The big May event is the Vitality Project launch

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring and summer events in Albert Lea and the surrounding communities will be spectacular! As the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project momentum continues to grow, look for many initiatives that will improve our community environment, social networks, habitat and individual sense of purpose.

May 14 is the official launch at 7 p.m. at the Albert Lea Senior High auditorium. Explorer and “Blue Zones” author Dan Buettner and “Mindless Eating” author Brian Wansink will tell stories and share lessons from the world’s longest-lived cultures and how to eat healthier. Find out why Albert Lea was chosen for the Vitality Project. This is going to be an exciting multi-media event with the national spotlight on Albert Lea!

New 2009 events this year will include Dale Merriam’s Carnival July 3-5 in addition to the annual Fourth of July events during at the North Broadway Parking Lot.

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On July 5, a Christian concert will be held at the Fountain Lake Park gazebo. There will be talented artists to entertain you and your family!

ShineFest will host an event called the Antique Tractor Ride on July 18. The ride will begin and end at the fairgrounds.

On Aug. 21-25 the fairgrounds will host the Cowboy Mounted Shooting, a multifaceted equestrian sport event. More than 70 horses with 150 to 200 attendees will be in Albert Lea. The public is welcome to attend this event.

You won’t want to miss the Albert Lea Farmers Market this season, which promises to be filled with food, entertainment, art and special events. The market opens May 13 with Todd Utpadel performing music and the American Legion will serve food.

May events include fitness and fun with the annual 100-mile Freeborn County Bike-A-Thon, which happened May 2, and Land Between the Lakes Triathlon on May 17.

Thorne Crest Retirement Community will host their fifth annual Classic Car Show on May 21. All participants are welcome so bring your special car and enjoy Sound Wave with Tom Minehart and local favorite Bruno’s will serve his famous “corn dog.”

Albert Lea Community Theatre presents “A Funny Tahing Happened on the Way to the Forum” from April 30 to May 9. Come prepared to laugh your head off.

Albert Lea Civic Music Association presents music performance of “Romanza” on May 22 at Albert Lea High School. Romance is the art of the tenor. Three tenors! They will be performing beloved ballads from opera, movies and musicals.

Do you have an event to promote? We provide free welcome bags filled with information for any event, meeting, tournament, festivals, and class reunions promoting Albert Lea and the surrounding communities! Local businesses are welcome to place a coupon in the bags for visitors which are very much appreciated by the guests.

Information on the many events and festivals in our community, whether you’re looking for the calendar of events, information on attractions or lists of hotels and restaurants, can be accessed by logging on to our website at to find all the latest in local tourism related information. Stop in at our office in the Northbridge Mall, e-mail or call us at (507) 373-2316.

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