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Mayor Droste: Community events bring us together

Mayor Bill Droste

Bill Droste is the mayor of Rosemount

With summer in full swing, many of us are taking or planning vacations. But some of the best opportunities for fun are close to home in Rosemount, and many are free.

Much of our community's quality of life comes from events that bring us together. Some of the best opportunities come during the summer. We saw that last week in the wide variety of activities staged by the Rosemount Area Arts Council for its ArtBlast. And there's much more to come in the weeks ahead.

We're less than a month away from our premiere community celebration, Leprechaun Days, which will run from July 21-30. The volunteers who create this event work throughout the year to arrange entertainment that is free or low-cost.

Almost all the favorites are returning, but there are a few changes brought on by construction projects. The parade on the last Saturday of the month will follow a new path, along 145th Street from Shannon Parkway to Cameo Avenue.

Sadly, Wet 'n' Wild Days had to be canceled because of roadwork near Jaycee Park. But it will return next year. And the Blarney Stone Hunt has moved from Jaycee to Erickson Park.

As is the tradition, the Midsummer Faire will be drawing visitors on the second weekend of Leprechaun Days with carnival rides and free music for all tastes. With the parking lot improvements we've just completed at Central Park, it should be easier than ever to see the sights. See the full schedule at www.rosemountevents.com.

And please note this event. The Rosemount Fire Relief Association will hold its annual sausage and waffle breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at Fire Station No. 1 on Shannon Parkway. Proceeds benefit our firefighters.

Running for a week and a half, Leprechaun Days is one of the longest and best-attended events in our region. And when it ends, the party's not over — it just moves to our neighborhoods with the annual observance of Night to Unite. That's set for the evening of Tuesday, August 1.

This is the night that we encourage neighbors to turn on their lights, leave the house, and visit during block parties. Our Police and Fire personnel join the parties to demonstrate the equipment they use to keep us safe. And they offer tips so residents can head off crime and fire risks.

Officers and Firefighters also will collect donations for needy families in Dakota County. Those personnel see in their daily work the struggle for some parents and children. Helping them helps strengthen our community.

You can sign up to host a block party on our website at www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/ntu. The deadline is July 25 so we can provide barricades and schedule visits.

My colleagues on the City Council and I try to attend as many of these events as we can to talk with residents. Your questions and suggestions are invaluable as we prepare next year's budget and work toward developing a community that continues to meet your needs.

You can always reach us by emailing citycouncil@ci.rosemount.mn.us. But I hope to see you during our summer of fun and community spirit as we celebrate what makes Rosemount great.

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