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Winter Guide ����������������������

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Fun December 2011

A S p e c i a l S u p p l e m e n t To S t . C r o i x Va l l e y P e a c h a n d Fo re s t L a ke T i m e s

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We at Forest Lake Motor Sports are Wishing Everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Feel the Rush Stop in and check out the new 800 Pro-R Switchback. Don’t Get Left Behind Sales Event! No interest for a year and 2nd year powertrain warranty. Stop in for details. Low monthly financing available!

www.forestlakemotorsports

CloThinG & helmeTS

Women, Men & Children

20%oFF

Must present coupon. Expires 12/23/11. ( Excludes items previously marked down )

Snowmobile Tune-upS

Snowmobile oil

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Must present coupon. Expires 12/23/11.

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per Gallon Must present coupon. Expires 12/23/11. Valid on stock items only.

Remember: Gift Certificates Always Make a Great Gift!

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Sales • Clothing • Parts • Service I-35 & Hwy. 97 (SE Frontage Rd) Mon-Thurs 9-7;10 Fri- 6; 9-6; Sat 9-3 Tuesday thru Friday Saturday 9-3

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Winter Fun 2011-12 ����������������������

No cold and snow at Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center, just plenty of wintertime fun inside From bowling to golf, you’ll find plenty to do in Wyoming Cliff Buchan News Editor s going outside in the cold and snow your only option for wintertime fun? Heavens no, not when there is Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center in Wyoming. Your entertainment options are almost limitless at the bowling alley and entertainment center, says Lisa Iverson, events and marketing manager for the 24-lane Brunswick-equipped facility. “If you like to exercise somewhere warm, we’ve got all the options here,” Iverson said. While bowling may be the main entertainment options, there is much more to do at Stars & Strikes, Iverson says. The entertainment has a state-of-the-art arcade with more than 70 games and lazer tag that is fun for people of all ages, she says. Billiard tables and dart boards are also offered. This fall Stars & Strikes made another stride forward in the entertainment area with the addition of a golf simulator. It is a perfect match for golfers who want to stay sharp during the cold weather months. It also fits well with bowlers who also like to golf and enjoy hitting some balls before or after their league

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Photos by Renee Lynn Photography

Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center bowling, including cosmic bowling, is a popular activity.

session, Iverson said. “This is a way for them to do both,” Iverson said. Lazer tag (inset) and arcade games draw fans of all ages. The images here sample the fun. “People are showing interest in the simulator.” The simulator is offered in one hour rental periods. day packages for kids and It will take just under three hours for people to play a teens are offered that inround of golf. The simulator allows golfers to choose clude packages for bowlfrom 20 of the top PGA courses in the world. ing, lazer tag and pizza “It shows that we are a complete entertainment and soda. center,” Iverson said. “It adds more fun and things to The facility is also a do.” perfect winter spot for a Full Packages night out, either to enjoy From bowling to banquets, Stars & Strikes is de- the fine menu and kitchen signed to serve all needs, Iverson says. service, or the live bands The Wyoming facility at 5063 273rd St. next to Re- and entertainment opgal Machine is equipped with a banquet hall that ac- tions that are offered. commodates up to 325 people, perfect for corporate Large-screen TVs are also events, receptions and parties. Stars & Strikes will provided for customer enalso host school groups and teams needing a place tertainment while enjoy- A party room at Stars & for awards programs and end--of-season banquets. ing a meal or a favorite Strikes Entertainment As an entertainment center, Iverson says one of beverage. Center. the popular services involves birthday parties. BirthLive bands are offered every Saturday night and visitors can try out their vocal talents with Thursday night karaoke. Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center is also the venue for quarterly kick-boxing and mixed martial arts bouts that attract top athletes and large crowds. If You Go Need more information? Simply call 651-464-6000, or go online to www.starsstrikes.com for more detail. Traveling to Stars & Strikes? The entertainment center and banquet hall is located on the north side of Wyoming. Take old Highway 61 (CR-30) to 273rd St., watch for the huge lighted sign, and turn west and follow the curve to a night of fun.

