Hard to believe, but after more than a year in pandemic lockdown there are finally events on the local calendar. As the month turned to May, there were a couple events over the weekend, with the promise for more later this month and into the summer.
The guest list was limited to seniors only, but Waconia High School prom was held Saturday, with photos at City Square Park and a grand march in front of a limited number of spectators at the performing arts center.
Earlier in the day, it was Don’t Worry Be Hoppy 5K, the first local run/walk of the year, held in warm, sunny weather at Waconia Brewing Company. More than 400 entrants participated, joined by several volunteers, sponsors and local food trucks.
In addition to giving people the opportunity to get back to a fun, safe atmosphere, some proceeds from the event were donated to the KAT6A Foundation, according to Dee DeLange, one of Waconia Brewing’s family owners. Granddaughter Freya was diagnosed a year ago with a rare genetic mutation, and a race goal was to raise awareness about KAT6A and KAT6B gene mutations, advance research and identify possible treatments that could lead to a better quality of life.
In just over a week, on May 15, it is the walleye fishing opener and Sister Saturday, the Waconia Chamber of Commerce annual shopping and dining event with over 30 participating businesses.
Then it’s the 15th annual Walk on Waconia 10k/10 mile run walk on Saturday, May 22. The 2020 version was cancelled, but the walk/run around Lake Waconia is back this year with proceeds donated to Waconia United Food Shelf.
There will be some provisions and limitations this year due to the ongoing pandemic, like temperatures taken at check-in, bottled water only no Gatorade or snacks at rest stops due to Minnesota Department of Health guidance, and no post-run festivities. But the popular event itself will proceed after a one-year absence.
Finally, at the end of the month, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, the Waconia American Legion will hold in-person graveside services, a parade, and a traditional program at 11 a.m. at City Square Park to pay tribute to those who fought and died in battle for the country. Last year’s services were limited to color guard only and broadcast to the community. Watch for more details about this year’s services.
“As I reflect back on one year ago (May 1) when I started with the Chamber, it was a tough time to step in,” said Christine Fenner, Chamber president. “Rather than plan and prepare for future events, we had to take a step back due to COVID-19. This year feels different… Preparations have started for the 4th of July fireworks festival, and also Nickle Dickle Day. We will continue to watch guidelines and remain optimistic. The year 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of original Nickle Dickle Day, and a community celebration is in order!”