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Park Rapids showcases cultural and outdoor events during 'Legacy Weekend'

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A weekend of engaging arts, history and outdoor events Sept. 23-25 will highlight the importance of these resources to the community and the local impact of funding provided through the Clean Water Land & 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.

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. Legacy Weekend is part of a monthly series being held in Legacy Destination communities throughout Minnesota to highlight local cultural and outdoor opportunities by drawing residents and visitors to an eclectic assortment of fun activities.

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.

"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 will be available online at www.parkrapids.com and www.prlaac.org. Among the events on the Legacy Weekend schedule are the following:

• PRLAAC is sponsoring a Celebration of the Arts from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Park Rapids Century School. The celebration, in partnership with Kinship of the Park Rapids Area and its annual spaghetti dinner, will feature performances and highlight the events and projects of arts organizations in the Park Rapids area.

• 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.

• Art Leap 2011 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 and live performances are planned at Terrapin Station in Nevis and the Minnesota Folklore Theater in Akeley. All Art Leap events are free and open to the public. Maps will be available by Aug. 1. On an Art Leap tour, visitors will drive on long stretches of the Lake Country Scenic Byway and, depending on the routes they choose, will pass 12-15 lakes.

• Jaspers Theater will host a music, magic and comedy show as part of its Fall Concert Series at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Call 218-237-4333 for reservations or go to www.jasperstheater.com.

• 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.exploreminnesota.com/legacy.

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