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Weekend Planner: County fair, brat fest this weekend

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 29

COUNTY FAIR -- The 138th annual Washington County Fair begins at fairgrounds in Lake Elmo. For all the details, see the special section in the Bulletin or go to www.washingtoncountyfair.org.

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FRIDAY, JULY 31

BRAT FEST FOR TROOPS -- A Touch of Home, a local organization that sends care packages to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, is hosting a fundraiser at Von Hanson's Meats, 9040 Inwood Ave., in Cottage Grove Friday through Sunday, July 31 to Aug. 2. The event is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Food for sale will include hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bratwurst, barbecue pork sandwiches, beef brisket, chips, pop and water.

OUTSTANDING SENIOR CITIZENS -- The Washington County Fair will recognize two outstanding senior citizens on Friday, July 31, on "County Fair Senior Day." They are Joyce and Arthur Welander, of Stillwater.

SATURDAY, AUG. 1

VERMILLION FALLS WALKING TOUR -- The Dakota County Historical Society offers a walking tour of the Vermillion Falls Park, in Hastings, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. Participants will learn how the Vermillion River and the milling industry shaped Hastings. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and military personnel. Students, 18 and younger, pay $3. Reservations are required. For details, call (651) 437-7055.

AROUND THE CAMPFIRE -- The Dodge Nature Center will present a campfire program about coyotes at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, in Denmark Township. Hear about the myths and legends that have influenced people's perception about this urban predator. Learn why coyotes are a vital part of the ecosystem. St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park is located on the St. Croix River on County Road 21, between County Roads 76 and 78. The program is free with a $5 vehicle fee. For details, call (651) 430-8240

SUNDAY, AUG. 2

'DWEEBS' AT ST. THOMAS -- As part of its 125th anniversary celebration, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 920 Holley Ave., in St. Paul Park, will present The Dweebs in concert from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, at the church. All are welcome to attend. Tickets are $10 per person, with kids, 5 and younger, free. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.st-thomas-aquinas.com/125 years, or at the parish office, (651) 459-2131. Food and drinks will be available to purchase. Everyone is encouraged to bring friends and lawn chairs or blankets.

TUESDAY, AUG. 4

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT -- St. Paul Park's eighth annual National Night Out celebration will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, at Heritage Park, Laurel and 13th avenues. All are welcome to attend for free hotdog snacks, chips and pop, and displays and demonstrations by the city's police, fire and public works departments and the Washington County Mounted Patrol.

NIGHT TO UNITE -- Neighborhoods in Cottage Grove will celebrate a Night to Unite on Tuesday, Aug. 4. It will be an opportunity to meet neighbors and show a united effort against crime in the community.

NEWPORT'S NIGHT -- Newport's Night to Unite is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Newport Lutheran Church, 900 15th Street. Activities will include displays and demonstrations by the city's police and fire departments, food, kids games and entertainment by the Red Rock Swing Band. If you go, take a nonperishable food item for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. by the city's police, fire and public works departments and the Washington County Mounted Patrol.

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