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Weekend planner: Concert of Joy this weekend

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THURSDAY, FEB. 5

BOOK FAIR -- Everyone is invited to browse through the Scholastic Book Fair from 2:45 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 and Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Pine Hill Elementary School, Cottage Grove.

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FRIDAY, FEB. 6

MUSIC BENEFIT -- The music ministries at St. Rita's Church, in Cottage Grove, will present their Concert of Joy 2009 to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf, in St. Paul Park, at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, at the church, 8694 80th St. Admission is a freewill offering for the food shelf.

NIGHT ANIMALS, SNOWSHOE HIKE, FALCONRY -- Early February programs at Carpenter Nature Center, Denmark Township, include preschool story time, a moonlight snowshoe hike, and a session on falconry. There is a small fee for most programs and preregistration is suggested. For details, call the center at (651) 437-4359.

- Preschool story time: "Night Animals" is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6. The program is designed to introduce young children, ages 2 through 5, to nature in a safe environment.

- A moonlight snowshoe hike, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7 will conclude with popcorn and hot apple cider by the fire. Snowshoes are provided or guests can bring their own. Reservations are required.

SATURDAY, FEB. 7

CANDLELIGHT HIKE, SKI -- Everyone is invited to a snowshoe hike by the moonlight from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at Afton State Park, Denmark Township. Luminarias will mark the two-mile trail, with a warm fire and refreshments at the end. Depending on the cloud cover, a section of the easy cross-country ski loop may also be an option for skiers, according to the press release. For details and to reserve snowshoes, call the park at (651) 436-5391.

SUNDAY, FEB. 8

CHILI FEED -- The 23rd annual Men's Fellowship chili feed will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Zion Lutheran Church, in Cottage Grove. Everyone is invited for three different all-you-can-eat chilis, toppings, crackers, hot dogs, chips, Italian bread, brownies, lemonade and coffee. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children, age 4 to 11. Children, 3 and younger, eat free. Proceeds will help support Boy Scout Troop 286.

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