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Waconia is picked over Park Rapids to host 2012 opener

Park Rapids representatives pose for a picture with Governor Mark Dayton. From left, Dan Walker, City of Park Rapids, Katie Magozzi, Park Rapids Chamberof Commerce, Jason Durham, Go Fish Guide Service, Governor Dayton, Blake Johnson, Citizens National Bank, and Butch DeLaHunt, DeLaHunt Broadcasting. (Submitted photo)

Waconia was chosen to host the 2012 Governor's Fishing Opener over Park Rapids but local representatives have been encouraged to keep applying.

Katie Magozzi, Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, who attended this year's event in Grand Rapids, said Waconia had applied four times before being chosen.

"We'll make sure we refresh our application and get it back on the governor's desk this fall," she said.

Park Rapids and Red Wing were finalists this year. The Governor's Fishing Opener has been in northern Minnesota for the past few years.

"I got the impression the governor wanted to move it around the state," she said.

Magozzi and other Park Rapids representatives attended this year's opener and took back some ideas about how to host the opener if Park Rapids is chosen in a future year.

The Friday community picnic in Grand Rapids had about 2,200 people in attendance despite the weather, Magozzi said. Saturday's celebration was also a success, she said.

After seeing experiencing the opener in Grand Rapids, Magozzi is confident Park Rapids can host an exceptional event.

"This community is very ready to host and people are rallied to make this happen," Magozzi said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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