PR | Grand Marais/Cook County Airport unveils new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Sept. 22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Grand Marais/Cook County Airport unveils new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Sept. 22

Cook County, Minn. – Sept. 12, 2018 – The Cook County Airport Commission will hold an open house at the Grand Marais/Cook County Airport to unveil a new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.  

The new 5,000-foot runway can accommodate most large transport charter aircraft.  The new Arrival and Departure Building now boasts a large conference room, kitchen, two bathrooms and a large lounge/waiting area with TV and Broadband.

Airport Commission Chair John Barton says, “Through a long process and good work from many individuals we now have an updated airport facility that is capable of providing improved service to this community to promote tourism, assist in emergency transportation and wild fire suppression.  We’re very happy with the result of this effort and hope people will visit the airport and see the improvements.”

An annual fly-in/drive-in pancake breakfast on the morning of Sept. 22 will be provided by the Cook County, Minn. volunteer aviation group, The Arrowhead Eagles. (The Arrowhead Eagles is a not for profit volunteer organization which helps fund small airport projects and small scholarships for local students with aviation interest).  In addition, there will be many aircraft on display and discount airplane rides will be available to the public as well.

For more information, please visit | https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/grand-marais-cook-county-airport-fly-in-drive-in-breakfast/

About Grand Marais/Cook County Airport

The Grand Marais/Cook County Airport is located eight miles from downtown Grand Marais; it is a full-service facility, providing full aircraft servicing with fuel and maintenance, United States Customs check-in, a sea plane base, and rental car or lodge transportation for easy access to all the local sights and recreational activities available in Minnesota’s most beautiful county!

About Visit Cook County

 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Cook County Airport terminal building

Cook County Airport

Linda Jurek, Executive Director | phone# (218) 387-2788 | email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Sawtooth Mountain Challenge Gives Bike Riders of All abilities ‘Right-Sized’ Challenges

Sawtooth Challenge Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Oct. 20 ride benefits trail maintenance in Cook County

Sawtooth Mountain Challenge gives bike riders of all abilities ‘right-sized’ challenges

Grand Marais, Minn.  – Sept. 5, 2018 – The Sawtooth Mountain Bike Challenge, a 25 year old race that occurs on Pincushion Mountain overlooking Grand Marais, is the main fundraiser for the Superior Cycling Association’s (SCA) trail maintenance fund. Participants will experience a good riding challenge, have fun and raise money for a great cause. Distances include 22 miles, 15 miles, 8 miles, and children’s races.

“It was the first mountain bike race held in the region,” says Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux, mayor of Grand Marais and current owner of Fireweed Bike Coop. According to Arrowsmith-DeCoux, the event was founded by the previous bike shop owners, Mark and Melinda Spinler, to showcase the rugged terrain of Northeastern Minnesota.

 

“It’s a challenging event with a 650-foot climb in just a couple of miles, then around the single-track, which can be brutal but is ultimately rewarding. Simply put, it is the perfect season finale to a great summer of biking.”

 

The North Shore is renowned for its rugged terrain and challenging biking trails. Several newer bike events have been established in recent years like the Lutsen99er, Le Grand Du Nord and Norpine Fat Bike Class to meet the demand of participants.

“Over 2,000 visitors travel to Cook County annually from great distances to participate in these sought-after biking events,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “They come for the challenge and stay for the scenery, local hospitality and superb volunteers.”

The event typically raises between $3,000-$5,000 for area bike trail maintenance. This year, there will be a raffle for a Specialized Mountain Bike of an estimated value of $3,600. Tickets are $10 and will be available for purchase at the event. “We’re proud to sponsor this event and raise money to maintain the trails up here, since recreational and serious biking in the area has grown more popular during the past five years.” Most recently, funds raised in prior years have helped to build a new section of trail between the Britton Peak trail system in Tofte to Lutsen Mountains.

 

The event takes place during the family based Moose Madness Festival in Grand Marais offering additional appeal to bikers wanting to travel with their families. Participants can register before the race at Voyageur Brewery where adult registrants will receive beer tokens to be redeemed at the after-party.

 

For more information, please visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/sawtooth-mountain-bike-challenge/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218. 387. 2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Moose Madness Gets a Makeover with Headliner Kid Band, The Bazillions!

