The University of St. Thomas will host its annual community celebration, Neighborfest, from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30.

The free event, first held in the summer of 1981, attracts hundreds of St. Thomas neighbors, friends and their families to campus each year for music, food and fun.

The event will take place on the John P. Monahan Plaza. The plaza is just outside the Anderson Student Center that is located at Summit and Cretin avenues on the St. Paul campus. Signs posted around campus will direct visitors to the plaza.

In event of rain, Neighborfest will move into the Anderson Student Center.

While many neighbors walk or ride their bicycles to Neighborfest, free parking is available in the Anderson Parking Facility at Grand and Cretin avenues.

As in past years, there will be free ice cream treats and snow cones, cookies, popcorn, iced tea, lemonade, fresh fruit kabobs, and vegetables and dip. For those who’d like to make a meal of it, the grills will be fired up, with brats, hamburgers, veggie burgers and grilled corn available for purchase.

Also as in past years, there will be music and animals.

The Dolce Wind Quintet will perform an assortment of popular songs and dances, ethnic music and show tunes. The professional ensemble of local musicians has been together for 20 years and includes a flautist, oboist, clarinetist, bassoonist and horn player.

Rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs from the Bark Avenue therapy animal group will be available to visit, pet and cuddle. The therapy animals visit St. Thomas several times a year, especially around final-exam times. Balloon animals, meanwhile, will be created and given away by Lulu the Clown from Queen Holding Court, a children’s entertainment company.

On hand that evening will be several St. Thomas administrators, including President Julie Sullivan who will offer a formal welcome at 5:45 p.m. A dozen information tables will showcase St. Thomas and neighborhood resources, such as the university’s library, the student-led Stewardship Garden and the Selim Center for Learning in Later Years. You also can register for the 21st annual Saint Paul Bike Classic Tour, which starts on St. Thomas’ south campus Sunday, Sept. 13. Those signing up that night will receive an early-bird discount of $8 off the cost of registration.

Questions? Contact Amy Gage, the university’s neighborhood liaison, at (651) 962-6123 or agage@stthomas.edu.

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