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Local Events & Announcements

Birch Grove Community Center events and activities

Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte
Mon, 05/18/2015 (All day)

Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte, to the west of downtown at 9 Good Neighbor Hill Rd, hosts a variety of activities for all generations in Cook County's West End, including training and education, arts and culture, recreation and leisure, and health and wellness. 

"Go4Life Fitness" is offered at 10:30 am Mondays and Wednesdays, featuring a variety of exercise options for seniors; "Zumba Gold" is offered Fridays at 10:30 am.

Weekly senior lunches are offered to seniors and their guests on Wednesdays from 11:30 to 12:30. Reservations are appreciated. Seniors who attend the lunches regularly need not make reservations. The senior advisory group meets at 12:30 following lunch.

West End Pizza is offered every Wednesday through September 5th from 5-8pm.  Wood Fired Artisan Pizzas by Trevor Huggins are served rain or shine.  (BYOT’s) Bring Your Own Toppings.  RSVP is requested.

"Pickle ball" is offered indoors or outdoors on Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm, and other times by appointment. 

"Second Sunday Fun-Day," 2-7 pm on the second Sunday of the month. Community Room #1 hosts activities such as scrapbooking and stamping, open library, computer lab, games and puzzles. Community Room #2 activities include fitness equipment, "fitness on demand," kids' zone, and more. Gym activities include various sports, including pickle ball, volleyball, bean bag toss, and others.

Mini-bus tour: "By Road, River and Rail," August 16-21. Birch Grove will offer a mini-bus Circle Route tour around Lake Superior, with stops in Baraga, MI, and Sault Ste Marie, Schreiber, and Thunder Bay, ON. A train tour of the Agawa Canyon and a boat tour of the Soo Locks are included. The trip is planned for seniors, but all ages are welcome. Rates are available for single, double, or triple occupancy. Full payment is due July 16.

Volunteers needed:

Birch Grove seeks potential Board of Directors candidates; committee members for a variety of activities, including Advisory Group Eagles 55+ (A.G.E.55+), Annual Fundraising & Event Calendar Committee, Program Development & Partnerships, Education/Training, Arts/Culture, Recreation/Leisure, Health/Wellness; and volunteers for the community, recreation, and senior centers.
Birch Grove Community Center is located at 9 Good Neighbor Hill Road in Tofte. Regular hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm (closed one hour for lunch). More information is available from Caroline Wood at 663-7977 or Information is also available on the website,, and on Facebook and Twitter. 


North House Folk School classes, events, and activities

North House Folk School, Grand Marais
Mon, 05/18/2015 (All day)

North House Folk School, on the harbor in Grand Marais, offers classes in northern craft and hosts a variety of public events and activities.

Donations for Boats to Tools Auction:  North House Folk School is preparing for the Boats to Tools Auction, part of the annual Wooden Boat Show, June 19 through 21.  Donations of boats, tools, and all things North Shore are welcome.  More information from Kaitlyn Bohlin at 387-9762.

The North House Folk School campus is located at 500 West Hwy 61, on the harbor in Grand Marais. Local residents receive a 25% discount on class fees. More information is available at 218-387-9762 or 888-387-9762, by email at, and on the website, Registration for classes and events is available by phone and on the website. 



Single-family housing loans and grants

USDA Rural Development Agency
Mon, 05/18/2015 (All day)

The USDA Rural Development Agency, headquartered in Virginia, MN, is accepting applications from people who want to purchase a home or make repairs to existing homes. The loans are available to low-income families who wish to buy or repair homes located in rural communities. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines. More information is available from the Rural Development office at 218-742-3929 ext 4, or  

Volunteer drivers needed for VA appointments

Northeast Veterans Transportation Program
Mon, 05/18/2015 (All day)

The Northeast Veterans Transportation Program will provide rides to veterans at no cost. Any Veteran traveling for a VA scheduled appointment is eligible to use this service. The program is seeking volunteer drivers. More information is available from Veterans Service Officer Pat Strand at 387-3639.

Grand Marais Art Colony classes, events, and announcements

Grand Marais Art Colony
Fri, 05/22/2015 (All day) - Sat, 06/06/2015 (All day)

The Grand Marais Art Colony offers exhibits, events, activities and classes in a variety of media and for adults and kids. Classes are held from 9 am to 4 pm unless otherwise noted.

Memorial Day weekend book art sessions with Amanda Degener: 
Hand Papermaking, Friday, May 22;
Paper Marbling, Saturday, May 23;
Natural Dye and Western Bookbinding, Saturday, May 23;
Asian and Western Bookbinding, Sunday, May 24.

Drop-in Community Ink activity:  Screenprint a T-shirt or Tote, Saturday, May 23.

Rummage Sale:  Saturday, June 6, 10am-noon; fine goods including art all on sale. 

The Grand Marais Art Colony is located at 1st Street and 3rd Avenue. The Art Colony and gift shop are open from 9 am to 4 pm daily. More information about courses and events and registration are available at 387-2737 or, and on the website,

Drury Lane Books events

Drury Lane Books. Grand Marais
Sat, 05/23/2015 (All day) - Sun, 08/30/2015 (All day)

Drury Lane Books, on the East Bay in downtown Grand Marais, hosts a variety of events and readings.

Writer’s Salon with Chel Anderson: Saturday, May 23 at 5 pm. Chel Anderson reads from her new book, North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast.

