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In the days before texting, tanning booths, sunblock, and fatfree ice cream, back before the Trolley was red or today’s classic cars were classic, the Jaycees were throwing an annual summer celebration that hasn’t stopped making waves since. Seventy-five years after its inception, the Northwest Water Carnival is still a yearly highlight in the lakes area, making it one of Minnesota’s longest running festivals and an excellent opportunity for tourists and residents alike to jump into 10 days of all Detroit Lakes has to offer. And, as it turns out, Detroit Lakes has quite a bit to offer. This year’s Water Carnival, scheduled for Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 18, boasts 60 exciting events – up 12 from last year – over 10 jam-packed days, a feat accomplished by 50-plus membership in the Jaycees. “We have the people power to make it all happen,” Johnna Thorson said. Thorson, who served as the club’s president last year, is sharing this year’s Water Carnival admiralship with husband Chris and their fellow Jaycees Nathan and Jackie Weber. “We have 35 years of Water Carnival experience between the four of us,” Thorson said. “We knew we could work together to make it a good year.” Thorson noted that good communication between the quadmirals has kept everyone involved in the planning process and helped them find that four heads are better than one when troubleshooting and trying to make the 75th anniversary the best Water Carnival yet. “When you get to the 75th year, you want it to be special,” Thorson said. “We’ve added lots of little things. We have 16 new or

Washington Avenue will be packed with spectators for the Parade of the Northwest Sunday, July 18. resurrected events.” After questions from community members about why certain events have been absent in recent years, the admirals realized many current Jaycees hadn’t been involved long enough to realize what Water Carnival week was missing. This year, veteran attendees will see old favorites return, like the watermelon feed, boat parade, toddler trot, and water ski show. The Winnipeg Police pipe and drum band will also be back to march in the finale Parade of the Northwest, a continual favorite that Thorson promises will be “as fun as always.” This summer will also see the return of bed racing, which will ask teams of five to form, raise funds, decorate beds, and race them through the City Park parking lot while onlookers enjoy ice cream, compliments of their Water Carnival buttons. All pledges will go to the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center to purchase new

beds and bedding. “We’re bringing (old events) back to breathe some new life into them and shake things up a bit,” Thorson said. Like every year since 1935, fresh events have also been added to the lineup. These include a reception for past queens following the Miss Northwest Pageant, a kickoff dance, the incorporation of Water Carnival-themed library programs, a tennis tournament, and a youth basketball competition. Admirals are also looking to make a tribute to Water Carnival’s history. “We are hoping to get classic cars to represent each year for the classic car cruise,” Thorson said. “We’d love to see it happen.” Anyone with a classic car dating from the past 75 years is asked to contact the admirals if they are interested in lending it to the cause. CARNIVAL to page 5



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Admirals: Four heads are better than one Organizing the 75th annual event BY NATHAN KITZMANN

Four admirals, instead of the usual one or two, organized this year’s Northwest Water Carnival. The admirals are Chris and Johnna Thorson and Nathan and Jackie Weber. But this doesn’t equate to less work for each admiral — it means more events for the carnival. “We added 15 events,” said Johnna Thorson. She noted that they didn’t simply substitute old events with some newer ones. “We just added,” she said. The admirals are traditionally chosen by the Jaycees a year in advance and announced on the last day of the previous year’s water carnival. Four admirals were chosen for this year both to accommodate hectic schedules and to ensure that the 75th turns into a celebration for the ages. “We all just decided we were extra busy, and we wanted to do a good job,” said Jackie. “It’s going real good. It really helps spread out the responsibilities.” The responsibilities of being admiral initially presented some stress — Jackie described an initial “uncertainty of having never done it before” – but they have quickly adjusted. In fact, though the admirals’ definitely don’t see their job as a joke, they do approach it with a refreshing de-

