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Upcoming events Feb. 1- March 13

Tuesday, Feb. 1

Aaron Hautala, the photographer of the new sauna book, "The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition" will present a slideshow of the photographs and discuss history, culture and practice of Finnish saunas in the north woods at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 at the Park Rapids Area Library.

Hautala grew up in northern Minnesota in a Finnish family that regularly experienced the ritual of sauna. His essay is a nostalgic look on growing up with this tradition.

The Park Rapids League of Women Voters will hear an update on wellhead protection efforts in the area from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 at the Northwoods Bank community room.

Luke Stuewe will provide an overview of Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) sponsored projects related to nitrogen issues in ground water.

Stuewe is responsible for agricultural recommendations, technical assistance and subsequent water quality demonstrations to promote and evaluate best management practices in northwest Minnesota.

In Otter Tail and Hubbard Counties specifically, his work is focused on nitrogen issues in groundwater. In addition, he is the MDA's TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) coordinator for the Red River Basin. Prior to this, he worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a hydrologic technician.

The public is welcome to attend.

Snacks, coffee and punch will be provided. The League of Women Voters monthly meeting will follow at 6 p.m.

thursday, Feb. 3

Sons of Norway, Nordskogen Lodge 1-626, Park Rapids, will hold a board meeting at 6 p.m. and a general meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3 at Riverside United Methodist Church.

   Servers for the February meeting are Sara and Frank Forsberg, Pat and Oscar Pederson and Helen Peterson.

Sara Forsberg will lead the evening's activities based on the book, "How Full is Your Bucket?" by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.

The program will offer concrete ways to create a positive environment at home or within an organization.

Friday, Feb. 4

First City Squares of Bemidji is hosting a square dance from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at the United Methodist fellowship hall, 9th and Beltrami.  

Plus tips will be in the first half hour.  Jim Lizakowski will be the caller and Rita Lizakowski will be cueing rounds.  

Visitors and spectators are welcome.   For more information, call Ray or Carole at 218-444-5904.

Saturday, Feb. 5

Have a hankering for Thin Mints? The wait is over.

The annual Girl Scout cookie sale officially kicks off Saturday, Feb. 5. More than 100 local girls will participate in this sweet and rewarding Girl Scout tradition.

Founded in 1912, Girls Scouts of the USA is the premier leadership organization for girls. The Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest, girl-led entrepreneurial program in the country.

Girl Scout cookies come in eight flavors: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lots and Shout Outs, the newest cookie on the block. Shout Outs are Belgian-style caramelized cookies that are light and crisp.

This year, orders are switching to direct sale, meaning Girl Scouts will have cookies in hand to sell beginning Feb. 5. There is no waiting for cookies to be delivered. The cost is $3.50 per package.

By participating in cookie sale activities, Girl Scouts develop five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

In the Park Rapids, Nevis, Menahga and Sebeka areas, there are over 100 active Girl Scouts, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. Throughout the year, they participate in girl-led activities - from helping at the local animal shelter to wilderness camping - with an emphasis on cooperative, hands-on learning.

All of the revenue earned from cookie activities stays within the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale, including a portion that goes directly to the troop and girls selling cookies.

Girl Scouts receive recognition prizes and "cookie dough" to use at camp or Girl Scout council programs. The council uses proceeds to train volunteers, maintain camp properties and keep Girl Scout program costs affordable.

At the troop level, the girls decide how to spend the proceeds they've earned. Examples include special trips to museums, exhibitions or local events, overnight stays at camp, and community service projects.

To purchase cookies from local Girl Scout troops or for more information about Girl Scouting, contact Monica Clark, Community Coordinator, at 732-1821 or visit Also watch for cookie booths at local businesses in the upcoming weeks.

A snowshoe hike on the North Country National Scenic Trail will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 beginning from CSAH 4 at Halvorson Forest Road, 3 miles south of Lake George.

Abundant snow and an un-packed footpath will require snowshoes for the two-mile hike.

Hikers should dress in layers appropriate for the weather and carry water and trail snacks. 

Children are welcome, but must be with a responsible adult.

  Snowshoe rental is available at the Jacob V. Brower Center and R & R Rental, Park Rapids.

  Carpooling from Park Rapids ACE Hardware will depart at 12:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Itasca Moraine Chapter, North Country Trail Association.

Sunday, Feb. 6

Itascatur Club is hosting Sunday open houses at Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails in February.

Open houses will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 6 and 20.

Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails are located 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71, across from the Eagle View Golf Course. Look for the sign on the west side of highway that leads to the trailhead.

Ski equipment can be checked out free of charge by youth or adult groups interested in having a fun outdoor winter activity. Such groups could include church groups, youth groups, Kinship, service organizations, businesses, etc.

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers 16 years old and over. Ski Passes are available through the Department of Natural Resource's electronic licensing system at many convenience stores and outdoors stores in the area. A pass can also be purchased online at

Interested groups can coordinate their ski event by calling 218-732-4589. For more information go to

Tuesday, Feb. 8

  The new season for Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) kicks off from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 at Northwoods Bank in Park Rapids with Don Goodwin, tribal elder from White Earth Reservation, talking about "Traditional Tribal Practices in the Ojibwe Culture."

