Outdoor Fun in Victoria

Victoria has come to be the place to be in the good old summertime.  My camera catches some of it.

Classic Car Nights

Camping at Lake Auburn

Concerts in Lions Park

Rhapsody Playground

Planting Project

1st Anniversary of ENKI Brewing

People as well as classic cars line the streets of Victoria on several summer Wednesday evenings in Victoria.  These photos are from Wednesday, June 11th.

Bike Konnect

Sue and Wayne Chapman of Victoria and their little Corgi.

Joyce and Loane Burau of Victoria (next to the wall) and Rorie and Bob Chinnock of Victoria.

Joe Chapman and Brian Schmieg, both of Victoria.

Laura O’Neill (Cornerstone Agency and Victoria Lion), Randy Miller (President of Victoria Business Association), Connie Beneke (volunteer Victoria helper).

Cory and Sara LeClere of Victoria (right) and their twins Harrison and Charles, born on January 17th.

Randy Miller said there were 112 classic cars participating on June 11th with approximately 550 people attending that evening.

All four of Victoria’s downtown restaurants become sidewalk cafes in the summer.

On the weekend of June 21st/22nd — two days after the big rain evening — the Lake Auburn Campground in Victoria was completely full or reserved. 

When this campground was first laid out and constructed in Carver Park Reserve in 1986, there were no trees and no shade at the campsites.

Today, the 57 sites are treed and shaded.  There are picnic tables, firepits, and bathrooms.

The unguarded beach is nearby as well as playground equipment, hiking and biking trails, and other park amenities.

Most residents of Victoria are probably not aware that hundreds of people from across the state and the country spend weekends in the nearby campground on Lake Auburn.

In the midst of heavy rainfalls, sandbagging at Lake Zumbra, and record water levels on Victoria lakes, there was a beautiful evening on Wednesday, June 18th, at Lions Park in Victoria.

Nearly 100 people gathered from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to listen to familiar country western music of the popular band, Trailer Trash.

For a moment there was a brilliant break in the cloudy sky and the sun shone upon all of us.  The dome was blue and bright, albeit briefly, and a breeze kept the heat at bay.

Thank you, Ann Mahnke, Director of Parks and Public Works in Victoria, and also Holly Kaufhold and other staff and Lions volunteers who contribute to these wonderful occasions.

Rhapsody Park is located on Vogel Farm Road, about three blocks west of the intersection with Church Lake Boulevard.  The City of Victoria acquired the parkland in 2005 as part of the Rhapsody development.  In 2010 the city installed playground equipment.

The picnic shelter was installed along with the Water Booster Station in 2007.  The ballfield and basketball court became available at the end of 2012.

Ann Mahnke said Victoria has 17 such neighborhood parks, plus three community parks (Lions, Diethelm, and Victoria Elementary), plus three natural parks (Goodman, Salters, Church Lake).  No wonder Victoria is called the City of Lakes and Parks.

Throughout the spring season in Victoria, roadside planting along Hwy 5 has been occurring like someone is envisioning a roadside arboretum.  Evergreen trees, deciduous trees, and shrubs have been planted along bridges, ditches, and every available space, it seems, up and down the corridor easement.

According to MnDOT, purpose of the planting project is to improve aesthetics of the Hwy 5 corridor between Chanhassen and Victoria, which was resurfaced in the Summer of 2012 at a completed cost of $10 million.  Landscape and planting cost:  $100,000.

~Editor Sue

The first day of summer — Saturday, June 21st — was a perfect day for ENKI Brewing to hold its 1st Anniversary Party.  People started arriving already in early afternoon.

By 6 o’clock that evening, the lawn was getting pretty full.  It was exactly one year to the day that the new establishment in Downtown Victoria held its first unveiling in the Old Creamery Building. 

ENKI people worked all day to fence in their large lawn overlooking Stieger Lake Lane, prepare a stage for the band, erect a tent for additional service, and set up tables, chairs, and straw bales for seating. 

Everyone enjoyed the brew and bounty of the evening.

Several community leaders attended the inaugural of the 1st Annual Bike Konnect, and many of them spoke prior to the start of the bike ride which began in Victoria on Saturday, June 21st, near Stieger Lake and the Regional Trail in downtown Victoria.

There were over 100 bikers geared up for the event.  Speakers clarified that it was a ride and not a race, and to be careful for little ones on the trail who might be swerving a bit on the 8 to 9-mile ride to Chaska.

Prior to the start of the ride, Molly Maves of Chanhassen, age 10, sang the Star Spangled Banner.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and, regardless of rain or shine, a beautiful day for the national anthem.

Left to right:  Victoria Mayor Tom O’Connor, Randy Maluchnik (Carver County Commissioner), Ann Mahnke (Victoria Director of Parks and Public Works), Tom Workman (Carver County Commissioner), Victoria City Councilmember Jim Crowley.

Bike Konnect was organized by Carver County, City of Victoria Parks and Recreation, and City of Chaska Parks and Recreation.

Registration occurred under a large tent parked in the Victoria House parking lot.  End location of the ride was the Chaska Community Center where bottled water and snacks were provided.  Free shuttle service was provided back to Victoria.

Trail connections between the two cities of Victoria and Chaska were funded in part by a federal transportation grant.

Dollars also came from the Met Council, the two cities, and a grant from the MN Park & Rec Foundation.

The regional trail was constructed more than three decades ago on the old railroad bed.  Railroad ties had been laid there in 1881 and they were removed in 1981.  A century old bed has become a boon to bikers around the entire region.