gree of playfulness and innovation. Clearly, all of this year’s admirals are thinking outside the box. This can be seen in the roster of events for this year’s carnival, which include not one but two dances, as well as an “old fashioned carnival” day on Sunday, July 11 featuring such events as horseshoes, a coloring contest, and a watermelon feed. “We wanted to have some classic events, to give you that old-time feel,” said Chris. Other vintage events to be featured include the Bed Races­ —­­ ­what Chris is personally most excited about — as well as a Chili and Salsa Cook-off and a Beer Tasting event. “We have tried to bring back some favorites for the 75th,” Johnna said. Some of these are events that were popular long ago, but have since phased out of the Water-Carnival. Through sheer hard work and perseverance, not to mention the tireless help of many around them, the four admirals have succeeded in organizing a water carnival that will truly appeal to the an even broader audience than it ever has before. “We like to change things,” Chris said with a laugh. Everything seasoned carnival-goers have come to expect every year will be there, as well as a resurrection of old events for people who remember when they were originally popular.

The 75th Annual Northwest Water Carnival admirals are Nate and Jackie Weber and Johnna and Chris Thorson. “We need the community to come out and enjoy themselves,” said Jackie. “We want to make sure there’s an event for everyone.” Will this be the biggest Water Carnival yet? “We hope so. They (community members) had better be there,” Johnna

said. The admirals would like to thank their sponsors, as well as the Jaycees, for helping make the water carnival everything they hope it will be. “We couldn’t do this without our members. They do the events very well and it takes a load off our shoulders,” Johnna said.

Carnival offers ‘ships,’ sand sculptures and buried treasure BY NATHAN KITZMANN

The water carnival is in many ways a celebration of our area’s strong connection to the aquatic lifestyle. It should come as no surprise, then, that many of the events this year take place on the beach — our access point to the wonders of the deep. Here are a few of the main ones:

Ship building

Ship building is one of the most enjoyable events at this year’s water carnival, as well as one of the most unique. The Ship Building contest will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 17. It was first featured at the 68th Annual Water Carnival.

The premise is simple. Organizers hand out cardboard, duct tape, and Styrofoam for contestants to build boats with — boats they later have to float on. Many people go for the more traditional, Huck Finn-style raft. Others get more creative, with mixed results. “The race, of course, is usually pretty entertaining,” said Tom Trowbridge, who is in charge of the event. “It’s kind of a controlled chaos sort of thing,” he added, advising contestants to prioritize function over form when it comes to their boats. He added: “it’s a fun event.” Does Trowbridge, who is also in charge of the Home Brew Contest and Beer Tasting, have a favorite between the two? “It’s probably a good thing we don’t

combine them,” he said with a laugh.

Sandcastle contest

There will be also be a sandcastle contest on the 17th, at 3. p.m. at the Pavilion. Each team gets one hour to work on their castles, which are built on the City Beach. There are three main categories of competition: Castles, Characters, and Everything Else. Additionally, there are separate categories for children and adults. Judging for the event — which is free with a NWC button — will take place at 4 p.m. Tiago Castro, who is in charge of the Sandcastle Contest, could not be reached for comment. In the past, sand artists have come

up with some pretty amazing — and fun to see — sculptures on the beach. Be sure to check it out.

Sand treasure dig

There will be a sand-treasure dig on Saturday, July 17 at 4 p.m. 2-12 year olds are invited to participate in the dig, which will be in a sand pit by the Pavilion. The sand-treasure dig may be one of the simplest events at this year’s Water Carnival, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. “We have candy and coins, we throw them in the pit, we turn the kids loose,” said Jon Pratt, who is co-running the event with his wife, Lisa. “It’ll last an hour or so,” he added.