Moose Madness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

During MEA Weekend-Oct 19-21, 2018

Moose Madness Gets a Makeover with Headliner Kid Band, The Bazillions!

 

Grand Marais, Minn. – Aug. 28, 2018 – Families can head north for MEA weekend to un-plug and play moose themed activities, Friday, Oct. 19 – Sunday, 21 at the Moose Madness Family Festival. The long running festival gets a makeover with the addition of kid rock-n-roll band The Bazillions on Saturday, Oct. 20. Festival-goers can spend the weekend earning and spending “moose bucks” by participating in scavenger hunts, a race, arts, and much more.

 

Big changes to Moose Madness this year starting with the move of Moose Headquarters to Grandma Ray’s restaurant and bar, which features a stage to host Minneapolis based kid rock-n-roll band The Bazillions on Saturday from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm. Visitors will be able to spend the rest of the weekend hunting for the Moose Medallion.  Clues will lead visitors around town until the medallion is found. Saturday afternoon, families can compete in the annual Moose Mosey, a short, kid-friendly “race” along the Grand Marais Harbor.  While roaming around town, keep an eye out for the festival’s mascot, Murray the Moose.  He’s happy to pose for photos. Earn a moose buck by posting your mug shot with Murray online!

 

Don’t just stick to the festival activities in town, venture out on a moose-adventure.  Visitors can bike, drive or hike on the Gunflint Trail, where there is a chance they will catch a glimpse of one of the elusive 3,500 local moose in the Boreal Forest. For more information and a full schedule of all of the weekend’s events and activities: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/moose-madness/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218.387.2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere October 26- 27

Sivertson Gallery interior

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere October 26 – 27

Featuring Inuit Sculptor Bill Nasagaluak and Canadian Throat-Singers

 

Grand Marais, Minn. – Sept. 5, 2018An extraordinary showcase of Inuit print art and sculpture, along with carving demonstrations and throat singing performances happening all weekend at the 18th annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere. All events are free and open to the public through the weekend of Friday Oct 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

 

Every fall since 1959 Dorset Fine Arts, marketing arm of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, has released an annual limited-run print collection. The collection is released via approved galleries around the world, and for the past 18 years, Sivertson Gallery of Grand Marais, MN, has had the privilege of being counted among one of them. “We are the only authorized Cape Dorset Fine Arts gallery in Minnesota” says owner Jan Sivertson. People are encouraged to head to Sivertson Gallery on October 26th and 27th to view the print collection in person, for a weekend celebrating “art of the north”.

 

Also featured during the event is a specially curated collection of hand-picked, hand carved stone sculptures. The story of these pieces comes from the stones they are carved from. Stones are hauled to villages in the artic on snowmobiles from distant rock quarries, sometimes over 200 miles away. Featured Guest, Inuit sculptor and stone carver, Bill Nasogaluak will be giving a demonstration at North House Folk School at 2 pm on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. He will also present as a part of a larger artist’s panel at 6 pm on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

 

Ongoing throughout the weekend will be live Throat Singing performances by Nina Segalowitz and Taqralik Partridge. Throat Singing is a vocal form in which a single voice produces more than one tone at the same time, usually as harmonics of a main tone or drone, traditionally practiced by peoples in central Asia, the Inuit, and Tibetan Buddhist monks.

 

More about the annual print collection and Dorset Fine Arts:

http://www.dorsetfinearts.com/

Link to some of Mr. Nasogaluak’s work:

http://www.artnet.com/artists/bill-nasogaluak/

 

Friday, Oct. 26

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Bill Nasogaluak, sculptor and stone carver from Tuktuyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada will give a carving demonstration at North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Patron’s reception, Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais – Presenting the 2018 Cape Dorset Print Collection, short throat singing demonstration.

 

Saturday, Oct. 27

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Live Canadian Throat-Singing performance by Taqralik Partridge and Nina Segalowitz

6 p.m. | Guest panel talking about living in the north

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218.387.2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | 2018 Grand Portage Rendezvous Days & Celebration Pow Wow Aug. 10-12

Pow Wow Rendezvous Days

2018 Grand Portage Rendezvous Days & Celebration Pow Wow Aug. 10-12

Biggest and Most Grand Celebration of the Year!

