Gems of Itasca: Festival Edition is Episodes 4. The Gems of Itasca is a short form documentary series based on the unique gems of Itasca County, Minnesota. Gems of Itasca is produced by Benjamin Braff and Alisi Styles, owners of A+B Productions.
Gems of Itasca: Festival Edition (Episode 4)
Summer is a magical time in Itasca County. Many festivals and events are held in Itasca County during the summer months. The Wild Rice Festival is one of those events. Wild rice grows abundantly in Itasca County’s area lakes and rivers. The Wild Rice Festival is the worlds largest of the grain features activities parades, amusements and live music including an Ojibwe Pow Wow.
The Bowstring Family of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe are a young family who take pride in their heritage. The family name Bowstring is synonymous in Itasca County and go back as far as the 1600’s. Young Lawrence Bowstring, age 6, takes part in Pow Wows whenever he can. His attire represents the meaning of his family as the bear clan.
The Itasca County Fairgrounds is known as the most picturesque fairgrounds in Minnesota. The grounds come alive each year during the Itasca County Fair. The Itasca County Fair features colorful midway rides, sweet smell of cotton candy, hot dogs and the sounds of livestock exhibitions. “The Annual Festivals and Events in Itasca County have been a big part of mine and my families experiences growing up,” Simeon Aitken “I really enjoy coming out and being able to enjoy the entertainment with my friends and family. To meet new people interact with community and just enjoy cultural and artistic heritage in the area.”
Weekend of Wheels rolls in at the end of July where over 15,000 car enthusiasts. This event features car shows and a swap meet. The event began when two car clubs joined forces to hold a premiere event celebrating the love for cars. This draws local and international visitors alike. “The car shows feature really old from Model T’s to more modern street rods”, shares Don Jamsa, Itasca Vintage Car Club. “Kinda like antiques road show”.
One of Itasca Counties longest running events started on September 2, 1912 was the Bovey Farmers Day. This continues to be celebrated each Labor Day. The event was started to celebrate local farmers. Awarding prizes for the best vegetable and crop display. The event has turned into a vibrant carnival featuring street dance, live musical entertainment, flea markets, even a glow in the dark 5K run.
Another vibrant town event is the Tall Timber Days closes the downtown streets of Grand Rapids for family shows, flea market, lumberjack competitions, street dances, and lots and lots of food. Dr Jess, Chair of the Tall Timber Days, “Tall Timber Days is a celebration of our lumber heritage in Itasca County and the Grand Rapids area.” At the Tall Timber Days one will find arts and crafts, enjoy lots of food, and the lumberjack shows. Estimates are approximately 12,000 attend the show each year.
Itasca County is truly fortunate to have so many diverse celebrations of its culture and heritage. Check out things to do in Grand Rapids, and activities in Grand Rapids at www.visitgrandrapids.com/event-calendar.