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Queen of the carnival pageant

5 CARNIVAL from page 1

“We’ve made some significant changes to the schedule,” Thorson added. This year, the traditional Wednesday night water fights will move to Friday the 16th, “to make it more of an all-night atmosphere.” The admirals felt this would allow out-of-towners a better chance to get involved, as well as eliminating the need to get up early for work the following morning. Katie Kalli Melissa Jacqueline Of course, everybody’s favorites Hamness Randall Paakh Cavalier will be back for the 75th. Events like the demo derby, the Great Admiral’s Hat Hunt, kids games in the park, and music in the beer garden will all return for another year’s worth of friends, fun, laughs, liquor, games and giggles. Water Carnival’s history couldn’t have been created without the collaboEmma Joanna Sara Brittany ration of the entire town, which dates Hilgart Endrizzi Jacobson Bachmann back as far as the festival does. “We are so grateful for the overSchwartz. Her platform is “Protecting suing a degree in nursing. She will whelming support of area businesses,” perform a tap dance to “I’m Gonna Thorson said, adding that many new and Improving our Lakes.” n Jacqueline Cavalier, 21, Brainerd, Live Til I Die” by Frank Sinatra. Her businesses are contributing this year is the daughter of Cynthia and Duane platform is: “Breast Cancer Aware- despite the economy’s unhappy state. Cavalier. She is a 2009 graduate of Cen- ness: Early Screening Saves Lives.” “We don’t have to skimp. We can tral Lakes College in Brainerd with an n Sara Jacobson, 20, Frazee, is the make it what it needs to be,” she said. Associate of Applied Science Degree daughter of Marty and TyAnne Jacob- This year’s Water Carnival promas a medical administrative secretary. son. She will be a sophomore at Minne- ises to be a thrilling culmination of 75 She will perform a piccolo solo entitled sota State University Moorhead with a years’ worth of summertime splash“Stars and Stripes Forever” by John double major in Early Childhood Edu- ing. Philip Sousa. Her platform is “Warrior cation and Speech, Language and Hear- Water Carnival buttons and event ing Sciences. She will perform a Sign brochures are available at the ChamWithin: Embracing Self-Confidence.” n Emma Hilgart, 17, Brainerd, is Language Interpretation to “Imagine” ber of Commerce and local businesses the daughter of Jeff and Sue Hilgart. written by John Lennon. Her platform participating in Button Daze, which Emma will be a senior at Brainerd is “It’s Your Sign, the Language With span Sunday to Sunday. High School and plans to attend North no Boundaries.” For more information and a full Central University in Minneapolis af- n Brittany Bachmann 19, Perham, schedule of events, visit www.dlwaterter completing high school. She will is the daughter of Loren and Donna perform a vocal selection entitled “I’m Guck and Irvin Bachmann. She will “As always, we’re praying for nice Not That Girl” written by Stephen be a sophomore at Minnesota State weather, but we have no control over Schwartz. Her platform is “Find Your Community and Technical College in that,” Thorson said. “Water Carnival’s Fergus Falls majoring in nursing. She going to happen rain or shine. We’ll Voice — Vote.” will perform a jazz dance to “Fame”2:44 by get n Joanna Endrizzi, 22, Greenbush,04buscardad2.qxd either 3/22/2004 PM wet Page 1 way.” is the daughter of Jill and Shane Knut- Naturi Naughton and Collins Pennie. Just like we’ve been doing for the son. Joanna attends Northland Com- Her platform is “It’s Drastic, Cut the past 75 years. munity and Technical College pur- Plastic.”

Former winners also honored at this year’s ceremony Eight young women will vie for the Miss Northwest 2010 crown Friday, July 9, at 7 p.m. in the Historic Holmes Theatre. Also this year, because of the 75th anniversary of Water Carnival, organizer Cindy Moore is asking all past Miss Northwests to come to the pageant and be recognized. Each Miss Northwest will be asked to step on stage, introduce themselves and tell a little about where they’ve been since being crowned. For more information, contact Moore at Cindy.Moore@minnesota. edu or 218-334- 2321. This year’s contestants: n Katie Hamness, 22, Strathcona, is the daughter of Greg and Laurie Hamness. Katie will be a senior at Minnesota State University Moorhead with a double major in Graphic Design and Journalism with a minor emphasis in photography. She will perform a vocal selection entitled “At Last” written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren. Her platform is: “Save a Life Say, “Yes” The decision to Become an Organ/Tissue Donor.” n Kalli Randall, 21, Brainerd, is the daughter of Vicki Randall and Mike Randall. Kalli graduated from Brainerd High School in 2007 and from Model College of Hair Design in 2008. She will perform a tap dance to “Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell. Her platform is “Locks of Love: The Lengths of Caring. n Melissa Paakh, 17, Detroit Lakes, is the daughter of Bruce Paakh and Lori Paakh. She will be a senior at Detroit Lakes High School and plans to attend college following high school to pursue a degree in oceanography. She will perform a vocal selection entitled “Defying Gravity” by Stephen


