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Working Mom's Musings: Our town: There's a whole lot to love

As I was walking with my oldest daughter to the St. Patrick's Day festivities downtown, she said something that got me thinking: "I love living in a small town. We can walk to all these neat places and things."

As we continued walking I thought about all the fun things we have in our small town, things that we may take for granted.

One place in town that my family really enjoys is Glen Park. We have always appreciated being able to cross the South Fork on the Swinging Bridge and spend a day in the wooded and spacious park.

Between the pool, the playground equipment and the river, there's plenty to keep our young family occupied.

From Glen Park, we access the trails that follow the "Kinni" downstream of Lake Louise.

I had never ventured down those trails until my oldest daughter started running with her dad on them. One day we spent a few hours exploring the trails, the "Kinni," and the old lime kilns.

Although we were in the city, it felt like we were out in the wilderness. We could have hiked for hours on end and not run into more than a few people.

It was beautiful. Who knew we had such a gorgeous place in our backyard.

On Friday night, my family and I tried our luck at the Legion for Bingo night. I was surprised at how much fun we had...although we would have had more fun if we had won the $1,500 jackpot!

Everybody was friendly and nice to us rookies. A man seated next us even bought my two oldest kids extra bingo cards (had they won, they would have split it with him.)

We are also really lucky to have a chamber that creates such great events. The St. Patrick's Day bed races are a hoot, and who doesn't line up for free pancakes for Town N' Country Day in June.

Even River Falls Days is great. The medallion hunt is a blast, and it provides us with yet another excuse to explore different places in River Falls.

Everyone in town comes out to a parade where people start staking out their spot days in advance. Coming from the "Cities," I think this is a cute throwback to times long-gone.

And, as a family of runners, we feel that the River Falls Days race is one of the best-managed road races we have been to.

All of this in our backyard and, for the city folks, within walking distance.

This is just a sampling of the great things within River Falls. Much like my previous column about the talent that abounds in River Falls, I could fill an entire newspaper with fun, neat places and events.

With the weather turning nice, get out and explore what's in your own backyard. Walk down Main Street, visit the shops, explore our wonderful parks, picnic by the Kinni, sign up for the RF Days races, and go for a run around town.

Enjoy the beauty of your town!

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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