Weekend Planner: State park opens its doors

Published 10:27 am Thursday, May 29, 2008

By Geri McShane, AlbertLeaTribune.com

Myre-Big Island State Park will celebrate Minnesota&8217;s Sesquicentennial on Sunday with its annual open house. Entrance is free to all day users on this day.

Visitors can taste samples of pioneer heritage recipes from the Minnesota Centennial Cookbook from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the picnic shelter. They can also take a photo journey through the seasons, featuring remnants of the pioneer landscape, northern hardwoods forest, oak savanna and wetlands within the park.

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People can register for prizes from the Audubon Science Center store, including pocket guides for birds, flowers, mammals and stargazing in the park.

There will also be an opportunity to learn about the geocaching history challenge, featured in all Minnesota state parks.

Following is a roundup of other events happening in the area this weekend.

Friday, May 30

– The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and KATE/KCPI radio will hold the annual fireworks fundraiser beginning at 6 a.m.

Chamber staff, KATE staff and volunteers will be standing on the corner of Broadway and Main collecting donations for the Fourth of July fireworks display. The goal for the fundraiser is $15,000.

If you are unable to stop by and would still like to make a donation, there will be buckets placed at businesses throughout the county.

– The Friends of the Albert Lea Public Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Skyline Plaza.

– The Pelican Breeze will hold a pizza cruise at 6 p.m. Reservations are needed by 4 p.m.; call 383-2630.

– Albert Lea High School will host &8220;Battle of the Bands&8221; at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Performing will be The Shady Ladies, Contagious &8220;B,&8221;

The Northern Lights and Here Lies My Letter. The audience will help pick the winner. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Saturday, May 31

– Faith Community&8217;s ShineFest will give free oil changes at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to noon.

– The Albert Lea Friends of the Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Skyline Plaza.

– A cancer benefit for Diane Henderson will be held at the Moose Lodge. Lunch will be served from noon to 3 p.m. A spaghetti supper will run from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be both live and silent auctions during the benefit. Live bands, featuring poison, will play starting at 9 p.m. Henderson was diagnosed with colorectal extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma. She has not been able to work since her diagnosis and her husband, Greg, has had to take a great deal of unpaid leave at his job. The couple has two children, Joey and Jessica. The benefit will help with the family&8217;s increasing medical and household debts. Donations may also be made to the Diane Henderson Benefit at Security Bank Minnesota.

– The Pelican Breeze will host a public cruise at 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 1

– Boy Scout Troop 7 will hold a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Albert Lea Eagles Club. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, coffee, juice and milk will be served. Cost is $6 per person.

– &8220;Grandpa&8217;s Tractor Ride&8221; will navigate through Freeborn County. Tractor owners will line up at the ball park in Hayward at noon. Then at 1 p.m. the route will be south on County Road 26 to the stop sign, then right on County Road 13 to Glenville. After parading though Glenville the tractors will continue west on County Road 13 to County Road 18 (South Broadway Avenue). This year the tractors will be coming into Albert Lea for the first time. The route goes north to County Road 84 (East 19th Street) to Margaretha Avenue, then north to East Ninth Street, left to Todd Avenue, right to County Road 19 (South Shore Drive) and on east to County Road 26 again and north three miles back to Hayward. For driver information call (507) 391-1586 or (507) 456-4474.

– The Pelican Breeze will hold a public narrated cruise at 1:30 p.m.

– The music students of Sharon Astrup-Scott will hold a spring recital at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea. Kindergarten students through adults will perform.