   What |        The annual Rendezvous is celebrated every year during the second weekend of August. The event is held in conjunction with the Rendezvous Days Pow Wow, sponsored by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe). The annual gathering is the community’s biggest and most grand celebration of the year, a time when Grand Portage comes alive and reflects on its rich heritage.

Re-enactors from across the country and Canada to gather, camp and challenge each other to games and skills from our historic past.

Visitors can expect a weekend packed with cultural events from the 1800s to 1900s, including: an authentic Native American Pow Wow, with Stonebridge singers and drumming, as well as chances to try blacksmithing, arts and crafts, Native American cuisine, and recreational activities.

For additional information, visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/grand-portage-rendezvous-days-celebration-pow-wow/

Where |        Grand Portage Monument Heritage Center

170 Mile Creek Rd.

Grand Portage, Minn. 55605

When |         Friday, Aug. 10 – Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018

                   Friday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  Cost |          FREE admission

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County, MN | Phone: 218.387.2788 | Email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | WTIP Announces Lineup for 11th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 to 9

Radiowaves Music Festival Grand Marais

WTIP Announces Lineup for 11th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 to 9

Grand Marais, Minn., July 27, 2018 –WTIP Community Radio has announced the lineup for the Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 7 to 9, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 11th year of the family-friendly festival, which features a diverse mix of local and regional artists. Three days of live music, just a stone’s throw away from Lake Superior!

Twenty-five acts will take the stage at this year’s festival, including seven acts new to the festival, and a return of the Carpenter Ants, who bring their old-style rhythm and blues, gospel soul and country funk to the North Shore, all the way from Charleston, West Virginia. The weekend will also feature performances by local and regional favorites, including: Pete Kavanaugh (singer-songwriter), Rich Mattson and the North Stars (alt-rock-and-roll), Plucked Up String Band (Astroturf), SplinterTones (eclectic dance music), Lake Effect (folk) and Cook County’s Most Wanted (alt-country).

The full music lineup is online at www.wtip.org – just look for “Radio Waves Music Festival” under the EVENTS drop-down menu. Festival hours are Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A favorite of both visitors and area residents as well as performing musicians, Radio Waves is held rain or shine – with two stages housed under a large tent – and includes on-site food as well as children’s activities for a portion of Saturday and Sunday. Admission – available at the gate – is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend, and free to children 12 and under.

The Radio Waves Music Festival is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and is also supported by the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association and Visit Cook County.

About WTIP:

WTIP is an independent, nonprofit radio station broadcasting from the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais since 1998. This community radio station features local news, weather and events as well as eclectic music and programming highlighting the arts, culture and history of the region. Listeners can tune in at 90.7 FM Grand Marais/North Shore, 90.1 FM Grand Portage, and 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail, or stream online – via computer, tablet or phone – at www.wtip.org.

 

Staci Drouillard | Development Director WTIP North Shore Community Radio | Phone: 218.387.1070 | Email: staci@wtip.org

PR | Get outside and paint! Painters and Art Enthusiasts at Plein Air Grand Marais Sept. 7 – 14

Plein Air 2018

Get outside and paint!  Painters and Art Enthusiasts at Plein Air Grand Marais Sept. 7 – 14

Minnesota’s Premier Plein Air event features interactive painting activities for all

Grand Marais, Minn. – July 24, 2018Plein Air Grand Marais has been a tradition on the north shore for the past 15 years and Minnesota’s premier plein air event.  Starting this year, Outdoor Painters of Minnesota (OPM) and Johnson Heritage Port Art Gallery and Museum are collaborating to expand the week-long event across Grand Marais on Friday, Sept. 7 – Friday, Sept. 14 for painters and art enthusiasts of every level of interest and ability.

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/plein-air-grand-marais/

Plein Air Grand Marais will feature:

Daily mini-workshops instructed by competing professional painters.  There are 13 mini-workshops throughout the week, and cost per session is $50.  Registration is required.

Yellow Bird Fine Art in Grand Marais will host daily paint-outs, an open category exhibit and a reception for up to 35 visiting painters who are not in the competition, and the 75 competition artists.

