5 things to do this weekend

Published 9:43 am Thursday, January 26, 2017

By Carissa Woytach and Sarah Stultz

1. Gourmet Food Auction

The 17th annual Gourmet Food Auction will be on Friday at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club.

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A joint venture by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and Big Island Rendezvous, it benefits Big Island Rendezvous Education Days and the chamber’s community projects.

Big Island Rendezvous Education Days, held in October, is a living history festival. It invites reenactors to portray life in a pioneer town through more than 60 different stations. Each year, the Rendezvous hosts 2,000 to 3,000 fourth- through eighth-graders during the two-day event, said Perry Vining, founder and coordinator of Big Island Rendezvous.

One of the largest fundraisers for Big Island Rendezvous, the Gourmet Food Auction’s goal is to raise $10,000. The event helps subsidize Education Days attendance fees for low-income students.

“We tell every instructor, every school, that they don’t leave any kid that can’t afford to come, and that we will raise the money to cover the cost of them,” Vining said. “About 10 percent of our total attendance for [Education Days] are people that are just a little disadvantaged in some way.”

With more than a dozen cooks expected to provide food samplings — including chefs from local restaurants like Pizza Ranch, D’Lish and Geneva Bar & Grill — Vining said “there’s no excuse to go away hungry.”

“Each chef gives a sample of a particular dish or dishes that they cook or restaurant or whatever is showcasing,” he said. “So we have everything from meat dishes and barbecue and pork and those kind of things (as) well as dessert items.”

After the night’s tasting hour, which begins at 5:30 p.m., a live and silent auction will start at 7:30 p.m. Last year’s auctions had more than 50 to 60 items, Vining said. This year’s items include a stay at Breezy Point Resort for the week after the Fourth of July — the condo sleeps four and overlooks an indoor pool — as well as gift certificates and tickets to theater events, entertainment and concerts.

Vining asks attendees to RSVP in advance at 507-373-3938, but guests can pay for their tickets at the door. The cost is $20 per person, $35 for couples or $165 for a table of 10 — the best value package, Vining said.

Cooks can register via fax through the day of the event.

“It’s a real opportunity for the public to come and get something, get a good value, have a great evening, wonderful food and support something that’s a good cause,” he said.

2. Albert Lea Hockey Day

The 11th annual Albert Lea Hockey Day will be on Saturday at Albert Lea City Arena.

Games begin at 8 a.m. and continue through 8 p.m. with various hockey teams.

People are encouraged to come out and watch the games and cheer on the teams.

A raffle drawing will be at about 2:45 p.m. between the girls high school varsity and boys high school junior varsity games. Prizes include cash, a TV, iPads and gift certificates.

3. Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures

Twin Cities-based Americana band Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures will perform Saturday at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the box office, online through the Albert Lea Community Theatre website or by phone at 1-877-730-3144.

4. Spaghetti supper and bake sale

A spaghetti supper and bake sale benefiting the Albert Lea High School choir trip to Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Marian Hall at St. Theodore Catholic Church.

Tickets are $7 for adults, and children 5 and under eat free.

5. Daybreakers Kiwanis scholarship fundraiser

The Daybreakers Kiwanis Club will host a scholarship fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Club, 205 W. William St.

Meal includes windsor chops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, french bread and brownies.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or ahead of time at Ben Bartelt-State Farm Insurance or the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Cost is $12 per person.