What do you love the most about DJJD? What would you like to see changed?

DJJD Sponsorship Hog Roast Bridgette Hallcock


Defeat of Jesse James Days (DJJD) event chairperson Sandy Vesledahl graciously invited the LoGroNo Triumvirate to last week’s DJJD Sponsorship Hog Roast at the rodeo grounds, even though we’re not sponsors. It was quite a shindig.

Bridgette Hallcock (right photo above), the official DJJD volunteer photographer, was there taking dozens of photos so I just relaxed, had a beer, and pigged out.

I love DJJD. No other event brings the entire cross-section of Northfielders together like DJJD does. I think the event keeps getting better, too.

So what do you like best about DJJD? And if you could change or add something, what would it be?


  1. I would like it to happen every other year or once every five years.

    August 19, 2008
  2. Anthony Pierre said:

    The sish kabob vendor by the post office, and maria’s (so sad that closed)

    August 19, 2008
  3. Sue Newland said:

    As a recent import from UK, I love the camaraderie of the event. This is a unique opportunity for the community to show off their lovely town, and what they are capapble of doing on such a large scale, without any financial compensation. Keep up the good work, townsfolk!

    August 19, 2008
  4. I love every aspect of the DJJD celebraton! That’s why I am on my 25th year of volunteering on the DJJD committee. It’s hard to explain to people how it just becomes a part of your life and it gets in your blood. I have met some wonderful people over the years and have made some life long friends on the DJJD committee. I think the main thing I love about DJJD is the coming together of so many volunteers from so many different aspects of the Northfield community. This is where Northfield really shines! The coor committee consists of approximately 50 chair people and then we branch out to many other civic groups, church groups, school organizations, etc. for volunteers. By the time the DJJD weekend is in full swing we have involved approximately 500 volunteers. That is what gives us the destinction of being the largest ALL volunteer community celebration in the State of Minnesota! The DJJD celebration is the largest fund raiser for many of Northfield’s non-profit organizations. The money raised by these groups is re-invested in our community in many different ways. The money the DJJD committee takes in is used to pay for the Celebration. We truly are “non-profit” in every sense of the word!

    The DJJD celebration is funded by private donations from the many wonderful businesses in Northfield and by funds raised at events during the celebration weekend. We pride ourselves in being able to fund the celebration in this manner and we cannot thank our sponsors enough. We do not receive monetary help from the City of Northfield, however, we do understand that there is a cost incurred by certain City departments during that weekend and we respect and appreciate the support we receive from them. We are also well aware and respect the fact that there are people who do not enjoy the arrival of over 150,000 visitors to our wonderful city for five days each September.

    We have just crowned our new ambassadors for the DJJD celebration and the City of Northfield this past weekend. These wonderful young people will travel throughout the State and make over 60 appearances during the next year promoting not just DJJD but the City of Northfield as well.

    We are always interested in new events (as long as the cost is covered) and having new volunteers join our committee. If there were something I would like to see changed it would be seeing some new volunteers joining our organization. We meet the third Tuesday of each month at the Jesse James Lanes at 7:00 PM. We meet year round. During the month of August and up to the celebration we typically will meet each week. We start planning for the next year’s celebration two weeks after the current year’s celebration has ended.

    We have many volunteers who have been with the committee for 20-30 even almost 40 years and volunteers who have been with us for just a few months. You will find that most of our coor volunteers are very passionate about the jobs they do for the celebration. We are a group that gets things done when they need to be done and many times will find we need to adapt and change the plan as we go. There is something for every volunteer and the beauty of it is that you can volunteer as much or as little as you would like and you can pick where you would like to volunteer. We also have a group of Junior volunteers which consists of the teenage children of committee members and we are hoping that we are training future volunteers for the committee. Many children have grown up being a part of the DJJD “family”.

    Thanks to Griff and the Locally Grown group for attending the Hog Roast. It’s a great event put on by our committee members in order for us to say “thank you” to our sponsors and give them an opportunity to enjoy theirselves prior to the Defeat of Jesse James Days Celebration.

    I’m sorry this comment got so long but once I get going on how I feel about the DJJD celebration, it’s hard to stop! THanks for the opportunity!

    August 19, 2008
  5. Sandy, You said that perfectly.