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Lots of live music will jazz up the carnival Be it rock, big band, oldies, or a unique style, carnival has it BY NATHAN KITZMANN

Music is always a very important part of the Water Carnival festivities, and this year is no exception. There will be a band for every taste and mood — music to soothe you and music to get you off your feet. The only thing the various musical acts may have in common is that they are all very different, and unique. Come experience the soundtrack to the Detroit Lakes 75th Water Carnival!

Sell Out Stereo.

Musically, Sell Out Stereo will kickoff the carnival with a high-energy dance on Friday, July 9, from 8 to 12 p.m. Sell Out Stereo is a rock cover band that is based in Minneapolis and plays shows throughout the Midwest. Out of all the shows at this year’s Water Carnival, Sell Out Stereo will surely offer the most rock ‘n’ roll and pure electricity.

Doc and the Scrubs

On Sunday, July 11, Doc and the Scrubs will play a concert featuring their unique mix of pre rock n’ roll jazz and ballroom music. Doc and the Scrubs is a 16-piece band that has been active since 1990. They play a wide range of shows, from indoor dances to more relaxed outdoor functions. This includes their monthly appearance at Detroit Lakes Tuesdays in the Park. “We play dance music,” said Bruce Wisted, a member of the Scrubs. “It’s 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s.” He added: “it’s all cover music for the (19) 10’s through the 50’s. It’s all big band,” geared to music produced in the years between the end of World War 1, up through World War 2. “Fox trots, two-steps, the Lindy Hop,” Wisted said, listing the dances that the Scrubs play. “We play for parties, public functions,” said Wisted. “We’re well known in the area.”

Lakes Area favorites Island Time will play at the Pavilion July 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wisted sees the Water Carnival gig as “an opportunity to showcase our band to the public,” but notes that all the musicians in the band play solely as volunteers, even the Doc himself. “We don’t get paid for what we do,” said Wisted. People going to see Doc and the Scrubs should expect music that is danceable, yet musically layered and in-depth; led by simple horn melodies that belie the musical complexity that only a band of 16 talented musicians can acoustically achieve.

Tim Eggebraaten

Tim Eggebraaten will be playing his unique acoustic mix during his special children’s show at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 12. Eggebraaten plays a rich variety of country and early rock ‘n’ roll standards, such as those originally performed by Elvis Presley. His personal fusion of these styles of music is hard to define, though. “Variety would probably be the best word to describe it,” said Eggebraaten. Eggebraaten will focus on more youth-oriented music for his kid’s show on Monday, which he has done for the past five years. But that’s not to stop anyone from coming and checking it out. They may just be surprised. “Kids from infant to 92 is my target audience,” said Eggebraaten. “There isn’t much difference (from regular shows) other than we just get wild and crazy and have a good time.”

Emma Wood with Keith Thornby

Emma Wood will be performing with guitar virtuoso Keith Thornby at the Pavilion on Saturday, July 17. The concert is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This year’s performance will be a big step for Emma, who is used to performing with Tim Eggebraaten — a police officer who will have his own kid’s show at the Water Carnival. Keith is a 2010 graduate of Detroit Lakes high school, which makes him only a few years older than Emma, who is a sophomore. Having no adult backing her up will be intimidating at first, no doubt, but it will be an apt chance for Emma to expand and grow as a musician and a performer. Emma could not be reached for comment.