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Winter Fun 2011-12  ����������������������

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Sliders come from far and wide to enjoy the hills at Eko Backen John Fraley entering his 27th year at Scandia operation Cliff Buchan News Editor hink Minnesotans and Wisconsinites have the inside track to the fast and furious fun of snow tubing at Eko Backen in Scandia? Don’t believe it, owner John Fraley says. While residents of the Gopher and Badger states no doubt make up the bulk of Fraley’s winter customers, they don’t have the corner on the snow tubing market. Far from it, Fraley says. A map on the wall at the inner tubing operation at 22570 Manning Trail N. tells the story. The map is filled with pins from throughout the U.S. showing where Eko Backen patrons call home. “Customers are coming from far and wide to enjoy Eko Backen,” Fraley said on the eve of the 2011-2012 hill sliding season. “On opening day last year we had families from Illinois, Arizona, Arkansas and Florida. They cleaned us out of hats, snowpants and gloves.” And Fraley knows it could well happen again this year. The facility was set to open in late November or early December. That’s always weather dependent. As this Winter Fun edition went to press, Fraley was firing up the snow-making machines to begin coating the hills at Eko Backen. And he’d best act fast. He’s already had a call from a family in Florida asking when Eko Backen would be open. They were among the visitors in 2010. They’ll need boots and snowpants again this year, he said.

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Winter Destination

Eko Backen has been a winter destination for well over 40 years. It’s a place for individuals and families to get away for a day of fun, enjoy the great outdoors, Fraley said. While inner tubing down the hills at Eko Backen is the main menu, there is much more to do. It’s a family and group gathering destination, the owner says. Family gatherings and party groups find Eko Backen to be a natural spot to gather for fun, Fraley said. Birthday parties, anniversaries, holiday parties and family reunions are among the group gatherings that flock to Eko Backen. School groups have also found Eko Backen to their liking. Some high school groups from Burnsville, St. Paul Central and Highland Park and Cannon Falls have made annual trips to Eko Backen for periods ranging from eight to 15 years. Many come for the family-style fun and atmosphere, Fraley said. A corn-fired stove provides a cozy sitting area for kids and adults to read, play cards and visit while other group members are racing pell-mell down the Eko Backen hills. Local farmer Don Quigley provides the corn each year. “Our customers love the country-feel that we have established at Eko Backen,” Fraley says. Party groups can order from the Eko Backen concession stand menu or enjoy the homemade pizza, fresh from the kitchen. The birthday boy or girl also gets a free admission to the hills. “We make snow! Lots of snow! Come on over and enjoy the fun,” Fraley says. “Our roomy chalet is excellent for family, company, and birthday parties. Well lit and groomed expert, intermediate, and bunny hills are perfect for all ages and abilities. Two rope tows make it almost as fast coming up as going down!. The 4000 square foot chalet offers a full kitchen, concessions, videos and pool tables.” Fraley believes Eko Backen is a boon to the area economy, both in the winter and in the summer when the facility’s water park and party facilities also see brisk business. “Eko Backen has become a regional tourist attraction,” Fraley adds. “Our customers stop and eat at local restaurants, patronize area gas stations and use hotels in the area. We believe Eko Backen is bringing new visitors to our area who spend money at local businesses.” He says he is grateful for the strong local support that Eko Backen has received. He appreciates the many out-of-town patrons, but enjoys meeting old friends from this area and making new friends with folks who live in the area. “We have been very fortunate to continue to grow our business in this tight economic times,” Fraley said. “Our customers like that we are family friendly and affordable.”

Photo courtesy of Eko Backen

Youth know how to have fun on the tubes at Eko Backen as these three kids display in this photo.

John Fraley’s Duke the springer spaniel passed away this year. Duke was a popular pet at Eko Backen A Forest Lake youth group enjoys the who made friends who looked for hills at Eko Backen. him year after year.

If You Go

Eko Backen is located a short drive from downtown Forest Lake. To reach the sliding facility, take TH-97 four miles east of US-61 to Manning Trail N. or CR-15. At Manning Trail N., turn north and go one mile. Watch for the signs. The hills of Eko Backen will be on your left. Want to learn more online about Eko Backen and snow tubing? Visit www.ekobacken.com. The web page has complete details about the facility, its rates, and how to join the Eko Backen Facebook family to receive current information on hill condition and special events at Eko Backen.

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Winter Fun 2011-12 ����������������������

Community invited to partake in 2nd annual FLake Festival Week-long activities set for Feb. 17-26 Jennifer Mevissen Staff Writer

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rganizers are still confirming plans for the 2nd annual FLake Festival, to be held in February. “More details are to follow,” said Colleen Eddy, president of the Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is presenting the event, along with the event naming sponsor, Forest Lake Floral, Gifts & Gardens. Amongst the flurry of activities, hunters will be searching for the 2012 medallion hidden in one of the city of Forest Lake’s many parks, except for Lakeside and Fenway. Clues will be given daily the week of Feb. 17-26, or until the object is found. She noted that pond hockey teams will be facing off for a tournament championship on First Lake. The Forest Lake Rotary Club’s “Gettin’ Cold for a Cause” 3rd annual Winter Plunge is set for Feb. 18 at Lakeside Memorial Park. There will also be ice sculpture demonstrations around the park. The 2012 Fishapalooza ice fishing contest will wrap up the FLake Festival on Feb. 26.

