The deadline is approaching for high school students to enter original works in WriteNow!, the annual high school writing contest sponsored by White Bear Center for the Arts.

Students in grades 9-12 in the Forest Lake, Mahtomedi, Stillwater, and White Bear Lake School Districts (as well as other students who live in those geographic areas) have until noon Feb. 25 to submit their entries of poetry, short stories, persuasive essays, creative nonfiction and one-act plays. Awards and readings will be presented May 7 at the center, 4971 Long Av., White Bear Lake.

Entries will be judged in two categories: grades 9-10 and grades 11-12. All entries must be produced by the student submitting the entries. No profanity is allowed.

All entries must be submitted electronically and all of the entries can be submitted on one electronic entry form. Students should not include their name or any other identifying information in the entries, only on the entry form.

For more details about the categories and other rules, go to wbca@whitebeararts.org or call 651-407-0597.

Scandia

Skating programs offered at rink

The city of Scandia is offering three winter recreation skating programs beginning in January at the outdoor Wojtowicz Skating Rink.

New this year is a five-week program that will prepare participants to learn and rehearse a choreographed ice program to be performed during Vinterfest 2015.

The six-week Learn to Skate program is taught by a trained coach and structured to teach recreational skating to children of different abilities. The Learn to Skate program for beginners is directed at children who have little or infrequent skating experience. More advanced skaters would work on a variety of skating skills.

The city will continue to offer the six-week pleasure skating program. Volunteer adults will be available to provide supervision and guidance while skaters practice their skills.

Preregistration is required and classes will fill up quickly. Register by the Dec. 26 deadline to avoid a late fee. You can find registration forms and detailed information about the programs and costs on the city’s website (www.ci.scandia.mn.us). For more information, call the Scandia City office at 651.433.2274.

Stillwater

Ball to ring in the New Year in style

An evening of formal dining and ballroom dancing will ring in the New Year starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Grand Banquet Hall, 301 S. Second St., Stillwater.

Dick Olsen’s Dancin’ New Year’s Eve, presented by Ladanza Ballroom Dance Club, will begin with cocktails, followed by dinner, dancing, pizza and culminating with a toast at midnight. Music will be provided by the Rod Cerar Orchestra. Attire is formal or black tie.

Cost is $75 per person/$150 per couple. For information, call 651-331-6218.

St. Croix Valley

Monroe Crossing to celebrate holidays

Monroe Crossing will celebrate Christmas with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26, at St. Croix Festival Theatre, 210 N. Washington St., Saint Croix Falls, Wis.

Celebrating their 14th year together, Monroe Crossing features an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heartfelt originals.

Tickets are $26 in advance, $31 at the door. For information, call 715-483-3387.

Marine on St. Croix

Film group to screen ‘Beyond the Divide’

“Beyond The Divide,” a feature-length documentary film set in Montana about war, peace and the courage to find common ground, will be screened by Marine Film Society at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Marine Community Library at Marine Village Hall, 121 Judd St., Marine on St. Croix.

There also will be a discussion with the filmmaker immediately following the screening.

This is the fourth in a series of six documentary films presented by the Marine Community Library and the Marine Film Society. Each film is free and is screened the first Thursday of each month through March (except for January, when it will be the first Friday).

For more information, call 651-433-2820.

Jim Anderson