Focus region calendar of events

Thursday, Jan. 17

Four-hour defensive driving refresher course, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fridley Senior Center, 6085 Seventh St. N.E. Cost is $20. The next class will be Feb. 21.

Info: 763-502-5150.


Music Night in Heights open mic, 7-10 p.m. at Labelle Lounge of Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. N.E., Columbia Heights.

Local musicians will share their music. The public can attend to listen or to perform; a small stage, microphones and a piano will be available. The Columbia Heights Lions Club bar will be open (accepting cash/checks only) and coffee will be available.

Info: 763-706-3733.


Saturday, Jan. 19

“Minnesota on the Map” exhibit opens, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fridley History Center, 611 Mississippi St. N.E.

The Fridley History Center will present the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) traveling exhibit 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through March 9. The exhibit features a dozen maps from MHS’s collections, including a 1683 Louis Hennepin map of the upper Mississippi River Valley. The exhibit also includes a video station with map commentary, a selection of laminated maps available for browsing, and an oversized jigsaw puzzle map.

Info: 763-571-0120.


Hops for Hunger benefit for SACA, 5-8 p.m. at Uppercut Boxing Gym, 1324 Quincy St. N.E. in Minneapolis.

The Southern Anoka Community Assistance (SACA) food shelf and Financial One Credit Union present a Hops for Hunger microbrew tasting event, also featuring food, a silent auction and raffle. Three bands will provide live music, including Stereo Pirates, The Brandon Projekt, and Free Fallin.  All proceeds will benefit SACA, which serves Columbia Heights, Hilltop, Fridley and Spring Lake Park. Tickets cost $35 at the door.

Info: 612-296-5219 (Dave Rudolph).


Sunday, Jan. 20

“A Fond Farewell,” 5:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1900 Seventh St. N.W., New Brighton.

Often meeting at the church, this social group for singles, widowed and divorced individuals gathers regularly for presentations, entertainment and meals. This week’s meeting will feature a presentation by Jeanne McGill, a certified senior advisor and preplanning consultant, who will discuss funeral burials and cremations.


Thursday, Jan. 24

Montessori preschool open house, 5-7 p.m. at 825 51st Ave. N.E., Columbia Heights in St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church.

Little Voyageurs’ Montessori School is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for morning or afternoon sessions, and an extended all-day program is available. This school open house is for children ages 2 3/4 to 4 years.

Info: 763-788-0889 (Karen) or


Saturday, Jan. 26

Lions waffle breakfast fundraiser, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Fridley Community Center gym, 6085 Seventh St. N.E.

Proceeds will support the Fridley Ambassador program.


Winter Fest, 1-4 p.m. at Commons Park, 555 61st Ave. N.E., Fridley.

Fridley’s annual winter celebration will feature sleigh rides, ice games, dog sled rides, snowball launching, a bonfire, s’mores and a medallion hunt. Inside activities at the Fridley Community Center, across the road, include crafts, refreshments, bingo, games and dancing.

Info: 763-572-3570.


Sunday, Jan. 27

Free Family Fun-day: Secret Surprise, 2-3 p.m. at Silverwood Park, 2500 County Road E, St. Anthony.

Participants can meet in the Silverwood Park Gallery and hear about the current show. Then head out on the trail (weather permitting) for Art on Foot, where participants explore sculpture and poetry throughout the park. Wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes. This event is free and open to all ages.

Info: 763-694-7707.


Monday, Jan. 28

St. Anthony Library Book Sale, noon to 7 p.m. at the library in the St. Anthony Village Shops, 2941 Pentagon Dr. N.E. A large selection of books will be priced at $1 or less. Sale proceeds are used at the library.


Friday, Feb. 1

Pancake breakfast fundraiser, 8:30-10 a.m. at the Lighthouse of Columbia Heights, 3801 Hart Blvd.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of Columbia Heights Public Library. Cost is $3 per person. The breakfast features pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee.

Info: 763-706-3690.


Saturday, Feb. 2

Beginner Snowshoeing, 1-2:30 p.m. at Silverwood Park, 2500 County Road E, St. Anthony.

All equipment is provided for this guided snowshoe hike through the park. Cost is $5 and reservations are required. The hike is appropriate for ages 6 and up.

Reservations: 763-559-6700 (activity number 127811-00).


Sunday, Feb. 3

Pancake breakfast fundraiser, 8-11:30 a.m. at The Eagles Club, 563 Old Hwy. 8, New Brighton.

The New Brighton Eagles Auxiliary will host a breakfast, which will include pancakes (all you can eat) and sausage or ham; or, eggs, toast, sausage or ham. Fruit, orange juice, coffee and milk are included with the $4.50 price for the entire breakfast. Side orders of eggs and hashbrowns are available for an extra charge. The proceeds from this breakfast will be donated to the Heart Fund.

Info: 651-636-9525.


Tuesday, Feb. 5

Introduction to Islam and Muslims, 7-8:30 p.m. in room 109 at the Fridley Community Center, 6085 Seventh St. N.E.

This informational session will introduce basic terminology, demographics and differences between religion and culture, as well as beliefs and practices of Muslims and religious celebrations. The single-session Fridley Community Education class is free and open to the public.

Pre-register at 763-502-5100.

A free, follow-up course, “Islam and Christianity,” will be offered Tuesday, March 12.


Wednesday, Feb. 6

SACA food shelf’s 12th annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser, 4:30-7 p.m. at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. N.E., Columbia Heights.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and under. A full, cash bar with wait staff will be available. The event also features a silent auction, door prizes, entertainment, and the David Allen Show 5-6:30 p.m.


Friday, Feb. 8

Family Movie Night, 7-10 p.m. at Fridley High School’s auditorium, 6000 West Moore Lake Drive.

All children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free; concessions will be available for purchase. No registration is required.

Info: 763-502-5100.


Sunday, Feb. 10

“At Home and Away,” 3 p.m. at the Church of St. William, 6120 Fifth St. N.E., Fridley.

The Northeast Orchestra will perform. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.




Tuesday, Feb. 12

Free Community Dinner, 5:30 p.m. at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, 825 51st Ave. N.E., Columbia Heights.

Info: 763-571-9721.


Introduction to Jewish beliefs and practices, 7-8:30 p.m. in room 109 at the Fridley Community Center, 6085 Seventh Street N.E.

Learn about beliefs, values and religious traditions on which the Jewish faith is based, and how that affects everyday life. The single-session Fridley Community Education class is free and open to the public.

Pre-register at 763-502-5100.


Wednesday, Feb. 13

Award-winning author speaking at the library, 10 a.m. at the the Columbia Heights Public Library, 820 40th Ave. N.E. in Columbia Heights.

Minnesota author Kao Kalia Yang is a winner of numerous literary awards. She wrote of her Hmong family’s journey from Laos, refugee camps in Thailand to St Paul in her book “The Latehomecomer.” She is an author, poet, professor, entrepreneur and activist. This program is free and open to the public.

Info: 763-706-3690 or