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Upcoming events


The Retired Military Group will meet at Vallartas Mexican Grill at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 in Park Rapids.

     Friends of the Park Rapids Area Library will hold a book sale from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 in the library basement. Winter is a great time to curl up with a good book.

     Featured at this sale are craft and quilting books and patterns in addition to a large selection of paperback and hardcover novels and non-fiction works, along with an assortment of puzzles.

     Shoppers may want to fill a bag with romance novels or a box or bag with books from the 10 cent room for just $1.  Most other books cost less than a dollar. Sale items also include magazines, videos, CDs, DVDs and more.

     The library basement is accessible to all.

     The Becker County Republicans will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Detroit Lakes city offices.


     Park Rapids Friendly Squares will be having a square dance on Friday, Feb. 14 at Century School. Roger McNeil will be calling. Plus dancing is from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. and mainstream dancing is from 8 to 10 p.m. Bernadette McNeil will cue between tips. The club will provide a potluck lunch after the dance. All square dancers and spectators are welcome.


     Itascatur Club will host an open house for cross-country skiing from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Soaring Eagle north of Park Rapids off of Highway 71.

     Check the Itascatur website for a cancellation notice if there is inclement weather at

     Enjoy the beautiful ski trails and have a cup of hot chocolate in the warming house. Bring your own skis or check-out equipment purchased by the club. We also have a pulk sled that can be used to pull young children while skiing. Volunteers will be available to help you get started and answer your questions about the trails.

The ski center consists of 10 kilometers of marked and groomed trails through balsam pines and spruce. All trails are groomed classical and skate are designed for beginner to expert skiers.

     Soaring Eagle is located 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71, across from the Eagle View Golf Course. A Minnesota Ski Pass is required for all skiers age 16 and over.

     The Rising Sun Dancers will have a dance on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2-4:30 p.m. at the Waubun Community Center. Roger McNeil will call the tips and Bernadette will cue rounds for us. Lunch furnished by the club. All spectators and dancers are always welcome.


     The public is invited to rally behind the fight against heart disease in women during a Go Red for Women luncheon.

     St. Joseph’s Area Health Services Auxiliary will host the event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids. There is a cost.

     The American Heart Association notes that heart disease is the number one killer of women. They created Go Red for Women, a passionate initiative designed to empower women to take control of their heart health.

In addition to a heart-healthy luncheon, participants can enjoy educational opportunities. Guest speakers will include: “Heart Healthy Dental Practices” by Lora Nelson, DDS; “Cardio Exercise” by Missy Lindow, lifestyle counselor; and “Stress Management” by Aryls Hess, LSW.

Free blood pressure and body mass index screenings will be available from 1 to 2 p.m. following the educational sessions. Door prizes will be awarded.

     To make reservations, please call St. Joseph’s Shoppe on Pleasant at 218-616-3458 or Theora Goodrich at 218-652-3130. Auxiliary members should make reservations through their group president. Reservations will be accepted through Feb. 14.

     A Certified MNsure navigator will be available at the Park Rapids Area Library on Tuesday, Feb. 18 to assist the public with enrolling in health care plans through MNsure. A MNsure navigator is a trained and certified specialist, ready to assist anyone in the community who wants to apply for health care insurance through MNsure, the Minnesota version of the Affordable Care Act.

     A MNsure navigator can help you to find the best and most affordable insurance for you, fill out MNsure applications and enroll you and your family for health insurance.

     Walk-ins are welcome but those who make appointments will have priority. Register for a meeting by calling the library at 732-4966. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

     Those individuals already on Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care do not need to meet with a navigator at this point. The county and the state will handle the conversion on those cases.

     Navigators will be able to assist people who wish to find insurance before the end of the enrollment period, which is March 31. Navigators are not insurance agents or brokers. The consultation is free of charge and available to all community members regardless of income.


     The annual Dorothy Noeske Memorial Bluegill & Crappie Fishing Derby is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 on Straight Lake in Osage.

     Each year ticket holders have a chance to win prizes at a drawing and prizes are awarded for fish caught in certain categories.

     The event is sponsored by the Osage Sportsmans Club. For more information contact Allen Belt 732-0978.

