Join us Thursday evenings for 2nd Street Stage
Updated on: 07/21/2015
July 23 & 24
Crazy Days 2015 will kick off with the 3rd Annual Downtown Dash and 5K Run at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 23. Both races will start and finish on the second block of Main Avenue. The Dash will be about a one-mile walk/run down Main to 8th Street and back. Participants are encouraged to wear crazy costumes and enter a drawing for a $50 cash prize. The race registration form is available at www.webscorer.com. Entry fee is $20 in advance for adults, $15 for kids age 17 and under; $5 more on race day. All who register will receive a T-shirt. Registration and sign in will be open from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m. prior to the race. In addition to sidewalk sales all day Thursday and Friday, events Thursday will include entertainment in Pioneer Park. The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association (PRDBA) and Friends of the Library are sponsoring free live puppet shows, “Read to the Rhythm,” featuring Wayne Krefting of Woodland Puppets, Minneapolis. The puppet shows will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Terrapin Stew will perform at noon and 2 p.m., also in Pioneer Park. 2nd Street Stage will feature Natty Nation from 6 to 8 Thursday evening.
Smokey Bear Day at Itasca
Smokey Bear along with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources firefighters will be sharing fire facts at Itasca’s Smokey Bear Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. At your own pace, learn about Minnesota’s forests and how fire affects the forest, check out fire trucks and equipment, try getting into a fire shelter, make a variety of forest crafts, and much more. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Smokey Bear! This family friendly event will have many activities for all ages!
2nd Street Stage: Natty Nation
Natty Nation will bring hard roots rock reggae to 2nd Street Stage at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 23 on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Since 1995 Natty Nation has been keeping the positive messages of their unique indigenous Wisconsin reggae beats throbbing through the heartland. Their messages of peace, love, community and spreading positive vibrations have been ringing out since Natty's inception. JAH Boogie and his backing band's tight but fluid, rootsy but funky, beautiful but gritty, righteous but real vibration is clear to anyone listening to their music. It's almost impossible not to dance at a Natty live performance. Celebrate summer Thursday evenings with free music, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Bring your own chairs. Enbridge is sponsoring the night’s event.
Itasca’s Presenters Under the Pines: Nature Cartooning for Kids with characters creator Gary Harbo
Minnesota-raised artist and author Gary Harbo will teach kids the art of nature cartooning, based on his book, "How to Draw 104 Cartoons with Gary Harbo." The program will be from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Friday, July 24 at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom. While sketching, Gary will be sharing stories about Bart and his friends' adventures in Minnesota from his children's book, "The Northern Woods Adventure," which includes a visit to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. A book signing will follow the program.
Wonderful Wolves, Campfire
Discover the wonders of wolves! Learn about pack dynamics, territory size and hunting tendencies, and how the population fluctuates. Bring your s’more fixings for after the campfire! The campfire will be held from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 24 in the picnic grounds at the museum amphitheater located below Wegmann’s Store ruins. (The program will be inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom if it rains.)
Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
Get a feel for the early 1900s community of Lake Itasca at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers (LIRPF) Showgrounds. See the Itasca Historic Sawmill. Explore various buildings including a country school, dove-tail, one-room log house and a logging museum. LIRPF volunteers will guide you on this two-hour tour starting promptly at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25. The tour begins at the Levorsen Building located on the Pioneer Farmer Showgrounds, located on the north side of Itasca State Park. Entrance is on the east side of the North Entrance Road (across from the church and gas station).
Bobcats, Bears and Coyotes, Oh My!, Campfire
Gather around the campfire for a look into the natural history of these larger predators -bobcats, bears and coyotes. Bring your s’more fixings for after the campfire! The campfire will be held from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25 in the picnic grounds at the museum amphitheater located below Wegmann’s Store ruins. (The program will be inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom if it rains.)
Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Northern Bass
Bring your blanket or lawn chair for an evening of entertainment outside historic Forest Inn from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26. Alabaster Falls is an acoustic “folkgrass” band based in the Minnesota Northwoods. This group has found a way to put their unique stamp on music from bluegrass to folk to originals. Northern Bass is a local family band that performs at regional events and fundraisers. They enjoy playing a variety of music from early rock & roll to instrumentals and standards from a simpler time. Louise Bass plays keyboard and bass keyboard, Dan Bass plays guitar and both provide melody and harmony vocals. The program will be inside Forest Inn if it’s raining.
Bugs and Blooms at Itasca
Itasca State Park is noted for its diverse plants and animals. Join in on this walk and discover which flowers are blooming and what common and uncommon critters are pollinating them. The program will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 28. Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge).
