Memorial Day weekend: Things to do in Brainerd lakes area

Those looking for a solo adventure or planning to spend some time with the family don't have to look far this weekend in the Brainerd lakes area to find a great place to start.

Kids cast from the fishing pier during last year’s Brainerd Kids Fishing Clinic at Lum Park in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
Kids cast from the fishing pier during last year’s Brainerd Kids Fishing Clinic at Lum Park in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

Those looking for a solo adventure or planning to spend some time with the family don't have to look far this weekend in the Brainerd lakes area to find a great place to start.

Racing fans, outdoors people, shoppers and exercise enthusiasts have reason to get out and enjoy area happenings this Memorial Day weekend.

Street Car Showdown at BIR

Brainerd International Raceway's 2017 Muscle Car Series kicks off Memorial Day weekend with the ninth annual Street Car Showdown, a display of raw speed and power on the quarter-mile drag strip.

The Showdown, held Friday through Sunday, is the first race in the three-race series, featuring seven Heads-Up Classes, with cars that can run six to seven seconds at over 200 mph. They have the kind of horsepower that yanks their front end off the ground when they launch from the starting line. The event also includes the SCCA Harvey West Classic on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. It features wheel-to-wheel racing action.


Daily admission is $25. Kids 12 and under are free and on-site camping is available.

Craft show this weekend at Westgate Mall

The Memorial Day Vendor and Craft Show will be held Friday through Sunday at the Westgate Mall. Vendors include Big Sandy Garden and Crafts, Rich Prairie Chiropractic Center, It Works, Sports and Other Collectables, LipSense, Tupperware, Thirty-One, Norwex, Al and Linda's custom crafts, Novalees Boutique, Usborne Books and More, Andy's Candies and Confections, T's Tasty Treats, Leggings, Tastefully Simple and Origami Owl.

Farmer's Market this Friday

BAXTER-The Friday Farmers Market will be 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Viking Land Harley Davidson parking lot off Highway 210 in Baxter.

Olde Depot JUNKtion set

The Olde Depot JUNKtion will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Northern Pacific Event Center Campus in Brainerd. The junction closes at 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Antique vendors from across the nation will fill the space with a huge selection of treasured vintage finds.


Cost is $8 per day and children 11 and under are free.

Plant sale set at arb

A plant sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. Perennials, annuals, Red Wiggler Worms and garden treasures will be sold.

The sale is sponsored by the Brainerd Garden Club and Arboretum garden volunteers.

Crosslake flea market set

CROSSLAKE-The Crosslake Original Craft and Flea Market will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Crow Wing County Roads 3 and 103. The flea market is held three times each year, Memorial Weekend, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

Kids Fishing Clinic

Kids Fishing Clinic will be 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Lum Park in Brainerd.


The clinic will consist of informational sessions, eating a shore lunch, fishing from the shore and off the pier and taking some fishing tackle home.

In order to participate in the shore lunch and fishing contest, participants must be checked in or waiting to be checked in before 9:30 a.m. This free event is for children ages 5-16. Children should bring a fishing pole.

For more information, contact the Brainerd Parks and Recreation office at 828-2320.

Class and a Glass

LITTLE FALLS-Class and a Glass will be Saturday at Maple Island Park in Little Falls.

Little Falls will host an all-levels yoga class and then meet up and hang out at A.T. Black and White for a social.

Registration in advance is required for each $15 class. Class and a Glass is limited to 20 each class. Questions contact or 320-224-6033.

Meet and Greet Car Show

The 5th Annual Meet and Greet Car Show will be noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Park in Brainerd.

The car show welcomes all makes and models. There is a $15 registration fee per car entry. There will be a professional chef cooking on site and other vendors. Sixteen trophies will be awarded.

The show is free for spectators.

Trails open to all

Those looking for an outdoor activity may enjoy the many walking/biking trails in the Brainerd lakes area.

The Paul Bunyan Trail, the longest Minnesota bike trail at 120-miles, connects the Heartland Trail, the Blue Ox Trail and the Cuyuna State Trail. The portion of the Minnesota bike trail from Guthrie south through Laporte toward Walker is now paved and the segment from Brainerd/Baxter south to Crow Wing State Park was paved in 2014.

The trail connects continuously paved trails from Crow Wing State Park just south of Brainerd to Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji.

There also is the Cuyuna Mountain Bike trail system where riders can enjoy more than 25 miles spreading over 800 acres in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

Other trails-some used for all-terrain use in the lakes area-include Spider Lake ATV trail in Pine River, Foot Hills State Forest in Backus, and Pillsbury State Forest in Nisswa.

Public parks

For those who want to experience the outdoors in the Brainerd/Baxter area, city parks are a good option.

Both Brainerd and Baxter have a wide variety of city parks within city limits. Amenities range from beaches and lakes to playgrounds and basketball courts.

Those looking for a public beach can find one at Lum Park in northeast Brainerd or at the Whipple Beach Recreational Area in Baxter. At Lum Park, 1619 NE Washington St., there is a public beach area on Rice Lake, as well as a boat landing and fishing pier. At Whipple Beach, 14441 Oakwood Drive, there is a public beach and fishing pier.

If you're looking for a place to let your pooch run off the leash, Buster Dog Park in the south end of Kiwanis Park in Brainerd offers two separate fenced areas for dogs. Kiwanis Park, 1101 East River Road, features a playground, fishing on Boom Lake and the Mississippi River, a paved trail and a canoe launch.

Those looking for a gathering place with lots of sports options can look at Oscar Kristofferson Park in Baxter, at 5672 Baxter Lions Road. The park features a basketball court, four ball fields, batting cages, two tennis courts, volleyball and a playground. There's also kitchen facilities, restrooms, picnic shelter, picnic pavilion, picnic tables, sidewalks and trails.

If you're looking for a "Pokemon Go" hotspot, look no further than Gregory Park, at 424 North Fifth St. in Brainerd. There's also two playgrounds, five tennis courts/three with lights, one basketball court, center court, fountain, stonewalls, historic bandstand and gazebo.

Loren Thompson Park, 13015 Kingwood Drive in Baxter, features a basketball court, ball field, playground, tennis court and trails. There's also kitchen facilities, restrooms, picnic shelter and picnic tables.

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