The Stillwater Public Library Foundation will host its annual “Light a Spark for the Library,” from 7-10:30 p.m. on July 4 at the Johnson Terrace of the library, 224 Third St. N.
In addition to offering a prime view and comfortable venue for holiday fireworks, “Light a Spark” will feature entertainment by magician Matt Dunn and DJ Kailen Nelson, cakewalks with desserts from local bakeries and activities for children of all ages. The cash bar will feature wine and beer.
The fundraising event is dedicated to the late Dick Huelsmann, who led the expansion and renovation of the historic Carnegie library.
Cost is $40 for adults and $20 for teens and children. There is no charge for children younger than 5. Visit lightaspark.org to register online, download a paper registration, link to sponsor websites and see photos from last year’s event.
For information, call 651-275-4338, ext. 130 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bison heading to their summer digs
The Belwin Conservancy’s annual bison release takes place at noon on Saturday, June 14, near the junction of Stagecoach Trail and Division Street in Afton. Family activities begin at 11 a.m.
Parking for the event, which is free, is at the Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields, 15601 Hudson Road, West Lakeland Township. Participants can then walk a short distance to the Bison Observation Area or take a tractor ride.
The release to the summer pasture offers an opportunity to learn about bison and the prairie. Participants can sign up for a ride on the Conservancy’s Bison Buggy.
For more information, call 651-436-5189.
Classes on fly fishing for women, novices
Two opportunities to learn about fly fishing will be offered on Saturday, June 14, at Afton State Park, 6959 Peller Av. S.
From 9:30 a.m. to noon, a program for women is designed to help hone practice skills or offer tips and tricks on how to cast more accurately. Fishing is under the guidance of a naturalist and members of Fly Fishing Women of Minnesota and the International Federation of Fly Fishers. A fishing license is not required in a State Park.
From 1-3 p.m., a program for beginners will be offered.
Register by calling Afton State Park Visitor Center at 651-998-1303.
Marine on St. Croix
Art of paddling is workshop topic
“I Can Paddle,” a workshop designed to help participants and their families develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of paddling, will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 15, at William O’Brien State Park, 16821 O’Brien Trail N., Marine on St. Croix.
Participants will get hands-on experience paddling some of the most scenic lakes and rivers in Minnesota, all under expert guidance.
For more information, or to register, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/can_paddle.html or call 651-433-0500.
Country rock group opens concert series
Country rock band the Maiden Dixie Band will open Oakdale’s summer concert series with a show from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, at the Walton Park Band Shell, 1584 Hadley Av.
The summer series will feature free performances by a host of artists, as well as productions by Open Sky Theater.
The other music performances, all at 7 p.m., are: Lady Luck, June 25; Rockin’ Hollywoods, July 4; Brio Brass Band, July 9; Alpha Bits, July 16; Remembering the King, July 23; So Big, July 30; Jacob Martin, Aug. 6; Six to Midnight, Aug. 13; Jonah and the Whales, Aug. 27.
Open Eye Theater performances will be: “Molly and the Magic Boot,” 10-11:30 a.m., June 28; and “The Amazing Cow Boat,” 10-11:30 a.m., July 19.
Library program goal targets young readers
Registration has begun for the “1,000 Books before Kindergarten Challenge” at Lake Elmo Public Library.
Stillwater Elks Lodge 179 is teaming up with the library, 3537 Lake Elmo Ave. N., to offer the program to area families. The challenge encourages all families and caregivers to read at least 1,000 books with their children before they enter kindergarten.
For more information, visit the library’s website at www.lakeelmopubliclibrary.org or call 651-773-4926.
White Bear Lake
Shakespeare & Co. begins summer slate
The Shakespeare & Co. theater troupe in White Bear Lake opens its season June 28 with three productions that will run at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. through the summer at the Outdoor Theatre Complex, Century College, West Campus, 3300 Century Ave. N.
“Julius Caesar,” William Shakespeare’s drama of ancient Rome, will run June 28, June 29, July 5, July 18, July 26 and Aug. 3 “As You Like It,” one of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic comedies, runs July 4, July 6, July 12, July 20, July 25 and Aug. 2. And Molière’s “The Bourgeois Gentleman,” will run July 11, July 13, July 19, July 27 and Aug. 1.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Tickets are sold at the box office on the day of the performance, beginning approximately 45 minutes before show time (cash and checks accepted only).
Performance seating is on the lawn, so patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or low-backed lawn chairs. To learn more, go to shakespeareandcompany.org.
white bear twp.
Nature center offering programs
A series of free, family-friendly programs on nature and gardening topics will be offered at Tamarack Nature Center at 5287 Otter Lake Road, White Bear Township. The Drop-In Discoveries nature series will run Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and cover a variety of nature topics. The Meet the Gardener programs will be offered from 10:15-11 a.m. Mondays.
Drop-In Discoveries will feature up-close visits with live animals, including Tamarack’s resident owls, snakes and salamanders. Participants will also get hands-on experience with touchable artifacts, such as skulls and skins, and sample edible treats from the Discovery Hollow garden.
Visitors are free to come and go from the programs, and no preregistration is required.
The Drop-In Discoveries series includes: Meet the Bees & Beekeepers, June 14; Owls Up Close, June 21; and Dragons & Damsels (Dragonflies & Damselflies) on June 28.
Jim Anderson, Libor Jany