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Solway artist Maureen O'Brien will be one of three artists demonstrating at Moose Creek/Moose Creek Village in downtown Park Rapids during Legacy Destination Weekend. (Submitted photo)

Area's cultural and outdoor resources to be celebrated

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Park Rapids' clean lakes, historic trails and unique artists will be on display Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-25 for Legacy Destination Weekend to highlight local outdoors, arts and cultural resources supported by the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.

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Legacy Weekend is being organized by the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council (PRLAAC), Itascatur Ski, Bike & Run Club and the Lake Country Scenic Byway.

"Our community offers both cultural and outdoor recreation, and we thought it would be fun to let people sample the variety of great things there are to see and do here," said PRLAAC chair Paul Dove. "It's a positive thing for our area."

"Legacy Weekend is a terrific opportunity to showcase the amazing quality of life in the Park Rapids Lakes Area," added Chamber director Katie Magozzi. "We are not only a center for outdoor recreation, we are a center for arts and culture in northern Minnesota."

A detailed schedule of events is available online at www.parkrapids.com. Among the events on the Legacy Weekend schedule are the following:

n Celebration of the Arts will be from 5:15 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Park Rapids Century School. The event is free and open to the public.

The celebration, in partnership with Kinship of the Park Rapids Area, will feature performances and highlight the events and projects of arts organizations and others, which have been awarded funding as a result of Minnesota's Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment.

Among those scheduled to perform are students from the Northland School of Dance, Jackpine Writers' Bloc writers, Mark Bridge, the New Orleans Brass Band, the Northern Light Woodwind Quintet, Park Rapids Classic Chorale, Minnesota Folklore Theater and Jasper's Theater.

n Kinship of the Park Rapids Area will host the annual spaghetti dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Century School.

The event is open to Headwaters 100 riders and the public.

The menu includes spaghetti with meat or meatless sauce, garlic toast, coleslaw and homemade desserts.

The event benefits the nonprofit mentoring organization serving kids in southern Hubbard County.

n Itascatur will sponsor the 31st annual Headwaters 100 Saturday, Sept. 24.

After registration at the Century School from 7 to 9 a.m., bikers depart for 100-mile, 75-mile and 45-mile rides.

Traveling on well-marked routes, some riders will travel along the Lake Country Scenic Byway to Itasca State Park. All routes include the Heartland Trail and guide bikers past area lakes and scenic vistas.

For registration and other information, go to http://itascatur.org.

n Art Leap 2011, to be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, is a driving tour of artists' studios and other cultural destinations. Most studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Live performances are planned Saturday afternoon. Terrapin Station in Nevis is hosting the 2nd annual Art Leap Music Festival and open house.

Art Leap is funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Region 2 Arts Council.

n The 4th annual Autumn Harvest Festival, including a lantern-lit hike and activities, will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Itasca State Park.

Guides with lanterns will lead you down the kerosene lantern-lit trail to meet characters during this family-friendly evening hike.

Group hikes will last about 30 minutes, departing every 10 minutes from the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

n The Northern Light Opera Company will present its 10th anniversary concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

Singers will be returning to reprise highlights from all of NLOC's productions.

n The Heartland Concert Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its first concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium with door prizes and special recognitions.

The concert will feature The Unexpected Boys - A Tribute to Frankie Valli. For the past two years, The Unexpected Boys have been performing their award-winning tribute to one of the most recognized bands to ever hit the airwaves - Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

For information on the series of monthly Legacy Destinations weekends taking place throughout the year, see www.explore minnesota.com/legacy.

The Legacy Destination Weekends program is a partnership of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Conservation Minnesota and Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state's tourism promotion office.

Some of the arts, outdoors and historical sites and events featured have received grants from the Legacy Amendment approved by Minnesota voters in 2008 to provide financial support for a variety of conservation, parks and cultural programs.

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