I was recently thinking about events that I really have missed since the COVID pandemic changed our world. Two events in Northfield that I missed in 2020 are the Defeat of Jesse James Days (weekend after Labor Day) and the Winter Walk (first Thursday evening in December). There are so many wonderful events that happen in the town of Northfield each and every year. It is such a great community to live in or visit as a tourist, but due to the virus, the “community” appeared to be absent this last year. I’m not saying everyone didn’t come together and support one another during this unprecedented time. There are many stories of people helping people during the year. I’m speaking specifically about the community we all feel when we come together in celebration.
I know many people around Northfield have missed these events. We all have been more isolated from others this year. Remember the days when we would be elbow to elbow, squeezing through crowds to reach our favorite food stand during the Defeat of Jesse James Days? Remember when we stood shoulder-to-shoulder to see the “gang” reenact the bank raid? Or shopping at the big art fair, watching the rodeo or enjoying the parade? How about crowding into a wagon during Winter Walk with a dozen others as we breath the frosty air while horses clopped down the street? Or packing into the upstairs of the Northfield Arts Guild to watch dancers perform portions of the Nutcracker? How about listening to carolers, warming your hands over an open fire, seeing the trains at the Library or getting Krumkake at the Paper Petulant? (My sympathies to the Archer House and all the businesses in the building. It is too bad about the fire.)
These celebration events, and so many others, provide an opportunity for the community to come together. We connect with each other, eat food, laugh, cheer, sing, dance and more. As I reflect about these wonderful community events, I was looking through some past images I’ve taken during these celebrations. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share some images I’ve taken at these two community events over the years. I could share photos from many, many other events (plays, sporting events, concerts, and more) but I’ll keep it to these two: Defeat of Jesse James Days and Winter Walk.
I hope you take some time and look through these and they bring back memories of better days we have shared together. Maybe one good thing that will come out of this virus is that in the future, we may all experience a profound sense of togetherness and more deeply cherish our sense of “community.” Northfield, here’s to 2021 being a better year, and more “community” in our community!