    I grew up a little history nerd in Nerstand and my family always came to DJJD during September. I loved everything about it. I now have the honor of being the Director of the Historical Society and serving on the DJJD Committee. However, what I really love is what DJJD stands for. It is NOT about glorifying Jesse James or what he did. Yes, we use his name but that is a marketing tool, if it was called Northfield Heritage Days, not many people would show up.

    What I would like to see is exactly what Sandy said, I would like to see some newer volunteers in the celebration and I would also like to see more townies come to the events. I know a lot of people don’t like what goes on but, DJJD is celebrating Northfield’s history and if there is anyway we could get some townies down during the celebration we would love to hear about it.

    August 19, 2008
  6. Jerry Bilek said:

    Fran said:
    “it brings in significant revenue to local charity.”

    Which charity? Just wondering.

    August 19, 2008
  7. Jerry – Just to name a few of the groups that have or currently do earn money from DJJD related events and activities are:
    Northfield Sertoma
    College City Sertoma
    Northfield Rotary
    St. Peter’s Church
    St. Dominic’s Church
    Women’s Fast Pitch Softball
    Cub Scouts
    Rice County 4-H Boosters
    Raider Football team
    Special Olympics
    Northfield High School Special Ed Class
    Swim Club
    The Mason’s
    Cannon Valley Lion’s Club
    Northfield Arts Guild
    Sundowner Car Club
    Northfield Historical Society

    These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, I have probably missed some. Thanks!

    August 19, 2008
  8. Jerry Bilek said:

    Thanks Sandy, I guess I would not consider all of those charities, but they are worthy organizations. It’s good to see some local organizations benefit from DJJD. I’d like to see more local food vendors. Some of the food vendors on Bridge Square are great and some are not. I think the Rotary serves a good brat if my memory is correct.

    As a retailer DJJD is a mixed bag. It hurts business on Thur and Fri and helps Sat and Sun. The weekend is about the same as any other in terms of sales. The reenactment is cool and I’ve posted photos on my website. Customers from outside of Northfield like the pictures.

    August 19, 2008
  9. Jane Moline said:

    Ooh, Fran. I think there may be many reasons why someone might dread DJJD–I have chaired this group and have volunteered for 32 years. We know we put a big burden on the City of Northfield and the citizens (including the businesses) of Northfield. Just like in 1876, the people have risen to the challenge.

    We block businesses on Division, bring in hoardes of people that touch touch touch but don’t buy much, and make parking impossible. The businesses on Division have been gracious about having their entrances at very least visually blocked off and losing accessability for the weekend.

    Many of these same businesses provide volunteers for the weekend–plus they sell buttons and help out in many ways leading up to the weekend. The bars and restaurants put up with our Entertainment center and competition from the food vendors. They have constant use of their bathrooms by NON customers–you wouldn’t believe how much toilet paper 100,000 visitors use.

    As Sandy said, almost every non-profit organization in Northfield (and some from just outside Northfield) participate and use DJJD as a fund-raiser. So, Jerry, a partial list includes the Lions club, all the Sertomas, Rotary, many church groups and student/youth organizations and the Historical Society. Each of these groups has their own mission that they raise money for–from Danceline for their extra costs, to Rotary exchange programs or Lions’ vision funds. You would need to ask each group to get a complete list.

    During the weekend the hotels and restaurants are full and busy, the gas pumps in town are all pumping. There have been a number of economic estimates over the years–I believe one was that Northfield rakes in $3,000,000 in extra business over that weekend (although that seems like an awful lot to me.)

    In addition, there are non-monetary gains where we have guests that come to town to run, bike, eat, go to the rodeo, see the reenactment, visit the juried arts fair, or watch the parade. (This is a partial list and not even half of our events–see the brochure for more!) These visitors learn about Northfield and often return, sometimes moving here, or bringing their son or daughter to college, or come back to shop when it is less busy, or want to become part of the celebration committee.

    This year we will have a group of tourists from Germany who want to learn more about the Defeat of Jesse James. We will also be visited by Betty Barr, Jesse James’ great-granddaughter.

    An anthropology class at St Cloud came one year to help the students learn how to estimate crowd size. I expect this year we may get some Republican convention visitors.