Thursday night Hootenanny at the municipal campground picnic shelter on the lake – sing, play music along with OPM’s ad-hoc band “The Plain Errors”

For additional details including the mini-workshop schedule, please follow this link | file:///C:/Users/Kristen%20Rebollo/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/9ZZ6RVJP/91922_OpenCupboards_PAGM_brochure.pdf

A culminating exhibit of work by competition artists will be hung at the Johnson Heritage Post Gallery following the Plein Air Grand Marais from Friday, Sept. 14 – Sunday, Oct. 7.

Radio Waves Sept. 7 – 9 and Unplugged Music Festival Sept. 14 – 16

In addition to the week-long Plein Air event, visitors can also attend two favorite local music festivals: Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 – 9 at Sweethearts Bluffs campground and the Unplugged Music Festival Sept. 14 – 16 at North House Folk School.  Performances include a variety of music genres with local and nationally recognized artists, on-site food and beverage for purchase, artisan markets, and hands-on activities for all ages. For more details:

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/10th-annual-radiowaves-music-festival/

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/unplugged/

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County, MN | email: linda@visitcookcounty.com | phone: 218.387.2788

PR | Road Trip to the Stars: U of M Dark Sky Caravan travels to Cook County, Minn. Aug 11-18

Photo: Dark Sky Caravan - inflatable planetarium

Road Trip to the Stars: U of M Dark Sky Caravan travels to Cook County, Minn. Aug 11-18

Grand Marais, Minn. – July 27, 2018 – The Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium is hitting the road from Duluth to the end of the Gunflint Trail Aug. 11-18. The traveling event will coincide with the annual Perseid Meteor shower where stargazers can expect to see 50-70 meteors or shooting stars per hour.

The mobile GeoDome Theater creates an immersive learning environment that is interactive and engaging. University of Minnesota Duluth staff and students will lead attendees through a dynamic digital space exploration experience. Accompanying the planetarium will be telescopes offering live sky viewing with consultation, thanks to volunteers from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society.

“It is the perfect time of year for stargazing. Each day we will be in a new location with the portable planetarium and telescopes to observe the sun, stars, planets and moon,” said Joel Halvorson, interim Planetarium Director of the University of Minnesota Duluth. “Our final two nights of the caravan take place at the end of the Gunflint Trail, which happens to be one of the best places in the entire country for observing the stars.”

All events are free, with daily programming that will run from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.*

Planetarium shows will be offered on the half hour. In the event of cloudy skies, programming will be limited to the planetarium.

Date                                        Location

Saturday, August 11                UMD Planetarium, Duluth

Sunday, August 12                   Tettegouche Visitor Center, Silver Bay

Monday, August 13                 Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte

Tuesday, August 14                 Voyageur Brewing Company, Grand Marais

Wednesday, August 15           Grand Portage Community Center, Grand Portage* (hours 5 p.m.- 8 p.m.)

Thursday, August 16               Seagull Lake Community Center, upper Gunflint Trail

Friday, August 17                    Seagull Lake Community Center, upper Gunflint Trail

The end of the tour wraps up with two nights at the end of the Gunflint Trail – known for its pure dark sky with a reading of a class 1 on the Bortle scale, which translates into an excellent dark sky with minimal light pollution.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with the University of Minnesota to offer the Dark Sky Caravan this August. Finally, we’re able to bring the universe to you!” said Linda Jurek, Executive Director of Visit Cook County.

The Dark Sky Caravan is the prequel to a new event, the Dark Sky Festival, slated for December 2018. The event will be centered around celebrating the night sky with a lineup of presenters, photographers, and star story tellers creating an immersive experience for longtime star gazers and novices.

More details can be found at https://www.visitcookcounty.com/dark-sky-caravan

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Photo: Dark Sky Caravan - inflatable planetarium

Dark Sky Caravan – inflatable planetarium

Kjersti Vick, Visit Cook County MN | phone# 218-387-2788 | email: kjersti@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Second annual Biggest Blueberry Contest on Gunflint Trail July 20 – Aug. 11

blackberry grows on bush outside

Second annual Biggest Blueberry Contest on Gunflint Trail July 20 – Aug. 11

Cook County, Minn. – July 24, 2018 — Businesses along the Gunflint Trail (also known as County Road 12) in Cook County, Minn. are hosting the second annual Biggest Blueberry Contest, which started on Friday, July 20. Blueberries will be measured by weight, and must be picked fresh and not store bought.

