Music in the Park returns in Waconia starting June 6

A variety of upcoming community events that are sure to please every member of the family were detailed at the Waconia City Council meeting held on Monday, June 3.
For starters, Music in the Park returns this Thursday, June 6. The free concerts will be held at 7 p.m. at City Square Park. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held at Safari Island. The first concert will feature the Jazz Hounds Big Band, which performs big band jazz music in all styles.
The next concert features the bluegrass band Tangled Roots on Thursday, June 13.
Tangled Roots specializes in material that ranges from songs and tunes by Bill Monroe and Elvis Presley to more recent songs by artists such as Bruce Hornsby, John Prine, and Kevin Welch. Local favorite Traveled Ground will perform on Thursday, June 20. Traveled Ground plays everything from blues, folk, rockabilly, cajun, rock and roots. On Thursday, June 27, the series features Wendy’s Wiggle Jiggle & Jam, a 45-minute program that’s geared toward children and families. There will be no concert on Thursday, July 4.
The soulful Alison Scott will perform on Thursday, July 11 and The Castaways, which specialize in pop, classic rock, mood-setting ballads and the best of the 50s and 60s, who will perform on Thursday, July 18. The final concert of the summer features the Everett Smithson Band on Thursday, July 25. The band plays New Orleans / French Quarter music with the goal of keeping things upbeat and the crowd happy.
Thursday nights aren’t the only time family-friendly events will be taking place in City Square Park. Waconia Parks & Recreation is also planning three Movies in the Park events. The first will feature “The Lorax” on Friday, June 14. The second is “Brave” on Friday, July 19 and the third is “Madagascar 3” on Friday, Aug. 16.
All three movies start at 8:30 p.m. In lieu of an admission fee, the city will accept non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Waconia United Food Shelf. The rain site is Safari Island. Bring your own chairs and blankets to sit on to watch the shows.
If you’re looking to try a new type of activity, you’ll want to circle Thursday, June 13 on your calendar.
All are invited to Safari Island to participate in a free introduction course on pickleball, which is considered to be one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The game is a combination of badminton, tennis, and table tennis and is played with a wiffle ball on a 20×44-foot court.
Ambassadors with Pickleball Minnesota will demonstrate how to play and explain the rules of the game and simple strategy. All participants will have a chance to play. This introductory class will be held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Safari Island Community Center gymnasium. No registration is necessary; come dressed and ready to play. For more information, contact Safari Island at (952) 442-0695.
In other events, everyone is invited to attend Fishing Friday at Cedar Point Park (130 N Cedar Street) from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 14. At this free event, learn about Lake Waconia and fish off the pier at Cedar Point Park. Fishing poles and equipment will be provided but one can bring his or her own fishing gear, too.
If reading and books are more your style, you may want to consider attending the Waconia Library StoryWalk events on Thursday, June 20 and Thursday, June 27.
As explained by city officials, the Waconia Library, Waconia Parks & Recreation, Carver County Parks, Target, and Friends of the Waconia Library will be offering a StoryWalk program as part of the National Park System’s “No Child Left Inside” initiative. At each StoryWalk program, pages from the selected StoryWalk book will be featured along the path and lead children and families to the end of the story as you walk along the path.
This free hour-long program begins at 10:30 a.m. at Fountain Park (200 2nd Street W; one block west of the Waconia Library) with a welcome from Waconia’s Mayor Jim Nash. Then families can read the story as they walk and grab a snack in the park before continuing to the library for a special story time. The featured StoryWalk books are “Three Billy Goats Gruff” on June 20 and “Caps for Sale” on June 27. For more information on these programs, contact the Waconia Library at (952) 442-4714.
In other recent city business:
• Assistant Fire Chief Randy Sorensen was recently honored by KARE 11 during National Volunteer Week in late April. KARE 11 teamed up with local non-profit organizations to recognize some of the volunteers who serve local communities. Volunteers were recognized on newscasts, through social media and online.
Sorensen was nominated by Fire Chief Mark Morse, who felt it would be a great way to publicly thank Sorensen for his tremendous efforts to educate community youth in fire safety. Morse said Sorensen donates hundreds of hours annually in his effort to share public fire education messages to schools and daycares.
“His passion after nearly 38 years for volunteerism and self sacrifice are a model for today’s youth in community service and spirit,” Morse wrote to KARE 11 when nominating Sorensen for the honor.
• The council approved the use of city streets for the More Than Pink 5K, which will be held from 6 to 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. The goal of the More Than Pink program is to empower girls and encourage them to think of themselves as strong, smart and bold. For more information, visit www.waconiacommunityed.org.
• Mayor Jim Nash publicly thanked In Towne Marina for its donation of a dock slip on Lake Waconia for use by the Waconia Fire Department. Nash described the donation as valuable as the dock allows the department immediate access to equipment in case of an emergency on the lake.
• Public Services Director Craig Eldred gave a brief update on the 2013 Infrastructure Improvement Project.
In terms of the street reconstruction, Eldred noted that the excavation of the street and the installation of the draintile has been completed, which finishes all of the pipe work on this component of the project. Curb and gutter is scheduled to be poured early next week. Eldred said no street work would occur downtown during the upcoming band festival.
As for the mill and overlay aspects of the project, Eldred said curb removals and replacements are ongoing and will be completed soon. Work continues on the trail aspects of the project and Eldred noted that the play equipment at Sugarbush Park will be completed by early July.
Citizens may find project updates at the city website (www.waconia.org) — look for the tab on the right.
• At its meeting on May 20, the council approved the Final Plat Application by Ryland Homes for Interlaken 7th Addition, which features 26 single family home lots. Work is expected to start in the summer.

Contact Todd Moen at todd.moen@ecm-inc.com

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