    Ours is the largest all-volunteer celebration organization in Minnesota, and I would guess in the United States. We date back to 1948, so this is our 60th anniversary. Come and join us on the committee or just come for the weekend.

    August 19, 2008
  10. John S Thomas said:

    I think that the DJJD celebration is an excellent opportunity, but there are several things that make it difficult.

    #1 issue is trash collection, and the removal or covering of the existing trash containers downtown. I know that several organizations work on trash collection, but I know for a fact that a teenager is going to ignore a hugely overwhelming pile of trash piled on top of a trashcan that is swarming with bees.

    #2. Also, is it possible to have a cart with a water tank come through and wash down the concrete and bingo area overnight? There is so much food spillage that the area becomes infested with bees and wasps. This makes it uncomfortable and dangerous for those folks that have bee allergies.

    #3. The third problem I have is with the public behavior during the parade. It seems that all of the parade viewers seems to think that the open container laws are null and void during the parade. There is massive amounts of public intoxication, and insane amounts of littering. If you want to see how DJJD negatively impacts Northfield (which is unfortunate), just drive down Division Street about 5 PM after the parade. It looks quite the mess. The cleanup of the street is done by the city, but what about all of the yards and private parking lots?

    #4. To encourage participation of the locals, I would highly encourage the expansion of the “Thursday evening Townie Night”. This would be a good kickoff, and a way to develop a sense of community.

    #5. Excessive noise – Late Nights – Entertainment Center. The entertainment center needs to watch the volume level, and as the night progresses, lower it a bit. The volume should come down at 10 PM, but activities continue. There is no reason at all that I should clearly hear the entertainment in my own home, with the windows open, more than a mile away.

    Yes, we love DJJD, but DJJD needs to be friendly to its host community as well.

    Just my $0.02. Looking forward to the De-Feet Doughnuts!

    August 19, 2008
  11. john george said:

    I think John S. has some good observations. I also think this is just indicative of where our society is right now, so I look at these things as a necessary evil if we are going to have this type of celebration in town. As far as picking up the trash, I have many times picked up things discarded in someone’s yard as I was walking back to my car. If each of us just picked up a couple things as we see them, this would help in the overall clean-up.

    As far as what I enjoy about the celebration, I can’t think of anything I don’t enjoy, so for me, it is an overall success. The one thing I miss is the RC planes flying on the St. Olaf soccer field. Now that I am a part of the club that staged this, I found out why it was discontinued. It seems there was some mis-communication about what events were going to happen where and when. Right in the middle of having about 4 planes up, the runners in the marathon came up over the hill from the North and right across the flying field. It is never a good idea to mix pedestrian traffic and RC planes in the same place. Being hit with one of those is like taking on a running lawn mower with your bare hands. Since that incident, the club has not come back. It is too bad this happened, as I and others did enjoy the flying.

    August 19, 2008
  12. Sue Newland said:

    May I add a comment regarding the ‘world’ famous event? My brother visited from the UK 4 years ago, and was priviledged to experience the DJJD celebrations first hand. This really is a global event. Our friends from other countries may not have heard of Northfield, or even Minnesota, but they have heard of Jesse James! Every year, folks travel from all over the globe to come to this little town to enjoy what we take for granted! Who needs ambassadors when we have DJJD!!
    Yes, I know there can be gliches with the event, and let’s face it, nothing is perfect. But here’s a new concept: instead of picking up on the negativities, how about going to the DJJD meetings and putting forward ideas on improving the event, or even becoming a new volunteer? Perhaps there is a DJJD volunteer who could post the dates/times of meetings, and/or who to contact about becoming involved?

    August 20, 2008
  13. Shame on you Fran for dismissing other peoples feeling and opinions. I do support DJJD every year, who are you to sit in judgment of my opinions and feelings.

    August 20, 2008
  14. The next DJJD committee meeting will be on August 26th at 7:00 PM. Our meetings are held at the Jesse James Lanes. We meet year round on the third Tuesday of each month until August, then we meet each week. If anyone would like to volunteer feel free to attend our meetings or contact our General Chairman, Brad Ness at brad@priorlakeinsurance.com or our Secretary, Debby Larsen at debby.larsen@multek.com. You may also check our website for volunteer opportunities http://www.djjd.org. Thanks!

