January 21, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.

How about a nice round of golf...on the lake, help with the Haiti earthquake relief

How about a nice round of golf...on the lake, help with the Haiti earthquake relief
How about a nice round of golf...on the lake, help with the Haiti earthquake relief

Have you started to make your plans for next weekend's festivities? Celebration of the Lakes is just one weekend away, and from all accounts, the weather is looking good.

In your Search Shopper this weekend you will find the Celebration of the Lakes tab that we have put together for you. You will notice a big difference in this year's tab. We have doubled the size from years prior. The tab features virtually everything you would want to know about the Celebration of the Lakes and hot air ballooning. You also will find a schedule of events, a poster for the Rotary Snowmobile Radar Run, information about the kiddie parade, the Lion's fishing contest, a vintage snowmobile display and much much more.

The tab also features tons of wonderful advertisers who support the Celebration of the Lakes event. These great businesses are the backbone of all the celebrations in our area, and honestly, without them, we would not enjoy these great community get togethers. Not only do they sponsor a lot of the celebrations financially, but many many of the local business people also are on the planning committees for these events. I know I have said this a million times, but as a community, let's make a concerted effort to support these businesses. Whether you need a new car, or you are looking to dine out, or maybe you need your taxes done, please look locally before you take a drive to the Cities.

When the balloons take flight, they are usually at the mercy of the wind. That means the balloon pilots will be looking for places to land. They usually will try to land on a lake if at all possible, but sometimes they are forced to land in farm fields. Because it is winter, the pilots will try to land near a road, so they only have to be on a small part of land.

If you are a land owner, and you do not want hot air balloons landing on your property, you are encouraged to call the Chisago Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at 651-257-1177.

Every year the Celebration of the Lakes seems to grow and grow. This year there are a few new events.

How does a golf tournament on the lake sound? The Center City Parks Committee is sponsoring this new and exciting event. You must have a four person team to play in the tournament. There will be prizes for the top three finishing teams, so head down to your basement and start your practice swings. To get an entry form, contact the City of Center City at 651-257-5284 or the Chisago Lakes Area Chamber at 651-257-1177.

Or, how about a game of pond hockey? They are looking for teams of four to six players to take part in the first ever Celebration of the Lakes Pond Hockey Tournament. Players must be 12 or older to participate. They only have eight spots available and they are filling quickly, so if you would like to play please call Jim at 651-323-3015.

And finally, all of you great cooks, get your crock pots fired up. The Celebration of the Lakes is hosting its annual Chili Cook Off. This has historically been one of the most popular events at the celebration. There will be cash prizes given for best tasting, hottest, and most unique chili. Last year there were tons of entries, so start refining your chili cooking skills. Call Shari at 651-257-9380 or Laura at 651-257-5113 to enter.

If you would like to help with the tragic earthquake in Haiti, I have a few ways you can help. If you have a computer, you can go to www.red cross.org and donate right on their website. If you do not have access to a computer but have a cell phone, you can simply text "HAITI" to 90999 and $10 will automatically be given to the Red Cross. You will be charged the $10 on your next phone bill. You can also send a check to Catholic Relief services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. Write "Haiti earthquake" in the memo area. The money will go toward immediate needs, which includes water, food, hygiene kits, bedding and basic cooking utensils, among other items.


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