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Once a month, a consultant from the Minnesota Small Business Development Center arrives in Park Rapids to meet with small business owners and entrepreneurs, at no charge. The guidance is two fold, explained Cathy Lindquist, executive director of the Northwest and West Central SBDC regional centers. Consultations are geared to business owners who want to expand or who are facing a stressful situation, requiring remediation. Assistance is also available to an individual wanting to start a business. "We understand that most businesses start with a passion," she said.
The historical tradition of the Hubbard Prairie will be reborn once again with a horse-drawn sleigh festival Sunday, Feb. 24 in the village of Hubbard. A day of old-fashioned fun - a winter day in the country - will begin at 11 a.m., a $5 button gaining entry for all activities.
The Park Rapids Area Library is hoping to add another chapter in its evolutionary process, driven by an ever-growing "circulation" - use of books, audio books, DVDs, videos and the Internet by patrons. Recent "growing pains," were first diagnosed in 2004, when crowding in the new library was determined to be "critical," Friend of the Library Jerry Novak reports. Inadequate parking is a frustration. No allowance can be made for "quiet" areas.
"Saturday was an terrific day of theater," reports Park Rapids one-act play director Juliann Kjenaas of the 6A Section competition held in high school auditorium. "I am so proud of the students from Park Rapids who delivered an outstanding performance of the beautiful and complex play, scenes from 'The Secret in the Wings,' which was written by Tony award-winning playwright Mary Zimmerman.
The Park Rapids Enterprise is hosting the fourth annual Chili Challenge as a kick-off for the Hubbard County Food Shelf food- and fundraising drive. The event will be held over the noon hour Wednesday, March 6 at the Park Rapids American Legion. Teams, individuals, businesses, civic organizations and church groups are invited to cook up a pot of chili, recruit samplers and serve the concoction. Throw down the gauntlet to your competition. Whacky works.
Piano teacher Liz Shaw composes an eloquent cantata of music's benefits. Music makes you smarter, she simply asserts. "Playing music can have a powerful force on a developing brain," she said. Scientific studies support this. New research suggests just a few years of musical training in childhood can improve how the brain processes sound in adulthood, leading to better listening and learning skills. "Music is math, it is counting and division," Shaw said. "Music theory is the science behind it. You read music. It is cultural. It is history. It is creative expression and art.
The 8th annual Audrey's Purple Dream - Akeley's answer to cancer - will be held Saturday, Feb. 9 on 11th Crow Wing Lake. Proceeds from the event, that includes a fishing tourney and a plunge by daring divers into 11th Crow Wing Lake, benefit area residents whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Audrey's Purple Dream is dedicated to the memory of Audrey Faye Pidde, a lifelong resident of Akeley who died in March 2005 after a battle with cancer. The event's founder, Melissa 'Nib' Niblick, organized the community fundraiser in honor of her friend.
Frigid temperatures did not deter avid readers arriving for Beagle Books and Sister Wolf Books fourth annual Night In. Night In is for book club members or book club wannabes, Sally Wills explained of the recent unveiling of possible reads for the coming year. "It's always the third Saturday in January, and the timing is very intentional," she said. "It's a fun night out after the holidays are over and the grim reality of several more weeks of winter weather has set in.
Park Rapids Area High School actors and actresses once again claimed top prize in sub-section one-act play competition and will move on to section competitions Saturday in the high school auditorium. Performances from eight schools claiming first and second place awards begin at 9 a.m. with the public welcome. The competing schools include Wadena, Eagle Valley, Perham, Parkers Prairie, Hawley, Lake Park-Audubon, Laporte and Park Rapids. First place goes to state.