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Brainerd Lakes Marketplace increases offerings

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For those looking for a sense of spring, the annual Brainerd Lakes Marketplace event promises to bring an open air park-like setting indoors even if it still looks more like winter outside.

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber event is April 5-6 at the Brainerd Area Civic Center and Gold Medal Arena. Hours have been extended to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 5 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6.

“I’m really excited about the breadth of our stage demonstrations this year,” stated Lisa Paxton, Brainerd Lakes Chamber CEO. “They offer something for everyone — from dancers, to cooking, gardening, painting, and healthy lifestyles. The two stages create excitement in both arenas and offer different experiences.”

Stage presentations and demonstrations are planned from wellness subjects such as audiology, physical therapy, joint wellness to scroll saw woodworking and watercolor painting and the Evergreen Cloggers. Other demonstrations include line dancing by Country Swingers, home canning made easy and container gardening. There will be presentations on hypnosis facts and myths, the latest technology trends and disc golf.

Area chefs will provide cooking demonstrations such as preparing bruschettas or Scandinavian open-face sandwiches, or how to make refreshing drinks for the summer season.

Senior Day is April 5 and the Day of the Young Child is April 6.

The Day of The Young Child events include Paul Bunyan Land story time, performances by Twirly Sue and crew at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Events include games from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clowns, prizes and face painting are planned. The day includes a free bike giveaway. There are planned appearances by local mascots and an opportunity to meet emergency services workers.

An Early Childhood literacy zone from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Gold Medal Arena was created with the chamber and Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition with a grant from the Initiative Foundation. The area includes interactive displays from the Brainerd Public Library and a place for children to draw and write complete with a color changing write board and book nook. There will be puppets and an area set aside for babies and toddlers. Curious George, courtesy of Lakeland Public TV, will be on hand to interact with the kids. Participants during Day of the Young Child are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the food shelf.

The Party in the Park event is 6-8 p.m. April 5 with food samples from 10 area chefs.

Participants include: Black Bear Lodge & Saloon, prime rib chili; Cub Foods, mini pesto petite sandwiches, antipasti skewers, meat and cheese trays; Essentia Health, blackened salmon salad; Grand Casino Mille Lacs, bread pudding and coffee; Grand View Lodge, chef’s surprise; Iven’s on the Bay, Iven’s clam chowder; Maucieri’s, olive cream puff, Italian crostini, antipasti, spaghetti pie; Morey’s Seafood Market, seafood sandwich; Prairie Bay Grill and Catering, petite wraps; The Hungry Loon, Hungarian mushroom soup.

The Party in the Park includes a chance to network with show vendors and a cash bar. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door with a limit of 350 tickets available. Tickets are available from the Brainerd Lakes Chamber downtown office, and the welcome centers in Pequot Lakes and Crosslake.

“Party in the Park was a huge hit and we expect it to once again sell out ...” Paxton said. “After a long winter, it’s a great way to unwind on a Friday night, enjoy tasty dishes, all while networking with your friends and neighbors.”

There will be hourly drawings for prizes. People need to be present to win. The grand prize is round-trip airfare for two from Brainerd to Minneapolis courtesy of Delta Connections by SkyWest Airlines.

Essentia Health, a premier sponsor for the Brainerd Lakes Marketplace, plans to include a 30-foot inflatable colon large enough to walk through.

The colon will be open for mini-tours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 5 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6 at the Brainerd Area Civic Center. Essentia Health reports the giant colon has it all — healthy pink tissue, bulging growths called polyps and a bright red mass from advanced colon cancer.

“While it may be tempting to trot out the potty jokes, this big bowel is intended to raise awareness about the risk factors and symptoms of a serious health concern,” Essentia Health reported. “Colon cancer is the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in the United States.”

“The earlier colon cancer is caught, the greater the likelihood of a cure,” says Dr. John Berg, a gastroenterologist at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Clinics. Colonoscopies are recommended for everyone starting at age 50 or earlier if there is a family history of the disease.

Signature sponsors include Bremer Bank, Central Lakes College, Cub Foods, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, DE Media Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Publishing, Lakewood Health System.

Admission is $2. For those age 18 and younger, the event is free. In addition, free admission coupons for two adults went out to students in the school district to allow families to attend at no charge.

Event information with complete list of stage presentations and demonstrations is available at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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