File photos

Last year, the Forest Lake Rotary Club’s “Gettin’ Cold An ice sculpture demonstration is just one of the for a Cause” Winter Plunge brought out a crowd, as did many events scheduled for the 2nd annual FLake a bonfire on the beach at Lakeside Memorial Park. Festival, to take place the week of Feb. 17-26.

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‘Fiddler’ is still months away, but Masquers troupe will be on stage

‘Don’t Hug Me’ sequel is coming to Vannelli’s by the Lake in March Cliff Buchan News Editor an’t wait for “Fiddler on the Roof” to hit the Masquers Theatre Company stage next summer? The summer production is seven months away and ticket sales won’t begin until next spring, but that doesn’t mean that the talented actors of the performing company are taking the winter off. Far from it. A winter/spring production is now being planned. On weekends in March, Masquers Theatre Company will perform “A Don’t Hug Me County Fair” at Vannelli’s by the Lake, 55 S. Lake St. in downtown Forest Lake. The March production is a change in venue for the off-summer Masquers’ production and will give theater lovers a chance to experience the fine dining of the Vannelli’s kitchen for this dinner theater offering. The March stage show is a sequel to last winter’s show “Don’t Hug Me.” Most of last spring’s cast members will return for 12 production dates from March 2 to March 25. The show will feature 18 new songs. “A Don’t Hug Me County Fair” is the hilarious summer sequel and the third in the musical comedy installment trilogy of “Don’t Hug Me” musicals in a four-play cycle created by brothers Phil and Paul Olson. It’s county fair time in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, which means

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one thing; The Miss Walleye Queen Competition. Bernice, the pretty waitress, sees this as her big chance to win Miss Walleye Queen, to be discovered, and more important, to have her face carved in butter at the State Fair. The trouble begins when Gunner’s wife, Clara, decides she also wants to win Miss Walleye Queen, and when Gunner’s estranged twin sister, Trigger shows up to try to win the beauty pageant, things get ugly. That’s a snippet of what’s in store when the production hits the Vannelli’s stage in March. The original “Don’t Hug Me” first opened in Los Angeles at The Whitefire Theatre in November 2003 to rave reviews and sold-out houses. Originally slated for a six week run, “Don’t Hug Me” was extended by popular demand and was the longest running musical comedy in Los Angeles when it closed after six smash hit months. “Don’t Hug Me” then moved to Minneapolis where it was slated for an eight week run. It ended up running for nine smash hit months in Minneapolis. For anyone wanting to learn more about “A Don’t Hug Me County Fair” or to get in line early for tickets to “Fiddler on the Roof,” visit the Masquers Theatre Company web page at www.masquerstheatre.org, or call the box office at 651-464-5823. Email contacts can be made to info@ masquerstheatre.org.

Photo submitted

Three Christmas concerts by Unexpected Company are scheduled at Chisago Lakes High School and two area churches during December.

Unexpected Company to perform 3 concerts

Community chorus to present ‘Carols of Christmas’ Jennifer Mevissen Staff Writer he well-known community chorus, Unexpected Company, is in the final rehearsal stages for its holiday concerts. Carols of Christmas is this year’s title with the chorus providing a mix of contemporary and traditional selections including solo and ensemble performances. “There will be some audience participation,” said Carol Ostlie, chorus member. Unexpected Company has a couple special numbers, including “Madrigal of the Bells” and “Jazz Jingle” which features a flute trio. The chorus is comprised of around 35 members from the area. Unexpected Company is under the direction of Dave

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Seaburg, and accompanied by Winnie Benson. Tickets can be purchased from chorus members, at the Community Education office in Lindstrom or at the door. 3 Performances There are three performances scheduled: •Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m., Chisago Lakes Performing Arts Center, Chisago Lakes High School, Lindstrom. •Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 886 North Shore Drive, Forest Lake. •Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 28005 Old Towne Road, Chisago City. Free-will offerings will be accepted at the church performances.

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A scene from the 2011 Masquers Theatre Company “Don’t Hug Me” production. The cast from the first production will return for the sequel over 12 dates in March of 2012.

