I finally succeeded in checking the Crossings at Carnegie out, drawn by the Prudence
Johnson show. They have an amazing line-up of musicians – especially
for such a small place and town. It is kind of like our area’s Cedar
Cultural Center. From Cannon Falls, Zumbrota is an easy 20-mile drive
straight down Hwy-52 so there are just two stoplights between here and
The Crossings at Carnegie. However, very unlike the CCC, The Crossings
stage is set right in the middle of the gallery / gift shop, which
provides plenty of artistic visual stimuli. For example, there is an
exhibit right now called “Silverwhere”, which is, well, silverware
sculpture. And, right behind Dean McGraw (played Guitar with Prudence
and arranged some of the songs), there was a life size (blue) heron made
from silverware. As far as the show, Dean and Prudence were accompanied
by Michelle Kinney on cello, and the trio played almost exclusively
traditional folk music from the 16th to the 19th century – much of which
I would consider to be from “the path less traveled” – and quite
entertaining. Prudence’s angelic vocals combined with Dean’s excellent
picking and Michelle’s cello integrated beautifully, the light
amplification was probably not truly necessary. The C@C (as I have
come to call it) has a small but decent selection of wine and beer, as
well as some fresh baked goods. It is a small place, so no matter where
you sit you will be able to count the freckles on the face of the
musicians, and there is no reserved seating. You will be slightly more
comfortable if you bring a chair pillow as the seating is just folding
chairs. Most of their shows are either Friday or Saturday and usually
start around 8pm. You can also bring a portable water bottle and
repeatedly fill it with LaCrosse water. However, they don’t sell or
allow bottled water.

Crossings Gallery and Gift Shop
320 East Avenue
Zumbrota, MN 55992

The 2011 “Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival” is now in its 2nd year – at least in this format. This is a different festival from the “Cannon Falls Art Festival” which you may recall from a few years back – held on Mill Street in front of the Cannon River Winery.
The new format is much more pleasant and brings more attention to wine and music. Hannah’s Bend Park is beautiful and spacious. It is laden with 100+ year-old trees, borders the Cannon River and is the site of a Frisbee golf course (except for this weekend of course). You can easily walk or bike from the center of town.
There is no charge for the festival which opens at 10am and runs to 5pm on Saturday & Sunday (7/16 & 7/17). There is also a variety of music and other entertainment – the sort of which you might expect at an outdoor wine and art festival, again, all free. It is, after all, a wine & art festival, so you can assume that you could purchase wine & art – and in fact that is the case.
If you would like to sample the wines, there is a $20/person fee and you must be 21 years old. You will be granted opportunity to sample wines from 12 of the best wineries in the region, and talk to representatives directly involved in the operation of producing these wines. The wine tasting is from 12pm-4pm each day.
This festival has a strong local element; some may say it is their focus. There will be locally sourced food products, local wines, and naturally local artisans. Prominently, there is a good variety of local art represented and much is very accessible. Proceeds go toward a local memorial the town wants to build to honor Veterans – in another park just down the river from Hannah’s Bend.
It is hard to beat the combination of beautiful nature, live music, interesting art, and the opportunity to check out the wines of 12 local and unique wineries at the same time.