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Park Rapids celebrates its legends and logging from Aug. 11-14, 2022

Legends & Logging Days festivities include water wars, a BBQ challenge, live music and more.

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The Timberworks Lumberjack Show returns to Park Rapids, set to perform three times.
Enterprise file photo
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Legends and Logging Days, a celebration of the area’s logging and lumberjack heritage, is slated for Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 11-14.

Water wars

Blasts of chilly water will launch Legends and Logging Days Thursday, Aug. 11 at the popular Water Wars competition.

The battle for bragging rights and possession of the coveted Loony Traveling Trophy begins at 5:15 p.m. on the third block of Main Avenue, downtown Park Rapids. Teams check in at 5 p.m.

The cost is $25 per team, and the application form is online at www.parkrapids.com or by visiting the chamber Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Due to the COVID pandemic and a drought, the event was last held in 2019.

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“I’m super excited that Water Wars is back this year,” said Mollie Albrecht, communications and marketing coordinator for the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s been two years since we’ve had it. I really can’t wait. Charlie’s Boat is coming back. They’re our returning champions.”

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Reigning Water Wars champs Charlie's Boat and Marine will defend their title on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Enterprise file photo

As of July 29, there were 11 teams registered. Albrecht’s goal is 16 to 20.

Teams can have four to six members. Participants must be 16 years old and older. Clubs, organizations, businesses or anyone else is welcome to form a team and join the fun.

Live music on 2nd Street Stage follows the competition, featuring Mae Simpson Music. The band belts out blistering funk and dance music mixed with soul, blues, country, calypso, jazz and rock.

Northwoods Wildlife Rescue

New this year, the chamber is promoting a first-ever smoked pork benefit dinner for Northwoods Wildlife Rescue.

It will be held at the Park Rapids American Legion from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12.

A raffle drawing is at 7:30 p.m. One of the top prizes, Albrecht said, is a helicopter ride. Nearly 30 gift baskets, along with handmade quilts, will be offered through silent auction.

When the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources receives a report of an injured critter, they call Julie Dickie. She’s one of two state-licensed wildlife rehabilitators in northern Minnesota. The nearest rehabber, a novice, lives in Babbitt, Minn.

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Her nonprofit organization, Northwoods Wildlife Rescue, captures and releases all manner of wounded creatures.

Northwoods Wildlife Rescue operates solely on donations. The Dickies pay for all of the medications, food, kennels, carriers, mileage, etc. Julie and her husband, Jeff, are unpaid volunteers.

They recently completed a barn enclosure to care for additional wildlife.

“Next year, we need to upgrade the electric and put in electric fencing to keep bears from fawns,” Julie said.

She answers calls from Hubbard, Becker, Cass and Wadena counties, but also crisscrosses the state, from the Canadian border to near the Twin Cities.

Family-friendly fun

A loggers breakfast from 8-10 a.m. at the Park Rapids American Legion kicks off Saturday’s festivities.

The fourth black of Main Avenue will be teeming with family-friendly options. Gates open at 10 a.m.

Two professional lumberjacks from the award-winning Timberworks Lumberjack Show will demonstrate their logging prowess while sharing tidbits of history. They battle head to head in various logging events. The show will be performed three times throughout the day. A valid $5 wrist band is required for entry.

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Other attractions include the kids’ candy cannon, bean bag toss, chalk drawing, hopscotch, face painting, caricature drawings, live music by local talent, an Army National Guard climbing wall and the Smokey Hills Archery Challenge. Carter’s Farm Market will be selling its goods.

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Youngsters can test their archery skills at the Smokey Hills Archery Challenge.
Enterprise file photo

Celebrity dunk tank

New this year, the Park Rapids FFA is presenting “Da-Dunk Tank.” Proceeds will support the FFA before they head to nationals.

Albrecht said 14 “community VIPs” have agreed to sit in the dunk tank – Park Rapids High School Principal Jeff Johnson, State Sen. Paul Utke and Park Rapids Fire Chief Joe Carlson among them. Take aim between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The cost is $1 per ball.

Run to Rapids Car Show

Classic cars, ranging from Model Ts to Mercury Montclairs, will gleam on the first three blocks of downtown Park Rapids.

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The Northern Knights Car Club invites everyone to peruse amazing classic automobiles on Aug. 13.
Enterprise file photo

Hosted by the Northern Knights Car Club, the 37th annual Run to the Rapids show begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite car. Ballots are due by 11 a.m. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a trophy presentation for club members, Top 10 and Best Picks.

Albrecht said, “I think having their car show on the same day all that does is bring more people to town. It supports all the businesses down there, which is great. That’s part of the reason we wanted to have Legends & Logging Days down on Main instead of at the tractor club grounds.”

Backyard BBQ Challenge

Grand pitmaster Leonard Hawkins and Steve Foster, president/CEO of Grandma Foster’s Bar-B-Que Sauce, are heading up the second annual Backyard BBQ Challenge.

In this open-class grilling contest, teams vie for prize money in three cooking classes: ribs, chicken and sides. Grilling begins at 9 a.m., with judging from 3 to 5 p.m. and prizes announced during at 5 p.m.

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Teams will vie for prize money in the second annual Backyard BBQ Challenge, an open-class grilling contest.
Enterprise file photo

Only the nine judges will sample contestants’ entries, but Albrecht said, “We are hoping in future years that we can change that.”

“So far, I have nine teams. I can still take some more,” she added. “It should be a good time.”

There were eight teams last year, Albrecht noted.

This year, the meat is provided by Hugo’s Family Marketplace.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the Blue Line BBQ truck can satisfy those hankering for barbecue.

A food court and beer garden will be available for hungry lumberjacks and lumberjills.

The Whips concert

On Sunday, Aug. 14, there will be a free concert featuring The Whips from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on the beach at Sleeping Fawn Resort. Proceeds benefit the Northwoods Wildlife Rescue Inc.

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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