Skill and whimsy

“Dances on the Lakewalk,” a long-running set of performances that shows off the skill and whimsy of mostly regional dancers and choreographers, returns at 7 p.m. July 9-10 at Gichi-Ode’ Akiing (the former Lake Place Park). Artists including Alex Loch, Andrea Miller, Doris Ressl, Naomi Christenson, Amber Burns and company members from the Minnesota Ballet are behind the dances that will range from ballet to modern.

"Dances on the Lakewalk" (Photo courtesy of Doris Ressl)
"Dances on the Lakewalk" (Photo courtesy of Doris Ressl)

In a review from the early 2000s, a News Tribune writer described the show as “Playful. Aerobic. Light-hearted. Celebratory.” That has remained consistent. The Freshwater Dance Collective is running a Go Fund Me campaign to raise a stipend for the creatives.

Lanue (Photo by Zoe Prinds)
Lanue (Photo by Zoe Prinds)

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Lanue on the lake

Lanue, artist Sarah Krueger’s new rich and golden hour-colored project, kicks off the Concerts on the Pier season July 7 on the grounds of the Congdon estate. The series takes local acts and puts them in Glensheen’s backyard, where fans gather on the lawn, in kayaks, heck why not a floating unicorn for the show. Lanue’s self-titled album, which includes the single “What I Love the Most,” dropped in early March. Her first collection since 2014’s “Lustrous,” released under her own name, was years in the making. As the pandemic wore on, Kruger told the News Tribune she could no longer sit on the completed project. “If there is a time when people need music — I find myself needing music — it’s now,” she said. Gates open at 5 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.

"The Land Before Time" (Universal Pictures)
"The Land Before Time" (Universal Pictures)

Dino days of yesteryear

“The Land Before Time” series of movies started in 1988 with Littlefoot — a young dinosaur who goes on to befriend a whole crew — including the three-horned Cera, a big-mouth named Ducky, and Petrie, who can fly. The dino-buddies navigate a new world where they are no longer with loved ones and on the run from Sharptooth. The plan: get to the Great Valley. The 1988 movie, directed by Don Bluth, started a whole series of adventure stories for dino-curious kiddos. “The Land Before Time” kicks off the relaunch of the Greater Downtown Council’s Movies in the Park series. The movie, free and open to the public, plays at 9 p.m. in Leif Erikson Park.

Willowgreen (photo courtesy of Jim Ofsthun)
Willowgreen (photo courtesy of Jim Ofsthun)

Celtic jams

Willowgreen, a collection of musicians who perform traditional, contemporary and original Celtic music, will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Chester Bowl as part of the Chester Park Concert Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The group includes Sue Spencer (Eira, McInnis’ Kitchen), Georganne Hunter, Jim Ofsthun (McKinnis’ Kitchen, Eira), Mary Lou Williams (often seen at Big Top Chautauqua), Wendy Nelson (a Big Top Chautauqua performer), Liesel Wilson (Blue Canvas Orchestra, Eira), Bridget Spencer (Eira), Ella Branca (new member). Willowgreen has been a festival favorite for decades. They had planned a reunion for St. Patrick’s Day in 2020, but.

"Dear Earth" (Image courtesy of Big Top Chautauqua)
"Dear Earth" (Image courtesy of Big Top Chautauqua)

BTC offers 'Dear Earth'

Big Top Chautauqua favorites Ed Willet and Betty Ferris have joined up for “Dear Earth — A Love Song — Letter of Hope,” a show of original music and inspirational stories about conservationists from Wisconsin and beyond, including Gaylord Nelson of Clear Lake, Wisconsin, who created Earth Day. “Dear Earth” is at 7:30 p.m. July 8 at Big Top Chautauqua, 32525 Ski Hill Road, Bayfield. Tickets are $26 adults, $13 for youth.