State parks officials invite you to enjoy candlelit trails this winter, on New Year’s Eve and again during events in the months of January and February.

The first occasion in the metro area will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at Fort Snelling State Park.

But in all, more than 30 candlelight events are set statewide at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter.

With some for walkers alone, others for snowshoers and cross-country skiers, candlelight events are at some park or trail every weekend in January and February — notably on Valentine’s Day.

A complete schedule of dates, times and other details is at

They’re usually on short, easy trails for all ages and abilities. Trails are lined with candles, lanterns or luminarias, and there are refreshments by a warming fire.

Some parks rent equipment, typically $6 a person per day for snowshoes or $10 a person per day for cross-country skis, boots and poles. Call to confirm availability and reserve equipment.

A vehicle permit is required to enter state parks: $5 for a one-day permit or $25 year-round.

Skiers age 16 and older need the Great Minnesota Ski Pass ( to participate in the candlelit ski events.

A ski pass is $6 for one day, $20 for a single-season pass, $55 for a three-season pass.

The state offers a new Minnesota State Parks and Trails Winter Programs and Special Events brochure and a Winter Activities Guide page at

For information, e-mail or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.


City suggests Cascade Bay passes as gifts

Eagan is making 2015 season passes to its Cascade Bay aquatics park available just in time for gift giving.

The city also issues gift cards, allowing buyers to choose any dollar amount for purchases on-site. They never expire and more money can be added anytime. They are not valid toward season pass purchases, birthday party reservations or class registrations.

Items can be purchased for Eagan Parks & Recreation, 3830 Pilot Knob Road, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 651-675-5500 with questions.

Pass prices for next season (first figure is residents, second nonresidents):

• First family member, all ages: $65/$75

• Additional family members: $55/$65

• Additional family members below 42 inches in height: $41/$51

• Seniors 62 and up: $41/$51

• Under 18 months of age (as of Sept. 7, 2015): Free

Season pass forms are online on the city’s website.

Included in a season pass are: unlimited admission to Cascade Bay; unlimited miniature golf; priority entrance when Cascade Bay is full; five-minute early entrance every Wednesday; reduced rate for some classes.

A 10-visit guest punch card is sold for $50 to season pass holders, who must accompany the guest when using it.

If you buy a season pass before April 1, you get two daily admissions per family!


2015 streets project will cover 8 miles

Lakeville’s 2015 street reconstruction project is a two-year phased plan that includes almost 8 miles of roadway, officials say.

The projects are located in each of the following developments:

Cedar Glen, Chapel Hills, Creek View Estates, Foxborough, Highview Hills, McNearny and Larson Addition, Southfork Center, Southfork Village and Tarry Creek. There’s also a part of Hamburg Avenue between 202nd Street (County Road 50) and Hartford Way.

“Due to the water main break history within portions of the Foxborough development, water main replacement is also proposed within that development,” an official announcement says.

Lakeville Liquors wins food drive award

During the month of October, residents gave nearly $9,000 in cash donations as well as 2,000 pounds of food, all of which was donated to the local food shelves — 360 Communities and Open Door.

The food drive was organized by Lakeville Liquors and those donations earned it the top spot for food donations among large municipal liquor operations across Minnesota.

The holiday food drive is an annual event held by Miller/Coors Brewery. As the winner, Lakeville Liquors will receive a check for $1,000, to be split between the two food shelves.

Donations are always accepted at 360 Communities, 952-431-5959 ext. 11, and Open Door, 651-605-2886.

Lakeville’s winter sports kick off

Skating, warming houses: Lakeville’s skating rinks were to open for the season on Saturday, if the weather allowed.

Warming houses are located at:

• Cherryview Park, 7925 175th St. W.

• Dakota Heights Park, 9550 175th St. W.

• Greenridge Park, 17685 Flagstaff Av.

• Highview Heights, 16314 Havelock Way

• McGuire Middle School, 8600 210th St. W.

• Meadows Park, 20707 Jacquard Av.

• Parkview Park, 6833 Gerdine Path

• Prairie Lake Park, 18179 Kingsway Path

Cross-country ski and snowmobile trails: Lakeville Sno Trackers maintains the cross-country ski trails in Ritter Farm Park and snowmobile trails throughout the city.

That group’s website ( is the place to go for current trail conditions.

Snowshoe rental: Lakeville rents snowshoes in three sizes: Up to 150 lbs., up to 200 lbs., up to 275 lbs.

Rental cost is $3 a pair per day, with a three-day minimum on weekends. A $75 deposit is required per pair.

Pick up and return is at City Hall, 20195 Holyoke Av., weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Staff reports