Minnesota’s Treasures: La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area Specialty Tour
Explore natural treasures in Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) on several specialized tours throughout the summer. This week from 10 a.m. to noon, participants on the tour will explore the forces of nature and forest succession as we walk to the confluence of the Mississippi River and La Salle Creek at La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area. Bring your binoculars for watching the birds that use this unique site. Registration is required as group size is limited to 15 people. To register, call 218-699-7252 or 218-699-7259. Notes: Pre-registration required. Bring insect repellant, sunscreen and drinking water. Bring your vehicle for travel to SNA locations.
Itasca’s Presenter Under the Pines: From Palms to Pines - The Jefferson Highway in Minnesota
Ren Holland, speaker, with special guest Frank Mitchell, will present this program from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 29 at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Recently there has been a renewed interest in the Jefferson Highway, an early automobile route that linked small towns from New Orleans to Winnipeg. One of the reasons for the interest is that 2015 marks 100 years since the highway was conceived. As the nation’s first transcontinental highway, the Jefferson created intense competition among states, cities and towns. Everyone wanted to be included on its route, as the age of the automobile emerged. Minnesota, and especially Itasca State Park, became a top destination for tourists. After much initial celebration and publicity, the Jefferson Highway quietly disappeared from maps in the 1920s. Only traces of the nearly forgotten highway remain today, but the route laid the groundwork for some of today’s major highways, and it had a significant impact on early tourism in Minnesota. Today, local communities are becoming excited about searching for evidence of the original route, which often can be found in trails threading around lakes, swamps and hills. Join Ren Holland and Frank Mitchell, who were raised near Itasca Park and lived on the Jefferson for years, as they share their new findings on the history of this short-lived but popular road route.
2nd Street Stage: Kind Country
Kind Country will bring American standards to 2nd Street Stage at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30 on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Kind Country is a Minneapolis-based band that plays American standards as well as their own brand of cosmic American music. The band has focused on creating live performances with high levels of improvisation and energy, gathering with a goal of creating a moment of musical bliss that can be shared by audience members and band alike. Formed as a six-piece string band in 2012, Kind Country has incorporated drums and keyboard into some of their live performances. Celebrate summer from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 30 with free music, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Bring your own chairs. The night’s sponsor is Northview Bank.
Animal Legends, Campfire
Gather around for an evening of animal legends. Hear the legend of Sky Woman and the creation of earth on the turtle’s back, how fisher brought summer to the people and more. The campfire will be held from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 30 at the Pine Ridge Campground council ring, located along the bike trail between Lake Itasca and the playground in Pine Ridge Campground. Parking for non-campers is located at the Lake Itasca boat landing. (The program will be inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom if it rains.)
Professor Marvel’s Musical Magic Show
The Park Rapids Area Library will host Professor Marvel’s Musical Magic Show at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 31. Professor Marvel (aka Robert Halbrook) uses magic and comedy while focusing on books and literacy in a program for children pre-K through fifth grade. The fun show includes music, magic, books and a “human zylophone,” all combined to motivate kids to read.
Gregory Fitz & Christopher Atkins Opening Reception
The Nemeth Art Center announces the opening reception for the upcoming Gregory Fitz & Christopher Atkins exhibits. The reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 31 at the Nemeth Art Center. The exhibits will run from July 31 to Sept. 26. Admission is free to the Nemeth Art Center, located in the upstairs of the Historic Hubbard County Courthouse at 301 Court Avenue in Park Rapids.
July 31-Aug. 2 & Aug. 6-8
Northern Light Opera Company presents "West Side Story"
Northern Light Opera Company presents “West Side Story,” the most acclaimed musical of all time. Set in 1957, the musical depicts tension between the Jets and Sharks as they battle over turf in New York City’s West Side. The stakes are raised when Tony, an Anglo teen associated with the Jets, falls in love with Maria, a Puerto Rican girl whose brother, Bernardo, is the Shark’s leader. “West Side Story” was born of the collaborative efforts of three theater geniuses - composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and choreographer Jerome Robbins. Performances are 7 p.m. July 31-Aug. 1 and Aug. 6-7, with a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday, Aug. 2 and Saturday, Aug. 8 at Armory Square, downtown Park Rapids. Tickets are available at Beagle and Wolf Books, www.northernlightopera.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2nd Street Stage: Urho
Urho: The Magic Lasts Forever pours out danceable grooves that sit lightly on the palate and satisfy with spicy jaminess. Urho Ransonen’s guitar work balances greasy, chicken-fried blues against lively, salsa-fueled fusion, with fresh hints of jazz. The vivid acidity of his dense, richly-textured leads shimmers through subtle notes of smoke and sweat. As Urho and hand-percussionist Reggie Hopkins trade licks, Nate Koppenhaver’s minty keyboard rhythms support Alys Dean’s savory, biting, earth-laced voice. While Alys sings, shouts and stomps over salty funk riffs, Nate uses his raw strength to hammer out wild, minty organ lines and tangy layers of swing. Meanwhile, Nate’s firm yet light-bodied bass lines lock in with Tom Hanson’s buttery fatback drumming, rounding out the sound’s lively finish with hints of leather and popcorn. The two-hour free concert will start at 7 p.m. following Water Wars on Main Street Thursday, August 6 with a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Bring your own chairs. The Hubbard County DAC is sponsoring the August 6 concert in honor of Ed Ranson’s retirement.
