CHECK IT OUT: Library events showcase history, music

Upcoming presenters include an expert on historic American music and an interactive look at Minnesota in the Vietnam war.

Mark Bridge (submitted photo)

The Park Rapids Area Library is delighted to announce our upcoming events on American history and Minnesota culture, funded by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment. Presented by enthusiastic and dedicated experts, these family-friendly events are free and everyone is welcome.

Join us at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. as we dig into our musical past with favorite local musician Mark Bridge, as he pulls out all the stops to bring you an evening of good old-fashioned entertainment! “Historical Notes: Songs of America’s Heritage” is a banjo-picking, fun-filled time to learn about the music of the past.

Listen and sing along as Mark, expert banjo player, performs classics like “Clementine” and “Shenandoah” on authentic instruments. Mark says, “Nothing comes closer to an era’s songs for teaching us what life was like in the past. Through music we learn of people’s goals, passions, concerns, thoughts, and most importantly, their humor.”

A longtime member of the local group Unpolished, Mark comes with an infectious enthusiasm for the past and its music. In this interactive performance, you can even try your hand at playing the tambourine or bones. As a special keepsake, we have created a songbook for you to take home. Tell your friends and bring the family for this toe-tapping time of song and history.

Historian Arn Kind is coming back to Park Rapids Area Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 with his much-awaited “Minnesota in the Vietnam War” program. If you saw his “Minnesota in WWI” presentation, you’ll remember his dedication to authenticity and passion for sharing his knowledge of the time period.


This thoughtful and insightful new program will be filled with an astounding array of artifacts, uniforms and music to make the past come alive. Arn taps into his 38 years as a teacher to build an interactive experience that leaves audience members of all ages with a newfound appreciation and understanding of the subject. History buffs, school-age families, and especially veterans are encouraged to join us for this thorough and respectful look at a tumultuous time in our country’s history.

Our exploration of culture and art continues with a Celtic music guest, Laura MacKenzie, in early March (date to be scheduled). On Thursday, March 12, a local musician and photographer of the night sky, Debbie Center, presents “Chasing the Northern Lights.”

You can always find more information on the Park Rapids Area Library Facebook page, our bi-weekly notification email, or by stopping in at the library. We always love to see you!

Arn Kind (submitted photo)

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