Area activities: Cross Country Ski Festival Jan. 25

Lake Elmo Park Reserve will host the 11th Annual Cross Country Ski Festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
One-hour ski lessons will be offered at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is required for lessons. Arrive early to sign-in before the desired time and be fitted for equipment. Free classic equipment will be provided by Joe’s Ski Shop. Ski skaters will need their own equipment. There is a recommended $10 donation toward LED-lit ski trails at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.
Beginners on classic skis will learn how to glide, instead of just shuffle. On skate skis, participants will get out of the middle and over on the gliding ski. Downhill survival techniques and methods for getting up the next hill will also be taught.
Intermediates will learn how to lengthen their glide, on both classic and skate skis. They will also work on hill climbing and other skate techniques.
Advanced skiers will learn how to fine tune techniques for the most efficiency.
A Minnesota Ski Pass ($6 per day or $20 per year) and valid vehicle park permit are required ($5 per day or $25 per year). Both are available for purchase at the park contact station.
Lake Elmo Park Reserve is at the intersection of County Road 19 and County Road 10 (one mile north of Interstate 94) in Lake Elmo. For more information call 651-430-8370 or go to co.washington.mn.us/parks.

Gardening expert to speak in Lake Elmo
Bonnie Blodgett knows a lot about gardening in Minnesota. She’s the garden columnist for the Pioneer Press, political editorialist for The Star Tribune, a TV personality and author of including “Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing—and Discovering—the Primal Sense,” and other books.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Blodgett will share her insights about plants that work well in the Minnesota climate and how to plan for spring planting. The public is invited to bring gardening questions to her presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Lake Elmo Public Library 3537 Lake Elmo Ave. N.
Bonnie would like to evening to be a back-and-forth conversation about plants participants love.
In addition to her other experience, Bonnie has been published in Better Homes and Gardens, Midwest Home, Garden Design, and Fine Gardening. Her newsletter, The Garden Letter won the Garden Writers Association award for excellence in its first year of publication.
For more information, contact the library at 651-773-4926. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Info: lakeelemopubliclibrary.org.

Sleigh rides in Pine Point Park Jan. 25
Time for an old-fashioned sleigh ride through the snow. Start at Outing Lodge and enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a horse-drawn sleigh between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
Sleigh rides are typically 20 minutes long.
Cost is $15 with reservations or $20 at the door for adults and $10 with reservations or $15 at the door for children.
The Outing Lodge is at 11661 Myeron Road N., Stillwater.
For more information call 651-439-9747.

Calling all artists
ArtReach St. Croix is looking for exhibiting artists.
The regional nonprofit arts organization is calling for artist applications from artists living or working in the St. Croix Valley who are interested in being part of a group exhibition at the ArtReach galleries in late 2014 or 2015. All forms of creative work are encouraged, including but not limited to sculpture, glass, printmaking, fiber, painting, pottery, photography, book arts and jewelry. The submission deadline is Feb. 28, 2015.
ArtReach St. Croix’s gallery space in housed on the first floor of a historic 1858 home in Stillwater. The rotating exhibition program features groups of artists whose works complement each other. Exhibitions typically run six or seven weeks. The current exhibition, Layers, features four artists — Matt Gillett, Vicki Kessler, Donna Kjonaas and Susan Solomon — who use some type of layering process to create their art.
The ArtReach St. Croix galleries are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information go to artreachstcroix.org/
opportunties or call ArtReach at 651-439-1465.

Croix Chordsmen singing Valentines
Quartets from the “Croix Chordsmen” barbershop chorus will take to the road with “singing Valentines” Friday, Feb. 14.
Their “Singing Valentine” Quartets, will travel all over the eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin area to serenade recipients on Valentine’s Day. They will sing two songs and present a rose and a box of candy, as well as provide a photo of the event, for a nominal fee. Proceeds go to local charities and the “Young Men In Harmony” program.
The Croix Chordsmen belong to the internationally recognized “Barbershop Harmony Society.”
For more information on the Croix Chordsmen or to schedule a singing Valentine, call 651-439-4527 or go to stcroixvalleychapter.com.

Compiled by Jonathan Young – jonathan.young@ecm-inc.com

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