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Your business looks good here. Now Leasing C O N T A C T PATRICK VESEY Goldmark Commercial | 701.239 5840 patrick.vesey@goldmark com T H E A T U P T O W N & MA I N 1,568 - 17,417 SF RETAIL SPACE Conveniently located along Veterans Blvd in southwest Fargo in a lively mixed-use neighborhood, The Lane o ers opportunities to accommodate both small and mid-size retailers. Surrounded by residential neighborhoods and some of the area’s largest employers, The Lane puts tenants and visitors in the middle of the fastest-growing area in Fargo.
TABLE OF SPONSORED CONTENT: Fair Hills Resort: A Century is Still Trendy! WE Fest: It Keeps Getting Better & Better... Even 40 Years Later! 32 54 40 58 88 66 46 Amy Erickson Blake Minge Mark Knutson Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk Skye Fingalson Grace Davidson-Thooft DL Event Calendar Shedding a New Light on Home Interiors "Art Makes Art" Take Me Out To The Ball Game 32 40 46 54 58 66 68 72 78 88 ISSUE 004 LAKE LIFE AMY ERICKSON 20 26 6 | ISSUE 004






Issue 004

Trendsetters Magazine is a free publication distributed six times a year. Our mission is to highlight all of the unique and influential people, businesses and things in the region with a focus on health, beauty, fasion, lifestyle + going out, home + design and more!

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Because hearing loss sets in slowly over time, it can sometimes be hard to tell if you are losing your hearing. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you:

• Misunderstand conversations, especially in crowded areas

• Turn the television or radio up so loud that it disturbs others

• Hear better in one ear than the other

• Feel that people speak too softly or mumble when they talk to you

• Ask people to repeat what they said

• Experience difficulty talking on the phone

• Find it difficult to hear the doorbell or telephone ring

• Experience ringing or buzzing in the ears

The only way to know for sure if you are experiencing hearing loss is to undergo a hearing evaluation.


Not all hearing aid sizes and styles are made to suit everyone’s needs. Different hearing aids work better for different people. If you are thinking about investing in a hearing aid, there are a few things to consider when looking for the most appropriate device for your condition.

The type of hearing aid you should invest in depends on the nature and sensitivity of your hearing loss. An audiologist will recommend different hearing aid devices for people with a mild degree of hearing loss than for those with severe hearing loss. You should also consider what kind of sound quality you are looking for.

Determining what kinds of hearing aid features are useful and/or practical for you and your lifestyle is also important. Individuals who spend lots of time outdoors or in crowded areas will have different needs than individuals who spend most of their

time in quiet areas, and will therefore require different features for their hearing aids. Hearing aid features available will range from automatic volume control to the size and visibility of each device.

Together, you and your audiologist can determine which type of hearing aid is best for your needs. You can then be properly fitted for a customized hearing device. Our practice also offers trial and adjustment periods so you can be sure your hearing aid is compatible with your lifestyle.

HEARING SOLUTIONS | 2700 12th Ave S D, Fargo, ND 58103 | (701)-566-7918 | | /hearingsolutionsfargo HEARING SOLUTIONS IS HERE TO HELP 15


A Century is Still Trendy!

air Hills Resort reached a special milestone in 2006, becoming a Minnesota Century Resort. Its story begins in 1902 with the purchase of land on the north shore of Pelican Lake by Frank and George Ashelman. The resort officially opened in 1906. Current resort Creative Director Emily Meyers shared that World War I is thought to be the main reason why the Ashelman brothers sold the resort a few years later in 1918, but soon after in 1926, the Kaldahl Schupp family began their generational ownership and operation, and continue to this day.

Edwin and Chester Kaldahl were the first and second-generation owners, followed by Dave Kahldahl, who took over the operation of the resort in the 1950s. Currently, the resort is owned and operated by fourth-generation resorters Dan and Beth Kaldahl Schupp and Lisa Kaldahl.

A few changes have been made in the 100 years of operation, one being the resort expansion from its original site to now occupying 1,100 feet of lakeshore on 40 acres of land on the north shore of Pelican Lake.

The lodging has seen growth as well, with over 100 cabins throughout the hills of the property. In addition to slowly growing the size of the resort,

there have been several additions to the Fair Hills family of properties.

In 1976, they purchased Five Lakes Resort in Frazee, MN, which they refer to as their "hidden gem." The resort is comprised of 10 cabins on private Five Lake, creating a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Five Lakes Resort allows guests to completely disconnect from their busy day-to-day and oftentimes is a place that offers space to reconnect with family, friends, and nature.

Another fun addition to Fair Hills came in 1990 with the purchase of the beloved 55-foot pontoon boat—The Big Pelican, which was purchased from Lord Fletchers in Lake Minnetonka. The Fair Hills team offers cruises around Pelican Lake, taking guests on a beautiful tour of the lakeside.

Three years later, in 1993, the resort unveiled another gem inside the family of properties, Wildflower Golf Course. This is an 18-hole course across the road from Fair Hills, with breathtaking, rolling landscapes and an impressive yet adaptable challenge at each hole.

One of the more recent additions to the resort is over at their Five Lakes property. In 2012, the Barn opened, offering a gorgeous lakeside wedding and event venue.

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How Fair Hills Resort is still providing the best summers ever, and doing so for over 100 years.

But, the newest and one of the most engaging add-ons to the resort comes at no better time. Pickleball has recently taken the resort, and the nation, by storm. So much so, Fair Hills opened six new courts dedicated to the sport last year when it came time to redo some old court surfaces. The resort is excited to bring official pickleball to their property's long list of "Things to Do at Fair Hills!"

According to Emily, the love of pickleball has seen a fairly steady increase at the resort, concurrent with the rising trend of the sport in the FM community. It was no question when it came to the decision of adding six new courts, as the sport is the perfect activity for Fair Hills guests.

"We are always working to balance the trending activities of today with some of the classic elements of the resort

that you grew up doing as a kid," Emily said.

The excitement over the sport doesn't stop at offering it to guests, the resort has hosted Pickleball tournaments— something that fills a need in the local area.

"...It has been so fun to see all of the courts in play at the resort," Emily said. "We host weekly pickleball tournaments for guests at the resort and now have started to introduce the Fair Hills Pickleball Tournament and Clinics to the community. Our first event was held over Memorial Day weekend with more to follow throughout the summer."

