Registration is now open for the American Cancer Society's "Bark for Life of Stillwater," which starts at 9 a.m. May 17 at Barker's Alps Park, 975 Fifth Ave. N., Bayport.

The 1-mile, noncompetitive walk is a chance for dogs and their owners to pay tribute to canines while raising funds and awareness to fight cancer.

Other activities, demonstrations and games for dogs and their owners are part of the event.

"Bark for Life is a great opportunity to involve those four legged family members in the fight against cancer," said Sue Baldwin, coordinator of Bark for Life in Stillwater. "It gives us the chance to honor survivors, remember those lost and those who are still fighting, whether they are friends, family or pets."

All funds go to the Stillwater Relay for Life/American Cancer Society. To find out more about Bark for Life and register online, visit

Registration will also be held the day of the event. The cost is $20 and the first 100 dogs will receive an insulated gift bag filled with nutritional treats and a Bark for Life bandanna. Additional dogs in the family is $5.

St. Croix Valley

Octagon House Museum opens for the season

The Octagon House Museum, 1004 Third Street, Hudson, Wis., opened for the spring tour season last week.

This year's museum theme, "Picturing the Past," will feature historic photos of the Hudson area from the St. Croix County Historical Society's photo collection.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the museum. The St. Croix County Historical Society opened the Octagon House in 1964 with the support of volunteers and funds obtained mainly through private donations. The society continues to maintain the house in the authentic tradition of a fine mid-19th century home.

Walk-in tours are available during the new hours of Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Tours last about one hour. Admission is $9 for adults, $3 for students ages 13 to 18, and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under who are with an adult will be admitted free of charge.

The museum complex includes the Octagon House Museum, beautiful gardens, and the Garden House with general store, blacksmith shop, domestic arts, and medical tableaux.

For more information, call 715-386-2654.

Pottery studio tour set for holiday weekend

The Upper St. Croix Valley annual Pottery Studio and Tour takes place on Mother's Day Weekend, spotlighting 50 potters at seven studios in Chisago County. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mother's Day.

Each studio/pottery is just a short drive from the others, allowing some or all to be visited in a single day. This springtime, self-guided tour is nationally recognized as a gathering of exceptional potters. The tour is an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of local potters in their rural studios. Accomplished guest potters from around the nation also have been invited for the event.

For more information, and a map, go to

Forest Lake

Auditions scheduled for 'Footloose' musical

Masquers Theatre Company in Forest Lake is holding auditions for "Footloose," a musical production based on the popular 1984 movie.

Auditions will be held from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9, at Forest Lake Elementary School, 408 Fourth St. SW. Callbacks will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. Performances will be in July.

Women are asked to prepare 32 bars of a contemporary musical theater ballad that showcases their voice; men are asked to prepare 32 bars of either a rock or up-tempo musical theater number.

For more information, contact Ben Wagner, the director, at, or go to

Lake Elmo

New dog park being considered

Lake Elmo dog owners may soon have a space to let their pets run free.

The city's Parks Commission is considering a plan to build a dog park near the west entrance of Sunfish Lake Park, off Jamaca Avenue, and is asking for public comment. Officials presented details of the proposed project at its monthly meeting in April.

The park would be built on a fenced-in field that sits on a "remediated landfill site," according to the commission's chair, Shane Weis.

The commission will take up the issue again at its May 19 meeting.


Meeting to focus on promoting area arts

ArtsReach St. Croix is hosting an event on Thursday, May 8, to discuss efforts to market the St. Croix Valley as an arts destination.

Artists, civic leaders, arts administrators, tourism professionals and others interested in raising the visibility of the arts throughout the valley are encouraged to attend the free Navigate event from 1-5 p.m. at The Loft at Studio J, 214 Main Street S., Stillwater.

"We want to explore the possibilities of furthering our promotion of the St. Croix Valley as a destination for people interested in arts and culture," says Heather Rutledge, executive director of ArtReach St. Croix. "Ideas and inspiration from a broad spectrum of people are critical to helping chart a course for the Valley being an even better place to make and experience art."

The featured speaker will be Donna Neuwirth of the Wormfarm Institute in Reedsburg, Wis. The Wormfarm Institute has received national attention and funding for its efforts to connect and promote relationships between culture and agriculture.

"The products grown in an area reflect its unique geography, geology and microclimate," says Neuwirth. "Likewise, arts and cultural products also reflect their unique local influences."

To support strong, local culture, the Wormfarm Institute creates, sponsors and hosts exhibits, performances and other projects that engage the surrounding community, utilize the talents of local artists, and speak to rural experience.

Please RSVP to Rutledge at or 651-439-1465.

Trinity Lutheran hosts chamber orchestra

A program of classical music by Benjamin Britten, Henry Purcell, Michael Tippett and Dmitri Shostakovich will be presented by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. May 29 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 Fourth St. N., Stillwater.

The program juxtaposes Britten with his fellow English composers, Purcell and Tippett, Britten's most prominent English contemporary. It concludes with a chamber symphony arrangement of String Quartet No. 10 by Shostakovich, Britten's close friend, colleague and kindred artistic spirit throughout his life and career.

Tickets are $12-$42 per adult and $5 per child, and can be ordered at

Marine on St. Croix

Mill Stream Day marks milestone

Mill Stream Day, honoring the 175th anniversary of the founding of Marine on St. Croix, will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on May 18.

Festivities take place in Burris Park (near the village center) where the popular trout lunch will be served, along with brats and side dishes.

A number of exhibitors will be on hand to offer something for everyone, from fly tying and casting and updates on issues impacting the St. Croix River, to local history, literary and cultural offerings. For more information visit

Cottage Grove

City in running for bike park grant

With Cottage Grove competing for grant money to improve its new bike park, the city is asking residents to vote in its favor in an online contest that ends on Sunday.

The city is up for a $33,000 International Mountain Bicycling Association grant, which it said would be used to cover design and construction costs of a dirt jump plaza. Votes can be cast at

The new park, at 7050 Meadow Grass Av., is set to open later this spring.

Jim Anderson; Libor Jany