Area briefs for 11-8-13

Victorian Christmas preview tickets available

For more than 20 years, the holiday season in the St. Croix Valley has begun with the Victorian Christmas at the Historic Courthouse Preview Gala, scheduled this year for 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22.

The decorated courthouse glows with lights as guests approach the elegant site, sitting high on the bluff overlooking the St. Croix River. Guests will enjoy champagne, coffee and sparkling cider in addition to appetizers and desserts donated by the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center, River Valley Catering, Brine’s Market, Chowgirls, Donnatelli’s, Mama Maria’s, Joseph Catering and Kane’s Catering. Lift Bridge Brewery will host beer-tasting featuring hand-crafted beers made in Stillwater.

Guests may begin their holiday shopping while strolling through the vendor booths featuring high quality arts and crafts for sale. Costumed volunteers and vendors add to the festive Victorian atmosphere. Door prizes will be awarded during the event. A quilt made and donated by Courthouse Quilters will be raffled off over the weekend with the drawing Sunday afternoon. (Winner need not be present to win.)

A new feature for this year’s event will be gift-wrapping offered by the historic courthouse staff and volunteers.

The preview event is a restoration and operations fundraiser for the Washington County Historic Courthouse, and nearly $275,000 has been raised by the event over the years.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets may be purchased at the Historic Courthouse, 101 W. Pine Street.

The Victorian Christmas event continues 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

For tickets or more information go to or call 651-275-7075.

Register for poetry reading and artist talk

The St. Croix Watershed Research Station announces a poetry reading and artist talk Friday, Nov. 15, at the Research Station, 16910 152nd Street N., Marine on St. Croix.

Two of the 2013 Artists at Pine Needles, poet Su Smallen and artist Jessica Zeglin will present.

The event is at 7 p.m. It is open to the public but space is limited and registration is required by Nov. 12.

The workshop is presented by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station as part of its Artist at Pine Needles residency program. Each summer, the Artist at Pine Needles program invites natural history artists or writers to spend two to four weeks in residence to immerse themselves in a field experience, gather resource materials and interact with environmental scientists and the local community.

During Smallen’s residency in the month of July, she wrote an entire book of new poems. She will read selections from that work.

Painter and sculptor Jessica Zeglin, in residence in September, collected images and objects on which she is basing a new body of work in her studio. Jessica will show and discuss both previous works and the new images she is developing based upon her residency.

To register call 651-433-5953 ext. 10, or email [email protected]

Open house on St. Croix Trail South project Nov. 13

Residents, businesses owners and other stakeholders are invited to attend a public open house for the St. Croix Trail South (County Road 21) Roadway Improvements in Downtown Afton 4:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department, 1560 St. Croix Trail S., Lakeland.

Project updates, current schedule, and other project information will be provided at the open house. Public feedback on community needs and interests for the project are being sought. The meeting is an open house format, and no formal presentation will be given, but project staff will be available to answer questions.

The St. Croix Trail South project focuses on the reconstruction of County Road 21 from River Road South to the north split of County Road 18/County Road 21. The purpose of this two-mile roadway project is to rebuild roadway infrastructure, to provide improvements to the County Road 18/County Road 21 intersection, and to improve safety and accessibility for all roadway users.

More information is available at

Knights host camp fundraiser breakfast

The Knights of Columbus invite the public to a breakfast fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

The Knights of Columbus are partnering with the Dunrovin Retreat Center to raise money to help with the cost of the youth retreats. The event is at KC Hall, 1910 South Greeley Street, Stillwater. Guests can enjoy “all-you-care-to-eat” pancakes, scrambled eggs with optional toppings, sausage links, coffee, milk, juice and fruit. Cost is $7 for adults, and children age 12 and under cost $4.

Nonperishable food items are also being collected for local St. Michael’s food shelf.

Panel discussion on helping seniors stay in their homes

FamilyMeans will host a panel discussion Tuesday, Nov. 19, that will focus on helping older adults remain in their homes. The event is 2:45-4:30 p.m. at Family Means, 1875 Northwestern Ave. S., Stillwater.

The discussion will emphasize:

• Community-based service options

• Trends in the aging population

• Challenges and opportunities to consider

• When to seek services

The event is specific to Washington County. Providers that will participate in the panel will represent the Buurtzorg model, Stillwater Medical Group Care Coordinators, HomeInstead Home Care, Parish Nurse, AARP and FamilyMeans.

For more information, call Jenny West at 651-789-4015 or email [email protected]

Compiled by Jonathan Young – [email protected]