As we move into summer, we see several welcoming signs that our community is returning to a state of normalcy. Business restrictions are being lifted and our community is eager to resume activities and traditions that we were once accustomed to.

The traditional highlight of the summer and my favorite weekend of the year, the annual American Legion Fourth of July celebration, is back for 2021! This year’s theme is “Back to Fun in ‘21” and the activities kick off on Thursday, July 1st and go through Sunday, July 4.  The annual parade will begin at 10 a.m. on July 3, and the spectacular fireworks show will start at dusk on Sunday, July 4. More information about the celebration can be found by visiting the Forest Lake American Legion website or the city’s website. Many thanks to the Forest Lake American Legion Post 225 for all they do in bringing this terrific event to Forest Lake! 

Additionally, our hugely popular Arts in the Park event will return this summer. Arts in the Park features a Farmer’s Market, crafts, food trucks, and live music. As a reminder, Arts in the Park is held at Lakeside Memorial Park on Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m. starting June 15 and running through August 31.  I look forward to seeing you there this summer! 

The Forest Lake Senior Community Center officially reopened on May 10. Activities such as painting, bakery, and bingo, have allowed the seniors in our community to safely reengage in social activities and hobbies. I am eager to see additional activities added to the curriculum throughout the summer and happy to see the Center transitioning smoothly through its reopening plan.  

For the golfers in our community, Castlewood Golf Course aka “The Rock” is open for another year of league play, tournaments, and recreational play. In a partnership between the City of Forest Lake and Foursome Golf Management, this year “The Rock” will welcome an on-course recycling program, new sand in the bunkers, and improved cart paths. After renewing a contract extension, I am happy to report that Foursome Golf will be operating the course for the next five years.

The City’s Economic Development Authority downtown redevelopment planning project is underway and will include multiple opportunities for community and business feedback.  Keep an eye out for our pop-up booth at community events this summer.  The City’s website will also include information on how to become involved.  We look forward to hearing from you!  

I remain humbled and proud to serve as your mayor.  Happy Summer, Forest Lake!

Mara Bain is the Mayor of Forest Lake.

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