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Believe it or not, there are alternatives to spending evenings on the couch or in front of a screen. Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission in St. Paul Park are working hard to prove it. The commission has organized a full week of activities at each of the city's parks starting at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Aug. 9 to 13. Everyone is invited to participate. "We're calling it 'Get Unplugged,' said commission chair Jennifer Cheesman.
A group of volunteers is working hard on a 48-foot van trailer that organizers plan to use as a mobile stage for the city's 2010 Heritage Days Festival. Workers have reinforced the flooring with a steel truss underneath and welded steel posts on each side of the 28-by-8 foot opening, according to Paul Larson, owner of Paul's Welding in St. Paul Park, where the trailer is being remodeled. The posts were first screwed to plates on the floor, he said. "We're planning to put the cutout portion back on the trailer with a piano hinge so it can be opened and closed more easily," Larson said.
Fair time is upon us beginning with the 139th version of the Washington County Fair, through Sunday, Aug. 8 at the fairgrounds in Lake Elmo. For details, go to www.washingtoncountyfair.org . On Saturday, it's all-you-can-eat corn on the cob at Newport's Pioneer Day, at Pioneer Park, Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street. This year's event features trains. Five area women are hosting a benefit car wash from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.
The weekend will begin on Thursday with an ice cream social and move on to campfire programs, bird banding and a benefit motorcycle run. St. Luke Lutheran Church is holding a family picnic and the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes business people to free coffee on Tuesday morning. The congregation at Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park is planning an evening full of activities for its 25th annual ice cream social, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The St. Paul Park Park and Recreation Commission invites families to a free movie beginning at dusk on Friday, July 16, at Dingle Park, at the corner of Pullman and Portland avenues, in St. Paul Park. If you go, take a blanket or lawn chair. To see the name of the movie being shown, follow this link. A benefit beer bust for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk will be held from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites families to Take a Day OFF (Outdoor Family Fun) at William O'Brien State Park, along the St. Croix River about 12 miles north of Stillwater on State Highway 95, near Marine on St. Croix. From 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 10, the DNR will provide a variety of opportunities for people who'd like to try outdoor recreational activities, but could use some hands-on help getting started, according to a press release. Members of the Park High School Varsity Cheerleading squad will wash your vehicle from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors to the 2010 South Washington County Garden Tour -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 27 -- will see 10 special gardens in Cottage Grove. At many of the gardens, artists will display their work, musicians will perform and refreshments will be served. At each site, visitors will have an opportunity to quiz gardeners on design, planting and maintenance techniques. Gardeners with bad backs will want to talk with Jan Purcell about developing a new garden without using a shovel. She calls it the lasagna method. Purcell, who lives at 9499 79th St.
More than 100 people met for worship and lunch at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park on June 8. Most of them were or had been married for 50 years or more. Ed and Mary Fleege of St. Paul Park have been married almost 52 years. "The second 50 are more peaceful," Ed Fleege said. "You appreciate your spouse more." Mary Fleege said, "You stick to it because you made a commitment. You stay through the hard times and finally learn you must take people for who they are." On Sunday, June 13, Jim and Glenna Lence of St. Paul Park were married 61 years.
Two events top the list of things to do this weekend in south Washington County: a major fundraiser and a fun day at the park. The 2010 American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of South Washington County opens to visitors, walkers and family members at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the East Ridge High School track, near the intersection of Radio Drive and Hargis Parkway in Woodbury.
The St. Paul Park City Council passed a resolution May 17 approving a permit for the St. Paul Park-Newport Lions Club to conduct lawful gambling at Vinny's on the River -- the restaurant at Hidden Harbor marina, at 388 Ninth Ave., in St. Paul Park. "We're waiting to receive the license from the state," said Robert Boeck, the club's charitable gambling manager, who hoped to start on June 1. Boeck said the club would begin with pull-tabs but "there is an opening to do other things such as raffles and paddle wheels."