Jon Ronson, whose 2004 book, “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” became a movie starring George Clooney, will appear this week at the Washington County library branch in Woodbury.

The author event will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 13, at the R.H. Stafford branch.

In “Goats,” Ronson investigated experiments conducted by a secret department within the U.S. Army. The British journalist and documentarian is also known for the 2001 book “Them: Adventures With Extremists.” His most recent book is titled “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.”

The library is at 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury.

Washington County

Birding Festival includes talks, demos

The Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, north of Hastings, is offering its third annual Birding Festival next weekend.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

Programs include a beginner birding class, a look at raptors and a “Keeping Your Bird List” class. There will be banding demonstrations, guided bird trips and presentations about “The Value of Trees in Our Landscape” and the “State of the State’s Birds.”

Reservations are required. Reserve your spot by calling 651-437-4359. The fee is $5 per person or $15 including a box lunch.

Guided bird hikes offered in the parks

Bird hikes in Washington County parks will teach participants to identify the birds that call the St. Croix Valley home.

One-hour guided hikes will take place on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Dates and locations:

• April 25, Cottage Grove Ravine

• May 16, Big Marine Park Reserve

• June 6, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park

• July 4, Lake Elmo Park Reserve

• Aug. 8, Pine Point Park

• Sept. 12, Cottage Grove Ravine

• Oct. 10, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park

• Nov. 14, Lake Elmo Park Reserve

• Dec. 12, Big Marine Park Reserve

For park locations, visit Under park locations, find a county map with park contact information. A link to the bird schedule and meet-up locations is at the bottom.

Participants should bring binoculars. The hike is free with a parks vehicle permit ($5 a day or $25 per year).

For further information, call 651-430-8370 or send an e-mail to

White Bear Lake

Theater company offers camps

The Lakeshore Players Theatre is offering two sets of summer camps that conclude with performances.

One pair of camps (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) is for grades 2 through 7. The musical performances will be a version of the Disney film “Aladdin” called “Disney’s Aladdin KIDS.”

For the morning camp, there’s a parents meeting on May 26. The dates for the camp itself are weekdays June 8-26 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Performances are June 26-27.

For the afternoon camp, there’s a parents meeting on May 27. Dates are the same but times are from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays. Performances are June 27-28.

There is also a Teen Theatre Camp for grades 6 through 12, presenting “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Auditions are June 15-16 and the camp is July 6-24, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There’s an option to do stage tech instead: set building, painting, lights, sound and props or costumes.

Performances are July 24-Aug. 2

Contact Education Director Laura Bidgood at 651-426-3275 or e-mail

St. Croix Valley

‘Trial of Goldilocks’ puts you in jury

A play in which the audience serves as a fairy tale jury will begin a two-weekend run late this month in Hudson, Wis.

“Once Upon a Crime: The Trial of Goldilocks” is offered April 24-26 and May 1-3 by the Children’s Theater at the Phipps Center for the Arts, in a production sponsored in part by Mounds Park Academy.

In the comedy, Goldilocks is the defendant, on trial for breaking and entering. The plaintiffs are the three bears.

–9 at 7 p.m.Fridays, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays in the Black Box Theater.

Tickets are $12 for children and $14 for adults. Reservations: call 715-386-8409 or visit

David Peterson