2nd Street Stage / All School Reunion kick-off: Incredibly Real & Tree Party
Incredibly Real band members have been playing together for more than four years and always entertain their audience. These Park Rapids youth band members are Jack Walsh, manager and guitarist/vocalist; his brother, Dan Walsh, the youngest musician, who plays bass guitar; Jack Bateman vocals, Derek Reichling on drums and Logan Veo on guitar. Following their performance, Tree Party will return to 2nd Street Stage for a third time. Tree Party is self-described as a band of small-town transplants who now make music in Minneapolis. Two of the transplants are Park Rapids graduates: Travis Bolton and Andy Carroll. They started six years ago as a folk-country band, hot-iron branding the covers of every album, playing street dances and bull rides. Then they toured the Southern States with “The 7-Shot Symphony,” an Ivey Award-winning theatre production that they composed and performed a live Spaghetti Western-style score to. Their most recent release, Iced Over, was commissioned by the state of Minnesota and it sent the band up and around the Boundary Waters, into the Iron Range and along the Mississippi researching stories for songs. With more Blues and Rock influences these days, Tree Party maintains a vintage-country feel with a groove for the present-day listener. In addition to Bolton and Carroll, band members are Joey Ford, Jenna Wyse and Marc Bohn. Incredibly Real will open the All-School Reunion concert at 6 p.m. with Tree Party playing from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 13 with free music, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Bring your own chairs.
2nd Street Stage: The Woodpicks
Unique talents of the five members of northern Minnesota’s The Woodpicks have helped them forge a unique blend of instrumental dexterity and vocal presence for a decade. Their enjoyable stage show incorporates strong harmonies and musical style that features their own arrangements of original music and old favorites with a mix of Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and Americana. One of their original arrangements, "Barn Again!", was included in a collection of rural Americana for the Smithsonian Institute. Members are Greg Dally, mandolin; Dustin Keller on bass fiddle; Gene Lunsetter, guitar; Milo Ballingrud, banjo; and J.D. Kezar, fiddle, harmonica, jaw harp and guitar. All five contribute vocally and are from Thief River Falls. The season-ending concert will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, August 20 with free music, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in Downtown Park Rapids. Bring your own chairs. Smokey Hills Outdoor Store is sponsoring the concert. It’s sure to be a fun night.
Check back for more details on these and other events
July 23 Downtown Dash
July 23 & 24 Crazy Days
July 23 Smokey Bear Day at Itasca
July 23 Noon Hour Concert with Julie Kaiser at St. Johns Lutheran Church
July 23 2nd Street Stage: Natty Nation
July 30 Noon Hour Concert with Brian Perez at Calvary Lutheran Church
July 30 2nd Street Stage: Kind Country
July 31 Professor Marvel's Musical Magic Show at the Park Rapids Area Library
July 31 Where's Waldo Party at Beagle Books & Bindery
July 31, August 1 & 2 Northern Light Opera Company: West Side Story
August 6 Noon Hour Concert with Hawken Paul at Calvary Lutheran Church
August 6, 7 & 8 Northern Light Opera Company: West Side Story
August 6 Legends & Logging Days Water Wars on Main Street
August 6 2nd Street Stage: Urho
August 7 & 8 Legends & Logging Days at the Antique Tractor Club Showgrounds
August 7 & 8 32nd Annual Northern Knights Car Club Run to the Rapids
August 13 Noon Hour Concert with the Upper Mississippians at Calvary Lutheran Church
August 13-16 Park Rapids All School Reunion www.prhsreunion.com
August 13 2nd Street Stage: Incredibly Real and Tree Party
August 14 Youth Music Showcase at Pioneer Park
August 20 2nd Street Stage: The Woodpicks
August 29 9th Annual North Country Trail Hiking Festival at Itasca State Park
September 26 & 27 Art Leap 2015
September 26 Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council's 10th Anniversary Celebration at Armory Square
September 26 8th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival at Itasca State Park
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