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Weekend Planner: Concerts, nature programs, outdoor theater this weekend

Take your choice this weekend -- indoor and outdoor activities are planned.

Friday night the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School in Woodbury will come to life with the music of live bands from 5 to 8 p.m. followed by a preview screening of "Destination: Outer Space," a film by local director Josh screens. Admission is $5. There will be refreshments.

On Saturday, the Emmanuel Ensemble will guide visitors through the history of African American gospel music beginning at 2 p.m. at the Park Grove Branch Library in Cottage Grove. Musicians are from Mount Olivet Baptist Church in St. Paul.

Families are invited to two campfire programs sponsored by Washington County. At St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Denmark Township, visitors will learn about night creatures. At Lake Elmo Park Reserve, the topic is screech owls.

At Century College in White Bear Lake, Shakespeare & Company opens its outdoor theater at 7 p.m. on the lawn. Everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic supper, blanket or lawn chairs for the performance. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens.

If you're interested in adopting a big dog, Braveheart Rescue in Hastings is hosting an open house beginning at 1 p.m., at 12745 East 190th St., off Highway 61. For details, go to

On Sunday, the South Washington County Garden Tour begins at 9 a.m. at garden number one, 8418 Greenway Ave. in Cottage Grove. Tickets can be purchased on site. Most gardens will offer musical entertainment and artist displays.