Northern Gael to ring in St. Patrick's Day

  • Updated: March 8, 2014 - 3:51 PM

Part of the Chocolate March tour in the St. Croix Valley: The Octagon House museum in Hudson., Wis.

Photo: Tom Sweeney • Star Tribune file,

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Northern Gael, a trio of musicians who weave together the vibrant traditions of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, at the Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust St. Hudson, Wis.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will be: Ross Sutter (voice, guitar, bodhran, button accordion), Laura MacKenzie (wooden flutes, whistles, concertina, various bagpipes, voice), and fiddler/sean-nós dancer Danielle Enblom as they bring traditional music and dance steps to life. All three learned the arts of Irish and Scottish music and dance from noted tradition-bearers on both sides of the Atlantic, and continue to build their skills, repertoire and collaborations.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for students and youth. They can be ordered at

St. Croix Valley

Chocolate March to stretch over 3 Sundays

The 2014 Chocolate March of the Bed & Breakfast Inns of the Scenic St. Croix River Valley, a delectable way to discover the diversity of inns in Wisconsin and Minnesota, takes place from 1-5 p.m. over three Sundays: March 16, 23 and 30.

Advance tickets are $26, and can be ordered at All tours are self-guided. Tour-goers choose a location to start. Each person must have a ticket and present it at each location (this event is not suitable for persons under 12 years of age). Historic sites are also a tour stop each Sunday.

Participating inns and museums include:

March 16: Afton House Inn, Afton; Afton Historic Museum, Afton; Caring Hands Spa, Hastings; LeDuc Mansion, Hastings; Thorwood Inn Hastings; and Carpenter Nature Center, Denmark Township.

March 23: Phipps Inn, Hudson, Wis.; The Octagon House, Hudson, Wis.; Water Street Inn, Stillwater; Cover Park Manor, Stillwater; Warden’s House Museum, Stillwater; and Outing Lodge, Stillwater.

March 30: Summit Inn, Center City; The Cottage, Taylors Falls; Folsom House, Taylors Falls; St. Croix River Inn, Osceola, Wis.; Pleasant Lake B & B, Osceola, Wis.

Spring wine tour to include 5 wineries

The Three Rivers Wine Trail’s “Spring Into Wine” event takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on March 22-23.

The Three Rivers Wine Trail is Minnesota’s first wine trail and comprises five of the state’s wineries all within the St. Croix, Mississippi, and Cannon River valleys. Wine lovers can spend a day or a weekend on the trail visiting wineries amid lush valley scenery and sampling award-winning, locally produced wines.

A $20 advance purchase ticket or a $25 day-of ticket entitles guests to sample six wines paired with two to three desserts at each of the five wineries on the wine trail. A $10 designated-driver ticket is available and offers the driver two to three desserts and a soda or water at each winery. Online tickets are available at


New studio blends dance with exercise

The Pole Barn Studio, offering unique classes in pole, ballet, silks, flex and dance fitness, has opened in downtown Stillwater at 122 Water Street S.

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