Festivals shine in area towns
Celebrations such as Lake George's Blueberry Festival and Blackduck's Woodcarvers Festival let small towns draw tourists and show off their prime features. Although Lake George has lost some businesses in the last year, the town's spirit remains optimistic. Blackduck continues as a firm foundation with manufacturing, American Legion, retail hub and a Department of Natural Resources headquarters. Annual festivals bring everyone together and let visitors enjoy the regional ambiance.
Bemidji is often the site for regional Special Olympics tournaments. Last week, Special Olympics gave athletes the opportunity to compete in bocce ball, a lawn target sport. All participants showed the true spirit of the games, trying their hardest and encouraging their competitors.
Someone last week, in some strange fit of anger, took spray paint in hand and vandalized a 10 Commandments monument erected by a private landowner on his own property on the south side of U.S. Highway 2 near the intersection of state Highway 89. Statements in the graffiti such as "not sheep" in following age-old laws that pertain to many cultures make no sense. Who can argue with tenets such as "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not covet?" Whoever defaced the monument should be totally ashamed for violating a private person's property and for slamming statements that keep all cultures focused on what's best for all.
Gardens at Bemidji State University are segueing from petunias and other annual flowers to perennial gardens that renew themselves and increase production every year. The savings in buying plants, the focus on native species, the lessened need for fertilizer and watering and other enhancements all make sense. This is a trend that should spread throughout the community.
Paul Bunyan Broadcasting has been nominated for two Marconi Awards, one in a competition throughout the entire nation and one for small markets. The nominations show that local media can command national attention.