Weather Forecast


Downtown road work will conclude with community celebration on Main Aug. 18

Bluegrass group Monroe Crossing will perform at the Main Avenue reopening celebration Aug. 18. From left are Benji Flaming, banjo, Matt Thompson, mandolin, Lisa Fuglie, fiddle, Derek Johnson, guitar, and Mark Anderson, bass. (Submitted photo)

A final layer of bituminous will be put on downtown side streets next week.

Side streets in the downtown area will need to be barricaded for a day to complete the work.

Project superintendent Jeff Wipper said he expects the work to be completed Tuesday. Barricades will need to be placed the night before. He said the side streets should be open by Wednesday evening, in time for the downtown Crazy Days sales.

Parking will be available along Main Avenue, Pleasant Avenue and city lots while the side streets are closed.

Work on the southern portion of Main Avenue is progressing with curb work underway.

Underground work is complete and bituminous work will be done after the curb is poured.

Alleys should also be paved and completed by the end of next week, including the busy alley behind the post office.

The state shutdown didn't affect the downtown construction project and Wipper didn't think any of the subcontractors would need to be working on any of the state projects in the near future.

Later this summer striping and final detail work will be done on the downtown portion.

A Main Avenue reopening celebration is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 18.

World-class bluegrass entertainers Monroe Crossing will appear in concert at 7 p.m. that evening as part of the celebration.

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, Monroe Crossing uses a blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals.

The concert will cap a day of music, other activities and a ribbon cutting in downtown Park Rapids with County 20 performing at 6:30 and Monroe Crossing taking to the stage on the second block of Main Street at 7 p.m. (Bring your own chairs.)

The guest group is touring in support of a new DVD, "Monroe Crossing Live," which features audience favorites and original compositions from "Heartache & Stone," their latest CD. "Heartache & Stone" boasts seven band originals and songs from four other Minnesota songwriters, including pop rocker Prince.

Since the year 2000, Monroe Crossing has released 10 CDs and made more than 1,000 concert appearances throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Monroe Crossing has received several awards, including Best Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo at the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association's 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet.

Monroe Crossing is the only Bluegrass band ever nominated as the Minnesota Music Academy "Artist of the Year," which also recognized the band with an award for "Bluegrass Album of the Year."

In 2007, they were selected as an Official Showcase Band at the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass Convention in Nashville, and later that year, they were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.