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Winter Fun 2011-12 ����������������������

Alpine, nordic skiing options abound Alpine

Wild Mountain Ski & Snowboard Area 37200 Wild Mountain Rd., Taylors Falls; (651) 465-6315; www.wildmountain.com Hours (may vary due to holidays, special events and weather): Monday Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Featuring 25 runs and reaching 300 feet, Wild Mountain prides itself on Trollhaugen offers 2.5K opening early in the sea- of cross country skiing son. Terrain park for snow- trails in addition to its 22 boarding. Equipment rent- alpine runs. al available. The hill offers a wide variety of lessons, camps and sponsors race teams. A cafeteria and a bar/restaurant are on site. Trollhaugen 2232 100th Ave., Dresser, WI; (651) 433-5141; www. trollhaugen.com Hours (may vary due to holidays, special events and weather): Sunday - Thursday 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 9:30 a.m.-3 a.m. (most weeks); Saturday 9:30 a.m.10 p.m. Opened in 1950, Trollhaugen covers 90 acres and spreads 22 runs down a 260-foot slope. Terrain park for snowboarding. Equipment rental available. Lessons offered. Sponsors race teams. Ski shop handles mounting and repair. Live music offered in the Skolhaugen Lounge on Friday nights.

Cross Country

Trollhaugen 2232 100th Ave., Dresser, WI (651) 433-5141; www.trollhaugen.com Hours: 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Trollhaugen offers 2.5K of cross-country skiing from November-March. Rental equipment is not availabe. Groomed regularly for skate and classic style skiing.

Trails lit at night. Big Marine Park Reserve 17495 Manning Trl. N., Marine on St. Croix; www. co.washington.mn.us; (651) 430-8368 Hours: 7 a.m. to half hour after sunset. The Washington County Parks Division grooms trails on a rotating schedule after a base of 6-8 inches is established. 1.5 miles of classical ski trails are groomed. Loop starts at the winter parking area and loops around the south side of Big Marine Lake. Washington County requires all cross-country skiers ages 16 and older to carry the MN State Ski Pass when skiing on Washington County ski trails. Daily or annual passes are available wherever DNR licenses are sold, Lake Elmo Park Reserve office and at Washington County License Centers. A Washington County vehicle permit is required on all motorized vehicles, except for on the first Tuesday of every month. Wild River State Park 39797 Park Trail, Center City; (651) 583-2125 William O’Brien State Park 16821 O’Brien Trail North; Marine on St. Croix; www. dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/william_obrien; (651) 4330500 Hours: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Features 19.31 km (12 mi) of trails and a visitor center. Daily ski passes are sold at the park office. Parking pass required. Ski trails are groomed for both skating and classical. Snoeshowing is allowed on a separate trail. The park is home to the St. Croix Valley Youth Ski League, which is open to kids 3 to 13 years of age and their parents. The club is designed for all ability levels. For more information contact John Dybvig at (651) 439-1860 or john_dybvig@yahoo.com. Chomonix Golf Course 700 Aqua Lane, Lino Lakes; www.anokacountyparks. com/recreation; (651) 482-8484 Hours: Clubhouse (ski rental location) open FridaySunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features10 km (6.21 mi) of trails, equipment rentals on-site, skate skiing. Parking permit required. Ki-Chi Saga Park 29061 Glader Blvd., Lindstrom; (651) 674-2345 On 98 acres south of Lindstrom, the park includes shoreline on South Center Lake and Linn Lake.

New family event at Historic Courthouse in Stillwater Santa and Song is Dec. 18

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et into the holiday spirit with a visit to the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 for a free family holiday sing-a-long and a visit from Santa Claus. The sing-a-long will start at 2:15 p.m. with local entertainer Karen Hillman leading the music while accompanying herself on the guitar. Santa Claus will arrive at 2:45 p.m. to visit with children and listen to their Christmas wishes. Remember to bring the camera for those holiday photos. The courthouse is beautifully decorated for the holidays and light refreshments will be served. An exhibit is also open featuring a holiday celebration in the Erzgebirge region of Germany. This free event is reminiscent of an era when carolers strolled the streets and communities gathered to celebrate the season. The Washington County Historic Courthouse, located at 101 W. Pine St. in Stillwater, and is handicapped accessible. Photo submitted More information Santa Claus will stop at is available by calling the Washington County 651-275-7075 or at www. Historic Courthouse in co.washington.mn.us/ Stillwater on Dec. 18 to hc. visit with children and the young at heart.

