Opposition to the federal $787 billion economic stimulus package and its "pork" comes to Bemidji in the 21st century form of the Boston Tea Party.
The day picked for the tea party also isn't insignificant -- Wednesday, the deadline for filing 2008 income tax forms with the federal and state governments.
The Beltrami County Republicans-organized event will have participants lining up along Paul Bunyan Drive between the Mississippi River Bridge and Fifth Street to waive protest signs and display the U.S. flag for commuters heading home.
The 4:30 p.m. demonstration will be followed at 5:30 p.m. with a rally in front of Paul Bunyan and Babe statues at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.
"On Dec. 16, 1773, angry Americans said 'Enough is enough!' and dumped three cargo ships' worth of tea into the Boston Harbor," says a statement on the event. "If you feel fed up too, plan to participate in the Bemidji Tea Party on tax day, April 15."
The theme for the event is "Taxed Enough Already."
The Tax Day Tea Party is a national collaborative grass-roots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and other online groups and coalitions, according to the Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party Web site.
"The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the on-air editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House administration and Congress," it says. "Specifically, the flawed 'Stimulus Bill' and pork-filled budget."
A call went out for a nationwide protest by advocates of the free-market system to join in a protest against out-of-control government spending, it said.
On Wednesday, more than 600 cites nationwide and 14 in Minnesota, including Bemidji, will hold Tax Day Tea Party events.
The Tea Party Minnesota Web site says the event will accomplish two things.
"First, that there are many angry people out there who want to do something positive for our country," it said. "This event shows them that they are not alone and together we can change our country. Secondly, in unison with all the other Tea Parties going on the same day, we will send a message to Washington that we are not pleased. That they work for us, not the other way around. We are organizing and we are focusing on wasteful spending."
While taking a page out of U.S. protest history, starting with perhaps the first protest in colonial history, there will be no tea to dump, the Web site states.
"The revolution is brewing, not tea. All participants are encouraged to bring tea bags. We are exploring ways to be able to symbolically 'dump' tea, with a keen eye on knowing we have to do the clean up," it said.