Bingo Fundraiser TONIGHT!

The Pine City Ambassador Program will host their annual scholarship fundraiser tonight at the Pine City High School Commons at 7PM.  The event includes 14 games of regular bingo with the prize for each game featuring products or gift certificates for services. Each prize awarded has a $40 – $100 value.

A few of the prizes include:  Seasonal oil change gift certificate from Rick’s Auto Repair, Tupperware items from Ani’s Tupperware, 3 month membership at Anytime Fitness, Dragon attire from Lee’s Pro Shop, Movie Fun from Chris’ Food Center, kids book collection from Usborne Books by Angie Kemen, or a necklace and earring set from Premier Jewelry Design, JoAnn Lindstrom.

For those that can’t get away to play bingo today, but would still like to support the program…. and have a chance to win one of two great prizes… $1 raffle tickets are available.  1st prize is a Pine County Fair package (ride wristbands, derby tickets & concessions)  and 2nd prize is a Shop Local package with gift certificates to Nicoll’s Cafe, A&W, Sprouts, Darla & Cliff’s Country Store & Chamber Bucks.  Raffle tickets can be purchased from any of the candidates or from the Chamber Office…. or at the event.

MPC Bingo Fundraiser Poster



Posted in 09. Community: Knowledge and Awareness, 10. Community: Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Echoes Of Elvis & Walking Tacos

The sun is shining and summer is calling!  The Pine City Arts Council is hosting week 4 of the Art in the Park Music Series tonight (Friday, June 16, 6 p.m.) at Robinson Park in downtown Pine City. The Pine Area Lions will serve walking tacos beginning at 5:30 p.m.

New this year is free transportation by Arrowhead Transit from 6-9 p.m. Pick up schedule is 6 p.m. at Westchester Apartments, 6:10 p.m. at the Senior Dining site, and 6:20 p.m. at Golden Horizons Assisted Living. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show.

Still to come this summer:
June 23rd ~ Al Godage and the Sundown Band
June 30th ~ The Whiteidewalls
July 7th ~ Monroe Crossing
July 21st ~ Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers
July 38th ~ Neighberz

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Fare for All: Food that makes cents

Are you looking for ways to stretch your grocery dollars this summer?  Fare for All is a program that is open to ANYONE to use every month or the occasion when it fits your schedule.  Fare for All is community supported.  The more people that participate, the more savings passed on to customers.  Advanced payment is required and EBT payments are accepted by calling 1-800-582-4291.  Here is how the program works:

Place your pre-order & payment with New Horizon Thrift Store at 215 Main Street South in the weeks prior to the monthly distribution date.  Orders and payment must be received by the Monday before distribution date.

Pick up your packages at The Lighthouse (Evangelical Free Church property south of Chris’ Food Center) on the scheduled date between 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM.  Distribution dates remaining in 2017: July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8 & December 6.

What’s for Sale?  Everything from produce packs, mini meat packs, to hot buys… and special holiday packs are introduced in November & December.  Here is an example of just 2 of the options available:


Volunteers at the New Horizon Thrift Store are available to answer any questions that you might have about the program, or you can pick up an informational flyer at the store as well.

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Freedom Fest Events: June 21-25

The annual Freedom Fest event kicks off in just one week and we are excited and anxious about all that this year has planned for us!  We are introducing a few new events to the line-up and bringing back a few items from previous years.

Advanced registration details you might want to know about (Registration links available on the Chamber of Commerce website)
TRIATHLON — register by Friday, June 16th to guarantee a t-shirt.  Event day registration is available but no t-shirt is guaranteed
AMAZING RACE — register by Wed. June 21st at Noon.  Event day registration is NOT available
PINE CITY SINGS — register by Wed. June 21st at Noon.  Event day registration is NOT available

2017 Event Schedule

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“The Music Man” hits the Pine City Stage August 18

PINE CITY, MN—  Stepping and dancing their way to the stage later this summer is an energetic group of actors and actresses from across the region.  A summer musical performance of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

The cast of 48 is excited to perform this class musical.  When Harold Hill, a traveling con man, arrives in River City, he convinces the locals to start a band by purchasing the uniforms and instruments from him. His intention is to flee as soon as he receives the money. Librarian Marian Paroo suspects Harold is a fraud, but holds her tongue since her moody brother, Winthrop, is excited about the band. As Harold begins to develop feelings for Marian, he faces a difficult decision about skipping town.  

This Heritage Players production comes together under the director of Becky Schueller and musical direction of Jennifer Hansmann. “The Music Man” will perform for one weekend only with evening shows beginning at 7PM on August 18, 19 & 20 and the final matinee performance on Sunday, August 21 at 1PM.