Being a staple in the lakes community, and always working to expand that reach, the pickleball tournaments and clinics hosted at Fair Hills Resort are open to the public; meaning you don't need to be a guest at the resort to attend.

"We also want people to have the opportunity to experience the magic of Fair Hills Resort so we are hosting tournaments when we have cabin availability for players to stay in if they choose," Emily explained.

Two certified pickleball professionals led the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, dubbed the "Stay and Play Your Way Weekend," as attendees were welcomed to stay as well as participate in the other activities going on that weekend like a yoga retreat and special rates at the Wildflower Golf Course.

The professionals, PaulMurray and Paul Huch, helped run the tournament and provided tips, tricks, and professional insight to enhance the athletes' pickleball game. In addition to the tournament, the duo also hosted skill-focused clinics throughout the weekend.


Emily, Creative Director and lifelong guest at Fair Hills Resort!

"I am the creative director at Fair Hills Resort, running all of our content, social media, ads, and other ways to introduce ourselves to the community and stay connected to our guests. I graduated from the University of St. Thomas and have been officially working at Fair Hills since 2009, although as the fifth generation of my family to be working here, I have definitely worked my way up, doing everything from scooping ice cream as a kid to waiting tables and performing in the Hootenanny. In 2020, I also took the helm as the Director of Operations at Wildflower Golf Course."

Maybe you've heard about the sport, maybe not. Brush up on the whos and whats of pickleball and learn where you can play in the Fargo-Moorhead area in our February issue of Fargo Monthly,, 'What's Your Sport?'


Learn about the Pickleball Professionals!

"Paul Murray grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota. As a tennis player, he took second in the Don Bosco conference, played at Marquette University, and was the director of tennis at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod. His philosophy of putting the fun in fundamentals and the love of doubles strategies and tactics made his transition to pickleball coach a perfect fit. He is presently the director of pickleball at Wayzata County Club and is both PPR and PCI-certified. Whether you are brand new to the game, or trying to perfect your third shot drop, Paul has the experience to help you improve your pickleball game every step of the way."

"Paul Huch was our other professional for the weekend. Paul grew up in Hopkins, Minnesota, and has been the head tennis and pickleball pro at the Weekapaug Tennis Club since 2010. He has coached at the collegiate level at Meredith College, Connecticut College, and Macalester College. He shares his fiery competitive spirit and knowledge of the game to help raise your pickleball game to the next level!"

If all of this pickleball tourney talk has you itching to grab your equipment and head out, don't worry—Fair Hills Resort will be hosting a second pickleball tournament in mid-August! And, if you need to brush up on your skills for the event, book a stay at the resort to enjoy the brand-new courts... and a few other perks!

Remember that long list of "Things to Do at Fair Hills?" Pickleball is just the start of it.

"We offer a little bit of everything at Fair Hills, so you can be as busy or relaxed as you'd like to be," Emily said. "The list of amenities that are free for guests to use includes basketball, sandvolleyball,afrisbeegolfcourse, ourexecutive9-holegolfcourse,4tennis courts,6pickleballcourts,foosball,kayaks, canoes,paddleboatsandboards,sailboats, swimmingpoolandjacuzziaccess, and the list goes on!"

Summer vacation doesn't have to mean total relaxation for those who still want adventure— the resort offers lessons in a variety of activities as well, including waterskiing, sailing, swimming, tennis, golf, and pickleball during the Family Season throughout the summer.

Before we get ahead of ourselves in all of the classic summer resorts available during Fair

Hill's Family Season—what is Family Season?

At any given point from the third week in June through the third week in August, you will see people of all ages roaming through the resort, taking part in so many different functions. During these crucial summertime weeks, guests are visiting during the resort's Family Season. Outside of those weeks though, the property stays busy.

Being that we're from a region that only gives us so much time in the sun, you'll find the Fair Hills grounds are humming with life during the springtime, being occupied with corporate events and retreats and weddings before the start of Family Season.

For the kiddos, there are three daily supervised activities for kids ages 4-9. Kids can take part in sandcastle-buildingcontests,torpedo rides,treasurehunts,lemonadestands, andcapturetheflag to name a few. Adults can enjoy tennis,golf,andpickleballmixers

Guests can also check out the daily fitness classes including dailymorningwalks,water aerobics,yoga,orPiYo (a blend of Pilates and Yoga). Get creative and try out one of the art classes in ceramics, and head to evening activities ranging from Trivia, Bingo, Closest to the Pin Contests, and more!

During the Family Season, the public is welcome to attend multiple events hosted at the resort, like the Hootenanny & Smorgasbord on Tuesday nights beginning after Father's Day. At this weekly tradition, the staff put together a musical show for the guests to enjoy. This 58-year-old event supports the resort's musical history. The evening looks like this:

• 5 to 6 p.m.:

Embark on an hour-long cruise of Pelican Lake— ticket includes one beverage on the boat.

• 6 to 7 p.m.:

Eat Smorgasbord dinner in the dining room

• 8 to 9:30 p.m.:

Enjoy the Hootenanny Show

While taking a cruise around Pelican Lake is a lakes lover's dream, the 55-foot Big Pelican Pontoon boat is a sight for itself. Enjoy dinner and drinks after the cruise, and end the night with some entertainment!

If you'd rather get out and do something active, hit 18 holes at Wildflower Golf Course, both a beauty to look at and to play! Check out these seven things you didn't know about Fair Hills' own 18 holes!

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Emily Meyers

Things You Didn't Know About Wildflower Golf Course 7

1. Wildflower is an absolutely beautiful course.

The light is magical on the course and the views are spectacular. You almost feel like you are back in time and out on the prairie. Depending on where you're at on the course, you'll find yourself under a canopy of oaks, putting next to an abandoned farmhouse, or gazing out over the prairie. Wildflower was designed as a prairie links style course by Joel Goldstrand and also features beautiful oak savannahs. The primary goal was to blend these two landscapes together to create a unique and beautiful course to play.

2. The driving range is wonderful.

You never have to hit off mats and can drive the ball over 350 yards.

3. Monthly tournaments

Wildflower is hosting monthly tournaments open to the public that are a great time for all! They began hosting tournaments again in 2021 and have had great turnouts.

4. Host private events at the course or book group outings

The staff will take fantastic care of you while you are here. Additional options for food and other entertainment can be arranged across the street at Fair Hills Resort.

