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Paul Bunyan Communications hosts annual celebration

Boy Scout Keegan Walters helps Cindy Dow and her granddaughter, Addison Newland, 2, during the annual Paul Bunyan Communication’s Appreciation Meal on Wednesday evening. About 5,300-5,400 people were expected to attend, keeping the 16 volunteer Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts busy helping families with their plates of food. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — The sun was out, the cars were parked alongside the road and the lines for the fish fry were building Wednesday afternoon for the 12th annual Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative Celebration.

About 5,300-5,400 people were at the event, according Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications marketing supervisor. "Last year, we had rainy weather, so about 5,000 showed up," Bissonette said. "But this year, we have better weather, so it should have more people this year."

What started out as a sit-down dinner event for members has turned into a gathering for the whole community, the first on on the company’s 50th anniversary in 2002, Bissonette said.

Wednesday’s event offered many attractions with live music, a walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew and Lueken’s Village Foods. Other events included chances for door prizes and live entertainment provided by The Agates. There were many events aimed at younger kids as well.

"It’s a lot of fun. People (from the area) don’t have to drive a long distance to enjoy an event like this," Bissonette said. "It’s a fun way to give back to the community."

Before the community event, PBC held its annual meeting, including elections for the board of directors. Also discussed was a new service for PBTV customers called PBTV Everywhere, which is free for subscribers.

"It’s a streaming service that allows people to watch television programs on a mobile device anywhere in the world with Internet access," Bissonette said of the service launched in March.

Joe Froemming

Joe Froemming is a page designer for Forum Communications Co. You can read his blog at

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