Vincent and the Van Goes

Vincent and the Van Goes will also return with their signature blend of 20th century covers spanning the range from dirty blues to lighter fare such as the Ventures and the Safaris. The Van Goes concert is on Saturday the 17th, from 4 to 6 p.m. “We kind of view ourselves a blues, rockabilly, and surf band,” said John Hutchinson, struggling to put his finger on the unique sound that the Van Goes have created for themselves. The Van Goes shrug off critical and popular reception like true musicians. They really don’t seem to care what people think of them — and because of that, they are very much a one-of-akind act. “We just decided to do what we want

to do, and not worry about how popular we are,” said Hutchinson. “We kind of view ourselves as a breath of fresh air.”

Island Time

Island Time will bring their unique brand of reggae, Caribbean Trop-Rock, and acoustic joy-vibes to the Pavilion. Their concert will be on Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Island Time are a traveling musical party on wheels, something they are not ashamed of. “Island Time is like an ongoing party,” said Bruce Neumann, the bandleader. “We’re sort of like the official band of summer,” he added. Everybody says when Island Time’s playing, you know its summer.” Island Time draw their concert repertoire from such influences as Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet. They play a lot of their own stuff, too. It’s party music: songs to take in while you’re dancing, knocking back Martinis, and generally just celebrating summer — our yearly reminder that God has not forgotten us. But be warned: Island Time is not a concert to merely watch, but to experience. Full audience participation is strongly encouraged, maybe even required. “We do the Congo lines,” said Neumann, “and we have a limbo contest.” “It’s just a hoot.”



Bed races always fun BY NATHAN KITZMANN

Most fun and sport that involves beds doesn’t require a group of five and isn’t held to raise money for charity. But this is different. The Water Carnival will be hosting a bed-racing contest on Wednesday, July 14, at 6 p.m. in the City Park. The registration fee is a free-will donation. Contestants must sign up in teams of five: Four pushers and one passenger. All money raised will go to the Lakes Crisis Center to raise money for — you guessed it — new beds. Aaron Lauinger — an engineer and organizer of the event through the area Jaycees — encourages participating teams to begin working on their beds as soon as possible. The beds may be custom made and don’t have to have originally been beds at all. Unlike most Water Carnival events, which are basically spontaneous, Lauinger said bed racing requires serious forethought. “This one is going to take some logistics and pre-planning,” said Lauinger.

The rules are simple: “Basically a team builds a bed on wheels. One person rides and four people push on a race-court,” said Lauinger. However, there are regulations, such as a minimum participation age of 18 and a mandate that all beds have four wheels, which must all stay on the ground throughout the race. Also, no motorized beds are allowed. The official rules and regulations are found in the registration packet. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team, of course, but there will also be prizes for the best theme and the best donation. “Its quite an opportunity for people to raise money and have fun doing it, using one of the area’s great attractions – the Water Carnival – to facilitate it,” Said Lauinger. “The 75th (Carnival) is looking to bring people together for a good cause.” The bed races were actually an old favorite at the water carnival, but were phased out years ago, before making a recent return. They’ll be a fun part of the 2010 Water Carnival.

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Saturday, July 10 “FRIENDS OF PELICAN PETE” TOUR All Day • Starting at Historic City Hall, Downtown PANCAKE & SAUSAGE BREAKFAST 7:30 am - 10 am • Pelican Valley Health Center


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Homemade beer, chili and salsa contests! BY NATHAN KITZMANN

Those who want something stronger than water at this year’s Water Carnival should find refuge in the Home Brew Contest and Beer Tasting. The event will happen on Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m. in the addition behind Zorbaz. Tom Trowbridge— who is running the event this year — started the contest in 2002, and it has been a favorite ever since. Trowbridge described how the contest came to be. “I started home brewing myself a year or so before that (the first contest), and thought ‘why not have a laid-back home brew program?’” Since then, hundreds of people have sipped and compared the various specialty brews that are annually featured at the contest. “The homebrew part of it is always a tossup,” Trowbridge said, since people don’t tend to register for the contest beforehand.

