Owatonna Orienteering at River Bend

The River Bend Ramble helps support the nature center, which among other things, provides lessons about the environment and the natural world. (Daily News file photo)

FARIBAULT — River Bend Nature Center hosts its 38th annual River Bend Ramble on Saturday. And with an artisan market, live music, drawing and more, this year’s edition of the Ramble promises plenty of fun.

Founded in 1978, the nonprofit nature center provides a pleasant venue for community events, hosts a variety of environmental science-related classes for children and adults alike, designed to pique the public’s interest in the natural world. River Bend also maintains more than 10 miles of public use trails spread out over more than 740 acres of park land.

The Ramble not just a fun event, but an essential fundraiser that supports the important and unique work of the Nature Center. Thanks to the support of local businesses and individuals, nearly all proceeds from the event will go towards park maintenance expenses and community education programs.

River Bend Communications Coordinator Molly Olson said that the Ramble, a tradition nearly as old as the center itself, remains its largest fundraising event. To keep coming people back, the Nature Center always tries to add some new attractions.

Ramble Rundown

The event starts with an artisan market, which River Bend added last year as a way to integrate more local businesses into the event. From noon until 5:30, attendees will have the chance to support not only River Bend but also local businesses like the Cheese Cave and Becker Woodcraft.

From 1 p.m. to 2:30, attendees will get the chance to try their hands at archery. River Bend has held its “Splatter Paint Archery” programs before, but this is the first time that Splatter Paint Archery will be a part of the Ramble.

For a cost of just $10 per adult and $5 per child, those interested will get to practice archery a bit, with balloons filled with paint as targets. Separate pre-registration is required for this portion of the event.

Check-in for the dinner begins at 4 p.m., with a happy hour complete with live music from 4:30 to 5:30, followed by dinner. At 6:15, a live auction will be held, with nine unique packages/gifts donated by local businesses and individuals up for bidding.

Those who are unable to attend the Ramble can bid on the items by proxy if they contact River Bend prior to the event. Everything from pedicures for a year (donated by Sunset Salon) to a Turkish dinner for six (donated by Jan Mitchell and Jane McWilliams) to a diamond necklace (donated by Chappuis Jewelry) will be up for auction.

At 7 p.m., River Bend will host its Wall of Wine/Craft Beer event. One lucky winner will take home 20 cases of craft beer and another 20 cases of fine wine. River Bend is soliciting donations of beer and wine for the raffle.

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew.

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