Tickets for the  production are $15/Adult, $12/Seniors and $10/K-12 Students.   Guests that purchase their tickets in advance at Voyageur Bottle Shop, Cabin Coffees, or online through the Heritage Players website can take advantage of a $3 discount per ticket.


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Free Technical Training for Local Businesses

Is your Pine City area business listed online for Google Search?

Can your business be found on Google Maps?

OntheMaplogoIf not, you may be missing potential customers or not have all the business traffic you could have.  Current statistics on Internet usage show that presently 97% of consumers look online for goods or services, and most are using Google Search or Google Maps.  However, nationally only 37% of businesses have ‘claimed’ their listing on a search engine – a process which involves working with the search engine company to validate your business and to gain access to own and change or upgrade the results people see when your business pops up during a search.

A local partnership in Pine City is working to improve the results for all businesses in Pine City and to improve how local businesses appear when people – particularly visitors – search here for goods and services.  The Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Pine County Office of Economic Development (PCOED) are spearheading a project this summer to provide one-on-one technical assistance to local businesses with that goal of improvement in mind.

The project, using grant funding from the Greater Pine Area Endowment, will use a combination of paid technical expertise and volunteers to reach out to area companies, go to their places of business, and walk them through the process of claiming, validating and upgrading their results in Google and Google Maps – at no cost to the business.

“We scanned search results for our member businesses in the Chamber,” says Chamber Executive Becky Schueller.  “We found that, out of 215 members in the Chamber, only 70 businesses had claimed their listing on Google Search and Maps.  59 more showed up on a search but had not claimed their listing.  The rest couldn’t be found at all. So two-thirds of our members either have no presence or perhaps incomplete and inaccurate information.”

While the summer project is not limited the Chamber members, Schueller feels that the same percentages apply to non-members as well.

Pine County Economic Development Coordinator Robert Musgrove dug into some of the inaccuracies and incompleteness on those businesses that did have a listing but hadn’t claimed it.

“We had a convenience store listed as an auto repair shop,” Musgrove explains.  “We had retail stores showing up on the wrong side of town on Maps.  Many didn’t list their hours of operation. These are the kinds of problems you see when a business hasn’t claimed their listing.”

Musgrove noted that search engines also aren’t used just by visitors to find restaurants or hotels.

“They’re searching for auto body shops and medical clinics and pharmacies and local attractions and attorneys – you name it,” he stated.

Beginning in early July, the partners will be reaching out to area businesses to schedule sessions with the technical expert when they can set up a listing or claim and correct a faulty one.  The only limitation is that, because of the conditions of funding from the Greater Pine Area Endowment, the business must be located within the boundaries of the Pine City school district.  The project will begin in early July and last into the Fall.

To begin with, an online signup sheet for technical assistance is available at  businesses that want to jump right in.  Businesses who want the service may also contact the Chamber Office – even if they are not members – at info@pinecitychamber or at 320-322-4040 or by contacting the Pine County Office of Economic Development at 320-591-1625 or

Posted in 09. Community: Knowledge and Awareness, 10. Community: Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, 10. Community: Skills and Mobilizing | Leave a comment

Wild personnel make trip to Pine City to meet and greet fans

1 - Kurtis Gabriel

Kurtis Gabriel

Members ofwild road tour the Minnesota Wild will soon visit Pine City as a part of its 2016 Wild Road Tour Schedule.

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

Mario Lucia

The Pine City stop will include recently-signed Wild forwards Kurtis Gabriel and Mario Lucia, the son of legendary Gopher coach Don Lucia and brother of Ali Lucia of WCCO-TV. They will be joined by former Wild forward Wes Walz and Wild television analyst Mike Greenlay.

The Road Tour will stop at the Pine City Civic Center on June 21 from noon to 1 p.m.  

The 2016 Minnesota Wild Road

3 - wes walz

Wes Walz

2012 NHL All-Star Game - Mascot Portraits


4 - mike greenlay

Mike Greenlay

Tour will conclude with the Summer Bash and NHL Entry Draft Viewing Party from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, June 24 at Xcel Energy Center.  It will feature interactive games, photo and autograph opportunities from Wild players and NHL Alumni, a live broadcast from KFAN 100.3 FM and more.  The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will take place at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y., June 24-25.

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Freedom Fest Event Schedule 2016

The Freedom Fest event schedule has been finalized and flyers will be available this month at locations throughout Pine City.  There are a number of new events coming this year that organizers are excited to bring to the community to share.

