By Brian Schommer
It has been said that music has mysterious powers that evoke emotional reactions of every sort. There are some songs that when we hear them, an ear-to-ear grin appears on our face while there are also songs that when heard, can bring tears to our eyes. While the glory days of heading out to any number of establishments in the local area to hear live music has faded away, there is one place that stands out second to none in offering the opportunity for all ages to check out their favorite genres of music. Where is this place you ask? The Hastings Arts Center located at 216 East 4th Street in Hastings, and you will find more than music happening at the HAC.
If you are a blood donor, on Tuesday, January 17 there will be a Blood Drive for the American Red Cross at 1pm there. On Tuesday, January 24th at 10:30am the Hastings Arts Center’s FREE Tuesday Coffee Concert Series continues with local sax virtuoso Jonah Walt performing with Sarah Lockwood on piano. Doors open at 10am and you can enjoy the art gallery before and after the concert. Coffee and treats are also available. A couple days later, on January 27th Black Dirt Improv will be performing two shows, one at 7pm and one at 9pm with tickets at the door for only $10. If you have not been to a Black Dirt Improv, you are missing out on a hilariously incredible time. To round out the month, The High 48’s Blue Grass Band will be performing on Saturday, January 28th from 7pm until 9pm. Again, you can check out the art gallery before and after the show. You can purchase tickets online at a discount for $15-$25 each or $30 at the door. All these events and more can be found at www.hastingsartscenter. org or check out the Hastings Arts Center on Facebook. There are a lot of great opportunities to check out while out and about at the Hastings Arts Center.
Speaking of Facebook, if you spend any time on this social media site, you should consider checking out a couple of pages to help with your out and about planning, specifically the City of Hastings Government page and the Hastings Minnesota Area and Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce pages. You will find all sorts of updates of things going on out and about in the area. The City of Hastings Government page does a remarkable job of keeping things up to date, as do both others, and what is most impressive is the number of things happening in and around the area. Outdoors or indoors, ice fishing activities to information on area restaurants (we would like to think a recent three-week focus in The Journals “Out and About” feature may have influenced this… but probably not), there is a lot to do while out and about around here.
If you are looking for a venue to host a smaller gathering, a solid recommendation goes to the Hastings Green Mill. While recently celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of a family member, we were impressed by the attentive nature of the staff. In a day and age where customer service seems to have often been put on the back burner and the personal touches that go above and beyond expectations tend to be non-existent, this was not the case at this party. The food was what would be expected at Green Mill. The Diablo Wings were delicious, the salad was fresh and crisp, the pizzas were yummy and there were even some Gluten Free offerings, again, illustrating accommodations to the desires of the guests. The dessert offerings came from Wuollet Bakery in Hastings consisting of cake and cupcakes. They were beautifully decorated and were incredibly tasty. The celebration of 50 years of marriage in and of itself was a wonderful experience, but it was made much better thanks to the involvement of these two businesses. If you are out and about, you might just want to check them out.
If you have a scoop on a business or organization that is doing something noteworthy that could or should be checked out while “out and about,” please send a message to [email protected] and we would love to give them some promotional love here. Of course, any events or activities should be open to the public. We would also like to issue a challenge to the Cottage Grove area readers. We know that there are things happening there and we want to know about them. While out and about, we saw that the new Pizza Ranch is coming along. While this is great, we want to know more about what cool activities and events are happening that others can enjoy while out and about. We will be watching the emails.