Upcoming events (posted Aug. 15)

Driver improvement program

A four-hour refresher driver improvement course for drivers ages 55-plus is being offered at North Branch Area High School, 38175 Grand Ave., North Branch, Aug. 15, 5 to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required. The fee for the course is $20. For more information or to register, visit www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-(888)-234-1294.

Bats incredible

Wild River State Park is hosting a “Bats Incredible!” program Aug. 16, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; meet at the amphitheater. Visitors will separate fact from fiction with these night flying mammals. They will discover the neat characteristics and nocturnal life of bats through fun and games for all ages and use the bat detector to count and see the bats coming out of the big bat house.

A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year. Call (651) 583-2125 x 227 for more information.

‘Cruisin Old 61’ quilt show

“Cruisin Old 61” is the theme of a quilt show to be held Aug. 16 and 17 at Rush City High School. The public is invited to attend this show, as part of the All-School Reunion. Doors will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Fifteen Piecemakers Quilt Guild members and friends have designed and constructed small quilts, illustrating places along old highway 61, from Wyoming to Pine City.  Jana Connor, North Branch fiber artist, has been a valuable asset to the Guild, to accomplish this project. Persons wishing to add a favorite scene to this display may contact Ilene Olson Holmberg at 320-358-4406.

Rat Rod Resurrection car show

The first Rat Rod Resurrection free car show is planned Aug. 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 42300 Flink Ave., Harris.  Cars will be judged at 2 p.m. with awards at 3 p.m. For more information, call 651-755-4808.

Bears campfire

Wild River State Park is hosting a “Bears! Campfire” program Aug. 17, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors will learn why bears have extra sticky tongues and where they go in the winter. Are there bears at Wild River State Park? Find the answer to this question and discover the other neat things about Minnesota’s black bears around the glow of a warm campfire.

A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year. Call (651) 583-2125 x 227 for more information.

Charity Race to support Family Pathways’ Youth Services

Family Pathways’ Ki Chi Saga Days 5K/15K Walk-Run presented by Kendall Howard is Aug. 17. This charity race benefits Family Pathways Youth Services, which provides free, quality programming for low income, at risk and special needs youth in the local community.

The route is 15K Course Certified with professional chip timing managed by FrontRunner USA, and all participants receive a commemorative moisture wicking T-shirt. The start line is located at Zion Lutheran Church (28005 Old Towne Rd., Chisago City, MN 55013) with registration at 7 a.m., 5K start at 8 a.m., and 15K start at 8:15 a.m.

Cost is $25 for advance registration and $35 for race-day registration. Children under 6 years old participate for free. Online registration is available at www.familypathways.org.

We R Able art show 

Visual arts and mime will combine at four We R Able art show openings from August through November. Artwork completed during the annual We R Able spring painting class will be on display at the Rush City Library, beginning Aug. 17.  The opening is at 11 a.m. in conjunction with the Art and Music Festival, where guests may view the artwork, enjoy some light refreshments and participate in mime lead by David Braddock.  His background includes studies with Marcel Marceau, and he was one of the founders of the Minnesota Mime Alliance.  He will help viewers create movements inspired by the individual pieces of art.

There will be art show openings at the libraries in Pine City, Chisago City and North Branch throughout the fall. For more information, call 320-358-1220.

Visit with local quilters

See beautiful quilts and visit with local quilters of the Piecemaker Quilt Guild from 2-6 p.m. Aug. 19 at Rush City Park. The park is located in downtown Rush City on the corner of Dana Avenue and 4th Street.

Full moon paddles 

A series of full moon paddling events are being planned at Wild River State Park  Aug. 20 and Sept. 19. The first three events are scheduled 6 to 10 p.m. The September event is scheduled 5 to 9 p.m.

The excursions are along 9 miles of the St. Croix River from the Sunrise Landing to the main park landing. Seven canoes are available for first registrants, but participants can bring their own canoe or kayak. Registration is required. Register by calling (651) 583-2125 x227. The cost is $10, payable to Eric’s Canoe Rental the night of the activity for shuttling.

This event is open to all paddlers, but some experience is recommended. Lifejackets and paddles will be provided for the seven park canoes. Participants are asked to bring their own pack water, snacks and other necessities.  Individual events will be cancelled in the event of severe weather.

