Autumn’s colors have fallen and the leaves are crunching under our feet. It’s a time when traditions prompt many of us to prepare for the days ahead: pull out the flannel sheets, put the grill away and pile straw on the flower beds. Ready or not, ice will soon cover the lakes and snow will transform trails.
It’s always a good time to head north to enjoy the outdoors, relax or enjoy some local culture. There are always ways to catch a memory.
The days just ahead are filled with preparations for the firearms deer hunting opener. Hunters unpack their gear and kitchens warm from the steam of boiling pots and heated ovens. Some prepare for the arrival of family and friends for the opener. Others cook and bake for church basement feasts of chili or turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pie.
The opener has created “hunting widows.” Craft shows offer a place for them to gather for some early Christmas shopping or to find something new to decorate a shelf or the dining room table. The tradition continues with a Holiday Bazaar Nov. 8 and 9 at the Headwaters Animal Shelter, a Snowflakes & Candy Canes Holiday Show Nov. 9 and 10 at the Century School and the Hubbard Holiday Boutique Nov. 9 and 10 at the Hubbard Community Center. Later in the month, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids will hold their annual Fall Bazaar Nov. 23.
Shoppers also will find Jingle Bells tickets in most stores in and around Park Rapids. This year’s Jingle Bells Sweepstakes offers a Grand Prize and additional $500 cash prizes ($250 cash and $250 in Chamber Bucks). Shoppers receive one ticket per $10 purchase and can enter through Wednesday, Dec. 11. The Jingle Bells Drawing & Gala Celebration starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Century School with music, food and beverages. Santa will be on hand to take those last-minute requests and merchants will be giving away door prizes, too.
Park Rapids merchants welcome early shoppers to savor the hometown-style atmosphere you will find where personal service, free gift wrapping and friendly smiles await as you fill those Christmas wish lists. Many of them are planning a Friends & Family Sale Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7.
The Park Rapids Community Band will bring in the spirit of the season at a winter concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 at the Area High School Auditorium.
The Arts Downtown PR series will continue Thursday, Nov. 21 in downtown Park Rapids. This event is designed to bring audiences to see and hear visual artists, musicians, writers and other artists in businesses in downtown Park Rapids on the Third Thursday of the month. A schedule will be available on the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association website (www.parkrapidsdowntown.com).
Another activity sure to bring smiles is Park Rapids’ annual Hospice Light Up a Life tree lighting on Main Street the Friday after Thanksgiving. This tradition comes with caroling, a Santa visit and merchants offering hot cider and other treats in their stores as part of a Yuletide Sampler, starting at 5 p.m. A Live Nativity is planned prior to the tree lighting which starts at 6 p.m. Once lit, the giant tree stands as a symbol of small town cheer and good will, lighting the way to a New Year.
Many other activities and seasonal events are on the November calendar. The Chamber Website has all the information you need to put together a memorable vacation or weekend visit. If you want help or have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.