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International Migratory Bird Day in the Prairie du Chien area will include bird walks at Prairie du Chien’s La Riviere Park and Effigy Mounds National Monument on May 12th. The National Park Service is sponsoring the bird walk at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

The Effigy Mounds bird walk starts at 10 a.m. from the Monument’s Visitors Center. Appropriate clothing and foot gear should be worn as the walks will be on park trails and the ground conditions may be soft or wet. A pair of binoculars and a bird identification book will aid in locating and identifying the birds seen on the planned 90 minute walk.

These early spring bird walks will produce a variety of local and migratory birds. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Orchard Orioles, Red-tailed Hawks, Henslow Sparrows, and the somewhat rare Lark Sparrow and Carolina Wren may be seen. As the date of these bird walks is near the peak migration time for newly arriving warblers many species of these migrating birds will also be present. As many as 20 warbler species have been seen on previous bird walks. The Prothonotary and Cerulean Warblers are just two of the many warbler species that should be seen. Most of the migrant warblers will only be present for a short time as they will be headed further north to their breeding areas.

Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves prehistoric American Indian burial and ceremonial mounds, including some in the shape of animals. The monument is located three miles north of Marquette, Iowa, and 22 miles south of Waukon, Iowa, on HWY 76. For more information call (563) 873-3491 ext. 123, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/effigymounds.

This year’s festivities will start off with a Square Dance at the Gays Mills Old Town Community Building on Main Street, Friday Night, May 11th at 7:00pm. The Folk Fest String Band will be providing the tunes, and live callers will be leading the dances: Circles, Squares, Contras, Reels. All ages and all experience levels welcome.

Saturday’s events will take place in the Park on Main Street and at the Old Town Community Building on Main Street downtown. Join us for Parking Lot Picking, Maycrown Making, Maypole Dancing, Square Dancing, Open Stage, and Music Workshops led by Saturday evening performers. Family-friendly food will be available for purchase during the afternoon at the park and at the annual Chili Dinner in the evening, sponsored by the Kickapoo Exchange Food Co-op. The Lion’s Club Shelter will ensure the afternoon’s fun, rain or shine. Help support our Folkfest by participating in our SILENT AUCTION.

The Corn Potato String Band have delighted audiences with their driving fiddle tunes and harmonious singing across the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and India. They are all seasoned multi-instrumentalists dedicated to continuing the music and dance traditions of the Central and Southern US. In addition to being champion fiddlers they play banjo, guitar, bass and mandolin and deftly handle many different antiquated styles including ballads, “ho-downs,” country “rags” and southern gospel, specializing in twin fiddling and double banjo tunes.

The DL Canjun Band plays Cajun music from the prairies and bayous of SW Louisiana: two steps, waltzes, blues with Cajun accordion, fiddle, guitar, triangle, snare, bass and French vocals. The group draws from the time when the Saturday night dance was the community’s main form of entertainment and socialization. Before electricity and amplification, the acoustic instruments and voice were the only way of making music. This band seeks to recall that time and feeling in its music. http://www.dlcajunband.com/

Kendra Swanson is a song-writer and performer of lively, folksome music: frailing, clawhammer banjo, rigorous guitar, soulful strings, and hearty vocals to boot. Her music distinctly embodies a truly Americana sound from (and about) the heartland, with intimate reflections on its flora, fauna, and people. She has independently produced and released three all-original albums, “Kendra & Kin, Live in Rockford” (2013) , “Go Down to the Low Down” (2015), and “Without, Within” (2017). A troubadour and professional naturalist, she blends stories and ecology into one-of-a-kind performances of laughter and truth.

Enjoy live musical performances from Crisse Reynolds and Brad Johnson beginning at 7pm. Crisse Reynolds and Brad Johnson have carried on the traditions of 16 Strings and a Stick with a delightful blend of guitars, fiddle and voices. Leaning towards songs and ballads that have a story to tell, they deliver bluegrass, country, folk and Celtic music for the audience’s listening pleasure.

artisan crafts, gift baskets from local farms and businesses, books, and services. Driftless Brewing Company’s local craft beer will be served by the brewers themselves. There will also be coffee, snacks, and other treats available for purchase. Recommended donation of $10 at the door much appreciated.

All proceeds will go toward furthering our program of empowering local communities to move toward the goals of environmental justice, local control, and sustainable land use. This event celebrates the beauty of this incredible place and our wonderful supportive community who does so much to protect it. Come out and dance off the winter blues with other inspiring folks!

Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve Winter Festival is a wonderful family event that highlights fun winter activities. Activities include sledding, skiing, archery, snow sculpture, ice cave hikes, blacksmith demo, nature talks & hikes, face painting, horse-drawn bobsled rides, snowshoes to try out, Tri-state Malamute Club Sled Dog Race and weight pull, skijoring, snow mountain & snow tunnel, Snow Snake Competition, Fat Tire Bike Demonstrations, Hiking with Llamas, The Dam-Ski-Daddle (a short, fun, silly race on skis, open to anyone, bring your own skis), community snow mural, and more. La Farge Lions Club hosts an annual chili and bread contest for the public. Kickapoo Live Auction of goods and services produced locally, in the Kickapoo Valley. Proceeds from the auction benefit the KVR Education Program. Our neighbors at Wildcat Mountain State Park host a candlelight ski/hike/snowshoe and winter star gazing that night. La Farge Partners host Old Time Bingo and Rockton Bar rounds out the fun filled day with music, food and drink specials.