Snow Flake Days turns 50 with plenty of activities

Coon Rapids is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Snow Flake Days with a three-week flurry of events starting this week. Activities include a medallion hunt, snow sculpture contest, sock hop, snow softball tournament and youth ice fishing tournament.

The Jaycees started the Coon Rapids Snowflake Days in 1964. Most cities had summer celebrations, so community leaders decided to create a winter event. It grew and in 1968 the nonprofit Snowflake Association was created to plan and manage the event.

Events kick off this week with the Mayor’s Cup Simulated Gold Tourney at Bunker Hills Golf Course on Thursday, the Coon Rapids History Trivia Contest starting Friday and kids medallion hunt at Al Flynn Park Saturday. Events run through Feb. 16.

For a complete list, go to,


Home & Garden Show is set for Saturday

The 16th annual North Metro Home and Garden Show will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the National Sports Center, 1740 105th Av. NE, Blaine. Admission is free.

Several dozen vendors will answer questions and provide ideas for home and lawn improvement projects, and door prizes will be awarded. The cities of Blaine, Fridley and Mounds View will host the event.

For more information, go to www.northmetrohomeandgar

Saturday is also wellness day …

Anoka-Hennepin Community Education invites residents and families to attend Community Wellness Day on Saturday at Roosevelt Middle School, 650 125th Av. NE, Blaine.

The event offers a variety of free classes and sessions on healthy lifestyle habits as well as swimming in the school pool. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Attendees can get flu and pneumonia vaccinations and blood pressure or cholesterol screenings.

For a complete list of activities and exhibitors, visit

… and book swap day

Also on Saturday at Roose­velt Middle School, children, teens and adults are invited to give a book/take a book. The book exchange begins at 11:30 a.m. Gently used books and DVDs can be dropped off from 9:30-11 a.m.

Children’s, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction books are welcome, but no textbooks, magazines, or travel guides.


Winter Festival is coming on Saturday

Fridley will host its 2014 Winter Festival on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Commons Park, 555 61st Av. NE. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Activities include hayrides, a bonfire, a medallion hunt with a $100 cash prize, and sled dog demonstrations, weather permitting. Indoor activities at the community center, 6085 7th St. NE., include a children’s dance, carnival games, refreshments and bingo.

All activities are free. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. For further information contact Fridley Parks and Recreation at 763-572-3570.

new hope

Developers to present City Center concepts

Two development groups will present preliminary concepts for a portion of New Hope’s City Center when the City Council meets Wednesday, Jan. 22. The area involved is the 15-acre site at 4200-4300 Xylon Av. N. that formerly housed a Kmart and a Wells Fargo drive-through. The city bought it in 2012 and demolished the structures.

Making presentations at the council meeting will be Anderson Cos./Beard Group and Amcon. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at New Hope City Hall, 4401 Xylon Av. N. The meeting also will be broadcast live on Comcast Ch. 16 in New Hope.

north metro

White-Out Dance set for Friday

The annual Winter White-Out Dance for fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Crystal Community Center. The event will include music and prizes, and kids are encouraged to “wear as much white as they can to help create a cool atmosphere.”

The Community Center is located at 4800 Douglas Dr., Crystal. Admission is $5 for those who register by Jan. 23, or $8 at the door. The event is co-hosted by the cities of Crystal, New Hope, Robbinsdale and Golden Valley. To buy tickets, go to their websites or call their parks and recreation departments (Crystal: 763-531-0052; New Hope: 763-531-5151; Robbinsdale: 763-531-1278; Golden Valley: 763-512-2345).

Mayors’ snowmobile ride is coming Feb. 1

The annual Mayors’ Trail Ride — a snowmobile outing led by the mayors of Andover, Anoka, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey and St. Francis — will take place Saturday, Feb. 1.

The event will start at the Anoka County Fairgrounds (3200 St. Francis Blvd., Anoka) with rider registration at 10 a.m. After that, Ramsey Police Chief Jim Way will direct the group for the ride. The excursion will wrap up with a get-together at McDuff’s Eatery and Pub in Ramsey at 3 p.m.

The cost is $10 per person if you preregister and $20 on the day of the event.

For information, go to or call the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce at 763-421-7130.


‘Discovery Dinners’ set for Springbrook

Springbrook Nature Center will hold the first of its “Discovery Dinners” for adult nature lovers on Saturday, Jan. 25. The program will start at 5:30 p.m. and features a presentation on “Raptors in Minnesota” followed by a casual catered meal.

Two other programs are scheduled, also on Saturdays and starting at 5:30 p.m.:

• “An Evening with Teddy Roosevelt, America’s First Conservation President,” Feb. 22;

• “Moths and Butterflies of Minnesota,” on March 29.

Tickets are $25 each; multiple tickets are $22.50 each. Preregistration is required. For further information, call 763-572-3588.

Staff reports