Vennelag meeting

Vennelag Lodge 1-546 of Sons of Norway meet Aug. 20, 7 p.m., at the Lindstrom Community Center. After the business meeting, ventriloquist Kevin Doely from Plymouth will entertain visitors. Guests are always welcome at Vennelag meetings.

NB alumni association meeting

There will be a general meeting of the NB High School Alumni Association at the Perkins Restaurant in North  Branch Aug. 21, 2 p.m., for the purpose of revitalizing the association by electing  a new president, vice president and secretary, along with putting in place some new board members in addition to the present board. This meeting will then lead into the board meeting. Any graduate of North Branch High School is invited to attend this meeting as well as to socialize together for the afternoon. Questions may be directed to Phyllis Lindberg at 651-674-8242.

Meet mascot at RC library

As kids of all ages head back to school this coming September, the Rush City Public Library encourages kids to sign up for a library card and meet Sherlock the Fox, East Central Regional Library’s new mascot, at the same time.  Sherlock will be at the library Aug. 21, 3:30 p.m.  There will be a short program followed by an autograph and picture taking session with Sherlock.

Blood donation opportunities

Chisago County

Aug. 21: 12:30-6:30 p.m., St. Bridget’s of Sweden, 13060 Lake Blvd., Lindstrom.

Aug. 22: 1-6 p.m., Chisago County Senior Center, 38790 Sixth Ave., North Branch.

Isanti County

Aug. 29: 1-7 p.m., Evangelical Lutheran Church, 905 W. Central Drive, Braham.

Family Law clinic 

The Refuge Network is sponsoring a free, open to the public, family law clinic Aug. 20, 6 to 8 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Mora, 301 Forest Ave. Attendees will learn the basics on family law matters from a presentation, receive helpful materials, and have questions answered by an attorney. Also, there will be an opportunity that evening, after the presentation for two individuals to meet with an attorney for a personal consultation. Consultations will be on a first come, first serve basis. For further information visit www.therefugenetwork.org or call 320-679-1737.

Motorcycle club holds Poker Run

The Second Brigade Motorcycle Club will hold its first annual Poker Run at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, starting at Moose Lodge in Maplewood, 1946 English St., St. Paul. There will be three stops with a final stop at Kozy Oaks Kamp Grounds, 8620 277th Ave. NE, in North Branch. Buy-in is $15 for riders and $10 for passengers; they will draw one card at each stop for a total of five cards. The best hand wins $150. For more information about this event, call Lil’Man at 651-399-1256.

Stomp Out Suicide 5K run/walk 

Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Stomp Out Suicide 5K Run/Walk for Awareness starting in Wyoming’s Goodview Park Aug. 24, 10 a.m. Check-in and registration is at 9 a.m. Individuals or teams may register for the event prior to the race online at www.stompoutsuicide.com.

Hundreds of runners and walkers, including suicide survivors and mental health advocates, will gather to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention as they participate in this family-friendly event. Proceeds raised will benefit Stomp Out Suicide, a local nonprofit agency based in Wyoming.

The event will also include entertainment and activities for the whole family including live music from Sleeper and the Sleepless, a kids’ area (with face painting, bounce houses, clowns and more) and food stands provided by Otis Concessions. Participants can also enjoy a resource fair chocked full of information about suicide awareness and mental health resources from several local organizations.

Wolf Howl program 

Crex Meadows in Grantsburg, Wis., will host a ‘Wolf Howl’ program Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m. Participants will meet at the visitor center with a brief overview of wolves. They will they how in one or more locations on the property, listening for wolves to respond. The program is limited to 40 participants; pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call 715-463-2739 or email Kristina.pupak@wisconsin.gov.

Free family course on mental illnesses 

Do you have a family member living with a mental illness? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota is offering a free educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. Over 3,000 Minnesota families have benefited from this course. Join others for this series taught by family members who have walked the walk. The Family-to-Family course will meet weekly on Thursdays for 12 weeks. It starts Sept. 5, 6:30-9:00 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch. Pre-registration is required; call Charles or Rachel: 651-213-0993.

North Branch Farmers Market 

The North Branch Farmers Market is open this month through October, Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Lake State Parking Lot. For more information, call 651-674-7624.

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