    August 20, 2008
  15. Anne Bretts said:

    Fran, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but shaming people for disagreeing isn’t helpful.
    Scaling an event to the size of the community while capitalizing on its success is a tough balancing act. Bayfield, WI, with just 600 people year round, draws 50,000 to 100,000 a year for Applefest weekend. Tiny Ely does the same with its Blueberry Festival. Duluth is much larger, but BluesFest and Grandma’s Marathon weekends try the patience of many. Some even leave town to avoid the hassles.
    I understand the enthusiasm for DJJD. Some people love these events, others don’t. I’ve lived here 20 years and I have never gone to the State Fair. I’ve been to DJJD and the re-enactment was fun, but I don’t feel the tingle other people do or the desire to hang out all evening. Sometimes I wish I shared the enthusiasm, but it’s not there. It’s personal preference, and there’s nothing the event planners could do to make it more attractive. I just don’t dig crowds.
    Having said that, I’m OK with a little inconvenience. I live far enough from the center or action that it’s not a big deal. But enthusiasts must never forget they are throwing a block party in someone else’s driveway, so to speak.
    Demanding that people who complain get involved in solving the problem isn’t helpful.
    It sounds like better garbage patrols are a key issue for some folks. Maybe there is a way to get youth groups or other organizations to do ongoing litter patrols for a donation to their groups. Just having people walking around picking up and reminding people where the trash cans are might be enough to shame the offenders and keep them on the straight and narrow. Maybe more seating would help so people aren’t walking around with food. Maybe more announcements not to litter at every venue would help. I know the budget is always an issue, but if the event is too large to manage, perhaps it needs to be scaled back a bit. I think AppleFest had to make some changes for just that reason.
    Again, this isn’t about whether the event is good or bad, just a discussion of some things that work and some that might need tweaking. Interesting that so many discussions here turn into a contest between right and wrong rather than a chance to hear and appreciate differing viewpoints.

    August 20, 2008
  16. Jerry Bilek said:

    Fran said:
    “Shame on anyone that would prefer to see such a tradition be any less than it is.”

    Fran, I just skimmed the comments again and I don’t see a lot of negativity in these comments. Just some suggestions how to make the festival better. Griff asked, we replied. Every small town has a festival of some sort. It’s a reason to have a party. I love that. Does that mean it’s perfect or it could be improved? I look at my business everyday and ask myself “what could I do better?”

    I’m sure the DJJD committee does the same. I’m on an advisory board for the historical society’s store. We meet monthly and discuss ways to make the store better. Constructive criticism is good.

    Nobody said get rid of the festival. Marcea suggested it did not have to occur every year. Just one person’s opinion. The DJJD committee got some free advise, do with it what you will.

    Party on Wayne!

    August 20, 2008
  17. John S Thomas said:

    I can appreciate the fact that this is an all volunteer effort.

    Even so, it is a project that needs to be managed, and for the most part, that is done well.

    The problem with doing the same thing year after year, is that an organization becomes complacent, and only sees what they want to see.

    It is very good to have an outsider view your activity and give comment, so that an organization can improve.

    There are certainly many things that can be done better, but there really does not seem to be a mechanism in place to provide that feedback to the committee.

    Most attendees will not be available to give feedback.

    Also, didn’t the DJJD group manage to get a strong beer permit this year, or is it still restricted to 3.2? I seem to recall that the strong beer permit was approved by the council.

    I think that this year will be extremely challenging, especially with the construction, the traffic, and everything else going on. Personally, I think that 4th should be blocked at Washington, not Divsion, and that some of the vendors be expanded off of Bridge Square off onto 4th. It gets MUCH too congested on Bridge Square with the vendors.

    Regarding my comment on trash collection. I am aware of the fact that many organizations take shifts on trash removal. I understand that. The problem is not with the trash removal as established with DJJD, but with the existing containers downtown that are there every day. These containers need to be sealed or covered, so that they are NOT USED, because these are NOT maintained and emptied by the DJJD folks, and they fill up the first day, and FESTER in the hot sun until the monday after. It is nearly impossible for WM to get to them on Friday, due to the celebration going on, and they do not work weekends.

    It is important that they get taken care of, and temporarily removed prior to the celebration. If not, they become festering bee havens, and present a safety hazard.

