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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 22, 2010

It was so good that everyone forgot they were hungry.

We’re talking about the Danish Days dinner theater Saturday night at the American Legion/Community Hall in Ringsted. Hometown entertainers Glenn Henricksen and Billy Hansen invited a star-studded cast that included other area favorites like April Gunderson, Millie Kittleson, Sean Bentz and others. Henricksen started the show early at about 4:20, and before you knew it, it was over at about ten to seven.

The age range of the performances was immense – from 17 for Bentz to 85 for Kittleson. While Kittleson’s voice can still charm a packed house and Henricksen was, as always, a virtuoso, folks were abuzz after Bentz’s performance that included almost ghostly renditions of Hank Williams and Ritchie Valens. Bentz, who performed with Glenn Henricksen and Friends last winter, has developed a far more confident stage presence than he had even a few months ago. Kittleson has toured with the Grand Ole Opry and Bentz will end up in Nashville himself, if his music continues to mature as it has over just a short time. You will hear a lot more about this young man in the future.

Gunderson’s voice has matured too, with power enough to fill the room. It will be interesting to see how far her musical career will go as well.

Billy Hansen offered up some wonderful numbers in his own inimitable style. Everyone was also inspired by the gospel quartet, the Madison family.

To find such an enormous array of talent locally is absolutely astounding. It would have been interesting if a visitor – or a talent agent – from a large city on either coast had just happened to drop in Saturday night.

The dinner theater was but one event of this year’s Danish Days that started Friday night with the coronation of Little Miss Mermaid, Morgan Anderson. If you were Danish, you most likely enjoyed the authentic foods served by the Ringsted chapter of the Danish American Society or recalling the good old days with Amelia Petersen or Axel Thomsen. Then, if you weren’t Danish, you would have enjoyed it too.

If you missed Danish Days this year, don’t feel bad. There’s always next year.

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 22, 2010

So just how are your kids spending the summer. Are they sitting in front of the TV, playing games or texting friends?

Or are they outdoors, playing sports or taking part in library enrichment programs?

If your answer is the latter, then that’s great. If it’s the former well let’s talk about it.

Summer is the time when kids really form healthy habits that carry through not just through the rest of the year but for the rest of their lives. After all, if summer is judged by how many hours a kid spends in front of the television or sending text messages, how can you say he or she truly enjoyed the summer.

A productive and enjoyable summer is one that is life-changing. It’s one that a child enters then emerges as a young man or young woman. It’s one that your son or daughter can talk about years to come and fondly recall when Mom and Dad took the family to the lake, to Grandma or Grandpa’s or on that vacation across the country,

A memorable summer doesn’t have to be expensive, either. It could be something as simple as an extended weekend campout or visiting relatives. Maybe you have friends, neighbors or relatives that could use a little extra help on the farm or around the house. Could that possibly be an opportunity for your child to earn a little extra money and have that life-changing experience and feel that it was a productive summer as well?

So get outside and enjoy the summer before it’s over. Hike, swim, canoe or take that trip you’ve been wanting to for a long time. After all, a summer vacation isn’t a cost. It’s an investment in memories that your family can bond over for years to come.

Speaking of trails

If you haven’t been out to Fort Defiance State Park lately, you need to go there. Students in the Iowa Lakes Community College environmental studies program and the Friends of Fort Defiance have done an enormous amount of work on the White Tail Ridge Interpretive trail that starts at the west parking lot and circles the ridge toward the former ranger’s house. Wood chips have been placed over most the trail, making it very hiker friendly. If you go there toward sunset, chances are better than not that you’ll see at least one deer – hence the name.

Other trail improvements include the Spring Creek trail that starts at the native prairie area and the prairie trail.

If you haven’t been camping out at Fort Defiance lately, then maybe you haven’t seen the campground upgrades. The electrical system has been upgraded to handle larger RV units and new firepits are ready for that cozy night under the stars.

So check out the park improvements at Fort Defiance – as well as Emmet County parks.