Cottage Grove is gearing up for one of the largest events in the city's history: the arrival on Saturday, Dec. 14, of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, headlined by a concert by Sheryl Crow and Take 6.
The event, in support of the Friends in Need Food Shelf, kicks off at 4 p.m. with the opening of the North Pole Station at 4 p.m., followed by the two-hour concert at 5 p.m. at the CP Yard, 9250 Ideal Av. in Cottage Grove.
The North Pole Station, a magical village, will feature family-oriented interactive activities, including ice-carving, hot chocolate and a chance for the kids to visit Santa before the train arrives.
While the event is free, those attending are asked to make a cash donation or bring a toiletry items such as bar soap, dish soap, toilet paper or paper towels. Everything collected at the show benefits Cottage Grove, Grey Cloud Island, Newport and St. Paul Park residents.
Parking and free shuttle buses have been arranged. Those arriving for the event can park in one of four lots in the city. There is no parking at the Holiday Train site, with the exception of handicap or VIP parking.
• Lots 1 and 2, the Red lots, have 920 parking spots and can be accessed by taking the Jamaica Avenue exit off Hwy. 61 S. The address for GPS is 7160 W. Pt. Douglas Road, Cottage Grove. Lot 2 should be used for those wishing to drop off and pick up people at the event. Those dropped off will be shuttled to and from the event from this lot.
• Lot 3, the Blue lot, has 1,400 parking spots on a grassland field and can be accessed by taking the 80th Street S. exit off Hwy. 61 S. The address for GPS is 7550 95th St. S., Cottage Grove.
• Lot 4, the Green lot, has 3,800 parking spots on a grassland field and can be accessed by taking the Innovation Road exit off Hwy. 61 S. The address for GPS is 10500 Innovation Road, Cottage Grove.
Book sale to be at Warden's House
The Warden's House Holiday Book Sale will take place from noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Warden's House Museum, 602 Main St. N., Stillwater.
Visitors will be able to save more than 50 percent on some locally published titles, which cover a wide variety topics, from early paddleboat history and Lumberjack Days to Minnesotans in the Civil War, the Old Stillwater prison and the infamous Younger brothers. Live holiday music will be provided by Stillwater students.
Featured authors Robert and Nancy Goodman, Bruce Kohn, Brent Peterson, Bill Schrankler and Gloria VanDemmeltraadt will be on hand to chat about their newest works and sign copies of their books.
The Goodmans have written several books on early Minnesota history, including a biography on the "Father of Minnesota," Joseph R. Brown, and an "on the ground" look at a few Minnesota soldiers during the Civil War.
Kohn has recently published a biography, "Dakota Child, Governor's Daughter," exploring the early connections between Indians in Minnesota and the first European settlers of the territory.
Peterson has just released his book, "Images of America: Stillwater," with more than 200 pictures tracing Stillwater's history from lumber boom town to historic river town.
Schrankler's new "Shadows of Time: Minnesota's Surviving Railroad Depots" documents Minnesota's surviving railroad depots, and VanDemmeltraadt has written "Memories of Lake Elmo."
ArtReach opens shop for holidays
ArtReach Downtown, 229 Main St. in Stillwater, has opened its holiday gift gallery featuring the works of many St. Croix Valley artists.
The shop includes handmade and artisan gift items. An empty store has been transformed by art glass, pottery, paintings, jewelry, sculpture and more.
It will be open until 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Indoor market opens season
The Oakdale Indoor Market opened for the season on Nov. 30 at the Oakdale Discovery Center.
The market will run every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through April 5. The market will house nearly 30 vendors with an array of goods for sale, including produce, baked goods and jewelry. The Discovery Center is located at 4444 Hadley Av. N.
For more information, visit www.oakdalefun.com, or call 651-747-3872.
Celebration to mark Lucia Day
Gammelgården Museum in Scandia continues the Swedish tradition of Lucia Day on Sunday, Dec. 8, with a brief Swedish prayer service in the historic Gammel Krykan, the oldest surviving Lutheran sanctuary in Minnesota, at 20880 Olinda Trail N.
The service will be followed by a Swedish breakfast buffet and Lucia program in the community center across the street.
The celebration of Lucia in Sweden brings light to the very dark days of December. It marks the beginning of the Swedish Christmas season.
The church service is chilly, so dress warmly. Parking is free.
Services are at 6 and 8 a.m.; breakfast and program are at 7 and 9 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
The Svenskarnas Dag Girls Choir will present a musical program that honors Lucia and her ministry of bringing light into darkness. Gammelgården's large exhibit of Lucia artifacts will be on display throughout the month of December.
For more information, call 651-433-5053.
Jim Anderson, Libor Jany