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Backwoods Bash to celebrate its 10th year of operation in Blackduck

The 10-year anniversary of the Backwoods Bash snuck up on some.

That includes lead organizer Heidi Landis, who said time has gone by unbelievably fast from when she began by just organizing the parade.

“It’s kind of a big deal this year,” Landis said.

The annual celebration, set with events to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, has several new features, including the biggest of all: The Backwoods Bash Color Dash.

“We’ve done just the timed 5K but I really pushed for the Color Dash,” Landis said. “It’s really becoming popular.”

Participants will wear white T-shirts and run through an array of colors of confection paint throughout the dash, which will start at 9 a.m. at the Wayside Rest Park.

“It’s a lot of money to buy all that confection paint so that was kind of a little bit of an extra expense, but I think it will be worth it because it’s going to be really fun,” Landis said.

Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m. and same-day registration will cost $25. Pre-registration is $20 and forms can be found at Blackduck City Hall.

Along with the Color Dash are other new activities for youth and adults open from 1 to 5 p.m. at Wayside Rest Park. “Bazooka Ball,” which according to Landis is similar to paintball but with foam balls, and a “Monkey Bungee Jumper” will be available. The jumper straps participants in and allows them to jump on a trampoline.

Other activities include water wars, a tropical maize, Iron-man obstacles, bounce houses and more.

Two 20-minute magic shows will be performed by Magician Professor Marvel at 1:30 and 3 p.m. at the park, which is hosted by the Blackduck Community Library. Paul Bunyan Communications has also sponsored an appearance by Curious George from 1 to 4 p.m.

The day will begin with a pancake feed hosted by the Blackduck Wrestling Club from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at Wayside Rest Park. Following that, a parade, larger than usual, will begin at noon with new Blackduck High School principal, Josh Grover, and his family as the grand marshall.

“I got a lot of new entries in the parade this year that I’ve never had so that kind of excites me because I like to see all the businesses participate in the parade especially when it’s such a small town,” Landis said.

Food vendors will also be in abundance this year as Landis said that she has more than ever.

“So bring an appetite and support all your local organizations,” Landis said. “It seems like every booster at school has something and I’m glad they’re all participating.”

The bean bag tournament will also return to the Bash this year with a brackets for adults and children. Landis said she still has room for participants and the cost is $5.

A sweet corn feed with live music will begin at 5 p.m., sponsored by area churches. From 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. “Obstruction of Justice” will perform at The Pond.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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