There will be weigh stations at Bearskin Lodge, Golden Eagle Lodge, Hungry Jack Outfitters, Rockwood Lodge, Tuscarora Lodge, Gunflint Lodge and Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center, Way of the Wilderness, Poplar Creek Guesthouse, Gunflint Pines Resort, Seagull Outfitters, Poplar Haus, Nor’Wester Lodge, Trout Lake, Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, all of which are along the Gunflint Trail.

Berry pickers will be able to submit their biggest blueberry at these locations. In addition to three grand prizes for the biggest blueberry, all submissions will be entered to win randomly drawings for custom biggest blueberry PopSockets throughout the contest.

Blueberries in the Gunflint Trail area are already ripening (see photos taken on July 16, 2017) and tend to peak around late July or early August. Wild blueberries are easy to identify, looking much like the grocery store variety, only smaller. The plants are woody shrubs, usually less than two feet tall and resemble miniature trees. They grow best in dry, well drained, rock soil with good sun and are often found in recent burn areas. For more information on berry picking and the biggest blueberry contest, go to https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/biggest-blueberry-contest-gunflint-trail/.

The Gunflint Trail

Beginning in the center of the town of Grand Marais, County Road 12 (also known as the Gunflint Trail) is a 55-mile paved road that adjoins U.S. Highway 61. County Road 12’s route goes through the Superior National Forest to Saganaga Lake near the Canadian border. According to Explore Minnesota, there are no towns along the route, but side roads lead to resorts, campgrounds, canoe outfitters, and boat ramps. Many nearby lakes are within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is primarily accessible by non-motorized boats. There is great fishing along the Gunflint Trail, and miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. Wildlife abound, so there’s a chance of spotting deer, moose or bear, seeing a wide variety of birds, or hearing the howls of wolves.

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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blackberry grows on bush outside

Linda Jurek, Visit Cook County, MN | phone# 218-387-2788 | email linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Grand Opening: July 12-15, 2018

Photo: Newly renovated Grand Portage Casino

Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Grand Opening: July 12-15, 2018

July 6, 2018 Grand Portage MN – After years of intensive construction, Grand Portage Lodge and Casino is throwing open the doors to welcome guests to gorgeous new public spaces, refreshed lakeside dining area and lounge, elegantly renewed rooms and suites, new event center and meeting rooms, a new pool complex with direct access to Portage Bay, and of course, the new casino floor. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 2:00pm on Thursday, July 12th 2018.

With a dramatic interior honoring the indigenous culture of Grand Portage, the new casino is a spectacular entertainment space featuring 425+ slot machines and exciting table games featuring Blackjack and Three Card Poker. Lodge and casino guests will find a casino deli, gift shop, and views through a three-story atrium offering gorgeous views of Lake Superior and the Northwoods.

“We are so glad that the dust has settled and the building phase is over,” says chairman Norman Deschampe. “The new Grand Portage Lodge and Casino offers guests excellent facilities to stay, play, eat, and host meetings and banquets right here on the North Shore. Our location is spectacular, our doors are open, and we want to share this wonderful place.”

The final renovations have transformed Antlers Lounge with an eight-tap draft system and big screen TVs, and rejuvenated the iconic Island View Dining Room while still offering excellent fare and big lake views. New banquet and meeting rooms are part of a complete overhaul of the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino event center where visitors can look forward to a schedule of weekend comedy and music.

“We’ve had bookings for family occasions, bridal and baby showers, weddings, birthday getaways, and many other celebrations,” says Frank Vecchio, Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Marketing Manager. “Everyone loves the new spaces, especially our beautiful pool complex with direct outdoor access to Portage Bay. I don’t think there’s a better place to stay and play on the North Shore.”

