’Tis the season to count our blessings
The pace has slowed as we anticipate the approaching holidays with a feeling of
gratitude for the gift of changing seasons. The first frost came the latest in recent
memory and now ice is starting to form on the edges of lakes and ponds. White tailed
deer gather in fields to browse ahead of winter. Outdoor chores not yet done may
have to wait until spring.
It is our tradition to celebrate two holidays in November: the Firearms Deer Hunting
Opener and Thanksgiving.
Hunters are occupied with siting in their rifles, airing their blaze orange gear and
checking the weather forecast for Nov. 4. Nowadays, many women hunt, too, but
traditional “hunting widows” begin shopping for home and the holidays.
Explore our shops for holiday decor and gifts with no standing in line, great service
and friendly smiles. They’ll help you find what you need and it’s likely you will find
something you want. Then treat yourself to lunch or dinner, a snack or a great cup of
coffee. Downtown Park Rapids has several new businesses so if you’ve been here
before, you can expect to find something new. Show your extra love for local, indie
businesses on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25.
The new Giiiwedinong Museum will present a Day of the Dead Block Party from 4 to 8
p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1. The ceremony honors grief and the lives of those who have
passed on. Dias de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday based on
Indigenous traditions that embrace the interconnection between life and death. That is
the time, the time between for change, transition and future-building. Come to
participate in building the ofrenda (offerings). Enjoy the Museum’s exhibits, music,
Vallarta’s Mexican Grill, pony rides and more. All are welcome to this free, family and
The Park Rapids Area Community Band is preparing for a Fall Concert at 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Park Rapids High School Auditorium and Park Rapids Classic
Chorale will ring in the season in concerts featuring traditional Christmas Carols Dec.
1 and 3. The Armory Arts and Events Center is hosting another Open Mic Night Nov.
16, workshops and other events this season on the main floor and in the art gallery.
On Thanksgiving morning, burn off some calories before the feast at the annual
Turkey Trot 5K/Fun Run and Walk sponsored by Heartland Homes. Registration
starts at 9 a.m. in the lobby of Essentia Clinic/CHI St. Joseph’s Health.
The tree lighting on Main Street the Friday after Thanksgiving offers a Norman
Rockwell moment to share with friends and family. Some describe it as feeling like
you’re in a Hallmark movie. Festivities begin with a Yuletide Sampler at participating
Downtown stores from 5 to 6 p.m. and the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6.
Join in singing Christmas carols, welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus and a celebration
of life and memories, sponsored by CHI St. Joseph’s Hospice. Once lit, the giant tree
stands as a symbol of small town cheer and good will, lighting the way to a New Year.
The Northern Light Opera Company is planning a special performance at the Armory
Arts and Events Center at 7 p.m. and kids are invited to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus
that night until 8 at Bella Caffè.
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 25 and continuing Saturdays through Dec. 23, Santa and
Mrs. Claus will ride their sleigh downtown. At about 10:45 a.m. they will stop at
Pioneer Park to collect letters to Santa and then ride to Bella Caffé to visit with kids
and offer “reindeer corn” treats from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
It’s the season to visit whether it’s enjoying the outdoors, relaxing or joining in some
local traditions. The Chamber website has all the information you need to put together
a memorable stay or weekend visit. If you want help or have questions, call our
friendly staff at 218-732-4111 to learn more.