    Another issue is the bleachers. There has to be a way to make moving around behind them more ADA compliant. There needs to be enough room between the back of the bleacher and the walls of the building, to safely allow pedestrian traffic to pass.

    There should also be additional porta-johns placed at 5th and Division to take some of the problems of bathrooms away from the local businesses. Yes, I understand that these cost money, but I know you have enough to put porta-johns next to the entertainment center for the beer drinkers, so… just spread some of them around downtown.

    The mind set of telling the businesses to just deal with the inconvenience is not acceptable. I truly see why many of them just lock up for those 4 days.

    I do enjoy what DJJD stands for, and what it does do for Northfield, but I also strongly feel that the committee needs to be sensitive to their hosts when planning and implementing their event. I would hope that the first 2 or three meetings after the event, when planning for the next one, is spent doing an after action review of what went well, and what went poorly, and brainstorming on how to improve the next year. Again, just taking the DJJD playbook off the shelf, and doing the same things again and again year after year does not allow the event to grow and improve.

    Again, I look forward to attending, and I will NOT be shamed for putting in my $0.02 worth.

    I really truly VERY STRONGLY disagree with some of Fran’s remarks. The celebration is very nice, but this gem has plenty of rough edges. Through rose colored sunglasses, the whole thing looks shiny and bright, but take them off, and look closely, and you can see that there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

    I will make you this deal. I will attend, and I will take notes of things that I see that can be possibly improved upon in a low cost / low resource manner, and I will forward those notes to the committee, so that they can review them for next year.

    See you downtown! 😎

    August 20, 2008
  18. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve removed Fran Derailment’s comments here as I’ve not been able to confirm her identity.

    August 20, 2008
  19. Those of us who are members of the DJJD committee DO welcome the suggestions that are being posted here. Thank you Griff for giving us this opportunity. We are always open to suggestions and appreciate the feed back we are receiving here and will share these at our next meeting on Tuesday, August 26th. If anyone does wish to ever give feedback or suggestions at any time prior to or after the celebration we do have a mechanism in place for that on our website, http://www.djjd.org. Our Board of Director’s email addresses and contact information is listed under “Committee Contact Info”, as well as we have a general email address on our website, info@djjd.org which you can also send information to or ask questions. Each individual event chairperson is listed on our website as well as in our official celebration brochure which you can find in most businesses throughout Northfield. Phone numbers for each event chairperson are listed. During the celebration weekend you will see our volunteers in bright red shirts, feel free to stop any of them on the street and chat! If they cannot help you they will direct you to the person who can! We also have the “Information Booth” on Bridge Square which is staffed by DJJD committee volunteers and you may always visit with them as well with any concerns or suggestions. We try to make our committee as available as possible for questions, concerns, comments or suggestions. We try our best with our volunteers to address the issues we know about and are able to address and we realize there is always room for improvement! Our “wrap up” meetings (as we call them) immediately following the celebration are dedicated to discussing what worked and what didn’t, what needs improvement or changed, or what we need to add or discontinue. Thank you to everyone here who has shared ideas and thoughts, wheather we can fix the issue or not, (sometimes it’s out of our control) it’s always good for us to look at things through others eyes! Thanks!

    August 21, 2008
  20. Britt Ackerman said:

    What I love most about DJJD:

    1. My first JJD (I refuse to be politically correct and refer to the celebration as the “defeat” of JJD, sorry Sandy) was the week of my freshman orientation at Carleton in 1996. What a great welcome for nervous incoming college kids! It was great fun, and really instilled a sense of pride for our new community. I like seeing the nervous, wide-eyed freshman wandering around the festivities.

    2. Townie night. After seven years of working back-to-back, long and difficult shifts at a downtown business, we try to leave town every year to avoid the chaos. But on townie night, we come out to see old faces returning home and it seems as though everyone is out and about.

    3. People watching. Can’t get enough of people watching, but it’s only interesting when the people are strangers! One JJ Days I bought a crappy ear of sweet corn from a vendor. I sat down by the river across from the Muni to feed the ducks and geese because it wasn’t really fit for human consumption. Dozens of waterfowl came up to enjoy the feast. When I stood up and turned around, I was shocked to see that I’d drawn a CROWD of tourists. At least thirty people were fascinated by the wildlife, and there were even Japanese tourists snapping pics. I thought wow, we forget that what we have here is fit for a photo album.

