Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center near Afton is celebrating spring on May 19 with its annual Apple Blossom Races.

There are three races — a 5K, a 10K and a half-marathon — and they all begin at 8 a.m. at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park north of the center at 10191 St. Croix Trail S. in Hastings.

All races finish in front of the Nature Center’s interpretive center.

The 5K uses all paved surfaces. Walkers are welcome on the 5K only.

The 10K uses some of the same route but breaks off and follows almost 4 miles of the Nature Center’s trail system overlooking the St. Croix River. Some of the trails are not paved.

A 2K Fun Run will start at the Nature Center at 11:15 a.m., or as soon as the last half-marathon runner finishes.

The hilly half-marathon follows some local roadways near the Nature Center and passes many of the area’s apple orchards that promise to be at or near full bloom.

More information and online registration is available at The registration area will be located in Carpenter Nature Center’s parking lot. All parking is at the Nature Center.

Fee for the 5K and 10K is $30 — $40 after May 13. The fee for the half-marathon is $40, and $50 after May 13. The 2K registration is free without T-shirt, $10 with a T-shirt.

The first 600 registrants for 5K, 10K or half-marathon are guaranteed a T-shirt on race day. Additional T-shirts will be available at a later date.


Book signings set for Lake Elmo tale

Local author Gloria VanDemmeltraadt’s new book, “Memories of Lake Elmo,” is now available, and several book launching activities have been planned.

Copies are $15, and VanDemmeltraadt will discuss the book and sign copies from 10:30-noon Saturday, May 11, and from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Lake Elmo Library, 3537 Lake Elmo Avenue N.

There is also a reception from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at Curves in Lake Elmo for members and guests.

The book, a history of the village/city of Lake Elmo, is told in personal stories gathered from more than 100 interviews with longtime residents of the area. Along with extensive research of historical documents, VanDemmeltraadt has built a chronicle of the small town.

Books will be available through the Washington County Historical Society, Oakdale Lake Elmo Historical Society, Curves at Lake Elmo, Valley Booksellers in Stillwater, and through the author at

Botanical show sprouts at gallery

The “Spring is Here! Botanical Show,” a special River Room exhibit featuring 20 artists exhibiting botanical themed art, has opened at the Stillwater Art Guild Gallery, 402 N. Main St. in Stillwater.

The works are created in multiple media, including jewelry, pastel, pencil, pressed ferns, oils, acrylic, photography and pottery.

An opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at the gallery. For more information, call 651-689-0149 or go to

white bear lake

Registration opens for theater camps

Registration has begun for the Lakeshore Players Theater Summer Youth Project (entering grades 6-12) and Summer Youth Project Jr. (entering grades 2-7) camps that will culminate in two performances later in the summer.

The morning camp for younger performers runs from June 10-27. Kids will develop their “actors’ tools” as they explore musical theater and create simple props and scenic elements for the show.

They will perform “Willy Wonka Kids” at three different shows on June 28-29. A mandatory meeting for parents and campers is at 7 p.m. May 23 at Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Av. in White Bear Lake.

The day camp for teens, which runs from July 1-25, and is an opportunity to participate in all aspects of a theatrical production. It begins with an acting workshop that prepares and casts campers in their roles. All campers will be assigned a role.

They will perform “Alice in Wonderland” July 26-Aug. 4.

For more information, go to

Bike ride to raise funds to fight MS

The Bike MS — Sam’s Club Twin Cities Ride will take place Saturday, May 11, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Upper Midwest Chapter. The ride will start and end at Century College, 13300 Century Av. N. in White Bear Lake. It is the first of six bike rides that benefit the Upper Midwest Chapter each year. Riders can choose a 52- or 22-mile scenic route along the Gateway Trail.

Check-in is from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Riders will start after they check in, and the starting line closes at 9:30 a.m. For information, visit

Days set aside for crafts, scrapbooks

A fun day working with friends on scrapbooks or crafts of your choice is planned by the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the White Bear Lake Armory, 2228 4th St.

Cost is $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers and includes doughnuts and coffee, lunch, dinner, snacks and door prizes. All proceeds benefit the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society.

Preregister online or call 651-407-5327.


Lecture to highlight frontier history

A public lecture, “The Legacies of Red Rock, Pig’s Eye and Grey Cloud: Frontier Communities on the Upper Mississippi River,” will be presented as part of the Newport Heritage Preservation Commission’s annual Preservation Month observance. It will take place from 7:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at the Newport Library. Robert Vogel, preservation planner for Newport, will be talking about the formative years of St. Paul, Newport and Cottage Grove during the 1820s-1850s. Admission is free.


Tour will be a walk through the past

The Afton Museum is holding a free historic walking tour of the village of Afton starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The tour will start at the Afton Historical Museum, 3165 St. Croix Trail S., and end there at 4 p.m. Historian Ken Martens will narrate the tour.

It will make a stop at Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour during the tour. In case of rain, the tour will be canceled.For more information, e-mail or call 651-436-3500. Or visit the museum’s website at aftonhistorical-

Jim Anderson