Do you honor the criminal Jesse James with this celebration?
The celebration is held to honor the townspeople who defeated the James / Younger gang. Up to this historical day on September 7th, 1876, no one had stood up to or fought back when the James-Younger gang. In addition to the gunfight outside the bank, on the street, the head cashier, Joseph Lee Heywood (who was not supposed to be working that day) would not open the safe during the robbery. While the safe was unlocked, and the door closed, Heywood told the bandits it was locked and could not be opened because of the new “Time Lock” system that had been installed in the bank. In frustration, Frank James shot him in the head before fleeing. It was the townspeople that stopped this murderous gang in their tracks. They would never team up again to rob banks. We celebrate Joseph Lee Heywood and the locals in the streets who would “defeat” the Jesse James Gang.
See the Historic Account of the Bank Raid or stop by the Historical Society Museum in Northfield for a complete historical accounting. Tours of the actual bank, restored to as it appeared that day are highly recommended.
Can I get information on participation in one of the arts and craft shows during the event?
There are 2 different places for arts and craft exhibits during the celebration. Both are managed independently and by non-DJJD committee organizers.
I see that the Jesse James Bank Raid Re-enactment is a “Button Event”. How do I get buttons? Does this mean that if I do not have a button, I will not be able to see the show?
There are bleacher seats on the sidewalk across from the Re-Enactment. If you have a button, then you are allowed to use the bleachers, otherwise, you are in the general crowd. During the celebration, buttons are available at the majority of businesses in Northfield and will be sold on the streets from volunteers in golf carts and at the Information Booth. The people checking the bleachers will also be selling them.
How much are the buttons this year? Do Kids need one?
Buttons are $5. Buttons are not available to order online or be shipped at this time. Children younger than the age of 5 do not need a button for “button events”.
Can I win prizes with my button (and its number), raffle style?
For years we announced winning numbers that matched certain button numbers. We gave away prizes if your button number was drawn. Because of MN gambling laws and our non-profit status, we are not allowed to offer prize drawings or give-aways any longer.
Is there scheduled transportation between the celebration events?
Yes. Free bus service is available between the scheduled celebration events all day Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. Bus Route Map
Where can we park for the celebration?
Each scheduled celebration event has different parking arrangements. For the most part, do not park where it is normally illegal to park or where signs are posted to that effect. There is usually ample parking within a short walking distance of each event.
Are there designated Handicap Parking available?
Yes. All the parking along 5th Street, downtown, will be designated Handicap Parking during the celebration. There is Handicap Reserved Parking at the Rodeo Site as well, right next to the ticket booth.
What lodging is available in the area?
Please search the internet under zip code 55057 to research local lodging options. Note: It may be difficult to acquire lodging in the Northfield area during the celebration. Advance reservations are suggested.
Where can we go for something to eat?
Bridge Square, where BINGO event is held, is your central point for refreshments during the celebration. At this location, there is a wide variety of foods and beverages.
Who do I contact about having a food concession stand?
Contact Jon Klemenson 612-369-3635
How many years has the celebration been in existence?
Since 1948. Prior to that, it was called the Jaycee’s “Fall Festival”. In 1948 they tried a “Jesse James Day” when the first re-enactment was performed.
How can I help with the celebration?
The celebration requires many resources. Volunteers can donate their time to help with the events. Businesses can donate money to sponsor and support the expenses incurred to pull off the largest all-volunteer celebration organization in Minnesota. We are always in need of helping hands and organizers. Please navigate to the “Contact” page and send a message to the person who chairs the area you’re interested in. Or send to the General Chairperson.
Is the term “Defeat Jesse James Days” (etc) under copyright? Can I use your logo?
This answer requires its own page. We’ve laid out specifics HERE!