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2nd Street Stage unveils new stage on 10th birthday

2nd Street Stage commenced its 10th anniversary with the unveiling of a new, Northwoods-themed log stage.

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Farewell Milwaukee, a folk rock band from Minneapolis, initiated the new, Northwoods-themed stage and the 10th anniversary of 2nd Street Stage on Thursday, June 16.
Shannon Geisen/Park Rapids Enterprise
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2nd Street Stage commenced its 10th anniversary with the unveiling of a new, Northwoods-themed log stage.

It’s the handiwork of Scott Forbes, a local chainsaw artist.

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The white pine structure features black bears and fish.
Shannon Geisen/Park Rapids Enterprise

Prior to the revealing of the new design, Park Rapids Mayor Ryan Leckner said, “I just want to say congratulations to 2nd Street Stage on their 10th anniversary. Thanks to everybody that puts this together. As a community, we’re proud of it. On behalf of the city, we thank everybody that puts their time in.”

The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association (PRDBA) funded the remodel of the stage. Over the past winter, heavy snow and wind damaged the old metal one.

Forbes offered to rebuild it, so three weeks ago, he got busy as a beaver.

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“A lot of 5 in the morning and then ‘til 7, 8, 9 at night,” he said, estimating nearly 300 total hours of labor.

Forbes has been woodcarving for 33 years. He owns a tree service and a sawmill.

He helped keep the previous stages functional, as they evolved from a simple platform on the ground to the steel one used most recently.

Drawing up a quick sketch, he proposed sculptures with a Northwoods feel for the new design, along with a sturdy, new roof.

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Forbes said he uses an airbrushed stain on the logs, which is longer lasting than wood burning.
Shannon Geisen/Park Rapids Enterprise

“I said, ‘I’m thinking, obviously, some bears, but maybe some fish because it kinda fits our area,” Forbes said. “I said, if you give me a little flexibility, I can be a lot more creative. They said, ‘Well, be creative.’ That’s how this came about.”

The 2nd Street Stage committee approved the notion.

“Everything starts with a chainsaw,” Forbes said of the process.

His daughters, Ava and Allee, helped peel the white pine logs and make lumber for the roof. Both attend Nevis School. They had the privilege of pulling the covers off the stage during Thursday’s debut.

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Forbes is pleased with the finished piece.

The scent of pine drifts a whole block away.

“Our whole yard smells like pine. I probably still smell like pine,” he quipped, adding, “I’ve never minded sawdust. I go to pay for something and the sawdust falls out of my wallet.”

Forbes has agreed to maintain the stage for five years and store it during the winter months.

“Wood is my thing,” he said. While he doesn’t compete, Forbes has created work for fairs.

“This supports my hunting and fishing habit,” he said. “And I just love artwork and wood. I have all these logs and all this timber. Sometimes they make good saw logs, sometimes they don’t, but I got addicted to carving a long time ago.”

PRDBA invites everyone to celebrate another summer of free, outdoor concerts on the second block of Main Avenue. Showcasing great bands, a beer garden and family activities, 2nd Street Stage concerts are held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evenings through Aug. 18.

To see the complete line-up, visit www.parkrapidsdowntown.com .

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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