    4. Walking out of my office to eat lunch. Not only do I eat lunch downtown, I bring stuff back and snack all day. In one day, I can manage an order of cheese curds, Prime Rib Sandwich, funnel cake, those spirally cut potato chips, a shish kabob, sweet corn, and a minty milkshake. Oh, and a corn dog.

    August 21, 2008
  21. I seem to recollect in former times that the vendors downtown were more likely to be from various local clubs and/or charitable organizations. E.g. Clutchmen, Lions, Knights of Columbus et al. (working from memory here, please don’t ream me if inaccurate.)

    More recently, the vendors appear to be almost exclusively professional outfits. There may be some advantages to this, but it loses something of the character of a community festival.

    The beer tent is too crowded. I have fantasized about various solutions to this, none particularly appealing to the businesses who have to coexist with the crowds. Incorporating the northbound lane of Water St. into the corralled area might help. Access problems for law enforcement and emergency services, I know.

    August 21, 2008
  22. Dan Freeman said:

    “Holy Buckets of Cow Manure Britt Woman” proclaimed Free-Man. I resisted using Dan Akroids famous opening salutation to Jane Curtain from “Saturday Night Live”. I just couldn’t come to refer to her(Britt Woman) as ignorant.
    For years we on the commitee and those of us close to the Nutting and Shumway families have steadfastly tried to slip that one little “Defeat” word into the celebration’s title. Now you come along wearing your Smarty Pants and tell us all that you refuse to use it. Come on now, its only one little word that the employers and employees of the bank that was robbed have asked us to repeat every time we give the name of this wonderful celebration. After all they lost their beloved employee, Joseph Lee Heywood as a result of this incident.
    If The gang had gotten the money, the bank would have been forced to close and the town of Northfield may well have dried up and blown away, colleges and all. So is it too much to ask that those of us given the privelege of living in this town due to Heywood’s ultimate sacrifce should be asked to use this one word, ‘defeat’ before we utter the name of the bandit and terrorist whose name we pinned on this celebration years ago?
    It is called “Defeat of Jesse James Days” for a reason. Let us all enjoy everything it brings to us each September and honor the sacrifices of our early settlers and proudly say, “Defeat of” every time we refer to this great celebration. We deserve to hear it an so do our visitors.
    In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that”.

    August 21, 2008
  23. Dan,

    Thank you for calling Britt out, you said it perfectly my friend.

    Britt, by not putting the word Defeat in front of the title, the celebration has a different meaning. I find it very irresponsible to refer to the celebration as Jesse James Days. We know it is a long title but you really need to refer to it as Defeat of Jesse James Days or Defeat Days or DJJD or hell even the Celebration, because if you refer to it as Jesse James Days then it does look like we are honor the murderous psycho and not the heroic towns people of this great town.

    August 21, 2008
  24. John S Thomas said:

    Well, the big question is, with 14 days to go, will Downtown be ready to support DJJD? Its going to be REALLY close…

    At this point, we can always have BMX races on 5th. Lots of dirt for jumps and extreme stunts!

    Heck, one way to remove the skateboards downtown is to remove the sidewalks, but I didn’t think the City was serious! 😎

    August 21, 2008
  25. That is a good question John, wish I had the answer for that. I have heard rumors that the construction company’s are going to be working over the weekends to meet the deadlines for DJJD.

    August 21, 2008
  26. Britt Ackerman said:

    Ok, ok, I’ll try to use the d-word, but only because it’s important to Danny. 😉

    I’m just old-school, and remember the festival before the “Defeat” was added. So I’m trying to keep it real peeps, that’s all.

    August 21, 2008
  27. One word: recycling.

    What prevents this and most other events in town from having recycling bins available?

    Personally, I’d like to see them in city parks year round as well.

    Are there financial or logistical hurdles that keep the recycling bins at bay, or is it overlooked in the huge amount of planning for all other aspects of the event?

    I can understand both issues, but would still love to see this happen.

    While I’m on an environmental issue, would it be possible for the DJJD committee to require that vendors, to the extent that it is possible, use compostable or recyclable containers for serving food and drinks?

