sandstone, Minn.

Now that the weather has warmed up, you can float your boat (as in a kayak) or watch others take to the water during the Kettle River Paddle Festival April 30-May 1 in Sandstone. The festival's highlight is a race on the river from Benning State Park to Robinson Quarry. Also, paddlers and spectators will gather at Robinson Park for clinics and demonstrations on the river and to get tips on paddle making and more. (


The 18th annual Homegrown Music Festival will draw local and regional fans to Duluth May 1-8. More than 200 musicians and several filmmakers will appear at various times and venues. Festivalgoers can get tickets at the Electric Fetus in Duluth and Minneapolis and at venue sites ($10-$30). According to a committee member, nearly half of the concerts are free and suitable for all ages. (; 1-218-590-1210)

Horicon, Wis.

The Horicon Bird Festival May 6-9 at the Horicon National Wildlife Area and Refuge in southeastern Wisconsin will give visitors a chance to see hundreds of species of birds in the nation's largest freshwater cattail marsh. During the festival, birders and other wildlife enthusiasts can explore the large wetland on riverboat, biking, hiking and driving tours and enjoy other activities. (; 1-920-485-4663)

Colleen A. Coles