This is the first of four programs sponsored by the Minnesota Humanities Center.  

Don Goodwin, or Yellow Cloud in the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) language, is a pipe carrier - a position similar to a deacon in the Christian faith.

For over 20 years, Goodwin has worked with county jails across Minnesota, performing ceremonies for American Indian prisoners. Many of these ceremonies involve the burning of sage, sweet grass or cedar, and the smoking of a ceremonial pipe.

To Native Americans, these are cleansing ceremonies, a chance to heal.  Most people take for granted the right to pray or worship as they choose. But Native Americans have been denied that right often. In 1890, as part of the U.S. government's assimilation policy, American Indian religious practices were outlawed.

It wasn't until 1978 that Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, restoring religious freedom to Indian people.

For more information, call LuAnne White at 732-7939 or e-mail at hclife longlearn

Programs are free and open to the public.

Walker Area Memory Loss Caregiver Support Group will meet from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 in the library of Hope Lutheran Church in Walker.

This free Alzheimer's Association group provides information and support to caregivers as they provide care for those with memory loss.  

For more information or to sign-up, call facilitator Jill Grimes at 218-547-7555.

Wednesday, Feb. 9

Jill Albie, an admissions representative of Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, has scheduled visits to high schools in the region.

Wednesday, Feb. 9, she will meet with Park Rapids students at 9:30 a.m. and Nevis students at 11 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 14 she will be in Menahga at 11:30 a.m. and Sebeka at 2 p.m.

With 60 career education and liberal arts transfer programs, Central Lakes College is among the fastest growing public colleges in the state. It is a comprehensive community and technical college within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Albie may be reached at or 800-247-6836, ext. 5138.

First, second and third graders seeking high adventure are invited to come to the Park Rapids Area Library and experience history.

"Time Travel Minnesota Style; An adventure in history" will be offered from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 9, Feb. 16, Feb. 23 and March 2.

Pre-register at the library. Enrollment is limited to 15.

Students will travel back in time and become a pioneer, a voyageur and learn about ricing and logging. Participants will prepare and taste food, learn some of the popular songs, create theme-related crafts and keep a travel log to share with the people at home.

Thursday, Feb. 10

Friends of Park Rapids Area Library will hold a book sale from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 in the library basement.

Featured at this sale are romance novels for a dollar a bag and books from the 10 cent room for a dollar per box. Most other books cost less than a dollar.

   The library basement is accessible to all.

Saturday, Feb. 12

The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force will host a prescription drug drop off and disposal day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 in the front lobby of the Law Enforcement Center located at the corner of 6th St. and Minnesota Ave. in Bemidji.

Citizens are urged to bring old, unused, expired or unwanted medications for disposal.

All drop offs are anonymous and collected without question. The goal is to remove dangerous medications from the community to keep children safe.

Any medication in tablet or liquid form is welcome. Please, no syringes. Zip lock bags with the medications are preferred. No need to bring in the pill bottles or dispensers.

For further information, contact the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force at 218-333-8353 during normal business hours.

Sunday, Feb. 13

The Arc United is holding the second annual Buddy Walk Sunday Feb. 13, at Gillette Rec Center, Bemidji State University, 1500 Birchmont Dr., Bemidji.

Registration starts at 1:30 p.m. and the walk begins at 2:30 p.m.

There will be live music, door prizes, face painting and other crafts. Refreshments will be served after the walk.

Although it is not required to take pledges to enjoy the fun of the day it would be greatly appreciated. All money raised will be used to raise awareness of Down syndrome and other disabilities in and around the Bemidji area. Call the Arc United office at 218-759-0097 or 800-450-7338 for pledge sheets.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Beverly Everett, will present its 6th annual Valentine's Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 in the Bemidji High School auditorium.  

Tickets are available in advance at Lueken's North and Brigid's Cross and at the door the evening of the concert.  All children through grade 12 are admitted free.  

The theme for the concert is "A Night at the Movies" and will include movie music such as Raiders March, Star Wars Theme, Ol' Man River, Moon River, Theme from Schindler's List and My Funny Valentine.  

The program will also feature Gretchen Rusch on oboe in "Gabriel's Oboe."  This concert has wide appeal for people of all ages.    

Sunday, March 13

Northwind Crossing will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids.

Tickets may be picked up at the Park Rapids Area Library during regular hours.

Northwind Crossing is a quintet of local musicians drawn together by a common love of traditional Celtic music.

The musicians and their instruments include Tamie Jensen, Irish tin whistles, recorders, accordion, mountain and hammer dulcimer, Celtic harp and vocals; Larry Kimble, six- and 12-string guitar and vocals; Elijah Jensen, bodhran, autoharp, Celtic harp, accordion and vocals; Jake Geise, fiddle and vocals and Willis Mattison, bass.

Mattison also serves as the group's historian and moderator. Northwind Crossing's performances include storytelling that provides the historical context for many of the tunes and songs they perform. The group has researched and rediscovered songs that were played in the Irish and Scottish countryside on fiddle, harp, pipes

and tin whistles in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Northwind Crossing preserves the ancient sounds of Celtic music with traditional instruments, and augments them with guitar, mandolin and bass.