5. A new challenge every time

Given the geography and location, Wildflower can play differently each time you play it. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to use all the clubs in your bag. You also get a true sense you are in lakes country while playing the course, which allows you to take in views of Pelican Lake, Lake Eunice, and Lake Maud while playing the course.


Homemade donuts and rolls

On the weekends there are homemade donuts and rolls from Fair Hills Resort for sale in the pro shop. You don't even have to be a golfer to stop in and enjoy those treats.

7. Prairie house #2

The prairie house on #2 has long been one of the most memorable vistas on the course. It is a remnant of one of the five homesteads that were built on the land back in the day. Golfers love the nostalgia for the past that it evokes on the course.

You don't have to be a guest to play this course—book your tee time today at!

In an increasingly tech-based world, so many of our ways of communicating or interacting with each other are done in more convenient but less personal ways. At Fair Hills, we strive to make it easy for everyone to come together and take the time to reconnect in person. To make it easy and enjoyable for kids and parents and grandparents to try new things or take part in family traditions."
- Emily Meyers
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It Keeps Getting Better & Better... Even 40 Years Later

WE Fest is gearing up for an extra special year— check out what this year's festival has in store!

e all know and love the annual celebration of country music, Midwest festivities, and summer jubilee, an allencompassing single weekend better known as WE Fest! And this year, we're celebrating a little extra for WE Fest's 40th birthday!

In the last year, the WE Fest crew has decided that in order to make the already beloved party even more exciting, they would put some time and effort into additions to make attendees' experience just a little bit better... and there's a lot of 'new' to go around!

The Pre-Party Party!

To kick start the birthday bash, WE Fest will be hosting a birthday celebration! This party will offer an abundance of extra surprises on the Wednesday before the festival, August 2.

At 8 p.m. the dance party starts with a musical trio from LA, Cheat Codes! Enjoy the music along with the next best thing— lots of food. There will be drink specials, birthday treats, and more! Plus, if there's one thing any good birthday party has, it's goodies—in this case, we're talking giveaways. There will be 40 gifts, one for each of the 40 years WE Fest has been in existence, and the biggest one includes

a free 3-year lease on a new Ford F-150 truck!

TIP! If you have tickets to WE Fest, make sure you use the discount passcode that was emailed to you for this birthday celebration!

Whether you're going to attend WE Fest or not, you can enjoy this birthday party, but just a warning—once you're there, odds are that you're not going to want to leave. Get birthday party tickets and learn more about all of the details for this jam-packed pre-event at!

Add-On, and On, and On, and... You Get the Idea!

WE Fest is all about music, but music pairs so well with great food, delicious drinks, awesome seats, and a relaxed experience. To enhance your festival weekend, the team created and launched the Bacardi Country Club at WE Fest 2022, and after a successful first run, it's back!

Instead of trekking back to your campsite in between acts, enjoy a private bar, cool off in the shaded lounge area, or get the exclusive chance to see some special guests perform for the members of the club—there are a million reasons to be a part of this VIP-like experience, but only so many tickets! Get yours at!

Visit the QR code below to learn more about who will perform in the Bacardi Country Club.

courtesy of WE Fest
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The country club is one of many options when it comes to upgrading your WE Fest experience, but quite possibly the fanciest newest addition to the WE Fest affair is... glamping!

Through a partnership with glamping outfitter Homma Camp Company, WE Fest is offering you the experience of camping with a little bit of extra glam for those who want to level up. Each sturdy canvas bell tent includes:

- a platform bed + bedding & pillow

- an electric fan

- a charging power strip

- rugs

- a side table

- a doormat

- door frame string lighting

- two camp chairs

- camp access passes (concert tickets sold separately)

- the opportunity to renew for 2024!

The campsite, which is located in the new glamping village at Lake Sallie, comes with setup and breakdown, dedicated

porta potties, adjacent parking, a shaded lounge tent, a supply store, and a 24/7 camp coordinator. Although it might not matter to everyone, this addon is absolutely worth the Instagramable features! There are still glamping opportunities available! Head to to grab yours today!

Get Your Hands on These

We're so close to getting to celebrate the annual festival of WE Fest, so you may notice that lots and lots of tickets have been sold... but don't worry—we got you.

Let's take a look at what's still on sale for your WE Fest experience!

Standard Campsites

Oatfield Standard Campsite: If you’re looking for some fun action, Oatfield is home to not only one but two radio station-hosted areas! Hang out with both Camp KAT Country and Camp K102 for some fun perks and scheduled

activities. The Oatfield crowd consists of a mixture of younger and older campers and is accessible through the underpass on County Road 22 on the east side of the concert bowl. Remember, your camping passes and tickets are sold separately!


- Includes an unassigned 1,000-squarefoot campsite.

- Good for one steering mechanism, one sleeping unit per campsite (*RV is both the steering mechanism and sleeping unit).

- Vehicle must fit completely inside the campsite, no exceptions. (Rigs over 40’ must purchase two standard campsite tickets).

- No hookups available, may bring a generator (quiet hours enforced).

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If you haven't heard, the 2023 WE Fest concert lineup is pretty insane—check it out!

• Morgan Wallen

• Brad Paisley

• Kane Brown

• Chase Rice

• Brothers Osborne

• Gabby Barrett

• Ernest

• Travis Tritt

• Blackberry Smoke

• Bailey Zimmerman

• Jo Dee Messina

• Neal McCoy

• with Cowboy Troy as our emcee!

This year's WE Fest celebration will be hosted by the one and only, Cowboy Troy! Jenny Johnson from our team had the chance to chat with the country star. Having performed at the festival three or four times, Cowboy Troy said his favorite thing about visiting Soo Pass Ranch— where the festival is held—is the energy and how excited the fans and musical acts are. His first impression of WE Fest was how massive the crowd size was. Get ready to be energized by everyone around all weekend long!

Concert Tickets

3-Day General Admission:

To witness all that the 2023 acts are going to give at this year's WE Fest concerts, grab your 3-day GA tickets! These tickets give you access to the festival grounds, vendors, and all shows for everything you need to participate in the music (and food) Thursday through Saturday!

