Butch Thompson returns to Marine on St. Croix for his annual "Home for Christmas" concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Marine Village Hall.

Thompson, who grew up in Marine, donates his appearance to benefit the Marine Restoration Society. The concert has been a yearly event since about 1989.

Thompson is well known for his long stint on "A Prairie Home Companion," where he still performs occasionally, as well as for his concerts and tours. He is a leading authority on early jazz.

Tickets are available at the Marine General Store or by mail at the Marine Restoration Society, Box 274, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047. They are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. For more information, call 651-433-2049.


Sampson's 'Heritage Series' included in book signings

The Washington County Historical Society will host a sale of locally published books at the Warden's House on Saturday, Dec 15.

The event will include the release of the late Hank Sampson's radio series on CD. Sampson, who was the "Voice of the St. Croix Valley," produced segments onStillwater radio station WAVN, and they were known as the "Heritage Series." The first episode hit the airwaves in 1966 and the last was broadcast in 1982.

"The series is one reason I was so interested in local history," said Brent Peterson, the society's executive director. "Hank brought history back to life with his stories of days gone by. The whole family would listen to it on Sunday afternoons. Hank is surely missed, but his legacy lives on in the Heritage Series that he made famous." Sampson was a member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Sampson's widow, Eloise, will attend the event to tell how Hank researched, wrote and performed his radio programs.

Other authors who will be available at the event include Peterson, Bob and Nancy Goodman, and David Fabio.

Pub to feature Irish musical duo

Tom Dahill and Ginny Johnson, two entertainers with a large repertoire of old Irish songs and dance tunes, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 22 at Charlie's Irish Pub in the Water Street Inn, 101 S. Water St., Stillwater.

They have command of many instruments between them -- the Irish button accordion, concertina, uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistle, bodhran and guitar -- and they juggle these instruments to suit the venue as they go through their performances.

Michael Bond etchings on display at Lakeview

A collection of art by Michael Bond is on display in the Lakeview Hospital Art Gallery through December.

Bond specializes in etching, drypoint, aquatint and mezzotint. His work often features architectural subjects from his travels in Europe. He prints his own work, blending and applying the ink by hand. For more information about his work, visit www.michaelbondetchings.com.

Lakeview Hospital's first-floor art gallery features monthly shows by local artists, with 20 percent of all sales donated to the hospital. The gallery is open to the public daily between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.


Masquers present 'Winter Wonderettes'

The Masquers Theatre Company of Forest Lake has opened its production of "Winter Wonderettes."

Performances will be held at the American Legion Post 225, 355 W. Broadway Av., at the following times and dates: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. next Friday, and 2 and 7 p.m. next Saturday.

Performances will be presented in a dinner-theater style, with a choice of slow-roasted, bone-in pork tenderloin or crisp, skin-roasted chicken. Ticket prices are $25 for both the show and the meal, or the show only for $15. There will also be student rush tickets available for $10 at the door 30 minutes before the show if any seats remain unsold. Tickets may be purchased at www.masquerstheatre.org or by telephone at 651-464-5823.


Players perform 'Cricket on the Hearth'

Dickens' "other" Christmas story has all the elements of a great adventure, including a miserly toy store owner with evil plans facing a lucky cricket who brings renewed hope and a Christmas miracle. Craig Sodaro adapted this tale of love and redemption into a fun show for children and families. It is directed by Hannah Steblay-Olson.

Shows are at 2 p.m.Sunday; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday (school groups only); 7:30 p.m. next Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. next Saturday; and 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and students.

The theater is located at 4820 Stewart Av. in White Bear Lake. For more information, call 651-429-5674.