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Upcoming events


The Forest Riders Snowmobile Club will have a Community Snowball Dance at the Eagles Club today (Saturday), Feb. 22 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The proceeds for the event go to the club’s equipment fund. A raffle drawing for the chance to win an Arctic Cat 120 snowmobile will be during the dance.

The Heartland 106 Snowmobile Race is today (Saturday) and Sunday, Feb. 22-23 in Park Rapids.

It is part of the United States X-Country Snowmobile Racing circuit and this year’s race will again run through the forests and lakes of the area.

This is the second annual event. Last year’s race was a success, with two days of racing that brought hundreds of people to the area.

Saturday’s race will start at Bogey’s on Highway 34 east of Park Rapids and once again go along Long Lake and into the Hubbard Prairie with a few minor changes made to address safety concerns. It is about a 25-30 mile loop and will be run up to four times depending on the snowmobile class.

Sunday’s race will be one gigantic loop throughout the county of about 100 miles. Racers will head north on Highway 4 and go through the Paul Bunyan State Forest, looping back along Highway 34 and Lake Belle Taine. Sunday’s race starts at 10 a.m.

The Heartland Concert Association presents a fiddle and guitar duo for its concert today.

Admission is by season membership ticket only, which may be purchased at Beagle Books in Park Rapids, Thrifty White Drug in Walker.

Frigid temps will be offset by the “sizzling duo of fiddle and guitar,” Alex Depue and Miguel DeHoyos creating “exciting, unpredictable fun” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

The two have wowed the world for decades – from DePue performing at Carnegie Hall at 14 and touring with rock guitarist Steve Vai to DeHoyos entertaining government officials and diplomats in Mexico and performing in Romania, by invitation of the Romanian government.

Their unparalleled sound – music that speaks to the soul – includes works ranging from Mozart and Pachelbel to Gershwin and Lennon and McCartney.

For more information, contact Bobbi Zigmant at 732-9293 or Kathy Hollenbeck at 237-6004.

The public is invited to attend a snowshoe hike into the Tamarac Wilderness co-hosted by the North Country Trail Association and Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge today. Snowshoers will traverse a part of the roughly 2,100-acre Wilderness area in the northwestern corner of the Refuge. This event is one of hundreds taking place across the country throughout 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and to recognize the continuing benefits of America’s wilderness legacy.

Interested hikers may meet at Rainbow Resort for an optional casual lunch at 11:30 a.m. Information will be available at this time from the North Country Trail Association), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Friends of Tamarac. At 1 p.m., the NCTA and USFWS will provide a brief introduction to Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, its Wilderness area, the Wilderness Act, and the 109.5 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. After this short time indoors, hikers will be shuttled to the hike’s start into the wilderness.

Rainbow Resort is located at 36571 County Highway 35, Waubun and is 48 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes (via US 59, MN 113, and CR-35). Visit the website for more information and driving directions.

The “Making of Maple Syrup” will be held today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Town Hall in Guthrie.

Maple syrup and maple sugar are one of the oldest agricultural commodities produced in the United States. Today maple syrup is produced in fourteen northern states with Vermont, New York, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania having the largest syrup production.

In Minnesota, four species of maple can be used for sap production. For the the sweetest sap, sugar maple or hard maple is used. Sap can also be gathered from red maple, silver maple, and boxelder.

The course is taught by Carl Vogt, a retired University of Minnesota extension specialist in conservation education. Join us as we learn what trees can be tapped; what tools are needed; when to tap trees, how to tap trees and how to process sap into syrup.

Sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension – Hubbard County, the program is free and open to the public. To register, please call Sally Shearer, Program Coordinator at 732-3391.


The Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival will have a number of new attractions for festival goers. The event was successfully re-launched in 2012 after a downtime of 12 years. Organizers are gearing up for winter family fun in Hubbard.

The 2014 festival will be held 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 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 with an 18-foot tall teepee where re-enactors will stage aspects of 19th century winter pioneer life.

Plans call for a modern winter encampment to be held nearby so visitors can compare winter experiences in both centuries.

The band County 20 will be back for the third year. The performance begins at 2:45 p.m. at the Long Lake Theater following the performance of the one-act play depicting the early history of Hubbard, which will be repeated a second time after the music.

Bring your old strings of sleigh bells and win a prize.

Snow sculpting began a week in advance of the festival.

Admission to the festival is a $5 button available at Beagle Books and at the festival. Children under 12 are free.

A Giddy-Up Cart Race will feature human partners attempting to guide a small cart through a winding course. Scott Johnson will be demonstrating chainsaw sculptures by the old general store.

More information and a complete program of events is available on the Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival Facebook page, or by calling Marie Helfrich at 732-7708 or Dick Schauer at 732-4208.

Sarah Smith

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

(218) 732-3364