Column: Are you ready for some summer fun in the sun?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2008

By Susie Petersen, On the Map

Experience Albert Lea!

Spring and summer tourism season could be one of the best ever in Albert Lea and the surrounding communities. There are many events scheduled, and with the help of Mother Nature

Email newsletter signup

Albert Lea is prepared to offer a spectacle.

The annual 100-mile Freeborn County Bike-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, and the Land Between the Lakes Triathlon May 18, for sports enthusiasts and spectators.

Albert Lea will host the Big Nine Music Festival on Friday, with more than 3,000 people in our community. Enjoy a stunning evening concert at 7:30 p.m.

Albert Lea Community Theatre presents &8220;Father of the Bride&8221; May 1-10. A tribute to the Beatles &8220;A Hard Days Night&8221; will be held on May 30 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

Marion Ross will perform &8220;Love Letters&8221; on June 7. Dedication ceremonies will be held at 3 p.m. at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, and the public is welcome to attend.

The annual Eddie Cochran Weekend on June 13 and 14 will begin with the cruise-in and a free drive-in theatre. A hospice walk/run, Eddie Cochran exhibit at the Freeborn County Historical Society, car show and car cruise followed a free street dance at the Broadway Avenue parking lot featuring Bob & the Beachcombers.

The Hambone Blues Jam, a two-day event June 27 and 28, will be held at Holiday Park Golf Course. Experience live music performances featuring a mix of musical styles.

Thousands of visitors come to Albert Lea for the greatest southern Minnesota Fourth of July celebration. Join us at the Third of July Parade, music at the Fountain Lake Park Gazebo, the Bayside Ski Show at Edgewater Bay and the most spectacular fireworks display on July 4.

The Doc Evans Jazz Festival will return this year for July 5 at the beautiful Fountain Lake Park Gazebo featuring a full afternoon of jazz and Dixieland bands.

The inaugural April Sorensen Memorial Half Marathon is scheduled for July 12. The race will start in Albert Lea and end in Hayward in conjunction with Hayward Days.

Freeborn County Fair comes alive with nationally known musical talent and much more July 29-Aug. 3. The Big Island Barbecue Cookoff, a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition with food vendors and entertainment will be held on Aug. 22, 23.

It seems like a lot of events, and that&8217;s only part of it! There are many more great events and activities including Music in the Park, Bayside Ski Shows, Albert Lea Farmers Market, Freeborn County Relay for Life, ShineFest, Light House Events Center, historic downtown Albert Lea, Northbridge Mall, Pelican Breeze II and the Historical Museum and Village.

Susie Petersen is the executive director of the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau.