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A Day of Play: Saturday will be great day for physical activities

This Saturday the community is invited to partake in a day full of events designed to encourage physical activity and the use of transportation that does not require coal, oil or gas to function.

The Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Bemidji Jaycees, Active Living Bemidji and other organizations will host a long list of activities following the theme of "Moving Planet: Bemidji."

On Sept. 24, more than 150 countries are expected to take part in a global day of events called "Moving Planet" a worldwide rally sponsored by dedicated to the goal of solving the climate crisis by ending the world's dependence on fossil-fuel energy.

Starting at 9 a.m., a "Moving Planet: Bemidji" bicycle ride will take place.

Those interested are asked to bring their bicycles, roller skates, skate boards, canoes or even pogo sticks and gather at the Jaycees Pavilion by Paul and Babe to be a part of the ride. Participants will travel along the south shore of Lake Bemidji on a paved path to the Sanford Center. Snacks and cold water will be provided throughout the day, but participants are asked to bring their own water bottles.

For details and a complete schedule, visit

"It's going to be a very powerful and inspiring day," said Brett Cease, one of the event planners. "This year certainly promises to be bigger. It's an exciting new collaboration for Bemidji. It's going to be a great family-friendly event."

From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. the Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual World Wide Day of Play at the Lake Bemidji waterfront by Paul and Babe.

Family-friendly games and fitness activities will be available, as well as a bounce house, canoes and crafts. Kids are invited to bring a 20-ounce or 2-liter plastic container to plant seeds in to grow their own gardens.

Wristbands are $5 and can be purchased at the event site. For details contact Samantha at 333-1857.

At noon, the public is invited to attend the Rail River Folk School, located at 303 Railroad St. S.W., Bemidji. The school will offer a variety of free workshops, booths and activities put on by local area organizations, businesses and groups.

A community-wide trash clean up of many of Bemidji's parks will be ongoing throughout the day. The public is also invited to participate in a photo scavenger hunt, which starts at the RRFS.

At 3 p.m., prizes will be awarded to participants of the photo scavenger hunt and other activities at the RRFS.

From 3-5 p.m. Dr. Diane Pittman will hold a commuter class at the RRFS for all interested cyclists interested in biking year round. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for her talk. The first 20 participants will receive a free copy of the League of American Bicyclists Commuter manual.

For details visit

Saturday is also the last day the public can partake in the "Bemidji goes by bike" challenge, which started Sept. 12.

Participants can keep track of when and how far they bike each day to earn them a daily entry in a drawing to win bike-related prizes.

Participants can enter the contest by emailing with their names, contact information, date of trips, trip purposes, destinations and estimated mileage. Persons can also submit their entries at the Moving Planet or Shifting Gears booths at the World Wide Day of Play event at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.

The drawing for prizes will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday at the RRFS.

At 5:15 p.m., Rep. John Persell, DLF-Bemidji, will speak on topics related to sustainability at the RRFS.

At 7 p.m. an ensemble of local musical talents will perform a free concert at the RRFS.

At 9 p.m. a night bike ride will take place as the "Moving Planet: Bemidji" event comes to a close. Participants will have an opportunity to outfit their bicycles with lights and reflectors and join the safe group night ride starting at the RRFS.

"All of the events promote moving forward away from fossil fuels," Cease said. "We want to inspire local leadership to take a stance on these issues and to be part of the movement to bring about a better, healthier and more sustainable future for generations to come."