This year’s event will offer opportunities for families to connect with the environment

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CURE’s River History Weekend is back this year, though it is taking on a new look as the organization combines its normal celebration with its 22nd Annual Meeting, plus a few extra new events. This year’s River History Weekend will span four days, from Thursday, May 1st through Sunday, May 4th, with a dozen opportunities in and around Granite Falls to connect with our landscape and the CURE community.
As CURE’s Executive Director, Duane Ninneman explains, “our usual Annual Meeting and River History Weekend events this year are redesigned to be more family-friendly, outdoors-focused, and with more opportunities to engage a broader cross section of CURE’s membership and the public. Both events will also answer member calls for more workshops and featured presentations.”
CURE will kick off River History Weekend on Thursday, May 1st at 7:00 pm with the opening reception for Estar in el Prairie, a photo essay on display at the K.K. Berge Building in downtown Granite Falls for the entire month of May. The exhibit, curated by University of Minnesota, Morris students Natalie Hoidal and Jordan Wente, brings to life portraits of Western Minnesota’s emerging Latino community.
The festivities will continue the next day, May 2nd, with a Friday evening event that is part learning opportunity and part party: CURE is inviting people from across the state to participate in a World Cafe conversation about the future of leadership in Greater Minnesota. Once the discussion has been wrapped up, attendees will be encouraged to continue networking informally or to sign up for a chance to perform for the Open Mic. “Don’t Worry; We’ve Got This” - A Gathering of Rising Leaders will begin at 5:30 pm at the American Legion in Granite Falls--the party can continue as late as the Legion is open for those that want to stick around!
During the day on Saturday, May 3rd, there will be a plethora of activities that seek to engage all sectors of the community. As always, there will be paddling, but, to reflect a growingly diverse array of interests in CURE’s member base and in surrounding communities, the organization has expanded the options to include family-friendly hiking, birding, hands on workshops and cultural opportunities such as a poetry reading and discussion with award winning author Gwen Westerman. All activities are free and open to the public. The K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls will be used as the hub for River History Weekend.
CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting and Celebration will bring Saturday’s festivities to a close with a local foods dinner at Bootlegger’s Supper Club in Granite Falls. After dinner, attendees will be treated with a presentation by Wild River Academy’s trio: Anna Johnson, Nick Ryan, and Natalie Warren.  They will tell tales of their paddling high adventures on the Mississippi River and offer speculations and observations about the balance between industry and nature and the hospitality of river communities they have encountered in their travels. After Wild River Academy’s presentation, singer/songwriter James Hersch will perform. Hersch is a native of Minnesota, but his rare mixture of straight-forward musical talent, humor, and sensitivity have rightfully earned him national acclaim. CURE is excited to have him perform at our Annual Meeting--it’s sure to be a good way to end an evening of celebrating the organization’s accomplishments.  To register for CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting, email or call the CURE Office at 877-269-2873.
On the final day of River History Weekend, Sunday, May 4th, CURE is partnering with the Granite Area Arts Council to promote the Granite Area Arts Extravaganza at Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort.  This is the 7th year the Arts Council has put on this event, which showcases the work of regional artists and artisans.  It’s a unique opportunity in that it also gives attendees the chance to meet and talk to the people who have crafted the work on display or available for sale.  This year, River History Weekend has been sponsored in part by The Kresge Foundation, Granite Area Arts Council and Scheels All Sport.  For more information, please visit our website at