Grand Opening Weekend Schedule of Events

Thursday, July 12

– 2:00 p.m. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

– $10 Free Play with coupon from local paper

– Complimentary gift for first 500 Players

– Live slot tournament

 

Friday, July 13

– $10 Free Play with coupon from local paper

– 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Free BBQ

– 8:00 p.m. – Pow Wow Comedy Jam $20

 

Saturday, July 14

– $10 Free Play with coupon from local paper

– Progressive cash draws

 

Sunday, July 15

– Hot seat draws

– 15 foot boat, trailer & motor draw

– $10 Free Play with coupon from local paper

 

About Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, just 35 minutes north of Grand Marais, the lodge has 95 renewed rooms and suites, paired with a casino boasting 425+ slot machines. Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is owned and operated by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Lake Superior has been home to the Ojibwe people for over 500 years. For more information, call 800-543-1384 or visit www.grandportage.com

 

 

For more information, contact:

Steven Standingcloud

1-218-475-2913

1-800-543-1384 ext. 2913

standingcloud@grandportage.com

Photo: Newly renovated Grand Portage Casino

Newly renovated Grand Portage Casino

Photo: Lobby at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino

Lobby at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino

Photo: Rooms at Grand Portage Lodge

Newly renovated rooms at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Steven Standingcloud 1-218-475-2913 1-800-543-1384 ext. 2913 standingcloud@grandportage.com

Talking Tourism: Visit Cook County Welcomes New Members to the Team! | by Linda Jurek

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: June 2018

Talking Tourism: Visit Cook County Welcomes New Members to the Team! | by Linda Jurek

The information center and administrative offices of Visit Cook County have welcomed two new members to their team.

Joining the administrative office team is Lily Nelson-Pedersen who has replaced Katie Krantz as the event resource coordinator. During the summer of 2015, the board of directors encouraged the creation of this position. Although you might think the event resource role was designed to coordinate events, the responsibilities are much greater. Lily is responsible for the content of the monthly event newsletter and all website listing for the events in Cook County. The events are those welcoming all visitors. The county 1% lodging tax supports our marketing and/or production of events and programming. This is no small task. Twenty-two events were added during fiscal year 2017-18. Lily is no stranger to Cook County. She is a 5th generation family member to our area and a 2009 CCHS graduate.

Carah Thomas-Maskell is a familiar face and a welcomed member to the information center team. Visit Cook County maintains information centers in Tofte and Grand Marais. And although there is certainly and ebb and flow to the county’s tourism traffic, the busy team of the information centers welcomed 22,000 visitors in 2017. Carah not only brings a vast knowledge of Cook County to her position, she is a seasoned writer and photographer.  Carah has traveled extensively and is a 1978 CCHS graduate.

Both Lily and Carah work in the Visit Cook County location in Grand Marais. Please stop by and welcome them to the team.

Photo: 2018 new hires at VCC, Lily Nelson-Pedersen and Carah Thomas Maskell

2018 new hires at VCC, Lily Nelson-Pedersen and Carah Thomas Maskell

PR | Cook County Communities Celebrate a Small Town Fourth of July with Kids’ Bands, Parades, Fireworks, and a 10k Wilderness Run

Tofte 4th of July Fireworks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Cook County Communities Celebrate a Small Town Fourth of July

with Kids’ Bands, Parades, Fireworks, and a 10k Wilderness Run

 

Cook County, Minn. – June 8, 2018 – Celebrate the 4th of July away from bustle of the city in the small towns of Tofte, Grand Marais, and Grand Portage.  There’s something for everyone, kicking off with a 10k wilderness trail run, The Tofte Trek.

 

Stay for the day in Tofte to enjoy their annual Fourth of July festivities, including food vendors, arts and crafts for sale, a beer garden, and a parade.  Then travel down the shore to Grand Marias and enjoy the family friendly kids’ band, The Bazillions, playing in Harbor Park before the fireworks.  All three communities of Tofte, Grand Marais, and Grand Portage have spectacular fireworks displays at 10 p.m., under the stars, over Lake Superior.

 

The Tofte Trek is a local favorite, notorious for being a very muddy start to your Fourth of July celebration. It has been held for 39 years and offers awards for the top male and female in each division of runners and walkers.   The event takes place at the Birch Grove Community Center, 9 Good Neighbor Hill Road, Tofte, Minn. 55615.

