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Sibley Park Open House is Saturday

NEW LONDON -- The pairing of Sibley State Park's annual open house with Prairie Pothole Day has developed into a symbiotic relationship.

One event bolsters the other, and vice versa.

Sibley's open house will be Saturday, Sept. 12. For that day, parking is free and no permit will be required.

Much like needing to have mustard on a hot dog, or eating something fried on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair, the Park's open house and Prairie Pothole Day are two halves of a whole.

Sibley park manager Paul Otto said the two events have complemented each other well over the years.

"The big thing is that this will be occurring at the same time as Prairie Pothole Day," he said. "We encourage people to come over to our event and then visit Prairie Pothole Day."

Four interpretive programs will be held that day, including two on the Veterans' Conservation Corp, which constructed buildings in Sibley and other state parks statewide in the 1930s.

There will also be free pontoon rides on Lake Andrew courtesy of Let's Go Fishing throughout the day, launching from the fishing pier at the swimming beach.

The interpretive center will be the site of a concert by Off The Cuff, a brass band that played at the park last year. The concert runs from 12:30-2 p.m.

"It's a smaller event this year because last year we had extra funding because of the state's sesquicentennial," Otto said.

Most of the state parks in Minnesota have their annual open houses earlier in the year, but Sibley has received special permission for the last number of years to join forces with Prairie Pothole Day, which is held about a mile north of the park entrance at Stoney Ridge Farm on U.S. Highway 71.

Another event being held Saturday, but not related to the open house, is the Pat Boros 10k Trail Run, which runs through the park and begins at 8 a.m.