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A new energy vibrated through the city this summer, tourists and residents alike lauding the improvements and upgrades. Flower baskets on Main street are part of the charm that draws customers to shop downtown. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Park Rapids 'alive' with music, food, fun

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Downtown Park Rapids had a successful 2012 summer season and is already gearing up for 2013.

Several Downtown Business Association members mentioned at the September meeting that Park Rapids feels alive.

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Second Street Stage events Thursday nights throughout the summer brought people downtown for music, food and fun. The Thursday night events were such a success that planning is already underway for a reprise in 2013.

DBA member Uzi Monka said the plan is to have Second Street Stage for 10 Thursday nights during the summer of 2013, from June 20-Aug. 22. He is taking suggestions on what types of musicians to line up as he works with Brian Skinness from Terrapin Station in Nevis.

Crazy Days will be July 25-26, 2013. The DBA is looking to revamp the June and August sidewalk sales in 2013.

The Bite of Park Rapids has coincided with Crazy Days for the last two years but the DBA is looking to change the date in 2013 to a separate event. The Bite includes food and music throughout the day.

"The original idea was to create another busy day," Monka said. "I think we can make the Bite as big as we want it to be."

The idea is to add an arts and crafts show to the Bite of Park Rapids event.

Patty Chiodo with the Tin Ceiling store in downtown shared some comments she received from a customer recently.

The customer just moved to Park Rapids from Detroit Lakes this summer and said the community was so friendly and had plenty of things for her kids and grandchildren to do. The town felt alive and the music activities were wonderful, the customer told her.

"We've all heard a lot of comments this summer that the town feels alive. It's the whole town, not just Main street," said DBA president Cynthia Jones.

Brad Dahn, owner of Ace Hardware, agreed and said the town is "just bubbling."

"Now that we finished the downtown project we're hearing from more people from DL, Bemidji, Frazee and other communities that love going to Park Rapids to shop," Jones said.

For more information about downtown events go to www.parkrapidsdowntown.

com.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561
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