2023 Bacardi Country Club

2023 Country Club Tent: Back for an even bigger and better second year after an already successful first, the Bacardi Country Club is one of the best ways to enhance your WE Fest experience. Between rocking out with the acts, you can visit the country club tent to enjoy the shade, snacks, a private bar, and even more live music! These exclusive perks are a great way to level up at WE Fest this summer, plus the tented area allows you a spot to hang out instead of trekking back to your camping spot—excluding when you head back to your site for the campsite decorating competition of course! Hear what WE Fest's own has to say: “We are excited to add this extra benefit to the festival. For GA attendees it’s an opportunity to enhance their WE Fest experience and get a taste of the VIP feeling without missing the party atmosphere in the bowl.” – Matt Mithun, owner


- Access to large tent and patio inside the concert bowl where members can come and go.

- Light snacks provided.

- Souvenir WE Fest Mug (1 per member).

- Exclusive live performances.

- $1 off drinks at the Country Club bar.

- Limited number of memberships are available!


3-Day GA Parking & Camp Overflow Parking:

It's not the most glamorous addition to your WE Fest add-ons, but far too important to leave out! Here are your options!

3-Day GA Parking:

- Located at the Corner of County Hwy 22 and 130th St.

Camp Overflow Parking:

- Available for extra vehicles brought to the event, not needed near your campsite.

- Pass allows for parking your extra vehicle(s) in the parking area all weekend (once parked, vehicles can not come and go).

- NOTE: No camping is allowed in this lot and it will be patrolled by security.

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Secure your spot at this iconic country music festival and check out that else the weekend has in store!

Not Just a Concert...

Over the span of a few days, your WE Fest experience is sure to bring you tons of music memories, but that's not it. Between the food and drinks, the laughs and sing-alongs, and of, course, the activities happening all over camp, the weekend is not something to miss.

Here are what's going on to build your WE Fest itinerary:

- Campsite Decoration Contest

(Chance to win Reserved Seat tickets for 2024)

- WE Fest Dance Competition

(Chance to win Reserved Seat tickets for 2024)

- Baggo Tournament (Miller bracket winner vs. Leinenkugels bracket winner for the grand prize)

- Scavenger Hunt (Play along on the WE Fest App)

Making History, One Side Step at a Time

Finally, this year's We Fest is truly going down in the history books... or at least the Guinness Book of World Records! The goal? To have

the World's Largest Line Dance, and there couldn't be a more perfect place than a Minnesota-based country music festival!

KLN, the sponsor of this recordbreaking event, connected with a local dance team to choreograph the line dance. From now, in the months leading up to the festival and throughout the concert weekend, they will be teaching you the dance. The actual recording of the line dance will take place on the last night in the concert bowl.

So, mark your calendars for the festival, download the app to have this jam-packed schedule at your fingertips, grab your dancing boots and your birthday hat, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend at WE Fest! Oh, you might need tickets... head to!

Watch for updates on all things WE Fest at

| /wefestmn
@wefestmn 29
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About Amy

Amy Erickson is a wife, mother of three amazing kids (Alex, Anika, and Jake), and owner of Bluebird Books—an independent bookstore in Detroit Lakes, MN. Amy has been a voracious reader for as long as she can remember and has dreamed of owning a bookstore for nearly as long. After working as a teacher and in the hotel business, then being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years, she and her family decided to take the plunge and open Bluebird Books. Amy and her husband Jed are part of the ownership group of Corazón Cabo Beach Resort. She is also the Director of the Lakes Area Imagination Library and is currently serving her second term on the Detroit Lakes School Board.

Some of Amy's happiest moments in her life have involved browsing in well-curated, comfortable bookstores and that same feeling is what she strives to provide at Bluebird Books. In our hectic world, her goal is to provide a “third space” away from home and the office—with comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere—where you are welcome to be surrounded by books and be present in the moment.

In partnership with the Holmes Art Cellar, Amy's bookstore also displays and sells local art. Read more about this partnership on page 38!

To learn more about the exciting things happening at WE Fest this year, check out page 26!

#1 Spend time on the lake.

“Living on the lake definitely has advantages, as we can hop on the pontoon and cruise over to Long Bridge or Zorbaz, which we do often in the summer. Detroit Lake can be very busy, but my daughter and I also like to take the pontoon out on a quiet day and just put the anchor down and read in the middle of the lake. It's very peaceful.”

#2 Enjoy the Water Carnival parade.

“One of the things I look forward to most is the Northwest Water Carnival parade. It's such a fun event and most places don't put on such a huge parade anymore. It makes me feel like a kid again.”

#3 Go tubing on the Ottertail River.

“Tubing the Ottertail River is a really fun, off-thebeaten-path way to spend the afternoon with the kids. There are two places—K&K Tubing and Charlie’s Tubing—that rent tubes, right on Highway 34.”

#4 Jam to the best country artists at WE Fest!

“My husband has been going to WE Fest since they started in 1983 and we wouldn't miss it. It's great to hang out with friends and listen to music and be able to do it in our own hometown!”

#5 Check out the city’s unique businesses.

“Anyone visiting Detroit Lakes should definitely pay a visit to Nature’s Embrace Soap Company. We have a wonderful soap in our store that she makes just for us, but everyone should experience the heavenly scent of her store. Also, some friends of ours opened a shop called Spice Boys which is a summer BBQ essential stop. If you’re going to the Farmer’s Market, look for Doughing Crazy. My kids devour her sourdough pretzel buns (and okay, I do too)... but get there early for those.”


A perfect lake day for me would mean that it's a Saturday and I have family in town. I come from a huge family—I'm the youngest of nine kids—and we often have visitors in the summer. We'd start our day by hitting the Farmer's Market in People's Park to buy some breakfast treats, then head to Shady Hollow Flea Market to browse and people watch. I love to stop in at Patina White to see what new creative thing Beth has concocted.

We'd head downtown and do a little shopping, at Bluebird Books, of course, but our other favorites are Vintage and Vogue and Red Willow. The kids always want to stop at Best Pets to see what kind of new, exotic creatures they've got, and since someone

always seems to forget a swimsuit, so we'd probably stop at Lakes Sport Shop to pick one up.

Then we'd head to Central Market for some snacks, hop on the pontoon and go for a cruise. We'd stop at the sandbar for a bit, do a little fishing, order pizza from Zorbaz and eat a late lunch on the boat. Then we'd come back to our house, make some s'mores and watch the sun set.

We're lucky to be able to do all of these things and return to our house, but the great thing about DL is that there are many places you can stay, such as The Lodge on Lake Detroit and the Holiday Inn, and have the same "lake life" experience.

#1) Rent a pontoon from J&K Marine

#2) Slather on some Alba Botanica sunscreen from Manna Food Co-op!

