Luther College inauguration weekend kicks off with an “Inaugural Night on the Town”

October 17, 2019

President Jenifer K. Ward encourages everyone to join in the inauguration celebration Friday night in downtown Decorah

"I want you to understand we are your college and you are our town," said President Jenifer K. Ward at the Decorah Rotary Club in August.  Since her arrival, President Ward has been enthusiastic about the partnership between campus and community and the opportunity to grow this important relationship. That's why the Friday before her inauguration she suggested an "Inaugural Night on the Town" in downtown Decorah. Friday evening, Nov. 1, downtown shops, restaurants and venues will be open for all to enjoy and special entertainment is planned.

            "I'm extremely excited for the city of Decorah to be included in the inauguration of President Ward," said Decorah Mayor Lorraine Borowski.

            This event is designed to embrace the connection between Luther and the Decorah community. Luther is partnering with the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce to make this special night happen. "This is a great opportunity for businesses to participate in something that brings in people from out of town and brings the Luther community downtown to start creating those connections because there could be a lot of power between those two economic drivers," said Kristina Wiltgen, executive director of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce. "The businesses I have heard from so far are very excited that people will be pushed into the community rather than isolated on campus and they are excited for this kind of outreach and thinking of President Ward's."

Special entertainment and activities are planned for the occasion. All events are open to the public with no charge for admission:

·       6-7:30 p.m. - Open mic event at West Music (126 East Water), performers are welcome to stop in and sing or play

·       7:30 p.m. - Luther a capella groups Beautiful Mess, Bromatic Progression, Fermata Nowhere and Undeclared perform at Impact Coffee (101 West Water)

·       7:30 p.m. - Luther Ballroom and Swing Club, demonstrations and lessons at the Lingonberry Event Center (218 West Water)

·       7:30-9:30 p.m. - Free tours of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, the gift shop will also be open 

·       9 p.m. - Live music with the Bigmouth Buffalo String Band, which consists of current students and alumni including Colin Cosgrove, Jeffrey Lackmann and Nick Vande Krol, at the Courtyard and Cellar (421 West Water)  

A full list of business remaining open for the event can be found at

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