What do contests, hikes, bike rides, art, the pumpkin patch and a Color Dash have in common? September. You can find plenty of reasons to leave home and enjoy early fall here.
End your summer with a bash at the Nimrod Labor Day Bull Bash Sept. 2-4. Meech Bucking Bulls brings the 14th Annual Labor Day Bull Bash at the Meech Bucking Bull Ranch, 2 miles east of Nimrod. Watch some of the rankest bulls try to buck off some of the toughest cowboys before the 8-second buzzer. Sign your little cowboy or cowgirl up for some sheep riding and join in barn dances with October Road Friday night and Johnny Holm Saturday night after the live bull riding. Nimrod Jubilee Days events during Labor Day weekend include a 5- and 10-K run, softball and horseshoe tournaments, a parade Saturday at noon, the 3rd annual Homemade Boat Contest on the Crow Wing River, fireworks and more.
The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber is sponsoring Color Dash 2016 Saturday, Sept. 17 at Heartland Park. This event is a non-competitive untimed, 5K run/walk where participants get covered with a lot of colors along the way. The goal of the event is to be active and have fun! Participants may begin picking up packets at 9 a.m. The dash starts at 11 and the color explosion/check presentation is set for 12:30 p.m. Register at www.CD5K.com.
The Headwaters 100 bike ride will depart from Century School for 100-mile, 75-mile and 45-mile rides Saturday, Sept. 24. The event provides an opportunity for a beautiful fall ride in a well-organized event, sponsored by the Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club.
More fall fun begins Sept. 24 with a Fall Festival and Pumpkin Party at Carter’s Red Wagon Farm. The Farm is open Saturdays through Oct. 29 as well as Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20-21 (Teacher Association weekend). The farm offers everything to love about fall and will include corn, hay bale and straw mazes, themed wagon rides, giant pumpkin boats, games, food and much more.
Art Leap, an “open studio event” featuring artists’ studios and culturally rich destinations, will include a sculpture tour in 2016. Art Leap dates are Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25. Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Highlights of Art Leap include music, hors d’oeuvres and seeing fall colors at their peak while driving from studio to studio. It’s a great time to purchase original art for your home and meet the artist who created it. Enjoy live demonstrations and other art activities at some locations. Brochures with maps, sculpture tour directions and descriptions, performance times and other information are available at the Chamber Visitor Center or may be downloaded at www.prlaac.org.
The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council is sponsoring a new event – the Great American Story as part of Art Leap weekend. Four finalists will tell their winning stories as part of the program from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. In addition, Dr. Carson Gardner, will be guest storyteller and share the Chi-Dewe`igan, Big Drum, story, rarely if ever told to an off-the-rez audience in English and when it’s not part of the drum ceremony itself. Emcee will be Bruce Bolton, founder, owner and artistic/managing director of Long Lake Theater. For more information, go to www.thegreatamericanstory.org.
The same evening, Itasca State Park offers the 9th Annual Lantern Lit Hike. “Making Memories” is this year’s theme. Guides with lanterns will lead hikers down the kerosene lantern-lit trail on a walk through the photo album of Itasca’s past. Pictures will come to life as you meet characters who will share stories about recreating in Itasca State Park during this family-friendly evening hike. The first hike leaves the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. and the last hike will begin at 8:10. Other activities will be posted closer to the date.
Or just head north for a stay and enjoy listening to the pine cones plopping to the ground below, the special scent of the fall afternoon air, the sight of early morning fog on lakes and fields and the feel of a warm campfire.
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.