By Bill Droste, mayor of Rosemount

The meteorologists say we Minnesotans earn our summers. That seems especially true after the winter we endured this year. In Rosemount, we give you plenty of choices to put these warm days to good use.

The farmers market is underway in the parking lot on the south side of the Community Center, Tuesdays from 1-5 p.m. As we get deeper into the growing season, you'll see the number of vendors' tents multiply, but there are always fresh produce and other goodies to discover.

We had to cancel our first free movie at the amphitheater for the season because of weather concerns, but more family-friendly flicks are scheduled for July 13 ("Instant Family") and Aug. 10 ("A Dog's Way Home").

Our splash pad began spreading cool fun in Central Park just before school ended. In fact, the proof that Minnesotans are a hardy lot is that we started getting phone calls asking when it would be turned on even while the temperatures were barely out of the 50s. I can guarantee it will be a lot warmer when the city's Youth Commission hosts its Splash Pad Summer Celebration at 11 a.m Thursday, July 18. They'll have light refreshments and plenty of fun activities.

We're midway through our schedule of music in the park at the amphitheater, Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. through July 18. (But next week, the musicians get to have Independence Day off.) And in our neighborhood parks, the puppet wagon began its rounds last week, putting on shows aimed to be educational as well as entertaining.

All of this leads up to our great summer celebration: Rosemount Leprechaun Days, running July 18-29. This event has its origins in the 1950s. It changed names, expanded its run, and grew its offerings to more than 60 events. Two of the highlights are the Grand Day Parade on Saturday, July 27, and the fireworks show that evening.

My colleague on the City Council, Heidi Freske, has been working with the committee that organizes Leprechaun Days, and she reminds us that they can always use more volunteers. City government provides support for the event, but we're not in charge. Most of the work is performed by citizens who are unpaid but willing to help. You can be a part of this great celebration by emailing or visiting the Facebook page. It takes a consistent stream of new volunteers to keep this cherished event running year after year.

And finally, there's another event designed to bring our community together right where we live. We ask neighbors to step outside on the night of Tuesday, Aug. 6, for block parties during Night to Unite. The fight against crime starts at the neighborhood level, and this is the perfect way to check in with the folks next door and strengthen community ties. I always look forward to visiting the block parties, and I encourage more neighborhoods to sign up on our website.

I hope you enjoy several of Rosemount's activities, soaking up the warmth of summer to last us all through the year.