The events begin on Wednesday, June 22nd with a Free Community BBQ from 11am – 1pm at Pine Technical & Community College.  Not only can you enjoy a great lunch, but tours of the college campus will also be available.  Find more information at

The Pine City Ambassador Candidates will host the annual “Meet the Candidates” Bingo night on Thursday, June 23rd at the Pine City High School.  Tickets for bingo and the $1 raffle tickets are now available from both Senior & Little Miss candidates, or from the Chamber Office.  Bingo starts at 7 PM.

The event schedule on Saturday at the Fairgrounds includes a few new activities…. including a Swap Meet organized by the Stewards Car Club, the Waterball Competition hosted by the Pine City Fire Dept, and a Flag Disposal Ceremony hosted by the Pine City Girl Scouts.   Check out the full event schedule here:

2016 Event Schedule

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Pine City market ready for its first hotel in more than 40 years

Pine City is ripe for a hotel, according to a market study of the area.

“We’ve been ready for some time,” asserted Nathan Johnson, Community Development Director.  “Now we just have the data to back it up.”

Consultants examined four sites, two on the north and two on the south side of town.  The sites were the JPL site at on the 1200-block of 8th Street NW (site 3 below) and the Pine City Freeway Investments site on the 1300-block of Northridge Drive NW (site 4) near Exit 171; and the RCF Holdings site on the 1200-block of Hillside Avenue SW (site 2) and the Pine City Interchange site at 1542 Hillside Avenue SW (site 1) near Exit 169.

Hotel Sites

Pine City, in partnership with the EDA, Initiative Foundation and Greater Pine Area Endowment, hired Growth Services Group (GSG) of Missouri in January to determine the feasibility and possible success of bringing a hotel to town.  Consultants determined the town could sustain a 42-room hotel with a business center, banquet space to accommodate greater than 25 people, hot breakfast, fitness room and a pool.

Despite a number of other hotels within 20 miles of Pine City, including a giant 563-room hotel at Grand Casino Hinckley, consultants pointed to a 6.5-percent increase in area lodging from 2009 to 2015 as a reason the market area could sustain another provider of overnight accommodations.

“With wedding venues, major community events, the North West Company Fur Post, a growing business community and our area lakes, we have plenty of travelers to house for the night, especially in the warmer months,” explained Johnson, adding, “Not everyone wants to stay at a casino 15 miles away.”

GSG’s report recommendations said, “Review of demographics and community interviews suggested that a mid-level to upper mid-level hotel would be ideal and provide the amenities to meet the community’s needs.  This type of hotel would be well received and provide a new tier to effectively draw guests back to Pine City from the nearby surrounding markets.”

The cost to develop such a hotel would be about $109,000 per room, or about $4.6 million for a 42-room building.  Consultants predict five years after the development the hotel will have an average yearly occupancy rate of 65.7-percent and the average daily rate would be $101.83.

Pine City had a number of hotels in its early years, the last of which was the Agnes Hotel which stood until 1974.  Two roadside motels remained since then, one 20-room facility (the Old Oak Inn) which is set for demolition due to redevelopment of the site, and another 12-room facility, the Gail Motel, which has operated since 1955.

“Given the positive results of the study, the uptick in commercial and residential development activity along with all the city has to offer in amenities, including the wide range of annual events that draw visitors to our great community, our hope is that hotel developers will be drawn to our market,” said Mayor Carl Pederson.

Copies of the study are available on the City’s website.  Contact Johnson at 320.629.2575, ext. 105, or by emailing with questions regarding the study.

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New planning commission appointment sworn in: Chris Fossum

  • City seeks student rep for Commission.  Applications available at City Hall.
Chris Fossum 2015

Chris Fossum

Chris Fossum was given his oath of office by Chair Frank Christopherson at the most recent Planning Commission meeting May 24.

Fossum, age 39, lives in the Hazel Park Addition near the fairgrounds.   He works as a data coordinator and a business services representative for Pine Technical & Community College.  He is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

“It is my goal to be a productive and effective team member by upholding and enforcing the rules of conduct, bylaws, statutes and ordinances to support opportunities, growth and sustainability to the Pine City community,” said Fossum, in an application to the City seeking the mayor’s appointment.

Mayor Carl Pederson appointed Fossum to serve out the remainder of Dan Rydberg’s term, who passed away in March.

The student representative position remains unfilled at this time.   Gracie LeBrun held the position, but she graduated with the Class of 2016 and plans to attend the University of Northwestern in the fall.

Planning Commission meetings are held the Fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Pine Government Center in the Council Chambers beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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