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Weekend planner: Candlelight skiing, hiking Friday


MODEL RAIL OPEN HOUSE -- Members of the Newport Model Railroad Club invite the community to visit during one of their holiday open houses. The club is located in the Old Newport Town Hall, Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street.

Dates and times are: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26; 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27; and 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29. The club's model is based on the Chicago, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, or the "Harvest Belt Route." For details, go to the Web site at

CANDLELIGHT SKIING, HIKING -- Snow enthusiasts are invited for candlelight skiing or hiking at Lake Elmo Park Reserve from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26. Inside and out at the Trailhead Ski Shelter, there will be fires and hot beverages. The trails include a one-mile hiking trail and 2.5-miles of groomed cross country ski trails.

The Lake Elmo Park Reserve is located at the intersection of County Road 19 and County Road 10, one mile north of Interstate 94, in Lake Elmo. The program is free with a valid vehicle permit. A Minnesota ski pass is required for skiers and a one-day pass can be purchased for $5 at the park on Friday, Dec, 26. For details, call (651) 430-8368 or visit

FRIDAY FISH FRY -- Cottage Grove VFW Post 8752 is serving Icelandic Cod or meatballs, beginning at 5 p.m. Fridays at the Red Barn, 9260 East Point Douglas, Cottage Grove. The cost is $9 and includes au gratin potatoes, baked potatoes, green beans, baked beans, coleslaw, condiments, coffee and pudding for dessert. For details, call (651) 459-9940.


HOLIDAY LIGHTS -- Area residents with especially nice holiday light displays include:

n Myron and Cindy Bailey, 7788 Jasmine Ave., Cottage Grove, have thousands of lights with a carnival theme, two Nativity scenes, Santa and reindeer, carolers, and many more figures. Lights are on from 5 to 11 p.m.

- Justin Durrant, 8228 Ideal Ave., Cottage Grove, has thousands of lights and miscellaneous holiday pieces which he arranges every year with help from his daughter.

- John and Lori MacLennan, 1355 Fourth Street, St. Paul Park, won first place in the St. Paul Park Holiday Lights contest. Their tree-covered corner lot has lighted animals, trees, a path, music and a lighted tree built of pipe and wire.

- The Mark Tufenk family, 1436 Lincoln Avenue, St. Paul Park, won second place in the city and bank-sponsored Holiday Lights contest. They have a sleigh and Santa on the roof plus a front yard filled with lights and figures.


ANIMAL TRACKING -- Join a naturalist from Warner Nature Center at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29 at Lake Elmo Park Reserve to learn all about animal tracking. The program is free; parking is $5 per vehicle. Much of the class will be outdoors, exploring hoof and paw prints, feathers and fur to see what animals are active during a Minnesota winter. For details, call (651) 430-8370 or visit Lake Elmo Park Reserve is located at the intersection of County Roads 19 and 10, one mile north of Interstate 94 in Lake Elmo. The program will be held in the Trailhead Ski Shelter and outdoors.