Typically, there are between 4 and 6 contestants bringing a total of about a dozen brews. That can vary, though. Miller Lite and Milwaukee’s Best fans should expect to have their boundaries challenged at the contest, which will feature mostly — if not all — darker brews. “None of the homebrews are light beers, per se,” Trowbridge said, although, he added, “there are lighter homebrews.” There will be prizes awarded for both People’s Choice, based on a popular vote, and Pate’s Choice, which is awarded to the beer that Pate Jensen — a beer connoisseur — likes the best. “It’s always nice to win a prize, but the more coveted one is Pate’s Choice,” Trowbridge said. Trowbridge will personally feature his India Pale Ale, Winter Warmer, and Baltic porter. For more information on the contest, call Trowbridge at (218)-846-1183.

Chili and Salsa Cook — Off

If the City Beach suddenly starts smelling like a cozy January day during the height of summer, it is nothing to fear. Winter didn’t come that early. On Sunday, July 18 there will be a free chili and salsa cook-off at the beach and at Zorbaz. The judging starts at 11:30, although contestants will begin mixing up chili around 9 in the morning. “The neat thing is people cook chili on the beach, so that’s always kind of a crazy thing to watch,” said Andrew Gag, who is returning to head the event after two years off. Gag added that most people bring gas grills to cook their chili on, although some have tried charcoal, and that “hasn’t worked too good.” There will be music on the beach all throughout the day, so contestants have something to mix their chili to and tasters get to have two of their senses pleasured at once. This event is free to participate in, which automatically makes it very special.

“We understand it does cost some money (to buy ingredients),” said Gag, “but we just want all the teams to come down The attendance is always subject to swing from year to year, although Gag noted that the response “usually has been very good.” “We do encourage people to sign up,” said Gag, but added that most simply show up on Sunday morning, probably having bought the ingredients the night before. On estimate, Gag said, there should be between 10 and a dozen teams competing at this year’s cook-off. To add a sense of continuity and tradition to the event, there are always teams that bring chili more or less every year. The local Parrot Heads are one of these groups, as are the Jaycees, who will not be competing but will mix up a batch anyway. To know more about the chili and salsa cook-off, call Gag at (218)-8412154.

Don’t miss the big parade BY NATHAN KITZMANN

Shine your boots and tune your tubas; the parade is in town! The Detroit Lakes Water Carnival Parade will take place on July 18th at 1 p.m. Several new floats will be featured this year, which will add to the parade without changing the essence of what you know and love about it. “One that we haven’t had for quite a few years would be the River Wranglers,” said Jessica Anderson, who is in charge of the parade. She added that the Wranglers offer a virtual cornucopia of entertainment — including a “jeep and rock crawler show” — and are a favorite with the kids. Another one that is a crowd favorite every year is the Winnipeg Police Bag Pipers, said Anderson, describing them as “really fun.” “This is the 75th water carnival, so we’re hoping to get

some new stuff and a bigger parade,” Anderson added Returning favorites, who will round out the parade with a dose of tradition, include area police and fire departments and hometown royalty. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite: the Shriners from around the area, with their pointy hats and fastdriven cars, the motorcycles, the honor guard — always seeming to be doing their best to put on a good show for those watching the parade Other Shriner groups will appear as well, including the Jamestown Clowns and the Keystone Kops. The Army band and the DLHS marching band will also be there, as well as several drum and pipe bands. “We would love to have more area high school marching bands,” Anderson said, “but their season generally ends in June to allow for family vacations. Finally, the famous trolley

will close out the parade, representing the Jaycees and reminding us all of the organization that made everything possible. Anderson has never been in charge of the parade and has only lived in the area for a few years. Nevertheless, she is excited about her debut year, and anticipates that it will carry on the tradition of all-ages fun that the parade has always been. “I hope the weather’s nice, and I hope everyone gets out there,” Anderson said. “All-and-all we are looking forward to another successful parade.” Entries to the parade need to be turned in by July 7. For more information, visit, or call Anderson at 701-200-3630.

Detroit Lakes Jaycees douse the Parade of the Northwest crowd with water following last year’s parade.



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Water Carnival 2010  

Detroit Lakes, MN annual Water Carnival