Retired Lansing dentist plans free music event Oct. 9

By Jennifer Bissell

Joe and Vicki Price and The Freaks of Nature will entertain during the free community music event "Celebrate Lansing."

It’s been well over a year since Lansing Dental owner Bruce Carlson has seen a patient at his practice on Main Street. After 42 years serving the Lansing area, Carlson officially retired last year, and now he’s giving back to the community one more time. Carlson is throwing the “Celebrate Lansing” free music event Saturday, Oct. 9, as a thank you to the community for its years of support. 

Finding Lansing
A native of Ames, Carlson said the universe brought him to northeast Iowa. As a senior in dental school in the late 1970s, Carlson took a position in Minocqua, Wis. While on vacation in 1977, Carlson drove through the Yellow River Forest area and into the Driftless Region. His trip to Minocqua was cancelled, leaving Carlson with 10 days to explore Decorah, McGregor and northern Allamakee County. 
“When I drove into Lansing, it was like something whispered in my ear ‘This is it, this is the place.’ When I came into town, it was almost like looking a partner in the eye and falling in love.”
At the time, Lansing had one dentist who was constantly busy. Carlson said they formed a partnership right away and began remodeling a building located at 267 Main Street. When Carlson graduated from dental school in 1978, he moved to Lansing and began practicing. In October of that year, he moved into the property on Main Street, where he remained for 42 years. 
Carlson described himself as an “old school” dentist, saying he worked as the hygienist and also took x-rays himself. 
In 2020, Carlson retired; however, local dental care has remained in Lansing as Decorah’s Eric and Heather Moellers opened their second location in Carlson’s former office. 
“This town is very fortunate to have them, and they are very happy here in the way the community has welcomed them,” said Carlson. 

Throwing a party
In gratitude of his patients and the community, Carlson is throwing a “Celebrate Lansing” party Saturday, Oct. 9. The afternoon of free entertainment will include music by The Freaks of Nature as well as Joe and Vicki Price. The event will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lansing Sports Complex. Smokin’ Monkeys BBQ will be sold at the concession stand. The concert is BYOB, and attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chair. 
“The community and the surrounding area that my patients are from supported me for 42 years, and I love live music and to dance so I wanted a way to just say thank you,” he said. 

Staying in Northeast Iowa
Carlson said he doesn’t have plans to leave the area at this time.
“I love it here. I love the Driftless Area. It seeps into your blood that way,” he said. “It’s really about the texture of the land and the soul of the people. I can’t imagine leaving right now.”
As someone who’s been a fixture in the community for four decades, Carlson is ready to enjoy some local music and celebrate Lansing. 
“I wanted to show how much I’ve appreciated the communities’ support. This is a small way of saying thank you and also welcoming the new business into town,” he said. 

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