Sarah Stultz: Who said there isn’t anything to do in A.L.?

Published 10:00 pm Monday, June 11, 2018

Nose for News, By Sarah Stultz

I couldn’t believe the number of people downtown Friday evening when my son and I arrived to meet my husband at the Eddie Cochran Weekend cruise-in social.

After a little bit of a delay in arriving to the event, it was a welcome sight to see the street packed with people.

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Classic cars lined Broadway and were in the North Broadway parking lot, and more than a half dozen vendors were set up selling food. There was live music and even a few people dancing in the street.

The organizers of this event should have been proud to see such a well-attended event — I know I was proud to see such a buzz of activity in our community.

Eddie Cochran Weekend is a big event in Albert Lea every year, and the events continued Saturday and Sunday with a car show, more entertainment and a rock ’n’ roll service, to name a few of the activities. Though the weather wasn’t ideal on Saturday, the events continued on, and Albert Lea — luckily — avoided the worst of the bad weather. Just to the north in Clarks Grove, fairly large hail was reported, and to the south in Mason City and in northern Iowa there was heavy wind, flooding and even a confirmed tornado that touched down.

At the same time as the Eddie Cochran events was Take A Kid Fishing Weekend, where the Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club and Albert Lea Anglers helped hand out about 350 free fishing poles, bobbers and accompanying bait to children eager to get out on the water. Children 15 and under could fish with an adult for free throughout the weekend.

This is always a great event for families in the community, and it was also exciting to see so many out utilizing our lakes.

In addition, the Splash Bash party was scheduled for children out at the splash pad, which was slated to include outdoor games, music and other fun through Albert Lea Parks and Recreation.

This is only a snapshot of all of the events happening in Albert Lea this summer. There’s a big event most weekends, plus many of the surrounding communities also have festivals. For those who say there’s nothing to do in Albert Lea, I invite you to look further.

New events are popping up all the time, and many are turning out to be quite successful.

Chapel Con, the comics and pop culture convention that started last year, will be back for a second year in July. Rock-N-Roll The Lakes, a new bike ride for families and riders will also be in July, and organizers hope the event will grow to include over 1,000 riders after the first few years.

Of course, there’s Wind Down Wednesday, the Fourth of July fireworks and parade in Albert Lea, sporting events, Thursdays on Fountain, the Just Play Festival and Bike Rodeo, plus all of the other recreational opportunities available on our trails and lakes.

Thanks to all of the community members who are donating their time and energy to bring something new or to continue the successful events here.

If you want to see what’s going on this summer, pick up a copy of our Summer Times special section. It came out in Friday’s newspaper but is also available here at the Tribune and other locations in the community.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.