WINONA — The annual sales event, Handmade Neighborhood, which will be held from the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, through Dec. 21, is looking for artists and artisans to create unique local items that can be sold to raise funds to support local artists.

This year, Handmade Neighborhood will be operated by the Winona County Historical Society, which is looking for artists who can create handmade goods at reasonable prices.

In the past, the juried selection handcrafted items has ranged from artisan soaps, unique jewelry, fun gifts for children, glassworks, pottery, knits, photography, tasty small batch edibles, woodwork, fiber arts and fine arts. Shoppers will have access to the items during the sale period at the Laird Norton Addition of the WCHS's History Center. This year, for the safety of shoppers and artists, Handmade Neighborhood will be online with featured artists and links to safely shop their wares.

Artists can apply now through Sept. 20 to be a part of the 2020 Handmade Neighborhood. More information and applications are online at

Pine Island Farmers Market continues through October

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PINE ISLAND — Sponsored by the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, the farmers market is seeing new offerings of fresh produce, canned goods and handmade products from 3-7 p.m. each Friday through October.

In September, the chamber will collect names for a gift basket drawing. The basket will be filled with a variety of products from the market's vendors. Visitors can enter their names once at each vendor booth leading up to the last Friday of the month, Sept. 25.

The farmers market is also extending the Power of Produce club so children age 4 to 12 can receive a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, on Sept. 18 the chamber is hosting the Pine Island Citywide Garage Sale. For more information, visit the chamber’s website at

Grand Army of the Republic Hall has open house on Saturday

GRAND MEADOW — The Mower County Historical Society will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Booth Post 130, in Grand Meadow.

An open house will be held Saturday at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Grand Meadow. (Contributed photo)
An open house will be held Saturday at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Grand Meadow. (Contributed photo)(Contributed photo)

The annual open house allows visitors to see inside the building, which is normally only open by appointment. The GAR Hall teaches visitors about the Grand Army of the Republic and its role among Union veterans after the Civil War.

“I think people will be surprised by how relevant the issues from the late 1860s are today," said MCHS Curator Jaimie Timm. "Today, many returning veterans face the same problems experienced by Union veterans 150 years ago."

The hall was built in 1891 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The site has been in the care of the Mower County Historical Society since 1960. The GAR Hall takes about 30 minutes to tour and is self-guided, although MCHS Executive Director Randal J. Forsterwill be on-hand to answer questions.

Admission to this historical site is free, but donations are always welcome. For more information, go to the historical society's website or call (507) 437-6082.

Fools Five cancels in-person auctions to raise funds for cancer research

LEWISTON — The in-person live and silent auction scheduled for this year's Fools Five has been canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The auction, which had been rescheduled to Sept. 26 at the Lewiston Community Center, will not occur.

Auction Director Karin Peterson said, "I just want to add we are looking into online options to further benefit our cause and assist those who are in need. Any updates will be available on our website, social media platforms, as well as our local newspapers."

Fools Five President Dan Goss added it's been a difficult year for the annual race and fundraiser that supports local cancer research and local cancer support groups. "We look forward to 2021 when we can once again continue our tradition of coming together to provide hope, support, and compassion to our community."

The Fools Five Road Race is Minnesota’s oldest road race for cancer research and has brought people from around the world to Lewiston to raise funds for cancer research.