The annual Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is coming back to Cannon Falls on Thursday, June 14th, 2012. This annual event uses the Cannon Valley Bike Trail that starts in Cannon Falls and goes to Red Wing, MN. This is a great even to come see with the kids and family.

In addition, this year we will be helping raise funds for Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota the new beneficiary for the 2012 event. Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota is the first hospice and respite care home in Minnesota exclusively for children.

Along with helping to raise money for this worthy cause, this event is also great publicity for our community and a great way to let people know what a great place Cannon Falls is to shop in, to bike in, to visit and to live in! It is also a great opportunity to promote the Cannon Valley Trail. Do you know that Cannon Falls receives over $50,000 worth of media and marketing publicity by hosting this event? Check out the website at www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com , click on “Grand Prix” and follow the links to see the great publicity that is printed about Cannon Falls!

Planning is now underway to make this year’s race, expo area, kids race and other activities bigger and better. There will be live music, concessions and other booths in the Cannon Falls expo area located on Mill Street in front of the library plus Nature Valley will be once again hosting a neighborhood picnic at the Eastside Park as a way to say thank you to those folks living along the in-town circuit. The Cannon Falls Community Band will be performing at the Neighborhood Picnic. This is your opportunity to see world-class professional athletes in action and help a worthy cause at the same time.

They are looking for helpers so make a day of it and help a great cause and help promote biking in MN.

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.