#3) Grab an assortment of growlers from Buck’s Mills Brewing.

#4) Snacks are vital, so stock up at Central Market, especially at their amazing deli.

#5) Shop the Lakeshirts Beach Shop for your new favorite hat or tee.

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Amy, her son Alex, and their dog Deacon spend a lot of time at Bluebird Books—a true testament to the family’s support of and belief in the business.

“I am always knee-deep in the advanced reader copies that publishers send out, but I am committed to reading at least one Emily Henry book this summer, along with a few new books from my favorite authors!”

“Happy Place” by Emily Henry

“A World of Curiosities” by Louise Penny

“The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder” by David Grann

“Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann

“Marcie Rendon has a great mystery series set in the area, and William Kent Krueger is a huge personal favorite of mine. My other favorite Minnesota authors are Curtis Sittenfeld, who lives in Minneapolis but doesn’t necessarily write ‘Minnesota’ books and J. Ryan Stradal, who lives in California but writes books that are quintessentially Minnesotan.”

“Fun Fact: I went to elementary and high school in Aurora, MN—the setting of many of William Kent Krueger’s books!”

Many of these titles are available at Bluebird Books! If you can’t make it in person, you can shop online, too, at


Can you talk a little bit about your partnership with local artists and the Holmes Art Cellar?

So, Amy Stearns [Executive Director of Project 412] and I are in a book club. We've been in a book club for 12 years. I've known her pretty much the whole time I've lived here. We were talking one day when I was opening Bluebird Books, and I said that I would love to have local art in here. In the Holmes Art Cellar, they have a lot of great artwork but not a lot of people go there because it’s out of the way. It’s just hard to get people down there, basically.

One of us came up with the idea of a partnership, so now we have a contract. I told Amy that the thing that scares me is being asked to make a decision on the

spot by artists about whether or not I want their piece. I said that if they could handle that part of it for me, and hang the art for me, we could split the commission. Bluebird Books takes a percentage, the Holmes Art Cellar takes a percentage, and then the artists take a majority of the money from the sale. We want the artists to make the majority of the money. It’s nice to have the option of having art in my store and give that exposure to the artists, because it is different having your work in a downtown business rather than the basement of the Holmes Theater.

What's the process of getting the art?

Carmen McCullough is in charge of the whole art cellar now. She'll text me or call me and tell me that

she’s got a couple of new artists that she wants to bring over to either replace something that we have or to add on. We'll find a place for it, depending on the size of it. We talk about it once in a while and decide whether or not to keep pieces up or bring in new pieces. Periodically we switch stuff out. She contacts the artists or they contact her and she vets it for me.

Do you sell all the art, or is it just some of it?

Everything that we have in here on the walls is for sale, other than the Bluebird that an artist named Hans Gilsdorf did for the store.

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Hear more from Hans Gilsdorf in our article about local art on page 78!

Why do you think it's so important to showcase and support these local artists in your store?

Oh, just because art matters so much. A world without art is a world without beauty and happiness. Not everybody likes the same type of art, but everybody should see art. Everybody should be able to see what kind of art is out there. I also just love all different kinds of art, so I wanted it to be available. Mostly, I want artists to make a living.

All the art hanging above the shelves is offered for sale, with a majority of the money going directly to the artist
This bluebird piece was created specifically for the bookstore by talented local artist Hans Gilsdorf

About Blake

At the time that Blake Minge was born, his family had multiple restaurants, a construction company, a home delivery food service, a live musical theater, and a gift shop, among other things. Make no mistake about it, entrepreneurship is in his blood.

"I had a very unique childhood and was exposed to many different styles of learning and business ventures from a very young age," Blake said. "But I always took a pretty big interest in the inner workings of hospitality and taking care of people."

Eventually, his family purchased 5-6 small restaurants in the lakes area.

"I was essentially raised at Spanky's Stone Hearth the first 15 years of my life," Blake said. "We had restaurants in Frazee, Otter Tail, Perham, kind of everywhere around the lakes country. I was never really forced to work, I just wanted to hang out with my family and work was what most things revolved around. Our idea of a day off was taking a trip to Fargo to buy some supplies for the restaurants and maybe catching a movie as a family before we headed home to unload the trailer."

By the time Minge did hit the age of 15, he knew that he wanted to run and own a business and began working for "sweat equity." His father passed away

when he was 17 years old and he ended up facing the decision of either getting involved or selling the business. He decided to take it over and ran it for the next 15 years.

Between then and now, Minge got involved in a number of services in hospitality ventures, including events and catering, before "burning out of the industry" in 2020.

Then, he began talking with the owners of Sota Lake Properties and quickly joined on as a partner in June of 2022.

"What they were doing was essentially hospitality in a different sense," Blake said. "It was enjoying all the things that lakes country in Minnesota has to offer, and really aligned with what I like doing, helping take care of people. I also always really wanted to have that awesome vacation at the lakes, but summertime was our busy time growing up. And so I think that's kind of where that passion to give others something that I maybe didn't have as much as I had wanted."

Now, Blake is applying his entrepreneurial spirit to Sota Lake Properties in an attempt to "grow and refine" the business. In his short time with Sota, the company has grown from managing 30 properties to 72 properties, all on Minnesota lakes.


We asked Blake if he had any local music recommendations and he did, his nephew and niece Dave Lee and Cassandra Mae, who will be forming a new group called Rival Kin.

"They've performed in our live musical theater from the time they were probably eight years old so getting to watch them is always a treat."

"A perfect lake day for me would mean me getting up before sunrise and going down to sit by the calm lake to watch the sun come up. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I'd really like to get things going around 10 or 11 with a nice bloody mary or mimosa. Then, I'd take out my kayak or paddleboard. Morning is a great time to take a little stroll around the lake. By mid-day, though, I'm ready for something with a little more speed and am probably getting out on the pontoon or on a jet ski for some fun. Once I'm

done with that, I'll take a bike ride in Perham. We've got the new Heartland trail which goes right by one of our properties and it's nice to get on a bike and head down that. I'm a big cook, so I enjoy grilling. That means we will be having hamburgers or brats for lunch and then finishing off the night with some steak or salmon cooked over charcoal. It's really just great to be free and not have much to do when you're at the lakes."

