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Snowshoe making workshop offered in Bemidji

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Winter is around the corner and Lake Bemidji State Park staff wants to help folks enjoy the snowy days ahead by offering a 3-night snowshoe lacing workshop November 19, 20 and 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Workshop presenters will teach participants how to string the laces on prebuilt wooden snowshoe frames.

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The snowshoe kits are Ojibwa style, which provides the best design for Minnesota's snow conditions. Each kit includes a handmade ash frame and nylon web material for lacing. Bindings are not included in the kit. Three sizes are available - small, up to 120 pounds; medium, up to 180 pounds; and large, over 180 pounds.

"For $80 and a few hours, participants can make and take home a pair of traditional Ojibwa-style (pointed-end) snowshoes," said John Fylpaa, Lake Bemidji State Park naturalist. "The snowshoes will not only provide a great way to explore Minnesota's winter wilderness, but will give participants added satisfaction of knowing they made them."

Participants should plan to attend all three nights as each night will cover a different stage in the lacing process. The first night will cover frame preparation and lacing of the toe and tail section. The second night will cover main section lacing. The final night will cover finishing and bindings. Participants aren't expected to complete their snowshoes during the workshop, but will learn all the skills needed to complete them for this winter's use.

The workshop will be held at the park visitor center. A vehicle permit, available at the park office ($5 for one day or $25 for 12 months), is required.

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required by November 2 to ensure the appropriate quantities and sizes of snowshoe kits are available for the workshop. To register, call the park at 218-308-2300.

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