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Marketplace event showcases food demonstrations, date night with Party in the Park

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Culinary talents will be in action at the upcoming Brainerd Lakes Marketplace event.

The event will include nearly hourly demonstrations, with the vast majorioty of those related to food. A variety of chefs from fine dining establishment in the lakes area will be on hand with their culinary skills on display.

“The approach we’ve taken with the Marketplace is to create one amazing event but create really three signature events within the Marketplace,” said Lisa Paxton, Brainerd Lakes Chamber chief executive officer.

The chamber’s Marketplace event is replacing the former annual Commerce and Industry Show on April 13-14 at the Brainerd Area Civic Center and Gold Medal Arena off Jackson Street in west Brainerd.

April 13 marks Friday night date night for adults with the Party in the Park from 6-8:30 p.m. Participants will be able partake in gourmet samples from seven area restaurants.

Chef Tom Kavanaugh assisted the chamber with making connections with chefs in the area for the cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend and the Party in the Park event.

In addition to the food tasting, the event includes entertainment from musicians and even breakdancers to tie-in to the park theme. Paxton said it’s a fun, affordable event for a date night and they expect the event to sell out.

Party in the Park tickets are $10 per person in advance or $15 at the door for admission to the event and the food tasting. There will be 250 tickets sold for the Party in the Park event at chamber locations and the Dispatch. People can call the chamber and have tickets mailed to them.

The chefs will be able to show off talents and showcase their respective restaurants’ summer menus. Restaurants include Prairie Bay Grill and Catering, Black Bear Lodge and Saloon, The Shante, Grand View Lodge, Iven’s on the Bay, The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, and Domino’s. Prairie Bay is setting up a cash bar. Party in the Park participants then will be able to stroll through the entire Marketplace. People can attend the event throughout the Party in the Park but those who want to partake in the food created for that gourmet event will need to buy the ticket.

The Marketplace plans to create an indoor park for an ‘open air’ market with live demonstrations, activities for young children and families, interactive technology workshops. Visitors will be able to stroll through a park-like setting among business booths, learn about products and services in the lakes area, shop or take a seat at a park bench while sampling food and beverages.

The event is planned from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 13 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14. This year, there will be a $1 admission fee for adults. Children, age 18 and younger, will be able to attend for free. With the admission fee, participants will be included in a drawing for a variety of door prizes donated by vendors. A portion of funds are dedicated to the Bridges Workplace Connection.

Senior Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 13 with bingo from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Essentia Health and Minneapolis Heart Institute are offering free blood pressure checks, there will be nutrition facts, even a 15-minute low-impact workout at 11 a.m. and discounts aimed at seniors citizens.

The Day of the Young Child is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 with face painting, clowns and mascots, along with performances by Will Hale at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., games from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and karate demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. A bike will be given away.

For more information, go to For more photos and video of an example of the expected cooking demonstrations, go to

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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