Category Archives: Community

Connect with the NDDC and Create Community in Downtown Northfield

I grew up in a small town where life centered around main street. We celebrated annual events and festivals, drawing generations of townsfolk to find connection in the center of our community. After living in five states and one foreign country I realized that places like my hometown are rare and special treasures. Then in 2009, my husband’s job interview at Malt-O-Meal (now Post Consumer Brands) brought us to Northfield as the sidewalk sales of Crazy Daze were in full swing. I watched friendly people shopping in a charming, lively downtown, chatting and eating giant donuts together—and I knew this was the town for us.

Downtown Northfield is where we come together. Cyclists gather here before and after their rides:

Bikers on Bridge Square

Families enjoy a breakfast pastry as they stroll through the Riverwalk Market Fair:

Riverwalk Market Fair

Visitors learn about Northfield’s courageous history as the townspeople chase the James Gang out of town:

Bank raid: Defeat of Jesse James Days

And shoppers discover one-of-a-kind treasures in our quaint storefronts:

Shopping in downtown Northfield

The NDDC works alongside our community partners to bring people together downtown. We create connections between downtown business owners, building owners, local organizations and city staff as we fulfill our mission of sustaining a vibrant downtown.

Since I began as the NDDC Executive Director in January, I’ve been meeting with many of the people who help make our downtown the thriving heart of our community. I have heard fond memories of Downtown Northfield from people like Dennis Thomas. He watched his uncle run the local market as a child in the 1940’s and later ran the business himself.

We’ll be sharing the latest stories, news and upcoming events from Downtown Northfield here on our blog and via our social media posts: our Downtown Northfield Facebook page, our Downtown Northfield Twitter feed @downtownnfdmn, and our Downtown Northfield Instagram feed @downtownnlfdmn.

You’ll hear from me, Board President Dan Bergeson and Social Media Consultant Griff Wigley. Griff is well-versed in all things downtown—in fact you might spot him as he bikes to his “office” at a table inside Tandem Bagels:

Mountain biker and social media consultant Griff Wigley

It’s an exciting time in Downtown Northfield! Connect with us as we celebrate our unique history, enjoy our vibrant present and look forward to a hopeful future together.

Currier Resigns as Executive Director of NDDC


Long-time Northfield Downtown Development Corp. Executive Director Ross Currier has resigned.  Currier has accepted the position of Community Development Program Officer at the Minnesota Housing Partnership.

Currier has served as the NDDC’s Executive Director since July of 2003.  During that period the organization strengthened its commitment to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program and its comprehensive approach to community vibrancy and economic vitality. Continue reading Currier Resigns as Executive Director of NDDC

List of the Reasons that Northfield Made the List

TheGoodLifeInMinnesotaNorthfield, MN was recently named as one of the Top Ten Small Towns in the country by Livability, placing second on the list.  But what earned Northfield this high ranking?  Let’s look at the assets and amenities cited in the piece.

In the order mentioned, they are Charming, Quirky, DJJD, Noontime Organ Recitals, Winter Walk, Higher Income Growth, Proximity to Medical Care, Great Schools, Abundance of Parks, Farmers Market, High Community Involvement, Excellent Quality of Life, Natural Beauty, Cannon River, Historic Downtown, Historical Architecture, Baked Goods, Vegetables, Artwork and Crafts (at the Riverwalk Market Fair), Anglers Kayaking, Canoeing, and Fishing (Bluegill, Walleye, and Northern Pike), Farms, Apple Orchards, Small Lakes, St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges (and their Christmas Festivals, Lectures, Theaters, Art Galleries, Continuing Education), Cowling Arboretum (Excellent Place to Hike, Run, Ski, and Fish) and a 15-Mile Trail System Ranked One of the Best Places in the Country to Run, Mill Towns Trail through Downtown and Sechler Park, and Cross Country Ski[ing] on Trails at Carleton College.

It’s a long list.  So what does it mean? Continue reading List of the Reasons that Northfield Made the List

Bikeable Community Workshop…Thursday in Northfield


Dear Northfield Area Bicyclist,

Help make our community a safer and more pleasant place to bike by attending the Bikeable Community Workshop!

The workshop is June 12, 2014, 8:30am to 3:00pm, starting in the Council Chambers of Northfield City Hall (801 Washington Street), and is presented by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Transportation and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

Your input is needed! At the workshop, we will learn more about successful bike design, safety, education, enforcement, and encouragement. We will study possible bike routes in Northfield, and a “bike audit” will help us understand and identify obstacles and potential solutions.

Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for the weather that day. Also, bring along a bicycle and helmet to participate in the mobile workshop portion—a leisurely paced four to five- mile bike ride in small groups highlighting bicycle facilities and opportunities.

We hope you will be able to participate in this important workshop. While advance registration is required, there is no fee, and the workshop will include a complimentary lunch. Please contact BikeNorthfield at to RSVP or with questions.

The Bikeable Community Workshop is supported by the Northfield City Council, Healthy Rice County’s Statewide Health Improvement Program, Northfield Chamber of Commerce, Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and BikeNorthfield.


Bruce Anderson, Chair, BikeNorthfield

NDDC-Chamber Merger…What Do You Think?

BridgeSquareBandAtTasteOfNorthfield2014You have probably heard by now that the NDDC (Northfield Downtown Development Corporation) and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce are exploring a merger of the two organizations.  The CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau), which is managed by the Chamber through a contract with the City of Northfield, is also part of envisioned combination.  A task force representing the boards of the NDDC, Chamber, and CVB has begun discussing the challenges and opportunities of bringing the organizations together.

Of course, the NDDC would not be possible without you.  Since 2000, we have been working together for a vibrant and vital downtown Northfield.  As we often say, “Great downtowns don’t just happen”.  You have been a critical part of our success; you will be an essential part of our future; we want to hear from you, and include your input in the on-going process.

On Tuesday, June 10th, at 8:00 a.m., in the Riverview Conference Room of the historic Archer House River Inn, at 212 Division Street, the NDDC will be holding a Downtown Forum.  We’ll discuss the reasoning that led to this pursuit, the challenges and opportunities that have been identified, our visions of future downtown and Northfield vitality, and ask you for your perspective.  If this topic is of interest to you, please join us for the discussion.

The NDDC Downtown Forum is open to everyone.  Cookies and coffee will be served.  The NDDC is a non-partisan, non-profit community organization dedicated to the vitality of downtown Northfield.  For more information, contact Executive Director Ross Currier at 507-663-0319 or