     Two years after restarting the Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival, the organizers are gearing up for the third year of winter family fun in Hubbard. The 2014 festival will be held in Hubbard from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday Feb. 23.

     This year’s theme is Sleigh Bells Ring. The festival will feature as many as 20 old fashioned cutters and sleighs, and other horse drawn vehicles.

     The festival was begun in 1993 and was a popular community event until it lapsed in the late 1990s Dick Schauer, owner of The Working Horse, Jim Johnson and a group of others revived the festival in 2012.

     To this end, the festival not only includes the main Parade of Sleighs, but a growing list of family activities. Among other events are the popular snow sculpting contest, a pioneer winter encampment, dog sled rides, a one act play at the Long Lake Theater and human cart race and all day bonfire.

     Chili and cornbread are served in the Hubbard United Methodist Church, and hot chocolate and coffee are available all day at the Community Center. In addition, the Hilltop Cafe will be open for hot chocolate, coffee and refreshments.

     Festival headquarters is at the community center where the Long Lake Association will exhibit a choice selection of historic maps and artifacts from the area. Vendors will also be selling mementos and other items all day at the center.

     Snow sculpting begins a week in advance of the festival. Large mounds of snow are piled in the lot adjacent to the center building, and are shaped into rectangular blocks with the help of specially-made forms, and heavy equipment from a local farm. Some sculptors start work as soon as the blocks ready; others wait until the morning of the festival.

     One of the favorite events of the festival is a short play about life in early Hubbard.

     Admission to the festival is a $5 button available at Beagle Books and at the festival.

     More information and a complete program of events is available on the Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival Facebook page.


     Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) Spring 2014 series begins Feb. 25 and will include eight programs to be presented on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Northwoods Bank community room in Park Rapids. Sessions are free of charge, handicap accessible, with seating for 90 guests. Refreshments are served.

     Feb. 25: “The Suffragists.” Members of the League of Women Voters Park Rapids enact the dramatic struggle to gain voting rights for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Clara Ueland, and Coya Knutson will be brought to life.

     March 4: “Reptiles.” Headwaters Science Center of Bemidji will explain how various reptiles cope with their environment. Live snakes, lizards, and turtles will be part of the demonstration, and audience members will have a chance to touch the animals.

     March 11: “Update on the Koreas.” Ed Poitras returns to review and interpret recent events in North and South Korea and their significance for the U.S.

     March 18: “Understanding Events in Syria.” Mary Hrenchir, BSU, presents an overview of the Syrian conflict and its implications.

     March 25: “Migration Out of Africa.” John Hitchcock’s exploration takes us back 85,000 years and reviews evidence on human inter-relatedness.

     April 1: “Life of Sacajawea.” Historian Mike Hansen provides a close up look at the life of this important historical figure.

     April 8: “Girl From Birch Creek.” Award-winning documentary film tells the story of Rosalie Wahl, Minnesota’s first female Supreme Court justice. This 57-minute film was produced with Minnesota Legacy Amendment funds. Discussion will follow the film.

     April 15: “Paved With Good Intentions: The White Earth Tragedy.” Bert Ahern examines Indian boarding schools and their impact.

     HCLL purchased video recording equipment with a grant from Itasca-Mantrap’s Operation Round-Up. Most programs from the past two years are recorded and available for checkout at the Park Rapids Library.

     Anyone needing more information, or to be added to the mailing list, or wishing to volunteer, may call board chair Marty Leistikow at 218-699-3527 or email Brochures are available at the library, Beagle Books, and Northwoods Bank.

     Please park away from the bank to allow parking for bank patrons. Overflow parking available in the lot behind the liquor store.


     Park Rapids Friendly Squares will be having a square dance on Friday, Feb. 28 at Century School. Myron Hollatz will be calling. Plus dancing is from 7:30 to 8 p.m. and mainstream dancing is from 8 to 10 p.m. The club will provide a potluck lunch after the dance. All square dancers and spectators are welcome.


     An Energy and Wellness Expo will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Park Rapids Century School.

     Good health is influenced by environment, energy sources, what you eat, drink, sleep, think, exercise and even what products you use on your laundry. The Energy and Wellness Expo will provide information vital to achieving good health and quality of life. Local businesses and organizations have the opportunity to showcase energy and health related products, services and resources. Don't miss this interactive and exciting event.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364