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Weekend planner: Strawberry Fest this weekend


STRAWBERRY FEST -- Strawberry fest events are scheduled from Thursday through Sunday June 18 to 21, beginning with the royalty pageant at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 18, at Cottage Grove Junior High School.

FARMERS' MARKET -- The farmers market at Cottage Grove United Church of Christ opens from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. today for the season. A kids corner is available from 4 to 6 p.m. and other activities include door prize drawings, raffles and home made baked goods. Area farmers and vendors will be selling pickles, honey, vegetables, breads, sweet corn, brats, hot dogs, pop and water. For details, visit the Web site at The church is located at the intersection of 70th Street and Lamar Ave., in Old Cottage Grove.


TOP CHEFS WILL WIN CASH -- The Strawberry Fest Top Chef contest will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 19, at Kingston Park, in Cottage Grove. If you go, entries -- youth and adult -- must include strawberries and they're due at the park at 5 p.m. Winners will receive cash prizes of $25 and $50.


STRAWBERRY FEST PANCAKES -- The Men's Fellowship at Zion Lutheran Church, in Cottage Grove, will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Strawberry Fest, Kingston Park. Serving times are 7 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, and 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 21. Pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice and milk will sell for $5 for adults with a festival button and $6 for those without a button. Children, ages 4 to 11, eat for $3. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Friends in Need Food Shelf, in St. Paul Park.

RAPTORS AT CAMPFIRE PROGRAM -- A naturalist from Carpenter Nature Center will present a free program on "Predators," at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, in Denmark township. Visitors will learn about the special adaptations that a bird of prey has to make it a successful predator. Meet other live native Minnesota predators to find out how they locate and catch their prey. The program is open to all ages and abilities.

St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park runs along the St. Croix River on County Road 21, between County Roads 76 and 78 in Denmark Township. Parking is $5 per vehicle. For details, call (651) 430-8240 or go to

FREE ARCHERY LESSON -- Instructors from the John Glenn Cadet Archery program will teach the basics of archery from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, in Lake Elmo. Participants will learn to shoot a bow and arrow, archery terminology, and practice proper shooting form. All equipment is provided. The program is open to all ages. For details and to register, call the Reserve at (651) 430-4325.


BUSINESS NETWORKING AFTER HOURS -- The Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce invites local business men and women to an after-hours networking event, 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, at Buell's Landscape Center, 7077 Manning Ave., in Denmark Township. There will be wine tasting provided by Top Ten Wine & Spirits and hors d'oeuvres from Bonngard's Family Meats.