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Martell Landing to host biking tour fundraiser
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celebrations New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Martell's Landing in Somerset will host a new festival this June: Solidago Bombago on June 25-26.

The two-day festival will feature music and various workshops and market booths. The event is a fundraiser for The Solidago Riders, five women who are going on a biking excursion around the Great Lakes this summer.

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The Solidago Riders ("solidago" is another name for golden rod that grows in the Great Lakes region) are five women from various parts of the country: Ainsley Judge of Barringon, R.I., Robin Major of Putney, Vt., Rose Holdorf of Corvallis, Ore., Jacqueline Kutvirt of Albuquerque, N.M. and Tressa Versteeg of Pella, Iowa. All are May 2011 graduates of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and - for the purposes of the event -- each represents one of the Great Lakes.

According to their website, this is their project for Grand Aspirations - a youth-led, non-profit organization that encourages people to find holistic solutions to sustainability.

"For about a year now, we have planned on doing a bike tour post-graduation as a way of both having an adventure together in the transition between college and the 'other world,'" said Versteeg. "We also wanted to make the trip more than just for ourselves, so we decided to do a project where we will film, photograph and blog about cool, innovative projects and organizations that are working in community based sustainability issues in the Great Lakes."

They plan to camp whenever possible, though they realize in urban areas they may have to rely on establishing connections for "some floor space or even a couch or two." Each woman has a fundraising goal of $2,500, which works out to roughly $1 per mile for the two-three month trip.

Versteeg said that one of their professors offered the use of his cabin in rural Somerset for a fundraiser. They loved the area, but realized the event was larger than what the cabin would accommodate.

Enter Martell's Landing.

"After speaking with Nancy Brown of Martell's Landing, she was very excited about the fundraiser and offered us a great deal for the weekend," said Versteeg.

"It's the perfect marriage," said Nancy Brown, director of Martell's Landing. "They are very neat and amazing girls and this place will work perfect for them."

The festival itself will feature several bands such as Crimes, Big Strong Men and Holly Munoz & Co. The skill-share portion will offer a musical instrument lending library, urban farming in the Twin Cities and a workshop for edible wild plants, as well as an art show.

Dinner will consist of chili and cornbread; breakfast will be fruit-filled oatmeal and nuts. Tea, coffee and lemonade will be available, and attendees are encouraged to bring any snacks or drinks as desired.

The admission to bike is $25, to drive $30 and it is $35 at the door regardless. Tickets are available beforehand through the Cedar Cultural Center website: http://www.thecedar.org/seeder/solidago-bombago.

Versteeg said the most challenging thing about putting on this event has been the logistics of arranging such a large event, but she feels it is definitely worth it.

"It took us a long time to hash out what sort of project we wanted to do and how to incorporate all of our interests and passions into one, concrete thing," she said.

"I think our multi-media documentaries of project and people doing innovative work on sustainability issues really fits us. We all care about how people treat the land and treat each other."

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