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Upcoming events Jan. 16-Feb. 9

Sunday, Jan. 16

Itascatur Club is hosting Sunday open houses at Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails in January and February.

Open houses will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 16, and Feb. 6 and 20.

Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails are located 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71, across from the Eagle View Golf Course. Look for the sign on the west side of highway that leads to the trailhead.

Ski equipment can be checked out free of charge by youth or adult groups interested in having a fun outdoor winter activity. Such groups could include church groups, youth groups, Kinship, service organizations, businesses, etc.

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers 16 years old and over. Ski Passes are available through the Department of Natural Resource's electronic licensing system at many convenience stores and outdoors stores in the area. A pass can also be purchased online at

Interested groups can coordinate their ski event by calling 218-732-4589. For more information go to

Tuesday, Jan. 18

The Park Rapids Garden Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Tabletop Gardening with Kim Sivicky will be presented.  

The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, Jan. 19

Park Rapids Schools' parent-teacher conference schedule in January includes:

n Century Elementary - 4:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 and 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24.

n Century Middle School - 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 and 4 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24.

n High school second trimester conferences will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. both Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Monday, Jan. 24.

There will be no school for students Friday, Jan. 21.

A financial aid information meeting for parents of seniors and others will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21 in the Park Rapids Area High School choir room.

The meeting will cover how financial aid for college works and how to fill out FAFSA forms. Anyone planning to attend college next fall should fill out a FAFSA form as soon as possible. The forms must be filed every year. The website is

Susan Rassier, high school counselor, will host the presentation given by Stephanie Bard, assistant financial aid administrator of Bemidji State University.

Thursday, Jan. 20

"John Beargrease" will visit the Park Rapids Area Library at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20.

Many people have heard of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. The race is named after the Ojibwe mail carrier, John Beargrease, who was born in 1858, the same year Minnesota became a state. John grew up in a wigwam on the edge of Beaver Bay, the first white settlement on the North Shore.

John was the son of Moquabimetem, who also went by the name "Beargrease." His father was an Ojibwe leader who settled in the area to work in at Beaver Bay's sawmill.

The U.S. Congress ordered the beginning of mail service from Superior to Grand Portage in 1855, but service was spotty - if the lake was choppy in summer or icy in winter, the mail didn't make it through.

The Beargrease family came to the rescue.

Using costume and props from the period, John Beargrease will be brought to life by a Minnesota History Player from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

John Beargrease's visits to Kitchigami Libraries and communities are part of the Minnesota History Alive! Project with funding from the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

The Arts Downtown PR series will continue from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 in downtown Park Rapids.

The Northern Light Wind Quintet will be at Bella Caffè, playing from 5 to 5:30 and 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Fran Gack will entertain from 5:30 to 6 and 6:30 to 7 p.m. at The Good Life Cafe where a collection of watercolors on loan from the North Country Museum of Arts remain on display.

This event is designed to bring audiences to see and hear visual artists, musicians, writers and other artists in businesses in downtown Park Rapids on the third Thursday of the month year round. The public is invited to attend and encouraged to make a free will donation to the artists. Contact Lu Ann Hurd-Lof at 652-4081,

This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota.

Friday, Jan. 21

A Weston A. Price Nutrition Foundation chapter meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. at the Evergreen Church in Park Rapids.

The topic is "Nourishing Our Children."   All meetings are free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 22

Minnesota Folklore Theater will hold auditions for "Little Women" from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan 22 and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 at the theater located on Highway 34 in Akeley.

Females are needed for the roles of Mrs. March, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Hannah and males to play Laurie and Mr. Laurence.

Rehearsals begin Wednesday, Jan. 26. The show opens Friday, March 4 and will run for two weeks. All youth who perform in four shows are put into a pool for a $500 youth scholarship.

The theater is also looking for a musical director, lighting designer and costume designer for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat."

First City Squares of Bemidji is hosting a square dance from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22 at the United Methodist Fellowship Hall, 9th and Beltrami.  

Plus tips will be in the first half hour.  Royce Nelson will be the caller.  Visitors and spectators are welcome.  For more information, call Ray or Carole at 218-444-5904.

Tuesday, Jan. 25

Dr. Carla Norris-Raynbird, assistant professor of sociology at Bemidji State University, will lecture on the changing ability of Louisiana coastal parishes to manage their coastal zones at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 in Hagg-Sauer Hall 107 on the Bemidji State campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For residents of Lousiana's Gulf Coast, much has changed in the half a decade since the region was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Efforts to rebuild the region continue to this day, while local officials are left to grapple with often difficult questions on how to manage their coastlines in the wake of new federal regulations and the knowledge that similar weather-related disasters could occur again in the future.

Norris-Raynbird, who spent three years in Louisiana as a research scientist on an Environmental Protection Agency-funded climate change project, will compare results of a pre-2005 study that examined several dimensions of capacity related to coastal zone management with a follow-up study currently underway.

Thursday, Jan. 27

Bemidji State University will offer a hands-on lesson in knitting winter clothing Thursday, Jan. 27.

