A Sweetheart Cross-Country Night Ski & Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike will mark the Valentine's Day weekend from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, 1515 Keats Ave. N., Lake Elmo.

Participants can ski on 5½ miles of lit trails from the Nordic Center Trailhead, and hike or snowshoe near one another along a 2 ½-mile candlelight Big Bluestem Trail (Eagle Point trailhead across from the Nordic center). They also can warm up at the Nordic Center with a bonfire and complimentary cider and sugar cookies. The event is free, but a parks permit and ski pass are required.

Lake Elmo

World War II vet to share experiences

"Memories of WWII: 50 Missions in a B-17," a presentation by Bob Clemens, an Army Air Force veteran from White Bear Lake, will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the public meeting room of the Lake Elmo Public Library, 3537 Lake Elmo Ave. N.

Clemens enlisted after his high school graduation in 1942 and was trained as an aviation navigator. He was later stationed in Italy as a member of a bomber crew.

He is also one of the subjects of an award-winning North Metro TV documentary, "Aviation Storytellers: the Tail Gunner and the Navigator." Now, he is sharing his memories of that harrowing time.

Also during February, the library is offering a "Blind Date with a Book" program. Do you want to get back into circulation? Select a brown paper-wrapped book from the special display. How many hearts will you give the book? Check it out, read it, and fill in the brief book rating slip to enter the drawing for a sweet prize donated by Candyland in Stillwater. The drawing will be held at noon on March 1.


Concert to blend music, love letters

"The Language of Love," a concert for the romantic and for those who love words, will be presented by the Valley Chamber Chorale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 Fourth St N., Stillwater.

This concert will be based on love letters written by famous and not-so-famous writers. The storyteller will be Vince Walker. Walker has worked at the Goodman in Chicago and the Guthrie in Minneapolis.

In what has now become a three-year tradition, the VCC will again be joined by an emerging artist from the St. Croix Valley, Clark Weyrauch. He is a graduate of Stillwater High School and Concordia College, Moorhead, as well as winner of the North Dakota Metropolitan Opera regional auditions in 2012.

Tickets are $27 for adults and $22 for seniors and students. They can be ordered at www.valleychamberchorale.org or by calling 651-430-0124.

Carriage rides part of romantic weekend

Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available in Stillwater as part of its "Paint the Town Red" Valentine's weekend celebration from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15. Tickets are available at participating downtown businesses. Riders can board on Nelson Street by The Dock Café.

More than 30 Main Street Stillwater merchants, restaurants and lodging businesses will be part of the event, offering special deals on merchandise and services.


Music, readings mark Valentine's Day

"An Enchanting Evening of Music and Readings — Celebrating Love and Romance," the annual Valentine's Day concert presented at Squire House Gardens, will be held at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the gardens, 3390 St. Croix Trail So., Afton.

Now in it's 17th year, guests will relax in a Victorian parlor room, located upstairs from Squire House Gardens, and be treated to live jazz and classic American songs, poetic readings, romantic musings, complimentary wine and light refreshments.

Forest Lake

Music, stories come to city's library

Jack Pearson will share his music and stories at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 at Hardwood Creek Branch Library, 19955 Forest Road N., Forest Lake. The songs and stories are part of the "I Love to Read Month" celebration. Call 651-275-7300 with questions.


Local artist Hilyar featured at center

The oil paintings of Oakdale resident Joseph Hilyar, are being featured this month at the Oakdale Discovery Center, 4444 Hadley Ave.

The work of a featured local artist or artisan is displayed at the center each month. The center's hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; noon to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. The artist will host an open house from 1:30-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9.

For more information, call 651-747-3860 or go to www.oakdalefun.com.

Jim Anderson