Ride in a horse-drawn wagon over the prairie, skip over the grass to a polka, marvel at a rosemaling demonstration or join in a singalong — it’s time for the annual Valley Grove Country Social.
Traditional Nordic music and old time pleasures on a living prairie are the heart of the social held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Valley Grove churches historic site, 9999 155th St. E, Nerstrand.
Chris Brunelle, music director at First United Church of Christ, Northfield, leads a singalong at 1:30 in the 1892 church. Hutenanny, a Northfield-based traditional Nordic music group comprising fiddles, mandolins, bass, guitar and recorders, perform at 2:30, weather permitting.
Rosemåling mother-daughter duo Donna Johnson and Lyn Rein of Faribault demonstrate their art throughout the day. Johnson is proficient in the Hallingdal style from which area some of the Valley Grove ancestors came to the Nerstrand area. She also paints Telemark, Rogalund and Gudbrandsdal styles.
Throughout the afternoon, horseman Bob Matthies and his team of percherons will give wagon rides on the prairie with photogenic views over Valley Grove’s prairie, which adjoins Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.
A variety of ecology experts will highlight the plants and wildlife of the restored prairie: monarch butterfly educator Nancy Schumacher will have a display and sale of favorite plants for pollinators. An expert from the Blue Bird Recovery Program will be on hand to consult on blue bird housing and habitat. Children get a chance to try traditional rope making throughout the afternoon. And Valley Grove Preservation Society board members will lead walks on the restored prairie.
Coffee and cake will be served. Admission is free.
More information at www.valleygrovemn.org or find us on Facebook.