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Letter: Second Street Stage a community success story

As our fifth summer season ends, the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association would once again like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all the businesses and individuals that have made Second Street Stage such a huge community success story.

Many thanks to our 2016 Second Street Stage sponsors: Wolff & Simon Real Estate; Park Rapids Ford; Paul Bunyan Communications; Northwoods Bank; Vision Source Park Rapids Eye Clinic; Northview Bank; Enbridge; Lamb Weston/RDO; Citizens National Bank; and Smokey Hills Outdoor Store. Thanks also to Arvig and to 3M for a generous grant that provided support to The Bite of Park Rapids. You have helped to grow this event and promote pride in our community throughout the area and we offer you our heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

We thank Donn Hoffman of Hoffman Electric and Mitch Nelson of Northern Pines Sanitation who donate their time and resources each year to keep us safe and clean at all of our events. Thanks to the Black Swan Cooperage for donating barrels to encourage donations. The Park Rapids Enterprise and De La Hunt Broadcasting provide additional resources to complement our advertising dollars. Support from the city administration and staff — especially Scott Olson, Rapids Spirits Manager, and Law Enforcement Officer Joseph Rittgers — is greatly appreciated.

Ever wonder where Second Street Stage hibernates for the winter? Just ask the Shell Prairie Ag Association Board who safely tuck the stage and trailer away in the barns at the fairgrounds at no charge.

And finally, we recognize our members and our community volunteers, especially Denny and Kathy Ulmer, who this year managed the beer garden single-handedly. A huge thanks to the many others who supported and contributed to our efforts, and the more than 21 businesses who at the beginning of the season pledged $1,000 each of their own profits to provide the start-up monies for Second Street Stage, The Bite, flower baskets for Main Street, a map for guests highlighting our downtown businesses, event advertising, a website and webcam of downtown, a new kiosk for Pioneer Park and much more.

We, as a community, can all take pride in what we have accomplished with Second Street Stage. It has filled our Main Street with people, brought life and laughter to our downtown each Thursday night and is talked about throughout the area. It has brought business to our restaurants. And most of all, it has made us all aware that Park Rapids is a community that is thriving and full of vitality. We are grateful, we thank you and we look forward to another season of summer evenings with you on Second Street in 2017.