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Chamber Chatter: Chamber gearing up for busy seasons

Spring is here, the snow will soon be gone and the Pine River Chamber of Commerce is in full gear planning for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. 

The 34th annual Miss Pine River Scholarship Pageant will take place Saturday, April 6, at the Pine River Backus High School and nine young women will be vying for the title of Miss Pine River 2013. 

The public is cordially invited to attend the pageant with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the pageant beginning at 7 p.m.

The Pine River Chamber has joined with the communities of Brainerd, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Walker and Bemidji through the Paul Bunyan Trail Marketing Committee in instituting the first-ever Paul Bunyan Trail Geo Caching Tour. 

The event officially began April 1 and will continue throughout the summer, fall and winter months. 

The Paul Bunyan Trail has been declared a “power trail,” which means there are more than 900 geocache sites along the 112 miles of the trail. Anyone interested can go to the website at to gain information on the event. 

The event is expected to bring geocachers from around the country and the world to the Paul Bunyan Trail.

The first official event of the spring will be the Frost Free Friday promotion, which will be Friday, May 24, with free plants handed out to those who visit participating Pine River merchant stores. 

That weekend also kicks off the weekly Pine River Flea Markets, which will be held each Saturday from May 25 through the Labor Day weekend.

The flea markets will be held beside the historic Pine River Railroad Depot. All vendors are welcome to call the chamber at 218-587-4000 for information. 

The Pine River Grower’s Market will begin Friday, May 31, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the same site as in previous years in downtown Pine River. 

Some other events through the summer will include the weekly Duck Races beginning Friday, June 22; Summerfest, June 28-30; Community Garage Sale Days, Aug. 2 and 3; the Lakes Bluegrass Festival, Aug. 22-25; and Heritage Days, Sept. 6 and 7. The Cass County Fair will be held June 27-30 this year. 

A full schedule of events can be seen by going to the chamber’s newly updated website at and going to the Events page. 

The Pine River Information Center continues to offer information for a wide area of the state and is an official Affiliate State of Minnesota Tourism Center, which means residents and visitors alike may access state maps, tourism information and other chamber brochures at the center. 

(John Wetrosky is executive director of the Pine River Chamber of Commerce.)