Over 100 people paddle the Minnesota River for the first time

During our most recent event, the Minnesota River History Weekend and Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary, over 200 paddling theater goers got in to canoes and kayaks to experience a one-of-a-kind performance on the Minnesota River. Over 100 of those individuals paddled the Minnesota River for the first time in a canoe or kayak.  The event attracted people from over 40 cities and 5 states, representing people of all generations. There was no doubt that the Minnesota River was the star of the event with many event highlights happening in and around this beautiful river.

The event’s official video and photos from the Film and Speaker Event, Registration and Welcome, Paddling Theater, and Music at Memorial Park can be found below.

Official Video of the Minnesota River History Weekend and Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary:

Friday Evening Film and Speaker Event Photos:

Friday’s Film and Speaker Event attracted more than 70 people to the K.K. Berge Building for the Minnesota River History Exhibit and Artist Talk and to the Granite Falls City Hall for the Film, River Revival, and for all of the great presentations. Coverage of Luther Aadlands talk about Dam Removal can be found here, Dam removal: A better way to control invasives by Tom Cherveny of the West Central Tribune.

Saturday Morning Registration and Welcome Photos:

The main day of the event, Saturday, May 18th, began with a little rain but the sunshine quickly appeared just in time for the official Welcome from Jennifer Hoffman, CURE Board Chair, Gwen Westerman, Poet and Fiber Artist, Erika Rivers, Assistant Commissioner of Natural Resources, Dave Smiglewski, Mayor of Granite Falls, and Natalie Warren, Wild River Academy.

Paddling Theater Performance Photos:

Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions, did an amazing job of bringing a piece of history to life using the Minnesota River as its backdrop.  Check out these two great Paddling Theater reviews from CNN contributor, Bob Greene, and the West Central Tribune’s Tom Cherveny. Other stories of the Paddling Theater: from the Marshall Independent, “Paddling to a scene from history” and from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), “On the Minnesota River, ‘paddling theater’ offers entertainment and adventure.”

The Paddling Theater Production was made possible by Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) with funding from The Kresge FoundationThe Bush FoundationThe McKnight Foundation, City of Granite FallsMinnesota Department of Natural Resources (paddling only), and Xcel Energy (paddling only).

Music at Memorial Park Photos:

Music and food at Memorial Park, a park that sits along the Minnesota River, was a great way to end the day. Everyone gathered at the park after the Paddling Theater production for some great food (local Moonstone Farm beef and Pastures A Plenty hot dogs) sold by Bootleggers Supper Club and music in the old shelter house. The weather was perfect, the food was really good, and the music sounded great. Music was by Hey Lonesome and Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade.


Finally, CURE would like to thank all of the volunteers (including the volunteer actors and actresses) who helped us make this event happen before and during the weekend – it really would not be possible without you! Thank you to all of our CURE Members who showed support by wearing our t-shirts and hats. Thank you to all of the event attendees for joining us to experience and celebrate the Minnesota River.

Please let us know what you think or if you have any questions by leaving a comment below or emailing cure@cureriver.org.

See you all at our next event or at next year’s Minnesota River Celebration in May. Keep a lookout for upcoming announcements.