Traffic, business picking up in Pelican area

By Brent Frazier, mayor City of Pelican Rapids

Summer arrived in west central Minnesota on June 20, as it did throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This is all witnessed by the increased flow of traffic through Pelican Rapids as most people are headed to the lakes to enjoy our recreational waters and parks.

If one was to take a ride around our lakes, you will see people in the lakes, streams, and rivers engaged in swimming, tubing, kayaking, and fishing. The increase of watercraft on the waters is a testament to the increase of fishing licenses sold thus far in 2020.

The Department of Natural Resources recently reported that the sale of fishing licenses has exploded to a level that has not been seen since the year 2000. Much of this increase comes from the youth in Minnesota. It all has been helped by the warm spring weather, the push from parents to get their children outdoors in an individual sport, and the COVID-19 pandemic. When many youth activities were not yet available for participation, the sport of fishing was a great avenue to get outdoors for some fresh air, keep your social distancing, and to enjoy a sport that has been around since the beginning of mankind.

Business in our city is increasing week by week, but it probably will not reach the economic boom during the summer of 2020 as we have seen in the past, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly thank our local residents and our visitors for the economic boost thus far to the businesses in the City of Pelican Rapids.

Almost all community events have been canceled in Pelican Rapids for the summer of 2020: The Friendship Festival, LC Cruisers Classic Car Show, Pelican Fest & Turkey BBQ, and Art in the Park are gone this year, but looking for a robust return in 2021.

Many, if not all, of our ‘snowbirds’ have been back in our midst for quite some time and we are so very glad to see them! They are not only friends but a part of our Pelican Rapids family.

We truly welcome the visitors to our city and community. When our visitors arrive this summer they will be welcomed with our ‘hellos’ and smiles, but probably not by our firm handshakes and embracing hugs. This again is all due to COVID-19.

This pandemic has truly been like a ‘burr in our saddle’ or ‘a small pebble in our shoe,’ but we all must endure and go on day by day with the proper precautions.

With a smile on our face and a skip in our step, we will advance to a lifestyle in our community which will soon again resemble normal.