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Indoor fun at Warehouse 17 in Lindstrom

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Roller skating, arcade and more

Jennifer Mevissen Staff Writer etreat from the blustery days of winter for some indoor fun at Warehouse 17 in Lindstrom. Owners Tony and Shawna Schroepfer held a grand opening in June 2011 for the roller skating rink, located at 13229 St. Croix Ave., Suite 1. The rink holds 85 skaters. Both in-line and traditional roller skates are welcome at Warehouse 17. Admission is $8. Thursdays are adult night at the roller rink. There is open skating Friday through the weekend. The cost is just $7, with a free beverage, on Saturdays for black out/glow skating. Find Warehouse 17 on Facebook for a complete listing of its business hours. Skate on a new epoxy rink floor under colorful lighting to tunes coming from a ‘rockin & rollin’ sound system. There’s a concession stand where snacks and beverages are sold. In addition, Warehouse 17 has a selection of old-school arcade games. The rink also has organized roller derby teams that bout off. If you’re interested Courtesy photos in joining, stop in and talk with Tony. Retreat from the blustery days of winter for some indoor fun at Warehouse Warehouse 17 can accommodate your special occasion in its party room. Book 17 in Lindstrom. In-line and traditional roller skaters are welcome at the rink. your next birthday or group event there by calling 651-257-0017. Warehouse 17 can accommodate your special occasion in its party room. The rink also has organized roller derby teams that bout off.

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Winter Fun 2011-12 ����������������������

Nothing says winter like ice skating FOREST LAKE

FL Area Athletic Association Sports Center 5530 206th St. N.; (651) 464-0176. One year-round rink and another in-season rink. Open skating offered most Sunday afternoons, and on certain extra days throughout the holidays. See www.flaaa.org for full schedule. Skate rental available on-site from Forest Lake Cycle and Skate. The FLAAA Sports Center is also the home of the Cutting Edge Skate Association. CESA offers lessons on Saturday mornings in the winter and holds an ice skating show in March. For more information, see www.cuttingedgeskating.com or call (651) 464-7622. Beltz Park 11th Avenue SE & South Shore Drive; (651) 2099723. Forest Lake’s busiest recreational park offers an ice rink and warming house. Tower Park 4th Street SW & 8th Avenue SW; (651) 209-9723. Tower Park is the city’s outdoor hockey facility with two hockey rinks and a warming house. The rinks are open seven days a week during the winter season, weather permitting.

Opened in 2008, the Forest Lake Area Athletic Association Sports Center houses two indoor hockey rinks.

LINWOOD

Four Seasons Recreational Park Located between 228th and 229th avenues N.E., east of Typo Creek Drive (County Road 85). Winter months bring out skaters for both the pleasure and hockey rinks at Linwood’s most popular park. The warming house with attendant is usually open from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and noon to 9 p.m. holidays and weekends.

CHISAGO CITY

Chuckie Lundquist Park 10940 Stinson Ave.; (651) 257-5464. This park features an outdoor pleasure rink as well as a hockey rink and a warming house. The rink hours are: Monday through Thursday from 3-9p.m., Friday from 3-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

SCANDIA

Leonard Wojtowicz Skating Park 14727 209th St N., south of County Road 3 in the Village Center; (651) 433-2274 Ext. 133. Located on the property of the Scandia Community Center, the Leonard Wojtowicz Skating Park is home to both a pleasure rink and ice-hockey rink. There is a warming house complete with zamboni. Weather permitting, hours are as follows: Monday-Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Admission is free for one-time use.

CENTER CITY

I.G. Long Park (651) 257-5284. Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

LINDSTROM

Pleasant Hill Park Located on Pleasant Avenue, two blocks south of Highway 8 and Elm Street; (651) 257-0620. This .64acre park features a winter sledding area and skating rink. Skate Park (Ice Rink) Located on the east end of Sylvan Avenue, south of the cemetery. This 2.2-acre park features pleasure skating on a lighted rink. A warming house is provided.

WYOMING

Swenson Park Located between Forli and Flintwood avenues and Railroad Boulevard; (651) 462-0575. This large park has a full-sized ice rink which can be reserved, a staffed warming house and a side ice rink without boards. An attendant is on duty weeknights from 4-9 p.m. and on weekends. Off street parking is available.

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LINO LAKES

(651) 982-2440 Birch Park 6520 Pheasant Run South. General and hockey rink. City Hall Park 1189 Main St. General and hockey rink. Sunrise Park 6918 Sunrise Dr. Two hockey and one general rink.

YPA to present Children of Eden Jennifer Mevissen Staff Writer ark your calendars for the Youth Performing Arts presentation of Children of Eden. The musical is based on the Book of Genesis. YPA’s winter production will be on stage at Forest Hills United Methodist Church next month. Show dates & times are: Jan. 13-15 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14, 21-22 at 3 p.m. While tickets are free, reservations are recommended. To make a reservation or for more information, call 651-433-3085 or visit www.youthperformingarts.org. YPA is sponsored in part by the Hallberg Family Foundation.

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Winter Fun