By Brian G. Schommer Those hot, sultry days of summer seem to be upon us. Often called the “dog days of summer,” these days are historically the period that follows the heliacal rising of the …
By Brian G. Schommer
Those hot, sultry days of summer seem to be upon us. Often called the “dog days of summer,” these days are historically the period that follows the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. At least that is what I found on Wikipedia which makes for more interesting reading that “hold on to your hat’s friends, it is gonna be hotter than a…” Sirius was also known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog) which is also probably why the ancient Romans referred to these days as “dog days.” I am being serious here… see what I did there?
The key to enjoying the outdoors during the dog days of summer is staying hydrated which by the way means laying off the alcoholic beverages for a bit. I know and agree that there is nothing quite like an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day. As refreshing as a blue mountain clad sixteen ounce can be, too much alcohol can lead to dehydration so be sure to combine your consumption with plenty of water. Truth be told, these are the days that most people just want to stay in the air-conditioned confines of their homes. If you are one that can take the heat, there are a few things going on the next few weeks that will provide you the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
The first Tuesday of August has become a nationwide celebration to strengthen relationships between communities and law enforcement. National Night Out provides a great opportunity to bring people together in a positive manner. The City of Hastings and the Hastings Police Department are hosting a National Night out neighborhood gathering on Tuesday, August 3, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Lions Park. There are also several individual neighborhoods hosting gatherings throughout city. Cottage Grove and the Pierce County area also have several opportunities to participate in National Night Out. Organizers of individual neighborhood parties are busy dropping fliers off and posting notices for their neighbors. It is proven that stronger relationships in neighborhoods leads to safer neighborhoods. No matter how you celebrate National Night Out, there may never be a more important time in our history to get to know your neighbors a little better AND to develop a stronger connection to the local law enforcement folks. The food and fun that go with block party and larger scale events are just a bonus.
Every Thursday Night, the Hastings Rotary Pavilion has LIVE music, and it is FREE to all who attend. The variety of artists so far this summer has been incredible. From funk and classic rock to polkas… there has been a little of everything for everyone. Tonight (7/29/21) features jazz music from Axis Mundi. Next week, local favorites Bok Choy will bring their mix of jazz, funk, and pop to the pavilion. If you have not heard these young musicians play, you should. If Alternative Folk Rock is your thing, the Night Chasers could be worth the trip to the river on August 12th and if you are looking for a bit of culture, the Latin Band Charanga Tropical will be at the venue the following week. A Cappella Swing and straight-out rock follow the next two weeks and again, it is all free. The music starts at 7pm and runs until 8:30pm so, it is not like you would be in the heat for hours. Also, the Hastings Area Rotary Club has a “hydration station” where you can purchase ice-cold water. There has also been sno-cone and popcorn vendors onsite to help make your experience even better.
Same venue, different opportunity… on Saturday, August 7th from 2pm – 4pm, local celebrity Pete Likes and friends will be holding a free concert to benefit the Hastings TLC, a pregnancy resource center; a ministry that serves our community by providing life-affirming pregnancy and parenting education and support. Other performers are Neil Matsch, Bob Friermuth, Megan Pleviak, Mark Laska, Gary & Pat Fender, Terry Crisp, Larry Schienke and Florence Solomon. The event is being promoted as “Hot August Nights… Music to Cool You Off.” Two hours of music on a Saturday afternoon within walking distance to a few of the best patios around sounds like a great way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Looking out even further, there is Rivertown Live on September 11th being presented by the Hastings Area Rotary Club and Hastings Automotive (Hastings Ford and Hastings Chrysler). More information can be found at www.rivertownlive.com. Stay hydrated and Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.