The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the university's Excellence in Leadership Center, located in the lower Hobson Memorial Union.

The workshop carries a fee of $7, which includes all necessary materials. The first 15 registered participants will be provided with knitting needles and some yarn to get started.

As space is limited, interested participants are encouraged to register in advance, either in person at the University's Excellence in Leadership Center, located in the lower Hobson Memorial Union, or by contacting Erika Bailey-Johnson, Bemidji State University sustainability coordinator, at ebailey johnson

Traditional skills workshops are offered monthly through the university's sustainability office and offer introductions to skills such as deer hide tanning, breadmaking, garden planning, mushroom hunting, beekeeping and carding and spinning yarn.

Saturday, Jan. 29

Dancing Light, the music duo of Kiki and Greg Webb, will offer a songwriting workshop and concert Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Park Rapids Area Library

The songwriting workshop will begin at 1 p.m.

followed by a concert at 3 p.m. Both programs are free.

It's not necessary to register for the concert; all are welcome. Space is limited for the songwriting workshop, however. Call the library at 732-4966 to register for the songwriting workshop.

Kiki and Greg Webb make their home in Walker on the shores of Leech

Lake. The Minnesota north woods infuses their songs with spruce-scented summer breezes, blazing northern lights and loon calls at sunrise. Their feel-good, family-oriented show inspires, educates and uplifts. Through humor, storytelling and song, Dancing Light transports their audience. In their songs, you may find yourself at an Ojibwe powwow, or wandering the "Lost 40."

The songwriting workshop will introduce participants to the creative process as it applies to songwriting. Kiki and Greg will share interactive games that help participants get in touch with their "hidden songwriter," and will introduce the songwriting process as well as other approaches.

After a short break following the workshop, Dancing Light will perform a concert of their original songs.

The Dancing Light songwriting workshop and concert are part of the Kitchigami "Say It, Sing It" Legacy Storytelling project with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Friday, Jan. 28

The Park Rapids Friendly Squares will square dance Friday, Jan. 28 at the Century School.

There will be a "plus" workshop from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and mainstream dancing from 8 to 10pm.  

Larry Johansen will be the caller and Donna Stone will cue round dances between tips.  

There will be a potluck lunch after the dance furnished by the club members.

 All square dancers and spectators are welcome.

Sunday, Jan. 30

Bemidji State University's Office of Financial Aid will be hosting a Minnesota College Goal Sunday event from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 at Bemidji High School to provide free information and assistance to families of high school seniors, regardless of the student's future college plans.

The event will be held at Bemidji High's Lumberjack Room. Bemidji High School is located at 2900 Division St. West. Participating students will be entered in a scholarship drawing.

College Goal Sunday is a national program that provides free information and assistance to families who are filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the federally required form for students seeking financial aid such as grants and loans.

Completing the form is the first and most important step in qualifying for aid.

The workshop is designed for those who are low income or have no family history of attending college. However, any student who feels that financial aid is needed to attend college and who needs help applying for that aid is encouraged to attend the workshop.

The workshop is not limited to students who plan to attend Bemidji State University; it is open to all college-bound high school seniors.

Students should attend with a parent or guardian if possible, and should bring their parents' completed federal income tax return, W-2 statements and other income and benefits information.

If parents are unable to attend, students may attend alone and bring this information. Independent students may bring their own income and asset information.

For more information, contact Bemidji State's Office of Financial Aid at 218- 755-2034.

Friday, Feb. 4

A class on raising bees in the backyard will be offered from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 and from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 in Northwoods Bank's community room.

The class will be offered at no charge.

Would you like to create a sustainable future in bees by raising bees in your backyard? Honeybees are a gardener's best friend; they pollinate fruit trees, vegetables and other garden plants plus provide a valuable product, honey.

JoAnne Sabin, an educator on honeybees and a Dakota County Master Gardener, will instruct the course is designed to encourage, assist and educate on the experience of keeping honeybees.

Materials will cover fundamental bee basics - apiary equipment and hive assembly; selecting a site; feeding and treating bees; queen, worker and drones' behavior; nectar and pollen plants; honey extracting, seasonal management and more.

Contact Sally Shearer, Hubbard County Extension program coordinator via e-mail at or at 732-3391 (office) or 237-1245 (direct) to register. Registration deadline is Jan. 28. Participants are asked to provide their own lunch.

The program is sponsored by the Hubbard County University of Minnesota Extension and Hubbard County Master Gardeners.

Wednesday, Feb. 9

First, second and third graders seeking high adventure are invited to come to the Park Rapids Area Library and experience history.

"Time Travel Minnesota Style; An adventure in history" will be offered from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 9, Feb. 16, Feb. 23 and March 2.

Pre-register at the library. Enrollment is limited to 15.

Students will travel back in time and become a pioneer, a voyageur and learn about ricing and logging. Participants will prepare and taste food, learn some of the popular songs, create theme-related crafts and keep a travel log to share with the people at home.