ROWING REGATTA -- The boat launch at Lake Elmo Park Reserve will be closed Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21 and 22, for the 106th Northwest International Rowing Championship Regatta. The launch will re-open Aug. 23. For details about the event, call (651) 430-8370. Lake Elmo Park Reserve is located at the intersection of County Road 19 and County Road 10 (one mile north of Interstate 94) in Lake Elmo.


FARM FOOD FAIR -- The "Farm, Food and Fun Fair: Reconnecting with Agricultural Roots in Dakota County 1858-2009" is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, on the grounds of the LeDuc Historic Estate, 1629 Vermillion Street in Hastings. There will be demonstrations of traditional woodworking, harvesting, and food preservation; and guests may try their hand at old-fashioned farm tasks. Fresh produce, plants and baked goods will be available for purchase from various vendors. Farm animals will be present and a highlight will be the homemade pickle contest. The program is free.

CAMPFIRE PROGRAMS -- Carpenter Nature Center will present a campfire program on bird banding at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. Join Jim Fitzpatrick, the director of the Center and a licensed bird bander, to learn about some native songbirds. Watch as he sets up devices to capture the local songbirds and then studies them, marks and releases them back into the forest. Find out why they are important to local ecology. St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park is located between County Roads 76 and 78, in Denmark Township. The program is a free program with a $5 vehicle fee. For details, call (651) 430-8240 or go to

Tamarack Nature Center will present a campfire program, "Birds of a Feather," at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Spend some time chatting about some of the most intriguing feathered friends. Discover some of Minnesota's most common birds and what makes them unique. Play a game and visit some stations to discover how some birds eat with a beak, or even meet a bird up close. Lake Elmo Park Reserve is located at the intersection of County Road 19 and County Road 10, one mile north of Interstate 94, in Lake Elmo. The program is free program with a $5 vehicle fee. For details, call (651) 430-8370 or go to


THOMAS BOYER TO BE HONORED -- The congregation at Zion Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove is holding a special service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Pastor Thomas Boyer, the founding pastor of Zion Lutheran. All members of the community, former members and friends of Zion and the Boyers are invited to the celebration. A potluck lunch will follow the service.

END-OF-SUMMER FESTIVAL -- St. Luke Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove invites the community to attend its annual end-of-summer event, "Taste of St. Luke," on Sunday, Aug. 23, according to a press release. The event will begin with outdoor worship at 10 a.m. on the church grounds, followed by free food -- until 12:30 p.m. --music, a dunk tank and games and prizes for kids and adults. Lunch will include hot dogs, hot turkey sandwiches, homemade bars, and root beer floats. If you go, take a lawn chair or blanket.

HIKES AT AFTON STATE PARK -- Cottage Grove fitness trainer Annie Elmer will lead a hike at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23, at Afton State Park. If you go, meet at the park's visitor center. The hike will be canceled only if there are storm warnings or a threat of lightning. For details, call Elmer at (651) 470-8060 or e-mail The hike is free; parking is $5 per vehicle.

TOUR, CONCERT AT LEDUC -- A special 5:30 p.m. tour of the LeDuc Historic Estate, 1629 Vermillion Street, Hastings, has been added to the regular Sunday tour schedule. It gives outdoor concert goers an opportunity to have a tour of the Estate before attending the 7 p.m. concerts, which are sponsored by The Hastings Concert Association. The next special tour and concert are scheduled on Aug. 23. The concerts -- on the east side of the Estate -- are free; however, regular tour rates apply for the tour. Tickets are $6 for adults; $5 for seniors and military; and $3 for students up to age 18. Members of the Dakota County Historical Society and children, age 5 and younger, may attend free. For information about large groups, call the LeDuc Historic Estate, at (651) 437-7055. Pie and ice cream will be available for purchase. If you go, take a lawn chair.


RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE -- American Legion Post 98 and the Women's Auxiliary will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 12 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Legion Hall, 328 Broadway Ave. in St. Paul Park. Donors must be 17 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, must have a photo ID which gives first and last name or a donor card. They must also know their Social Security number. Youth, 16-years-old, may donate with written permission from their parents. Walk-in donors are welcome but those with appointments will be taken first. To make an appointment, call (800) 448-3543. The next blood drive is scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Legion Hall.