#1) Spanky's Stone Hearth: "I definitely have to say Spanky's. With me growing up there for the first 15 years of my life, I don't think there's a part of that building that doesn't bring back some childhood memory. Whether it was cooking in the kitchen from the time I was four years old until I was 15 or serving tables or even learning to bartend, Spanky's has always been so great to me. Josh did a phenomenal job out there and really took it to another level over 20 years of his ownership and I'm excited to see where the new ownership now takes it with Matt, Jared, and Michael. That restaurant has always put out great food and great cocktails."

#2) The Cactus: "I really appreciate The Cactus in Perham, it's kind of in my blood. I was involved with it for 15 years of my life. Watching what Lucas, the new owner there, is doing to adapt to the new world is awesome. He's really staying creative and kind of putting a new spin on what my family did there."

#2) Long Bridge: "I really enjoy Long Bridge up in Detroit Lakes. I think they've done a phenomenal job with the renovations that they've done and I think they've really put together a creative beachy menu. Going out there on Sunday afternoons is always fun to listen to some live music and be on the water."

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Check Your Lake Levels: "Always keep an eye on the lake levels. Last year, we had probably 10 to 15 calls from people that couldn't get their boats and pontoons out of the water at the end of the season. If you don't watch them, you can have a pretty costly problem come September or October."

Hire a Property Manager: "People don't realize how much work a lake place is. It takes a lot to keep it optimized and maintained. You can find yourself hiring a handyman to do lawn care, clean the gutters out, and staining decks. As beautiful as it is to live out here, there's a lot of work that goes into it. At Sota, we own a lawn care company, a landscaping company, and we do some interior design. So, we really help bridge that gap and connect homeowners with the right vendors. If they're not available, we have some handymen available to take on some of those services. We also do snow removal and house checkups in the winter. Having something like this can really take away a lot of stress for the homeowner."

Paradise Spa Vac: "I'm a big fan of hot tubs, but when you have them at the lake, it's inevitable that you are going to get sand in the bottom of it. People think you have to drain the whole thing to get it out, but you don't. I got a couple of Paradise Spa Vacs from Olson Pools & Spas. It's one of my favorite tools and I use it weekly to keep my hot tubs clean and fresh."

A Good Pressure Washer: "I think everybody should have a really good pressure washer in Minnesota lakes country. I always stick with a Honda gas-powered pressure washer for the high-pressure needs. If I'm going to go with an electric brand, I like to go with Blue Clean."

Google Smart Home: "I like to try to put smart switches on everything, especially my exterior lights so that they can turn on and off at a certain time. It's really more about convenience and not having to worry about things like that."

Turtle Fest took place June 14-18, but make sure to check it out next summer!

It's not too late to get your tickets for this event, which kicks off August 3!

Get your loon calls ready for this event which takes place August 11-13.

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About Mark

Mark Knutson grew up in Hillsboro, ND, and attended college at Minnesota State University Moorhead. With degrees in both finance and business, he jumped into the world of banking, finance, and mergers & acquisitions. He has been fortunate to work for successful companies such as Tharaldson Enterprises, Community First Bank, and OtterTail Corporation.

After six years of running marathons, Mark decided to put on a half marathon in the city of Fargo, which eventually turned into the Fargo Marathon. In 2007, his career took a detour and he became a full-time race director for that event and other marathon events.

The Fargo Marathon grew to over 20,000 participants over the next 7 years. As a marathon runner himself, Mark wanted to make the race experience the best it could be for all participants, whether they were running or walking, doing a 5k, or participating in a full marathon.

In 2022, Mark moved to Detroit Lakes, and in October of that year, he was hired as the General Manager of Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Inc. (Detroit Mountain).


Summer Nights at Detroit Mountain take place on select Thursday nights through August 10. The event has no shortage of fun activities to offer, ranging from chair lift rides and live music to cornhole tournaments and open mic nights, and much more.

WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, MN, is a premier country music festival that draws in thousands of fans from near and far. With a starstudded lineup, lively performances, and a scenic outdoor venue, WE Fest has become a summer tradition for country music enthusiasts, offering an unforgettable weekend of music and more.

Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes, MN, is an annual winter celebration that embraces the chilly season with a myriad of exciting activities and events. From ice fishing contests and snowmobile races to ice sculpting competitions and festive parades, Polar Fest offers something for everyone, creating a vibrant and joyous atmosphere that brings the community together in the spirit of winter fun.

The Dick Beardsley Races offer plenty of fun events, activities, and healthy competition for all ages! No matter your skill level, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re finishing a 5K, a 25K, or just cheering from the sidelines, it’s a day of exhilarating races that pass by some of Detroit Lakes’ most beautiful areas.

From leisurely boat rides and fishing expeditions to jet skiing and paddleboarding, any of the lakes in the area provide endless opportunities for aquatic adventures and unforgettable summer fun!


Hub 41 in Detroit Lakes, MN, is a lively and inviting restaurant that has become a favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. With its modern yet cozy ambiance, delicious menu offerings, and friendly service, Hub 41 provides a welcoming space where people can enjoy great food, drinks, and great company!

Long Bridge offers a unique, cozy lake atmosphere for locals and visitors to gather for great food, cocktails, music, and scenery.

Opened in 1981, Lakeside Tavern & Brewery has offered plenty of great food and memories for the last four decades. Swing by for a premium burger, signature pizza, footlong hotdog, and cold beverage from their on-site brewery! Known for their expertly roasted pizzas, flavorful pub-style dishes, and carefully curated selection of craft beers, Roasted Pub & Eatery offers a memorable dining experience that captures the essence of both comfort and culinary excellence.

A go-to spot for sports enthusiasts and food lovers alike. With a lively atmosphere, multiple large screens for game viewing, and a menu featuring delicious pub-style fare, Bleachers offers a perfect combination of entertainment, great food, and a welcoming environment for patrons to gather and cheer on their favorite teams.

With trails for all skill levels, it's a perfect opportunity to explore nature and challenge yourself on diverse terrain while surrounded by beautiful scenery and nature.

Road biking enthusiasts can take in the scenic beauty surrounding these beautiful lakes. Riders can immerse themselves in the serene countryside, taking in the shimmering lakes, lush greenery, and rolling hills, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both a challenging ride and breathtaking views.

Jet skiing on Detroit Lake can be an exhilarating adventure between the thrill of speed and the beauty of the surrounding scenery. With its clear waters, expansive shoreline, and stunning sunsets, Detroit Lakes provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable jet skiing experience.

