Posts Tagged: INHF

April 2018 Calendar!

April 2018! Spring! Hooray! The weather will keep getting nicer and nicer, and we can keep getting out for some fun! Start your planning now with this handy-dandy April 2018 calendar (and you can download the pdf here). Enjoy! XO, Inspire(d)

Check out these great April 2018 activities!  In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

12. April 6: The Alaska String Band brings songs and stories from the great North. Decorah Native Paul Zahasky and family play bluegrass and beyond. Tickets $15 at the door. Chase the Adventure, 1838 Middle Calmar Rd – rural Decorah

13. April 7: Bluegrass with Monroe Crossing in Chatfield at Potter Auditorium. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 door. 7:30 pm concert; 6 pm social hour with food and drink.

14. April 10: Dragonfly Books invites you to dinner at Rubaiyat with Charles Belfoure, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Architect and House of Thieves. 6pm. (563) 382-4275

15. April 13-14: Mid West Music Fest in La Crosse! 50 acts and 6 stages – Funk, Americana, Bluegrass, Indie Rock. Where Music & Community Meet! Ticket info and schedules –

16. April 14: Hanson Family Juggling & Unicycle Show at Decorah Public Library! Join Mark Hanson, a two-time Guinness World Record holder, his national unicycle champion daughter, and family for stories and fun! 1pm.

17. DATE CHANGE! April 19 (previously 4/18): Free Reception for Film Historian Michael Zahs. 5:30PM at the Porter House Museum. Zahs was featured in the documentary Saving Brinton – a screening of the film will follow at 7 pm at the Decorah Elks Club as the inaugural event of the Oneota Film Festival.

18. April 19-22: The 9th Annual Oneota Film Festival “Making Connections.” Films, panels, events, and activities for the whole family. For more information, visit:

19. April 21: The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds brought to life by Collective Unconscious at Potter Auditorium, Chatfield Center for the Arts. $30 advance, $35 door.

20. April 22: Join the Oneota Co-op for their Earth Day Celebration from 5-7pm in Water Street Park. Including local music (Absolute Hoot), local food, & local friends!

21. April 24: Fearless Women of Dirt (FWD) Ride 5pm + Women’s Night 7-9pm, Decorah Bicycles. New info on Little Bellas Program, social time, and more! for details.

22. April 27-28: Mid West Music Fest in Winona 70 acts on 7 stages Funk, Americana, Bluegrass, Indie Rock. Where Music and Community Meet! Ticket info and schedules –

23. DATE CHAGE! May 5 (previously 4/28): Into the Wild, Out with the Mustard! Join INHF at Heritage Valley on Apr. 28 for the annual garlic mustard pull. Details at

Decorah Jersey – Longest Loop Fundraiser!


Earlier this year, Decorah resident Bob Bishop got the idea to put together a Decorah themed bicycling jersey. They are out now and available in Decorah, but Bob has made a special offer for supporters of the Longest Loop Project. When you purchase a jersey between now and July 15, Bob will donate 20% of the sales to the Longest Loop Project which is raising money to support the purchase of Winneshiek County Conservation’s Neste Valley Recreation Area project.

Bob can be reached by phone at 563-380-9922 to arrange for the purchase of a Decorah Jersey (that will include a donation to the Longest Loop!). The jerseys are high quality Owayo custom printed, in sizes S, M, L, XL.

The jerseys are also available at Decorah Bicycles on College Drive, as well as the Vesterheim Museum Gift Shop, but only jerseys purchased through Bob will qualify for the donation.

You can also make just a donation to the Longest Loop Project that will help fund the Neste Valley Recreation Area. Click here for more information on how to donate! 



What We’re Loving: Driftless Winter 2015-16


A little list of what we think is awesome in the Driftless Region right now…


Hotel Winneshiek + Fun Events

Have we mentioned how lucky we feel to have the beautiful Hotel Winneshiek operating in our community? It is a seriously amazing anchor to Downtown Decorah – the renovation of the historical property in 2000 brought new life and new businesses to (the already pretty hopping) Water Street, and it’s not too shabby to look at, either.

