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Upcoming events

Friday, July 4

Celebrate Independence Day by participating in one of many fun-filled events this weekend in Park Rapids.

Beagle Books will host the 8th annual pie baking contest and auction this 4th of July.

All proceeds will be donated to the Park Rapids Area Library. Get the family downtown on Main at 3:30 p.m. for the annual pie baking contest auction.

For more information contact Jennifer at Beagle Books at 237-2665.

The parade’s theme this year is “A Hometown Celebration.”

The parade will march at 5 p.m. with the line-up beginning at 3 p.m. on Monico Lane. The procession will head south on Main to 5th Street (Bearly Used), turning west to Heritage Living Center, where it will disperse.

The parade begins with a military line-up, the American Legion Post 212 Color Guard, Marine Corps League, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans with Boy Scouts assisting.

This year’s parade grand marshals are PFC Lloyd A. Stigman, CPL Algene (Dude) Bomstad and a Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arthur Burns.

Celebrate your patriotism and love of music all at once as the Park Rapids Area Community Band performs a pre-fireworks concert, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 4 in Heartland Park. The event has moved from Red Bridge Park due to construction.

You won’t want to miss a note from the piccolo to the big bass drum. Dr. Russell Pesola conducts the band in a concert of patriotic music and marches that sets the stage for the Independence Day celebration’s grand finale.

The day comes to a close with a fireworks display overlooking Fish Hook River and Heartland Park. Beginning at about 9 p.m.

Because the pyrotechnics are set off in Heartland Park, some parts of the park will be closed for safety reasons. There is still plenty of seating, plus space in Red Bridge Park or in a boat on the Fish Hook River.

The show, sponsored by the Park Rapids Rotary Club, will begin shortly after dusk.

A Second Helping of Murder and Recipes, the sequel to the quirky Minnesota novel, “Hot Dish Heaven: A Murder Mystery with Recipes,” is available at local booksellers. Those who are in the Park Rapids area during the July 4 weekend can purchase signed copies directly from author Jeanne Cooney, who will be at Beagle Books from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, July 4 and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 6 at Summerhill Farm.

“These who-done-its are set in rural Minnesota and contain lots of local references as well as hot dish recipes and Ole and Lena jokes,” Jeanne explained. “In other words, they’re uniquely Midwestern and make great gifts or souvenirs.”

Saturday, July 5

Laporte 4th on the 5th will be celebrate this Saturday, July 5. This year’s festival includes fun for all.

The day kicks off with a fireman’s open house pig roast at 11 a.m. A flea market will take place all day along the Paul Bunyan Trail. Root beer floats will be for sale starting at 11 a.m. as a Laporte School fundraiser for the cheerleaders.

At 1 p.m. the pie social begins downtown, along with registration for the soap box derby. A kids carnival is from 1-3 p.m. The children’s soap box derby races are at 2 p.m.

A variety of food is available, including brats, pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs and smoked beef brisket. The kids parade line up is at 3 p.m. with prizes awarded at 3:30 p.m.

The grand parade is at 4 p.m. with line up starting at 3:30 p.m.

A pie eating contest and children’s races are at 5 p.m. The second annual men’s beauty pageant and style show is at town hall at 6 p.m. A bingo and meat raffle is at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.

Bigger, better fireworks will be displayed at dusk.

Sunday, July 6

On your mark, get set – oink!

And the porkers are off, rounding the corner at lightning speed, the crowd cheering.

Nevis’ Muskie Park will become Muskie Downs Sunday, July 6 when Minnesota’s renowned and only pig meister, Gary Dauer, arrives with his pinks – and high jinx – for an afternoon of entertainment.

This year’s event in Nevis – the sixth annual - will feature two runs, the gates opening for the swiftest swine off the line at 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m.

Gary and Glenda Dauer will be traveling up from Leader, population 7 (“not including dogs”) for the International Pig Racing Federation-sanctioned event.

Pig racing begins in the LA (Leader Area) hamlet Memorial Day weekend, continuing to engage audiences arriving from across the globe through Labor Day.

Now in the 12th year, shows in the village just off Highway 64 (about 35 miles south of Akeley) are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Leader. But audiences from across the state and North Dakota now witness the porkers barreling around the track.

Gary Dauer will be traveling to 30 cities this summer and early fall (double last year’s number) with his staff, which has increased from one – himself – to a dozen.

His role, at age 60, is now simply ringmaster. His staff sets up and tears down the show, sometimes with two pig-formances on a single day’s agenda.

