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Plaid pride: Area businesses promote plaid

Skeeter Stitch owner Rich Blomberg, left, and graphic artist Doug Karle inspect a mock-up of a plaid shirt as they prepare for Bemidji to embrace Plaid Wednesday, a community effort promoted by the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - The popularity of Bemidji going green on Fridays to support Bemidji State University sports has spun-off to designate Wednesday gone "plaid."

Since January, the effort to wear plaid to promote Bemidji has taken hold.

But as the thermometer rises, there are fewer people wearing the iconic pattern reminiscent of Paul Bunyan.

"The idea is great for the winter, it's easy to find plaid, but wool clothing is too warm for the summer," said Lori Paris, president of the Bemidj iArea Chamber of Commerce.

"We have done e-blasts to members to remind them, but we are letting each business fend for themselves," Paris said.

Area businesses are getting creative, though.

Businesses like Skeeter Stitch even found with 62,000 material choices from his vendor, plaid is hard to come by.

"We decide to print our own line of customized T-shirts and hopely businesses will join in on plaid Wednesdays," said Rich Blomberg, owner of Skeeter Stitch, which specializes in custom-designed embroidery.

Ken Howe, owner of Dunn Bros Coffee, ordered customized plaid shirts with his business's logo on front and "Bemidji Proud" on the back for his employees.

"I saw the reminder on the Chamber site and I just finalized some new plaid shirts," Howe said Monday. "We wear green on Fridays.

"I have the big green flag with our statue out front. I haven't quite decided on what to do with a plaid flag, but I will figure something out."