Bagpipes, bonfires, other events make for busy weekend

091313_liftbridge            It’s another event-filled weekend in the St. Croix Valley Area that includes photo opps, community fun, bagpipes, bonfires and bucking broncos.

Things get started in downtown Stillwater at 10 a.m. Saturday when the Historic Lift Bridge is the stage for the the United Way of Washington County-East and St. Croix Valley United Way “Hands Across the River” in which 200 volunteers will stand on the Lift Bridge sidewalk spanning the Minnesota and Wisconsin shorelines. Volunteers for the photo receive a free t-shirt and a complimentary lunch. Email [email protected] to learn how to participate.

Hands Across the River is the kick-off event for this year’s annual United Way fundraising effort in the Valley.

The Episcopal Church of the Acension in Stillwater brings some Celtic traditions to the Valley at “Bagpipes and Bonfires” Saturday. The event helps continue church programs including free breakfasts and last Sunday of the month free suppers. Bagpipes and Bonfires is 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday just south of the Stillwater Library on North Third Street.

The theme is fun, prizes and an Olde English atmosphere of crafts, clowns, and country dancers under a tent next to the church. There will be Old World games of fun and skill like hammerschlaugen and a wine bottle ring toss — you keep the bottle of wine your ring lands on. Pub Grub such as sausage rolls, pub potatoes, Scotch eggs and Brownie Hooley can be purchased with coin of the realm visitors buy at the festival.

Raffle prizes include a weekend cabin getaway, a collection of fine wines, a sampling of specialty cheeses, an artisan quilt and a biercycle adventure.
Minnesota’s Police Pipe band marches up Third street at 4 p.m.

Children’s crafts and face painting, a showcase of Royal Scottish Country dancers and a new-this-year kilt contest will follow the raffle drawing at 7:45 p.m. Jugglers, mimes and street performers and house bands complete the scene along with pub grub available all evening.

The event is open to everyone and features several sponsors including: The Police Band, Lift Bridge Brewery, Pub 112 Irish Pub, StillH2O Brewers Supply, all of Stillwater, Swirl Wine, Afton and the Royal Scottish Country Dancers.
Also taking place this weekend:

  • Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter begins it’s Oktoberfest celebration Friday through Sunday and continues the celebration Sept. 20 through 22. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. with gates opening at 5 p.m. The event features German food, imported German beer, and Ompha music by the Artie Schafer Band. Tickets are $5.
  • Munchkin Market returns this year to the Washington County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Children’s items that can be found at the event include clothing, strollers, high chairs, exersaucers, swings, books, DVDs, toys and more at prices 40 to 90 percent off retail prices. Free admission is given to those who bring a non-perishable food item otherwise it costs $1 on Saturday. Visit for more information.
  • Let Stillwater Medical Group show you how much you’re appreciated on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their 1500 Curve Crest Blvd location. The event is free and includes the following highlights: “The Doctor is in” booth to talk one on one with their providers, bounce house, climbing wall, face painting and temporary tattoos, ambulance and fire truck appearances, fruit and vegetable giveaway, flu shots, vein clinic screening (register online, blood pressure and hearing screenings plus other health information, PowerUP activities, family zumba and yoga and participants can bring in a food shelf donation to receive a prize.
  • The Washington County Fairgrounds hosts the Minnesota High School Rodeo at 7 p.m. Saturday. Moer than 140 students compete in bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, pole bending, bull riding and more. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 17 years and younger.
  • Brent Peterson signs copies of his latest book, “Images of America: Stillwater” at the Warden’s House Museum on Sunday at 2 p.m. The new book features over 200 historic photographs of ‘The birthplace of Minnesota’ accompanied by interesting and informative captions. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.