“I’m not older and tired. I’m wiser,” he said of delegating duties. The final show of the season will be Grand Forks’ Hog Wild Marathon, at September’s end.

His motivation: “Fun. That’s the reason I do it. This world is a tough place to live in. This is such a pleasure, me giving families a good time for a couple of hours…”

Kids Day at the Range is being sponsored by the Osage Sportsman’s Club from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 6. There will be fun for the whole family. Try your hand at rifle, shotgun and archery against a variety of targets.

There will be black powder demonstrations.

Ages 12-16 must have firearms certificate and a parent with them, and a .243 or smaller. There will be a small fee per shooter. Lunch is available.

To find the range from Highway 34 in Osage, turn north on County 48, go 1.3 miles and it will be on the left. For more information go to or find them on Facebook at portsmansClub or call Allen Belt at 732-0978.

Monday, July 7

The Park Rapids Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will meet for the annual picnic at 6 p.m. followed by a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday July 7 at the Environmental Education Building at the Hubbard County Fairgrounds.

Chapter FJ of the P.E.O. Sisterhood will meet Monday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Kathy Hollenbeck. The program will be a report of the P.E.O. Minnesota State Convention. Please contact Kathy with your regrets.

Thursday, July 8

The Retired Military Group will be meeting at the Erland Alto residence for a potluck picnic at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 10. The Altos will have the meat entrée. The address is 25547 Hazelnut Trail, Nevis, North of Nevis on 2.

Call Commander Erland Alto if you have any questions at 652-0114. All retired military and their family members are welcome. Hope to see you all there.

The 36th annual Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour Bull Ride will entertain all ages with top riders along with nightly “After Party” concerts and dances.

The Jokela ProWest Production Committee is excited to announce new dates for 2014 as well as national touring music acts each night. The new dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 10-12 at the Double J Arena in Park Rapids.

Traditionally held over the Fourth of July, the event date has been changed this year to showcase and accommodate the top riders in their quest for valuable points that may move them up the leader board and help to qualify them for the PBR Finals held annually in Las Vegas, Nev.

This year’s rodeo clown is Keith Isley, of North Carolina, who is well known in the rodeo circuit. Some of his comedy routines consist of trick roping, high impact/low impact aerobic workout, various animal routines and trick riding. Acts such as these have made it possible for Isley to make rodeo entertainment a full-time career.

Sheep riding for kids will return this year. Parents must sign up their kids online in advance. Tickets for the bull ride are available to purchase online as well at

A reduced price will be given if people purchase tickets for both the bull ride and “After Party.”

The new nightly PBR Bull Ride “After Party” dance and concert will feature touring national music acts and Nashville recording artists. This is a separate ticket from the bull ride.

The concerts are a tribute to Jokela Pro West producer Randy Jokela’s mother, Lorraine, who died last fall.

Hay Creek Entertainment is coordinating with Jokela Pro West on the entertainment. The lineup includes: Incredibly Real and Jeremiah James Korfe on Thursday, July 10; Korfe and Chris Janson on Friday, July 11; and Farmers Daughters and David Lee Murphy on Saturday, July 12.

Go to for updates, details and ticket info for the bull ride and concerts/dances. The events are rain or shine.

Soap will bring dance infused rock music to 2nd Street Stage Thursday, July 10, sponsored by the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association and Thielen Motors.

Like the band name, Soap’s music is undoubtedly fresh. With influences ranging from jazz, blues and funk to progressive, psychedelic and electronic, Soap skillfully fuses all of these genres into one - dance infused rock. Imagine going to a double matinee showing of Led Zeppelin and P-Funk and then heading to an Amsterdam discotheque to dance until the sun comes up. Originally from the Chicago area, Soap uprooted and moved to Minneapolis in 2007 and has become a staple in the thriving Twin Cities music scene. January 2014 marked three years of Soap’s weekly residency at The Cabooze, a legendary Minneapolis venue. Their strong Midwest ties have helped the band tour successfully throughout the region and beyond, notching over 120 shows each of the past three years.

2nd Street Stage continues from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 21 - rain or shine - with free live bands, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street between Main Avenue and Highway 71 (at Armory Square if it rains). Please bring your own chair. For more information, go to

The Becker County Republicans will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10 in the Detroit Lakes City Hall Meeting room.

Nick Longworth
A graduate from St. Cloud State University, Nick photographs and writes a variety of stories for nearly every section of The Park Rapids Enterprise. His duties also include section layouts and online content submission.
(218) 732-3364