 

After the trek, Tofte continues the celebration “downtown”.  Enjoy live music, a bite to eat and cold beer while listening to live music or watching the parade.  After the parade, the much anticipated “Tofte Citizen of the Year” will be announced.  “Come join in an all-day Fourth of July party,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County.  “Locals and visitors alike will enjoy a small town Fourth of July.”

 

 

It’s a grand Fourth of July in Grand Marais and Grand Portage.

Just 20 minutes away, Grand Maris is celebrating with kids’ band, The Bazillions, playing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. in Harbor Park.  Visitors can hang out with their families before the fireworks, get a cup of coffee, and set up camp on the beach and enjoy fireworks framed by the picturesque harbor – lighthouse, sailboats and stars included.  Lucky visitors can watch the fireworks from the water on a boat, kayak, paddle board, or canoe and get a peep at Tofte’s fireworks show in the distance.

 

At dusk, visitors also can head further north to Grand Portage, which has a huge fireworks display over the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino.

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades – most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County 218.387.2788 linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Celebrate the Gunflint Trail and Support the Fire Department at the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races at Gunflint Lodge July 18

Gunflint Trail Canoe Races

MEDIA CONTACTS

Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc.                                          Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County

612.990.0126                                                                                       218.387.2788

lnelson.linpr@gmail.com                                                                    linda@visitcookcounty.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Celebrate the Gunflint Trail and Support the Fire Department at the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races at Gunflint Lodge July 18

 

Cook County, Minn.May 31, 2018 — In 1976, friends and neighbors on the upper Gunflint Trail organized the first Gunflint Trail Canoe Races to raise money for worthy causes benefiting all on the Trail. Since then only one year was cancelled – 1999 – when the great BWCA Blowdown occurred just a few days before the scheduled Races.

 

This year the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races will be held at The Gunflint Lodge on the south shore of Gunflint Lake, Wednesday, July 18, 2018, beginning at 4:30 pm. The underlying mission of the Races is to support the efforts and growth of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department (GTVFD).

 

According to GTVFD Chief Jim Morrison: “Funds from the Canoe Races support GTVFD Emergency Medical Services. We have ordered a new ambulance.  It is a type 1 Ford 450, 4×4.  It will also have a Stryker power cot and loader.  These additions will make for much safer operations for responders and patients.  This vehicle will also provide a much gentler ride to town.

 

“We have also added glucagon,” notes Morrison, “which is an IM injection for folks who are having a diabetic crisis and are unconscious.  With the increasing problem with opioid overdose we have also added Narcan.  Thanks to all the donations we receive from the community we are able to provide these services and continue to upgrade them.”

 

There’s something for everyone at the 2018 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races!

  • Fifteen (15) Canoe Races for multiple ages and abilities and plenty of space to cheer on your favorites from Trail resorts and campsites. All are welcome to register onsite. Bring your own canoe and paddles.
  • A Food Tent with delicious, well-priced BBQ and more, prepared and served by Gunflint Lodge staff, will make for a great supper on the Trail. Food service starts at 4:30 pm.
  • Auctions – both Silent and Live. Items will come from up and down the Trail and throughout Cook County, including many hand-made treasures. One highlight of the live auction will be a hand-made quilt, created from souvenir tee-shirts of resorts along the Trail!
  • A commemorative, fund-raising 2018 Canoe Races tee shirt will be available onsite and at Trail Center on weekends before the Races for just $20.
  • Last but not least, a lucky $5 raffle ticket holder will win a bright yellow Current Designs Solara 120 Kayak, worth $800! Winner to be announced just after the concluding fun-to-watch Gunnel Canoe Race. The Kayak will be on display at Trail Center prior to the Races. Raffle tickets are available at numerous resorts and from volunteers.

 

An active committee of the Gunflint-Seagull-Saganaga Property Owners Associations, working with volunteers from up and down the Trail, have made the Races a success for 40 years. This year’s overall chairman, Bob Baker, Sr. of Gunflint Lake, notes, “the Canoe Races are a true expression of how our Gunflint Trail community works together to make living in the wilderness better and better each year, for residents and visitors alike.”

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County PH# 218.387.2788 Email: linda@visitcookcounty.com