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Where Beauty & Nature Intersect

May 2013 Park Rapids GFO will make history

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber office is buzzing with preparations to host the Governor’s Fishing Opener this month.

Two “firsts” for the 66-year-old Minnesota tradition are in store. Thursday media tours have been added to the schedule and Friday’s Community Picnic activities will end with fireworks in Downtown Park Rapids.

Dozens of volunteers have spent hundreds of hours organizing activities and events for the Governor’s Fishing Opener and more than 300 volunteers have signed up to help May 9, 10 and 11.

Mother Nature has been less than helpful with ice measuring in feet not inches on local lakes only a few days before the big weekend. Optimistic organizers have done their best to make light of the predicament and taken heart from past openers here and elsewhere when the ice went out only days before the opener.

As they say, the show will go on – ice or not – and all are looking forwarded to showcasing the Park Rapids community including the area’s variety of vibrant family resorts. A lot has changed since the statewide media event was last held here in 1979.

There’s still time to plan your summer vacation and see what the fuss is about. For decades, the Park Rapids lakes area has welcomed fishermen and families, fun seekers and adventurers to explore our natural areas, forests and pristine lakes.

Resorts and other lodging accommodations in the Park Rapids area provide guests a place to stay at the center of this extraordinary region and will help visitors realize their dream vacation, whether it’s lying on the beach with a good book, venturing out to learn more about the local flora and fauna or timing a stay to take in local festivals or cultural events.

The Chamber website can assist with your trip planning with itineraries for day trips, attractions and dozens of ideas for things to see and do. The Festival of Birds May 16-19 at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge draws visitors from throughout the country to the field where 90 percent of the state’s regular bird species have been seen. From beginning birding to the latest bird research, this festival has something for all levels of bird enthusiasts. (Go to for more.) Itasca State Park also becomes a Mecca for birders this time of year.

Whether you’re fascinated with fishing or wildflowers, batty about birding or just want to recharge your batteries, the Park Rapids area welcomes you any time of the year.


Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber, a Partner of Explore Minnesota Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Northwoods Bank, Partner of Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber Citizen's Bank in Park Rapids, MN Park Rapids Downtown Business Association Park Rapids Lakes Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau