Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers
Cheer: Dragon Boat Festival delights
The preparations began months before the events and culminated last week when thousands flocked to town for the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival. With 69 teams from all points of the compass, "Paddles up!" became a familiar cheer. Members of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce and Bemidji Rotary Club, with help from the Buena Vista Ski Patrol and dozens of community volunteers, made sure the delivery of the boats, team practice sessions and Saturday's races ran smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that the final heats and awards ceremony were scheduled a little early. The food booths and entertainment added to the charm of the festival, and Crazy Daze downtown offered opportunities for browsing. Another busy weekend in Bemidji.
Cheer: Literary venture
Fast on the wake of the Dragon Boat Festival, a quieter celebration will take place this week, the Bemidji Book Festival sponsored by the Bemidji Public Library. Area authors in various venues will discuss their works and their writing strategies. The public will have opportunities to ask authors about their craft. The weeklong event will close with a gathering of authors Saturday at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.
Jeer: A black eye
The controversy over the Gaea beaver statue seemed to be resolved in a democratic fashion. But Tuesday night someone decided to express negative comment on the art piece by spray painting the beaver's belly with black paint. Whatever someone's opinion of the statue and its decorations, vandalism is never the right response. If the vandal were detected, we would expect full legal action as a consequence. Luckily, the offense was discovered and the damage cleaned up quickly.
Cheer: Clearwater fair
As county fairs go, Bagley and Bemidji are top notch. The 104th Clearwater County Fair closed Sunday night with the traditional demolition derby. Between Wednesday's opening and Sunday's final hours, youngsters showed their best products and animals in 4-H, crafters and cooks displayed their creations and gardeners showed off their fruits, vegetables and flowers. North Country residents are fortunate to experience such quality expositions.