Scott County

Holidays near at historical society

The Scott County Historical Society is greeting the arrival of the holidays with two events on December 5 and 6.

There's an open house on Friday the 5th, from 6-8 p.m., with holiday crafts, activities for kids, hot chocolate and treats.

At the same time, Shakopee kicks off the holidays with tree lighting, Santa and a velodazzle parade (holiday-lighted bicycles).

Then, on Dec. 6, the society invites families to create warm holiday memories at its Gingerbread House Workshop.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m., learn about the tradition of gingerbread houses and make one of your own to take home.

The $10 per family fee covers workshop supplies. There's limited Space, so reservations are required.

Register through Shakopee Community Education at

To learn more, call 952-445-0378 or e-mail

The society is at 235 Fuller Street South, Shakopee, three blocks south of the intersection of Co. Road 101 and Fuller Street.

Holiday customs at The Landing

– Minnesota River Heritage Park, Shakopee.

Those attending will find out how past traditions manifest themselves still today in decorations, celebrations and foods.

Each weekend in December until Christmas, there are horse-drawn trolley rides amid candlelit homes.

Costumed interpreters offer tours of homes with culturally distinct decorations, crafts, and folk art. Food is available for purchase on weekends.

Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors.

The area is open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Last entry is one hour before close.

Entertainment includes:

• Dec. 6, Sacred Harp

• Dec. 13, Larry Greenstein

• Dec. 14, St. Paul Czech Dancers and Lara Swanson

• Dec. 20, Village Christmas Pageant, Santa Claus, Curtis and Lorretta and Live Reindeer Display from noon to 4 p.m.

• Dec. 21, German Immersion School Folk Dancers.

Three Rivers gets environment award

The Three Rivers Park District, which is responsible for Scott County parks, won the 2014 Barb King Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Recreation and Park Association.

The award goes annually to one parks agency in the nation that has achieved excellence in environmental stewardship.

The agency was lauded for, among other things, adopting guidelines for purchasing environmentally-preferable products; environmentally-sustainable buildings; environmentally-sensitive maintenance practices; and environmental education campaigns.

Winter bike race is at park reserve

Winter mountain bike racing is taking place through the season at the Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve in Scott County.

Bikers will race through the trees and snow, and warm up at the trailhead for awards and door prizes.

– 2 p.m.

The feet is $12 if you preregister and $15 the day of the event.

Race are scheduled December 13, January 24 and February 28.

Call 763-559-6700 to preregister. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and races start at 11 a.m.

The series is co-sponsored by Freewheel Bike and Maple Grove Cycling and is for ages 14 and up.

Night snowshoes coming up

A snowshoeing journey under the light of the full moon is on tap early in December at Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake.

The outing is December 5 from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Equipment is provided but there's a fee is $5 and reservations are required.

Call 763-559-6700 to reserve, mentioning activity number 124506-01.

The program is for ages 6 and up; children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Libraries offer online data

Scott County's libraries are offering a new digital tool for businesses.

It's called DemographicsNow: Business & People. It provides detailed demographic data on more than 20 million active businesses and 206 million consumers.

Data includes income, housing, race, age, education, retail spending, and more.

A business tab can search by company name, business type, number of employees, and other factors. A households tab has data on 135 million households.

Stacy Crakes, of First Stop Shop, a business development group in the county, said that Scott County is the only one in the state offering access to the program through a library system.

The tool is accessible via the library's website ( under the "research" tab.

Anyone with a Scott County library card can access it from a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Staff reports