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The milestones of Lanesboro

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

The rural community of Lanesboro, located in the heart of bluff country, had an eventful year in 2011. The town is now looking forward to an exciting year in 2012. Again in 2011, strong leadership and cooperation has helped the Lanesboro community have a successful year. Progress was prominent in Lanesboro in 2011, and many milestones were met.

The Commonweal Theater of Lanesboro celebrated its most successful year in its twenty-three years of operation. The theater reported that more than 21,000 theatergoers attended a performance this year. Popular performances like the romantic comedy Parfumerie to Harper Lee's time-honored story To Kill a Mockingbird drew in record crowds in the theater's 2011 lineup. Two of the theater's productions, To Kill a Mockingbird and Sylvia, ranked in the top three performances that the theater has presented. In addition to the theater's achievements, $10,000 was awarded to the Commonweal from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council and an additional $38,250 was awarded from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The theater is excited to get its 2012 theatrical season underway with performance titles such as The 39 Steps, The Philadelphia Story, and the well-known Charles Dickens' production A Christmas Carol.

In addition to the Commonweal's success, Lanesboro also hosted two unique events in 2011. Lanesboro was located on the route of the MS Tram, a bike tour to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. The recognized event drew in around 900 bikers and several volunteers into the community. Also, the Model-T car show was a popular event. Around 200 owners showed off their valuable Model-T cars along Parkway Avenue in Lanesboro. Lanesboro and the area trail towns also had a local celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Root River State Bike Trail.

Looking ahead to 2012, Lanesboro is planning another great year as well. Along with annual traditions like Rhubarb Festival, Art in the Park, and Buffalo Bill Days, Lanesboro is working with neighboring communities to hold a special event in September which will be "Taste of the Trail." The goal of the event is to feature all of the local foods that each town on the trail is known for. Each weekend would feature two different communities. Also, more trail development is expected to take place this spring. The trail going from Lanesboro east to Rushford will be repaved and widened from eight to ten feet. That portion of the trail will then match the Fountain to Lanesboro segment. Work is expected to begin in the spring and last through part of the summer.

The local businesses of Lanesboro contribute to making Lanesboro a successful community. Two businesses were recognized for their anniversaries. The Das Wurst Haus was recognized for 28 years of service on Labor Day in 2011. Owners Arv and Janus Fabian have retired from the business which now houses Bittersweet Boutique and Antiques, an intimate boutique with a great selection of natural fiber clothing for women. Lanesboro Tours and Treasures, Cheryl's Apparel, and Molly the Trolley, owned by Rick and Cheryl Lamon, was recognized for their 7 years of service to the community. There are also a few new businesses that are contributing to Lanesboro's fame, including a new bed and breakfast, Casa Verde, ran by Jeremy van Meter and Catherine Glynn. Casa Verde is the new eco-friendly bed and breakfast in Lanesboro. Also, Smokey River BBQ, a new restaurant has opened.

Part of Lanesboro will be getting a makeover in the spring of 2012. With the help of a Legacy grant, the landscaping of the trailhead starting at main street and extending to the Lanesboro Visitor Center will be redone. Some of the improvements that will be made will include better seating areas, new bike racks, and modern, updated landscaping. The improvements will give the area a more elaborate look for tourists and locals.

Lanesboro is looking forward to an eventful year in 2012 packed with exciting programs and festivals. City administration, the chamber of commerce, town locals, and businesses will all be working hard to maintain Lanesboro's community-oriented reputation to make Lanesboro a successful community in 2012 as in previous years. The leaders of Lanesboro will also strive to continue Lanesboro's reputation as the "quirky crossroads of the arts and outdoors," as Lanesboro was named in an edition of Minnesota Monthly magazine.

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