    Regardless, I still love the DJJD, and I’m very grateful and proud of the role that the DJJD committee has helped create for the NAG’s “Jessie Jane’s Jamboree” show for each of the past three years. It has been a smashing success and raised money each year for the Northfield Arts Guild.

    Thank you to Sandy and everyone else on the committee who has supported that effort.

    August 21, 2008
  28. Gary Frazier said:

    Thank you all for your comments on trash, toilets and bee’s.
    I’m a member on the DJJD Board and my committee job involves setting up contracts with portable restroom companies and Waste Management for trash. I also take care of bee traps at Bridge Square and the Rodeo site,

    As you can imagine, when we have 100,000 – 150,000 folks visiting our city during the celebration it’s quite a challenge to keep trash and toilets in check. I’ve worked at this position a number of years and each year I try to make it better…….adjusting the number of trash containers and portable restrooms. The DJJD Committee spends about $6000 on portable restrooms each year and about the same on trash pickup (Waste Management charges us about $12,000 each year but donates half back to the committee).

    In addition to the money we spend with Waste Management we also donate money to a local organization (Hi-Liners or St. Dom’s) to keep Bridge Square and the Rodeo site grounds clean.

    This year we will introduce recycling containers. I’m working with Waste Management to place an appropriate number of recycling containers downtown and at the rodeo site. This is a new effort on our part and I expect we’ll learn from it and adjust as needed in coming years.

    OK, enough on the “trash talk”. Let’s talk about another intriquing topic…….toilets. We typically spread about 78 restrooms around the city (including 6 handicap units). Each year I adjust the number and their placement in an effort to make it better for folks that need to use them.
    I believe the number of toilets we provide is about right but if folks think we’re lacking in any way I’m open to your comments. Our budget is limited but we can add if absolutely necessary.

    Bee traps………I place about 25 bee traps in the downtown area and rodeo site each year. Some folks are not happy that we “trap” bees but others appreciate it (we receive lots of bee sting complaints every year). Please give me your comments if you’re OK or not OK with trapping bees.

    That’s it………..looking forward to your comments. THANKS!

    August 22, 2008
  29. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Gary… great to have that level of detail on all that you and DJJD folks are doing re: recycling, garbage, bees, etc.

    August 23, 2008
  30. Vicki Dennis said:

    Thank you for setting the bee traps, Gary! For any innocent, pollination-intending bees that are trapped I am truly sorry – but I’d have to confess to not minding the idea of every wasp in Minnesota being gone. (Maybe we could convince them to head to the Renaissance Fair that weekend?)

    August 23, 2008
  31. Angel Eddy said:

    Thank you to all who are leaving such wonderful comments and suggestions!! And thank you to Griff for providing this opportunity!!

    I just would like to echo Sandy V’s suggestion. This will be our 60th celebration. Which means there have been how many committee meetings? I can’t even begin to come up with the number! THIS IS A PUBLIC MEETING! ALL are welcome to attend!! And we on the DJJD committee encourage you all to do so!! There are a lot of great suggestions, and, unfortunately, some major complaints. If there are major concerns, I encourage you to become active within our committee! Just maybe you can be part of a solution!

    Please! If you have suggestions or complaints about something within your community, become active in it! Attend a DJJD meeting! Let your voice be heard! While this is a great starting stone to suggestions to our committee, this is absolutely not the only place to be heard. As Sandy stated above, there is a website, there are e-mail addresses as well as phone numbers!

    Again, our committee meets the third Tuesday of every month, year-round, at the Jesse James Lanes. Visit our web-site, become a volunteer! We would love to have you!!

    September 1, 2008
  32. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re welcome, Angel. FYI, we’re having Sandy Vesledahl and Brad Ness on our radio show/podcast today.

    September 3, 2008
  33. John Thomas said:

    The best thing so far was visiting with Maria, and having her wonderful chicken tacos for lunch today.

    It was very good to see her. Our family sure misses the restaurant.

    If you are in Bridge Square, look for the bright red trailer, right across from the front door to the Museum.

    September 5, 2008
  34. Angel Eddy said:

    Yea! That was an awesome interview! Great job Brad and Sandy!!

    John, I am glad you found Maria!

    I also hope all enjoyed the celebration, and am looking forward to hearing the feedback!

    September 13, 2008

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