In more recent years, the Hotel Winneshiek has also been a hub of fun activity. Their new motto is “The Welcome is Real” – they hope folks will think of the terrazzo-floored lobby as the community living room, and the Steyer Opera House as a place to dance and have fun. To drive this notion home, they’ve hosted some pretty cool events – ranging from their “Live in the Lobby” music series to the dead-of-the-winter Winneshiek Music Festival. This whole “why have it if you don’t use it” mentality is one we can get behind. Seriously – get that China out of the cupboard, people! And get those butts off the couch for some of these great events:

Winneshiek Wedding Market, January 24, 2016 – Three floors of wedding fun! We think the idea of strolling all around the Hotel, mimosa in-hand, as you plan your wedding sounds like a lot of fun. Details at

Winneshiek Music Festival, January 29-31, 2016 – There’s a great line-up of local and regional favorites for this year’s fest! Check out the poster on page 18!

Live in the Lobby, Sundays and Tuesdays (schedule starts again in spring, with occasional pop-ups this winter) – Free music performances in the Hotel lobby! Check Hotel Winneshiek Facebook page for details.



Grown-Up Coloring Books! Sonja Emily, Chuck U, etc.

OK, ok, ok… so you may have already caught the ‘rage’ of coloring books for grown-ups. It’s everywhere! What’s the big deal about coloring? Many psychologists are saying filling in those blank little spaces with color is the next best thing to meditation – that it’s a huge stress-reliever and a great way to relax the mind. It’s become so popular, in fact, that almost half of the best-selling books on Amazon (Dec 2015) are adult coloring books.

Lucky for us, some local and regional artists have jumped on board the coloring train. And we totally love that! Check out this issue’s “Paper Project” from Luther grad / Minneapolis artist Sonja Emily. She currently has coloring gift cards for sale at Milkhouse Candles and Gifts in Decorah, and is rumored to be stocking them up with some coloring books soon, too. We love her fun and whimsical work (you can get more details about Sonja on page 32). One of our other favorite Minneapolis artists, “Chuck U” has also turned several of his incredible – and often totally intricate – works into a totally entertaining coloring book, plus our local Dragonfly Books (you can read more about THEM on page 24) has a great variety of coloring books to choose from too! Hooray for creative outlets for, truly, anyone!



Neste Valley Reserve / Dry Run Trail

Back in 2013, the Neste Family partnered with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the Winneshiek County Conservation board to start the process of converting their 170-acre heritage farm into a new park just outside of Decorah. The INHF was able to secure the property from the family and will transfer it to the Winneshiek County Conservation Board once fundraising on the million-dollar project has been completed. The property encompasses an impressive span of land including oak savannas, wetlands, and one mile of the Dry Run Creek, which will all be permanently protected as parkland. It’s the first new park established by WCC in 21 years! Exciting!

The property will also be the link that will allow an 8-mile Dry Run Trail to connect the Trout Run and Prairie Farmer Trails in Calmar via Highway 52. That would make over 43 miles of nonstop trail in Northeast Iowa! We love this vision, and want to encourage our readers to donate to the INHF in the name of this project – they still need $235,000 to make it happen! Getting this park in action would be an amazing gift to pass on to future generations (and a great way to start Living Generously). Find more information at or by contacting Winneshiek County Conservation at or 563-534-7145.



Luren Singers / Dave Judisch to receive The Medal of St. Olav

DaveJudishWe love the Nordic roots that run so very deep in our little Northeast Iowa community, and it would be hard to embody the Decorah/Nordic connection more than the Luren Singing Society has for the past 148+ years. This group lives up to its motto “We Love to Sing” – in Norwegian, to boot. Although the Society has humble roots, as it prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2018, others are taking notice as well. Earlier this fall, the Norwegian Honorary Consul General notified long-time director Dr. David Judisch that he had been awarded The Medal of St. Olav by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway.

The medal is awarded to only a handful of honorees each year in recognition of “outstanding services rendered in connection with the spreading of information about Norway abroad and for strengthening the bonds between expatriate Norwegians and their home country.” It is an award of high-distinction given to non-Norwegian citizens. Judisch has directed the Luren singers for over 40 years, and has been in director-in-chief of the NSAA (Norwegian Singers Association of America) for over 30. During that time he has also helped lead seven tours of male choir singers to Norway to perform and travel. Judisch will be presented the award on February 4, 2016 at the Luther College Convocation in the CFL. Congrats to Dr. Judisch and the Luren Singing Society! For more information and performance schedules, visit: