Music and wine lovers are invited to enjoy a bit of both during the Wisconsin Literacy Music Sampler Event on Sunday, July 12, at the Cottage Winery & Vineyard in Menomonie, Wis.

The event, from 1-5 p.m., celebrates 30 years of Wisconsin Literacy service.

Music is by Yata, Sinz and Orfield; the Barnyard Banshees; Phil Cook, and the Sliced Bread Jug Band. Wine tasting is available along with free snacks.

Wisconsin Literacy Inc. is a nonprofit coalition of 74 community-based literacy programs throughout the state.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children under age 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased online at

The Cottage Winery is at N7391 County Road F, Menomonie. All ages are welcome, and the event will be held rain or shine.

For more information, contact Margarete Cook at 715-933-0101 or

St. Croix Valley

Music festival will last all afternoon

The Franconia Sculpture Park is hosting a music festival Saturday, July 11, in its earthen amphitheater.

The event will feature traditional American and world music, including a tribute to the Carter Family by the Roe Family Singers.

Music lasts from 1-7 p.m. and includes dance calling by Duck for the Oyster and newcomers August Blues.

Bring a blanket; there will be food and beverage vendors and guided tours of the sculpture exhibition. Concerts are free but parking is $5 per vehicle.

Music@Franconia is made possible in part by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

‘Blithe Spirit’ draws laughs in Hudson

The Noel Coward comedy “Blithe Spirit” will be featured throughout much of July in Hudson, Wis.

Performances are July 10-26 at the Phipps Center for the Arts. The play will be presented Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

In the play, Charles Condomine invites the medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. Madame summons the ghost of Charles’s dead wife, Elvira, who makes a play to reclaim her husband, to the chagrin of Charles’s new wife.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for students of all ages, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees.

For reservations, contact the Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or visit

Champagne brunch cruise and theater packages are available for the Sunday matinees. Reservations: Afton-Hudson Cruise Lines, 651-436-8883 or

Garden tour supports valley nonprofit

A St. Croix Valley Garden Tour will include eight gardens of differing sizes and styles in the Stillwater and Lake Elmo area.

Visitors can start self-guided tours in one day or spread stops out across the weekend.

Proceeds benefit FamilyMeans, a nonprofit in Stillwater that seeks to strengthen families through financial counseling, youth programs, therapy and counseling, caregiver support, and more.

Tickets, which include a map and garden descriptions, may be picked up at FamilyMeans, 1875 Northwestern Av., Stillwater, on Saturday and Sunday (July 11 and 12) between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Guests take in the sights between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Gardens will be staffed by volunteers and Master Gardeners who will answer questions throughout the tour.

Tickets are $15 if purchased by 5 p.m. Friday, July 10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Tickets are $20 if purchased on the days of the tour.


Concert series brings in Smithson Band

Oakdale’s summer concert series will feature the Everett Smithson Band at the Walton Park band shell this week. The free concert is Wednesday, July 8, from 7-8:30 p.m.

The band describes itself as performing “American roots music.” A reviewer once elaborated by calling their music “a trip from the hills of Arkansas to the back streets of Chicago … [through a] unique blend of zydeco (swamp rock), blues and swing.”

The park is located at 15th Street and Hadley Avenue, Oakdale.

David Peterson