Live music in Detroit Lakes, brings the community together with a wide variety of talented musicians performing in venues and festivals throughout the city. It creates an energetic atmosphere that invites both locals and visitors to enjoy the vibrant sounds of the local music scene.

Detroit Mountain offers well-groomed slopes, state-of-the-art equipment, and a friendly atmosphere to hit the slopes! Enjoy the winter wonderland and create lasting memories in the heart of Minnesota.

Head to page 68 to see who's playing at Zorbaz this summer!

Tell me a bit about the Fargo Marathon’s recent growth.

I love what the Fargo Marathon has done for thousands of people. I’ve made hundreds of great friends as a result of it, and I think we’ve changed some lives. I say “we” because this is the ultimate team effort. From committee members and sponsors to the cities of Fargo and Moorhead— it's a total WE effort! I left some really solid corporate jobs to pursue that passion, and I’m sure I left some good retirement plans on the table, but what I’ve learned as a result of “stepping off the ledge” is priceless!

What inspired you to pursue the position of General Manager at Detroit Mountain?

I wasn’t planning to pursue the GM job at the Mountain. In fact, the first time I met with the board and team about it, I told them that I wasn’t the right fit for them. Then, when I moved to Detroit Lakes, I was able to help the Mountain Team with Music on the Mountain in 2022, and later in September we did an Oktoberfest event, and I started thinking about it a little more. When the opportunity came up again, my only reluctance was that I didn’t know how to ski! Thankfully it wasn’t a job requirement,

and here I am today in my first year….which has been great!

From the management side of it, I love the “vibe” that happens here in the middle of winter. Firepits, live music, great food, and people skiing!

Lastly, the people who work here are fantastic! Everyone pitches in to make the Detroit Mountain experience a great one for our guests. And we have a young team that keeps me learning something new every day!

Have there been any changes since you assumed the role of General Manager at Detroit Mountain? What do you enjoy sharing with others about DM?

I’ve tried to add a lot of new events in the short time I’ve been here… mainly a lot of live music as I love live music! I want non-skiers to come out to the mountain and enjoy the views, live music, a burger, and a beer! We’ve done some fun events for New Year’s Eve—Fireworks, we did a Hot Tub Time Machine Party where we raffled off a hot tub in March, we did an Extreme Snowmobile event that brought out over 1,000 spectators…just some cool stuff that was new and fresh.

Check out some areas of beautiful Detroit Mountain!
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How do you like to spend your free time?

I love running and biking a lot. Detroit Lakes is the BEST for both! Road Biking is fantastic as is Mountain Biking, of course! And any time I can, I’m on the lake with the jet ski or pontoon.

Are there any hidden stores or shops in Detroit Lakes that you believe people should know about?

There really are too many to mention, but a few of my favorites are: Lit, Allure, Bucks Mill Brewing, Lakes Sports, Lakeshirts on the Beach, Hub 41, Long Bridge, and Red Willow are top of mind for me.

A FastGrowing Regional Center

Detroit Lakes

Mayor Matt

Shares the City’s Goals & Plans for the Future

Detroit Lakes has always been a favorite destination for lake lovers in the Midwest. In recent years, it has also been recognized as a fast-growing regional center with current population estimates at over 10,000 compared to 2010’s population of 8,569. This continued growth population-wise means that the city itself needs to grow, as well—and it has under the leadership of Mayor Matt Brenk. I had the opportunity to hear from Mayor Brenk about how the city continues to draw in more residents, as well as the City’s plans to improve for the citizens already residing there.

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Mayor Brenk poses in front of a sail sculpture, which was part of a celebration of Detroit Lakes’ 150-year anniversary orchestrated by local artist Hans Gilsdorf.

Investment in the Community

One of the most important things a city can do to keep itself thriving is invest in local businesses and encourage commercial growth. The members of the Detroit Lakes community have prided themselves in recent years on lifting up the community through improvements and additions to their downtown and lakefront areas.

“The City has seen significant commercial growth and investment, especially in our core downtown areas,” Mayor Brenk said. “The City has been on the leading edge of mixeduse commercial development that introduces both residents and commercial activity to our downtown. The City is currently experiencing a very low commercial vacancy rate. New commercial activity has resulted in a vibrant downtown and beachfront.”

With the new commercial activity, more and more residents are drawn to the city. With this influx of potential new community members, the City of Detroit Lakes prioritizes new housing units each year.

“The City continues to see strong residential growth, with both owner-occupied and rental housing projects,” Mayor Brenk said. “The City averages 35 new housing starts per year. Property values continue to rise as people want to live in Detroit Lakes.”

But aside from the commercial and residential investments, the City of Detroit Lakes has invested in infrastructure, making it a safer and more desirable

place to live. Examples of investments include $35 million for a new state-of-the-art Wastewater Treatment Facility, $25 million for airport runway improvements, $6.7 million for a new Police Department, $12.5 million for a new Public Works Facility, $7.7 million for a remodeled City Hall, investments in a reconstructed Washington Avenue (with a remodeled sailboat sculpture and signage), and over $2 million in new playground investments.

The citizens of Detroit Lakes also care about education and youth development, and the City has contributed to a $6.8 million fund for a new History and Science Museum and to a $6 million fund for a new Boys and Girls Club.

All of this investment comes while still maintaining a competitive property tax rate, according to Mayor Brenk. “Our property tax rate is lower than Moorhead, and second only to Alexandria in our area—a very close second,” Brenk said.

It isn’t just the City’s budget that is contributing to this investment, though. Many community members are making this expansion and improvement happen through their generous contributions. Mayor Brenk spoke highly of those who spend their money helping to improve the community.

“Detroit Lakes benefits from an extremely philanthropic community that donates to these private/public collaborations,” he said.

About Mayor Matt Brenk

Mayor Matt Brenk grew up in Detroit Lakes, MN and attended Holy Rosary School in his youth. He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1971. After college, Brenk worked in banking and insurance for several years. Soon, he found himself owning two businesses in Detroit Lakes: International Hockey Schools and Detroit Paint & Glass Co. In 1989, he sold both businesses and went into the real estate business. Brenk is still involved in the real estate industry, currently serving as the managing broker and 33% owner of RE/MAX Lakes Region in Detroit Lakes.

Brenk was elected to the Detroit Lakes City Council in 1989, where he served as an alderman for 18 years, including 6 years as Vice Mayor. He was elected Mayor and took office in January 2009. Mayor Brenk is now serving in his 15th year.

