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Bemidji Bicentennial



June 24 - June 25



Beltrami County Historical Society is pleased to announce the Beltrami Bicentennial, a two-day celebration Saturday, June 24, at Buena Vista Ski Area and Sunday, June 25, at Beltrami County History Center in Bemidji, MN.


The bicentennial celebrates the 200th anniversary of Italian author and surveyor Giacomo Beltrami’s visit to the United States and Minnesota.  During his visit, Beltrami and his Ojibwe guides ventured through much of modern-day Beltrami County in his search for the source of the Mississippi River, which he identified as Lake Julia, just north of Bemidji.


Our event starts at 8:00 am with a 5k history walk/run at Buena Vista Ski Area.  Please register on our website (https://beltramihistory.org) by June 1 for the family-friendly walk/run to receive a t-shirt with registration.


Featured event speakers include biogeographers and documentarians River’s Edge Geographics; former Red Lake Nation Tribal Chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain; Smithsonian Institute researcher emeritus Cesare Marino; and John Welle, Professor of Italian, Emeritus, University of Notre Dame.  The Historical Society is also honored to welcome Jon Romer, a flutist specializing in Native American flute, who will cap our program with a special concert on Sunday afternoon.  Special exhibits will display information about Beltrami’s life and travels in the United States and Mexico.


Additionally, the Historical Society is partnering with the Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi (E. Caffi Civic Museum of Natural Sciences) in Bergamo, Italy, home of the Costantino Beltrami Collection.  Saturday afternoon, we will offer a live stream with museum staff, Cesare Marino, and local Native American experts to feature artifacts that Beltrami collected and took back to Italy.


Daily admission includes parking, self-guided museum/historic building tours, speakers, music, and children’s activities.  Attendees are also welcome to explore our History Center gift shop, bookstore, and items made by Native American artisans.  Save by purchasing commemorative badges, available at the History Center and Bemidji Woolen Mills – each badge is $13 and includes access for BOTH days of the bicentennial celebration!


Thank you to Beltrami County and Paul Bunyan Communications for being early sponsors of our bicentennial.

We are still seeking sponsorships, volunteers, and Native American artisans interested in a table/booth space: please get in touch with depot@beltramihistory.org or 218-444-3376 for more information.

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