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South Washington County Weekend Planner: Holiday activity kick-off

This holiday weekend offers a variety of activities for the whole family.

The 21st annual Stillwater Nutcracker will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26; and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Stillwater Area High School.

All tickets are $15 and may be ordered on-line at or call (651) 439-2820, press 1, and leave a message.

Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet in Cottage Grove are offering customers free coffee, doughnuts and pet food donations from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25. For every person that stops in, the shop will donate one pound of pet food to Second Harvest Heartland or Red Wing Area Food Shelf. If you attend with your pet, Chuck & Don's will donate two pounds of pet food.

Naturalists at Carpenter Nature Center in Denmark Township will band birds from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 25. All are invited to learn about the songbirds that brave Minnesota winters. The center is located at 12805 St. Croix Trail, 10 minutes south of Cottage Grove. For details, call the center at (651) 437-4359 or visit

The Woodbury Community Theatre will present "A Christmas Carol--the Musical," at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School in Woodbury.

Tickets range from $10 to $15 and can be purchased at the door, online at or by calling (651) 730-4627.

A time of praise and thanksgiving will be held during worship services at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 1000 Portland Ave. in St. Paul Park: Thanksgiving Eve--7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Thanksgiving Day--10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24.

Cottage Grove United Church of Christ, 7008 Lamar Ave., across from the Lamar Ball Fields in Old Cottage Grove, will host a traditional Thanksgiving service at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23Pie, coffee and a time for conversation with neighbors and friends will follow in the church's gathering space.

An ecumenical worship service on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, Nov. 23, is scheduled at 7 p.m. at All Saints Lutheran Church, 8100 Belden Blvd. in Cottage Grove. The Rev. Sue Gravelle will speak. A goodwill offering will be taken to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park. If you go, take a pie to share. Coffee will be provided by All Saints Lutheran Church.

St. Peter Lutheran Church in Afton invites everyone to its Thanksgiving Eve traditional service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 and 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. The church will accept donations for the food shelf. St. Peter Lutheran Church is located at 880 Neal Ave., one mile south of Highway 94. For details, call (651) 436-3357.