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COMMUNITY INFORMATION

Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, Sauk Rapids is a thriving Central Minnesota City with a rich history. It began in 1851 with a single house and is now home to 13,250 residents, making it a vital part of one of the fastest growing regions in the state of Minnesota.
 
Sauk Rapids offers the many benefits of being part of the regional economic hub, yet has the humble tranquility of a smaller town. Residents appreciate the comfort and security of living in a close-knit community, citing it as an excellent place in which to live, work, raise families, and operate businesses.
 
“Sauk Rapids is truly a city of opportunity. We have residents and leaders committed to providing exceptional education, a wide variety of recreational opportunities and progressive, planned growth.”
            -Todd Schultz, Community Development Director, City of Sauk Rapids

 

The Sauk Rapids economy boasts a diverse mix of industry, retail, professional, and service businesses. The thriving downtown embraces its rich and full history, while welcoming fresh opportunities. Downtown currently houses several diverse retail and service businesses, including:
• Manea’s Meats
• Sauk Rapids Herald
• Coborn’s Superstore
• One-of-a-kind retail boutiques
A recent restaurant boom has added new dining options, along with the established eateries in town. Recent additions include:
            •          Old Capital Tavern
            •          Urban Lodge Restaurant and Brewery
            •          John Dough’s Pizza
 
Industrial Growth
Sauk Rapids is an established community with extraordinary growth potential. Located approximately 70 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, the community is conveniently situated on U.S. Highways 10 and 15, and just minutes from Interstate 94.
 
The city has industrial parks located on the outskirts of three different areas of the community, incorporating a diverse mix of manufacturing, light industrial, heavy industrial and retail. All have land available for new or expanding businesses.

Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools offer comprehensive educational opportunities for approximately 4,500 students. With strong leadership and vision for the future, the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District has an outstanding reputation in Minnesota and beyond. Students, staff, and district are regularly recognized for excellence and continue to earn local, state and national awards. Recent highlights include: 

  • Personalized Learning through Technology

  • Above average performance on college readiness tests

  • Increased enrollment of more than 800 students since 2010

  • Minnesota School Finance Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016

  • Two-time nationally recognized Board of Education (2015 and 2016 - MAGNA Award)

  • Partnerships with St. Cloud Technical and Community College and St. Cloud State University

  • Nationally recognized Early Childhood Program (Four Star Parent Aware Rating through Department of Education)

The surrounding area is also home to several parochial and private schools.
 
Many options for post-secondary education are also available in the area:

  • Rasmussen College

  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College

  • St. Cloud State University

  • College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

Parks & Trails
Residents cite leisure activities and facilities as both a priority and a perk of living here. Sauk Rapids is home to numerous city parks offering playgrounds, a wading pool, picnic areas, walking trails, ice rinks, ball fields, and tennis and basketball courts. Residents can bike, walk and ski along the Mississippi River
 
Sauk Rapids’ historic connections to the Mighty Mississippi River continue to be a source of pride among residents who enjoy biking, walking and skiing along its banks. Bicycle enthusiasts now have a bike fix-it station on the Mississippi River Trail, thanks to efforts by the Great River Rotary Club. This kiosk offers bicycle repair tools, a map of trails within the Sauk Rapids area, and directions to local businesses.
 
Skating
Located on the Benton County Fairgrounds, Sports Arena East provides indoor skating opportunities for area residents. It is home to Sauk Rapids Youth Hockey, Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm Boys High School Hockey, and the Granite City Lumberjacks.
 
Raceway
For armchair sports enthusiasts, Sauk Rapids offers a unique venue on Golden Spike Road that has entertained residents and visitors since 1961. The Granite City Speedway attracts between 900 and 2,000 fans each weekend during the dirt track racing season. 

Long- running local events draw current and former residents back to the river and area parks with their children and grandchildren.
 
Rapids River Days
This annual three-day June event features the Sauk Rapids Ambassador Scholarship Pageant (formerly Miss Sauk Rapids) and the Rapids River Days Parade, combined with the popular Rapids River Food Fest. All provide a fun-filled, family atmosphere to celebrate the spirit of the community.
 
Rapids River Food Fest
Set in the city’s tree-filled Municipal Park along the Mississippi, this event entertains young and old with food vendors, live music, craft booths, amusements, and kids' games. The Sauk Rapids Fire Department hosts a water ball fight, helping onlookers beat the heat. This event raises thousands of dollars for local community groups such as scouting, churches, civic groups, and sports teams who assist on the day of the event.
 
Sauk Rapids Holiday Parade of Lights & Family Fun Day
This annual event for families culminates in a holiday parade through beautiful downtown Sauk Rapids.
 
Benton County Fair
Sauk Rapids also is home to the annual Benton County Fair, which encompasses several days of carnival, livestock, and community attractions. The fair, held in August, has been a summer staple here since 1912.
 
Fire Department Annual Open House
The Sauk Rapids Fire Department hosts their annual open house each October during Fire Prevention Week. This event is open to the public and serves to educate residents on the importance of fire safety.
 
 
Service & Community Organizations
Sauk Rapids is home to several organizations, which bring camaraderie, support and improved quality of life to the community. 

  • Boy Scouts

  • Girl Scouts

  • Lions Club

  • 4-H

  • Great River Rotary Club

  • Various faith-based organizations

 
 

Did you know?  

  • Sauk Rapids’ Old Capital Tavern was awarded Best Overall Restaurant in the St. Cloud Times “2016 Best of Central Minnesota Readers' Survey”
  • Sauk Rapids-Rice Schools were ranked 7th nationally by the Center for Digital Education’s Digital School Districts Survey Award

Population: 13,424 based on 2015 U.S. Census Bureau estimate
Estimated Median Household Income: $49,981
Access: Minnesota State Highways 23 and 15; US Highway 10
Schools: Sauk Rapids is in the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District   
Governance: Sauk Rapids is located in Benton County  
City of Sauk Rapids