Season opening for The Muffin Man: Saturday, May 30, at 11 am. Stories for young children.  Saturday’s with the Muffin Man continue through August (no reading Aug 2 – Fisherman’s Picnic).

Full Moon Reading: Tuesday, June 2, at 5 pm, outside on the lakeshore, featuring Erin Altemus.

Writer’s Salon: Saturday, June 6, at 5 pm. Poet Sharon Chmielarz reads from Visibility: Ten Miles, a Prairie Memoir in Photography and Poetry.

Writer’s Salon: Saturday, June 20, at 5pm.  Children’s author Lauren Stringer reads from When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky.

Full Moon Music Celebration: Wednesday, July 1, 8-9 pm, outside on the lakeshore, featuring cellist Yvonne Caruthers, formerly of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. Moon rise is at 8:27 pm.

Writer’s Salon: Saturday, July 11, at 5 pm. Author Mary Relindes Ellis reads from The Bohemian Flats.
Writer’s Salon: Saturday, July 18, at 5 pm. Author Thomas Maltman reads from Little Wolves.
Writer’s Salon: Saturday, July 25, at 5pm. Author Caroline Giles Banks reads from Picture a Poem: Ekphrastic and Other Poems.
Writer’s Salon: Saturday, August 8, at 5pm. Author Shannon Drury reads from The Radical Housewife.

Writer’s Salon: Saturday, August 22, at 5pm. Author Margi Preus reads from Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery.

Full Moon Reading: Saturday August 29, at 5 pm, outside on the lakeshore, featuring Kate Fitzgerald.

More information on these events is available at  or 387-3370.

YMCA classes, events, and announcements

Cook County Community YMCA, Grand Marais
Sat, 05/23/2015 (All day) - Sun, 06/07/2015 (All day)

The Cook County Community YMCA, adjacent to the school complex at 105 W 5th Street in Grand Marais, offers a variety of classes and activities.

Family Town Bike Scavenger Hunt: Saturday, May 23, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.  All ages are welcome to ride into summer with a bicycle scavenger hunt.  Families can compete in one of two tracks, a beginner or challenging one.  Families will start at the Y where they will be directed to find a list of treasures or places to pursue, take their picture at the site, and return to the Y.  After the hunt there will be snacks, swimming, a slideshow of team photos and awards.  

EFCE open gym: Open gym is offered every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11 am. Families are invited to play with equipment that builds motor skills and social skills. Parents are responsible for their children's supervision.

After School All-Stars: The Y will welcome all kids from kindergarten through 5th grade to the After School All-Stars program on Mondays through Thursdays, from 3:30 to 6 pm. Monday is cooking and kitchen day; Tuesday is swim day, Wednesday is arts, crafts, and community service day; and on Thursday active activities will be offered.  

Free family day: Sunday, June 7, 11 am to 5 pm. Activities include open gymnastics, open gym time with age-appropriate toys, game room, open kids' club, and swimming.

More information and class and event registration are available on the website,, and from Emily Marshall, Branch Executive Director, at 387-3386 ext. 506, or


Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center, SW of Schroeder
Sat, 05/23/2015 - 7:00am - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 12:00pm

Sugarloaf Cove southwest of Schroeder is a 35-acre preserved site, including a 7.5-acre Minnesota Scientific and Natural Area, open to the public. Trails are open from dawn to dusk year-round. The Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center is closed during the winter except for occasional public programs.

Bird banding: Memorial Day weekend, from 7 am to noon Saturday through Monday, naturalist Margie and helpers will be banding birds at Sugarloaf Cove, weather permitting. Everyone is invited to stop by to learn about the banding process and its importance in understanding the lifespan, movement, and productivity of songbirds that nest in and travel through the North Shore. There is no charge for this event.

Sugarloaf Cove is located approximately six miles southwest of Schroeder, at mile 73.3, 9096 Hwy 61. More information about programs and events and registration are available from Molly Thompson at, by phone at 218-525-0001, and on the website, The local phone at Sugarloaf is 663-7659.

Community Feast of Food and Friendship

First Congregational Church UCC
Church and Grand Marais Rec Park Pavilion
Sat, 05/23/2015 - 9:00am - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:00pm

The First Congregational Church UCC hosts a Community Feast of Food and Friendship this weekend. Food preparation is Saturday, May 23, from 9 am to 1 pm at the Church, 315 1st Ave West. Grilling and eating is Sunday from 4 to 6 pm at the Grand Marais Rec Park Pavilion. All are welcome; this may turn into a monthly event. A special addition for this Sunday is a poem and play reading beginning at 6:30 in honor of Memorial Day. More information from at 387-2113.


"Music from the Tip o' the Arrowhead"

Cook County Historical Society
Cook County Historical Museum, 8 So Broadway, Grand Marais
Sat, 05/23/2015 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

The Cook County Historical Society has a new exhibit: "Music from the Tip o' the Arrowhead."  The exhibit features 100 years of local music and continues throughout the summer at the Cook County Historical Museum, 8 South Broadway, Grand Marais. The opening reception is Saturday, May 23, from 1 to 4 pm. More information is available at 387-2883 or online. As part of this “growing” exhibit, community members are encouraged to add their own memories and memorabilia to the community music scrapbook, as well as to play a tune on the exhibit’s electric piano.

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