What's happened and what is happening!

Autumn is the season of change; the crispness in the air and the crunch of the leaves; the harvest dust that signals prosperity and a faith in something bigger than ourselves.

Our daylight hours get a little shorter and we are forced to adjust to a change in routine. As a parent I can tell you, this is always a slight dread because not only am I trying to modify my clock, I also have three other people to ease into this new season. Change is hard and uncomfortable, but once we get those clocks set properly (Nov. 5, by the way), we slowly settle into the newness and within no time, it’s like this was the norm, like it always was.

Our NEW Event Center opened in grand fashion this past weekend and I couldn’t have been more proud of my city and its residents. Lisa Steffl, the Event Center Manager, and her team did an amazing job pulling off the night. The music flowed easily and the dancing was just as fluid. I can’t tell you how many people made the comment, “Where did all these people come from?” or, “Where do these people go when they don’t have a night like this?” You know—I was never around for the glory days of the Orchid Inn. The days and place my parents still boast about as “the place to be for dancing.” But I feel as though I caught a glimpse of what it may have been like back then, as I listened to Sandra Lee & The Velvets crooning “Pretty Woman.” And who knows, maybe this can become a thing again. We certainly now have the space to accommodate all generations and group sizes as we usher in a changing of the ballroom guards, if you will. Our new norm, like it always was.

The Sleepy Eye Young Professionals, which is a product of the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce, held their first event of their calendar season (which runs September to May) last Thursday night at the Sleepy Eye Golf Club. We had an education in all things Schell’s Beer. Yes, I’m sure this grabs a chuckle from some, after all how much is there to learn about beer? A lot actually! Arneson Distributing and Schell’s Brewery sponsored the night and the group was so invested in the information, we are now planning a second beer night in early spring. This Young Professionals group has some great visionaries among it and we are excited to see what is to be given back and explored within the community. Once again—a change in what we know, an adjustment of the usual, a new norm, like it always was.

This year, the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce will “Light the Night,” along with Holiday Lights in Motion, for our Holiday Kickoff Celebration at Sportsmen’s Park, Nov. 25 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. We’re changing things up, building off of what has really become the seasonal centerpiece of our city. We’ll have Santa, carriage rides, the lighting of the park, s’mores and hot cocoa, hotdogs and popcorn, and much more. Create a different tradition this holiday season. Make a change, a new norm, like it always was.