The summer season went off without a hitch in the Cuyuna Lakes. The Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area (CCSRA) is seeing record numbers of visitors. Outdoor enthusiasts from around the world are traveling here to peddle the red dirt trails and paddle the pristine mine pit lakes.

We can expect these numbers to continue rising with the expansion of the mountain bike trail systems maintained by the volunteers of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. Especially this year, as it marks the 10-year anniversary of the CCSRA. With three new trails added, totaling 28 miles of singletrack and 8 miles of doubletrack for riders to explore, there is much to celebrate!

As a result, Crosby’s downtown businesses are bustling with activity. Many of these businesses could use a few more reliable summer employees to help keep up with the crowds. Hospitality and retail industries make for a great first-time job experience for high school and college students on summer vacation. Please help spread the word to fill these openings.

Also, thanks to the hardworking Minnesota Department of Transportation crews, contractors and city workers, the recent Hwy. 210 construction through Crosby and Ironton was completed ahead of schedule, with minimal impact to businesses during the busy tourism season.

The road project wrapped up just in time to hold Crosby’s Independence Day festivities. The annual parade traveled its original route through downtown as spectators enjoyed the view from newly widened sidewalks. Be sure to thank the Crosby Fire Department and volunteers for all their efforts in making this celebration spectacular.

Last weekend, many also enjoyed the annual Celebrate Emily Day festival and parade. Summer isn’t over yet! There are plenty more community events to attend with friends and the entire family. Here is a list of a few other local events you won’t want to miss, so mark your calendars:

This Thursday, July 22, come out to Crosby Memorial Park on Serpent Lake for the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber’s Music in the Park event from 5-8 p.m. This family-friendly, free outdoor concert series is held on the second and fourth Thursdays from June to August.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center will host its 5th Annual Because of Brandon Fundraiser at Deerwood American Legion from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, July 23. There will also be an ATV Ride coordinated by the Cuyuna Iron Range Riders on Saturday, July 24, beginning at 9 a.m. Riders will meet at the Mississippi River Northwoods Trailhead.

The following weekend, the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber is hosting the Twin Cities’ Power Boat Association’s races at Crosby Memorial Park on Serpent Lake on Saturday and Sunday, July 31-Aug. 1 from 12-4 p.m. There is no admittance fee and concessions will be available.

The 33rd annual Deerwood Summerfest put on by the Deerwood Civic and Commerce is on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13-14 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber will host its Cuyuna Crusher Minnesota Mountain Bike Series Race on Sunday, Aug. 22 at the Mahomen Unit of the CCSRA. Explore the new Connector Trails on an eight-mile guided mountain bike tour with SureShift MTB on Saturday afternoon, followed by a pre-Crusher party at Cuyuna Brewing Company from 4-8 p.m. with live music and food.

It is amazing to think that it is all done through the work of volunteers. It really goes to show that our area is what we make of it. It can be as great as we wish to make it. So next time you hear someone complain about how someone should have done things differently, tell them to look in the mirror and realize that they are someone, too. If you enjoy having town celebrations, consider getting involved to make them even better. I’m sure those organizing would never turn down a few extra volunteers.

There are several volunteer opportunities currently available at the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber for the upcoming Cuyuna Crusher event. Volunteers are provided a free event T-shirt and meal for helping. Sign up to volunteer for the 2021 Cuyuna Crusher at 2021 Cuyuna Crusher – Signup Sheet | SignUp.com. Contact 218-546-8131 or email brielle@cuyunalakes.com for more information.

The fulfillment that comes along with seeing it all come to fruition is indescribable. I could only encourage everyone to see for themselves by getting involved in a cause that is close to their own hearts. That is how our town will really continue to thrive and shine.

Brielle Bredsten is the executive director of the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce.

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