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.

The studio, owned and operated by Rochelle Jacobs, is designed to provide a new and innovative way to stay in shape, improve self-esteem and have fun while working out.

According to Jacobs, "Pole Fitness is an effective form of exercise. It allows people of all shapes, sizes, and athletic capability the chance to try something new and improve their health and confidence. It combines gymnastics moves, dance styles and strength holds for a full body workout. This sport allows people to start at any level and transform your body and your mind in the process."

Jacobs also volunteers with the Friends of the Stillwater area dog park group and participates with three animal rescue groups in the Twin Cities.

The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday classes and events. For more information, call 651-439-0090.

Lake Elmo

Program on Hitler to be repeated

Because of demand, historian David Steele will present his lecture, "Who Was Hitler?" for a second time at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, at the Lake Elmo Public Library, 3537 Lake Elmo Ave. N., Lake Elmo.

Because of limited seating, preregistration is required. Call the library at 651-773-4926 to sign up.

Marine on St. Croix

Bluebird workshop offered at park

A bluebird workshop will be offered from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 15 at William O'Brien State Park, 16821 O'Brien Trail N., Marine on St. Croix.

Special presenter Julie Osterbauer will discuss the fascinating world of the Eastern bluebird. Find out how to attract bluebirds to your back yard and how to establish a bluebird trail. Construction plans to build a bluebird nest box will be available after the program.

Call the park at 651-433-0500 to reserve one of the nest box kits that the Friends of William O'Brien State Park will be selling for $17.50 each. Members will be on hand to help assemble, but participants are asked to bring their own hammer.

Jim Anderson