many fair weather community events and gatherings. There will be vendors, games, a pumpkin-carving contest and a petting zoo.

On Sunday, Winona will celebrate its Polish heritage with Smaczne Jablka, the Polish apple festival, at the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum. There will be dancing and music, kids activities, and Polish food, including pierogis, cabbage rolls and homemade poppy seed cake. Tour the museum for a look at how immigrants from the Kashubia region of Poland shaped Winona.

Arts tours are a tradition at this time of year, and one of the largest, the 21st annual Northeast Iowa Artists Studio Tour, will take place Oct. 12-14. All of the sites are in the scenic bluffs-and-valleys region around Decorah, just a short drive over the state line.

When it comes to art, there is no bigger fall event than the Red Wing Arts Fall Festival, Oct. 13 and 14. Dozens of artists will have their booths and tents set up on the downtown streets. There will be live music, author readings, hands-on activities and food vendors.

That’s just a sample of what’s going on the next few weeks in our region. We haven’t even mentioned the church festivals, yard sales and craft fairs that take place in nearly every town.

The world can be an ugly place these days, especially and unfortunately during an election season. Our desire is perhaps never stronger than now to hold it at bay.

But autumn in Minnesota retains its capacity for beauty and charm. The transition from flaming leaves to first snowflakes is a magical time. Let’s enjoy it, and our neighbors, before the colors fade.

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