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PIONEER EDITORIAL: Making music on the Mississippi

Based on the first week's turnout, we think there's a bright future ahead for Mississippi Music at the Bemidji Waterfront

This past Wednesday, Patty and The Buttons took the stage on the lakefront, just north of Paul and Babe and the visitor's center. Lawn chairs and blankets dotted the grassy area as about 150 people took in the show.

The brainchild of the Bemidji Downtown Alliance, the series runs Wednesday evenings through August. The events feature on-site food vendors and a beer garden.

On its website, the BDA said the mission of the Mississippi Music series is "to provide quality, family friendly live music during summer months to celebrate our community, promote our downtown, and support the continued revitalization of our city."

Bemidji long has been known as an arts and entertainment community, whether it is all forms of art, live music, theater, the Sculpture Walk, etc. The Mississippi Music at the Bemidji Waterfront certainly fits right in. The lineup includes local, regional and even national acts, and should be a welcome addition to Bemidji's summer fare.

Up next are The Social Animals this Wednesday at 6 p.m. Be there.

Planning ahead

It is encouraging to hear that Casey Mai, new planning director for the greater Bemidji area, will continue the work of developing a comprehensive master plan for the city and surrounding areas. The master plan will, as Mai put it "help navigate the city over the next 20 to 30 years. It figures where the city wants to go, deals with annexation and where the city should grow."

The annexation morass the city and Northern and Bemidji townships have been embroiled with the past few years notwithstanding, the plan will be an important tool as Bemidji continues to grow.

How best do we deal with residential and business development while still maintaining Bemidji's charm? What about infrastructure, parks and recreation and the changing neighborhood dynamics, and growing while making sure we are fostering growth that is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly?

Mai said he looks forward to the community's feedback.

You can find the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board and Commission online at

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can call (218) 759-3579 or you can write to:

Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board

317 4th Street NW

P.O. Box 1100

Bemidji, MN 56619