Best Bets: Weekend events give a taste of fall

Published 10:30 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Get ready to party with pumpkins this weekend as Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch opens Saturday. With pumpkins, learning to meditate with nature, live music and more, this weekend is sure to get everyone ready for the first day of fall, which is next Wednesday.

1. Author Visit with Kathy Stutzman: Stories from the Streets

6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, Austin Public Library, 323 Fourth Ave. NE

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This collection of stories came about through a district grant and the Austin Rotary Club’s work in Ghana. For more information, call 507-433-2391.

2. Renner Live on The Way Cafe Stage

7-10 p.m. on Friday, The Way Cafe, 210 Fouth St. NE

Enjoy this free concert while visiting with old friends and making new ones. For more information, call 507-440-8651.

3. Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch

12-6 p.m., Saturday – Oct. 31, Pumpkin Patch, 90537, 273rd St.

Come out to the farm for some family fun, including photo opportunities, fall harvest decorations, a gift shop, fresh fruits and vegetables, a tractor hay ride and pick-your-own pumpkins. For more information, call 507-437-9180.

4. Minnesota High School Cycling race

All day, Saturday-Sunday, west of Todd Park along the bike trails

The race course opens Saturday to allow racers to become familiar with the course. Kids seventh- through 12th-grade across the state will be invited to participate. For more information, contact Spencer Salmon or Gareth Hataye, Austin Mountain Bike Team coaches.

5. The Artist’s Way – A Mastermind Group

10-11 a.m., Saturday, Austin Artworks Center, 300 N. Main St.

Meet with other local creative people for 12 consecutive weeks. The class is instructed by Mary Holtorf and is open to ages 18 and above. Whether working on a book, blog, visual art or just hope to find ideas to help creativity in the workplace, family life or life in general, this course can help. The 12-week book study/rap session about all the ways artists can get stuck and get unstuck, this Mastermind Group will help unblock creative energy. The class will meet for 12 Saturdays, from 10-11 a.m., beginning this weekend. The ArtWorks Center will have kids’ classes running simultaneously on most mornings (please register beforehand if to sign up a child up for one or more classes.

6. Minnesota Southbound Rollers vs Ames Roller Derby

6-9 p.m., Saturday, Packer Arena, 601 Seventh St. NE

The first-ever flat-track roller derby team from Austin and Albert Lea will host its last bout of the season. There will be an after-party to follow at Torge’s Live.

7. Walking Meditation Class with Chris Anderson

2-4 p.m., Sunday, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, 1304 21st St. NE

Walking meditation practice can help maintain awareness of the present moment through the entire day. With this free class, explore several methods of walking peacefully in nature. The class will be held rain or shine, in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium and on the nature center’s trails. Pre-register by Sept. 19. For more information or to pre-register, call 507-437-7519 or email