Every year we look forward to the events Albert Leans put on for the community. People tend to think it is the city or chamber that puts all of the work into the events. It’s simply not true, they may be major supporters in the event happening. They are also involved in figuring out permits, insurance and other logistics that are involved in the event happening. However, it is our neighbors in town who have come up with a great idea and have worked hard to put that idea into motion. They have pushed through negativity, figured out financing and brought awesome to town for us all to enjoy. I have watched committees such as Wind Down Wednesday, the Big Island Rendezvous and other events come together to make the events better each and every year. Their goal is simply to highlight Albert Lea and share with others how wonderful our town is and what it is that makes our town special. I wanted to share with you what’s going on in Albert Lea this summer.
“Our community has abundant natural and historic areas that have been developed into over 300 acres of quality parks, recreation areas, and open space. All of the parks are open to the public, free of charge. Throughout Albert Lea, 41 parks and recreation areas offer a wide variety of recreational and leisure facilities, including neighborhood park playfields, playground equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts, fishing areas, natural open spaces, picnic areas, softball and baseball diamonds, a swimming pool, a civic theatre, a senior center, and an ice arena. Other areas of special interest are the Albert Lea Audubon Nature and Wildlife Preserve, Freeborn County Historical Museum and Pioneer Village, Big Island Rendezvous, Myre-Big Island State Park, and the Pelican Breeze Boat Tour on Albert Lea Lake.”
– Park & Rec website
On June 3rd every kid in town is going to cheer. It’s almost like Christmas time during this up coming weekend. The Aquatic Center on the corner of Frank Hall Drive and Front Street is going to open its doors. Kids will be walking quickly (not running, because there is NO running at the pool) to the diving boards, the huge twisty water slide and trying out the new climbing walls in the deep end. While other kids like my own will be tip toeing into the shallow end to try to ease into the water. This year Timmy is two and I cannot wait to reintroduce him to the kiddo pool side of the aquatic center. With the bright color umbrella’s to give shade and $.25 freeze pops, our kids are about to burst at the excitement of the pool. You can get a season pass or pay daily depending on what works for you and your family. You can find all of the pool information here. You can also find information on park pavilion rentals, park locations and other Park and Rec information at the cityofalbert.org website.
Wind Down Wednesday is an event to celebrate the arts. We have a rich history of celebrating artists in many different forms. Music, theatre, barn art, creating lovelies, dancing, pottery and so many other art forms. There is arts and craft vendors, food trucks, the Farmers Market and this year my kids cannot wait to play in the brand new splash pad located on North Broadway and Fountain Street. The event happens every third Wednesday during the summer. This years dates are June 21st, July 19th and August 23rd.
Our town celebrates the 3rd & 4th of July, because for goodness sakes, you cannot celebrate freedom in just one day. We have our gigantic Fourth of July parade on the 3rd of July simply because we (This is said like a spouse saying “we” are going to do something, but really it means one of them will take on the majority of the responsibility. The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber does a wonderful job of putting it on.) can attract more bands and businesses than we can on the 4th. Makes sense right. Albert Lea is very creative in their ability to think outside of the box.
For as long as I can remember we have had warming houses at various parks around town. During the winter we could ice skate and have a place to get warm. In the summer staff was hired to play games with kids in the neighborhoods who would come to play mancala, slip n slide and other water games, get a game of whiffle ball going or arts and crafts. You can find park information here.
You can also rent bikes at Broadway Bike Company to enjoy on the Blazing Star Trail and to ride through town. Albert Lea has miles of bike trails. Recently I learned the fencing around the trees on Broadway are actually bike racks, how cool is that! Ride around fountain lake, cruise through Broadway and stop in a few shops and enjoy something to eat, then pedal on down to Frank Hall Park and take a rest. Proceed onto the Blazing Star Trail. A full day of experiencing Albert Lea’s awesomeness from the seat of a bike.
The BoatHouse by Brookside School and the Ipaddleport station at Frank Hall Park have rentals available such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and more. You can find information on the Ipaddleport station here and BoatHouse Rentals here.