Mayor Brenk is married to Mary Brenk, who is a retired publisher of Detroit Lakes Newspapers. Together they have five grown children and six grandchildren.

next page >

Check out our article about arts and culture in Detroit Lakes on page 78 for more info on the Arts & Culture Commission!

The Future of Detroit Lakes

Though many projects are already in place for the City of Detroit Lakes, there are several upcoming investments that are still in the early stages that Mayor Brenk is excited about. Some of these projects include: a potential new Pavilion and City Park improvement project estimated at $17.3 million; a potential remodeling of historic Washington Ballfield estimated at $3.3 million; a possible reconstruction of West Lake Drive in 2025 (with potential private investments in the Beachfront); and a potential new Gymnastics Facility estimated at $4.2 million.

Along with these larger building and infrastructure investments, the City of Detroit Lakes is also investing in art and culture in the community through the Arts & Culture Commission.

“The City organized its first Arts & Culture Commission in 2022. The community is taking a fresh approach to public art and several initiatives are underway, like new murals and utility box wraps. The City is working on integrating more public art into its redevelopment activities,” Mayor Brenk said of the integration of art in Detroit Lakes.

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Mayor Brenk is pictured on the lakefront—a favorite summer spot in Detroit Lakes!

Moving forward, Mayor Brenk anticipates even more investment into the improvement of the city to make Detroit Lakes an even more desirable place to not only visit, but to live.

“Making Detroit Lakes the best place to live (through investing in ourselves) will result in more people wanting to visit, too,” Brenk said.

The City wants to connect to the surrounding Lakes Area, as well, to encourage people to explore the area even more.

“We’re excited about the completion of the Heartland Trail to Frazee and the trail along West

Lake Drive,” Mayor Brenk said. “We want to make this the best trail segment with plenty of things to see and do. Once completed, the trail will connect Dunton Locks to the City Beach and Detroit Lakes to Frazee.”

The continued growth of Detroit Lakes is something residents and tourists alike can look forward to. The development will give everyone more to do in the area, whether you’re there for the day or there to stay.

“The City is looking forward to another decade of growth,” Mayor Brenk said. “We believe we have created a desirable place for residents to live, businesses to grow, and tourists to visit.”

Contact the City of Detroit Lakes | 1025 Roosevelt Ave Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 | 218-847-5658 | | /CityofDetroitLakes

About Skye

With over 18 years of design experience, Valley City, ND native Skye Fingalson is no rookie to the interior design world. She is the owner of both Design 2 Sell at the Lakes, her interior design firm, as well as Allure, a home decor shop in Detroit Lakes that opened in the fall of 2022, and is also the owner of a super-fun Airbnb property on Big Detroit Lake.

Making big waves in Detroit Lakes area, as well as in the Red River Valley, Skye has volunteered through several local organizations, received the Best Customer Service Award in the Best of the Lakes area, and has been featured in many publications.



The Riverside Escape project is a vacation rental property that Skye and her husband recently renovated and brought to life. They purchased the property in July of 2022, began renovating it at the end of 2022, and the home is now completed and up and running. The Riverside Escape on Big Detroit sits on a beautiful city lot where the Pelican River runs right through the yard and filters out into Big Detroit Lake. "Our goal was to make this property feel like a tropical getaway," Skye said. "We wanted it to be extraordinary and differentiate it from any other vacation rental in our area."

Walking through the bright pink door to enter the home, you will first step foot into the unique kitchen that features

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dimensional gold star-shaped pendants, blue cabinets, and liveedge floating shelves. The colorful artwork selected for the home is bold, fun, and unique, immediately making you feel like you're on vacation.

Incorporating distinctive furniture for all to enjoy adds an entertaining experience while staying at this unique home. "We wanted guests to be able to visit an eccentric atmosphere," Skye said. "Planning a vacation is all about staying somewhere that is fun! Interior design is meant to be unique and so often can be too serious. Bringing in color, fun textures, bold wallpapers, and funky furniture are all part of the aesthetic."

All three of the bathrooms in the Riverside Escape host individual flair. Featuring fetching tile with gorgeous mirrors, attractive lighting, and daring wallpaper, each bathroom is determined to bring you an independent experience.

Entertainment at its finest is provided throughout this vacation home. A large 9-foot kitchen island, a dining room table featuring a fun booth seat, and two large family room areas are sure to host a multitude of friends and family. Grab a friend and channel your inner childhood by playing Foosball, Pac-Man, or Connect Four in the open-concept game room!

#1 Use wallpaper on accent walls

"Using wallpaper to give you that dimensional look on an accent wall draws your attention to that wall and looks very realistic. Some you have to touch to believe!"

#2 Wall art that inspires

"Select wall art that really speaks to you. Ask yourself why you love that particular piece and what about it makes you happy."

#3 Select your lighting with ambiance in mind

"Lighting is everything, so when you're designing any space, put extra thought into your lighting sources and how it will affect the ambiance at night."

“Never be afraid to invigorate your life with bold colors and patterns that bring you joy.” -

Skye Fingalson

What is being an interior designer in the Lakes area all about to you?

With over 400 lakes within a 20-mile radius of Detroit Lakes, being an interior designer in the Detroit Lakes area is all about curating a home away from home. Homeowners tend to go in one of two directions— coastal or woodland—and our team at Design 2 Sell can create just that.

What are some of your favorite activities to enjoy in the Lakes area with your husband and kids?

Detroit Lakes is the definition of summer, and living on the north shore of Big Detroit Lake, our favorite summer activities include pontooning, grilling on the deck, hosting, visiting the flea market, and eating at the many amazing restaurants.

How would you describe your special flavor as a designer? Why is Detroit Lakes the perfect place to play into that style?

When people ask me what my personal style is when designing homes, my answer is always "eclectic with a modern flair." I’ve never been

afraid to incorporate various elements into a space as well as add color. I am bright and colorful, and I love to create a beachy, fun vibe. Being known to push the limits and get clients out of their “safety zones," I’ve been able to show them that it is okay to take certain design risks in their home.

You are quite the entrepreneur! You have your interior design firm, a home decor shop, and now an Airbnb property. What would you like to add to your resume next?

I have many various goals and I’ve always been the kind of person who just wants to keep climbing. I’ve never been one to stay stale and be completely content with where I’m at because I’ve always felt that there is so much more to do in this life that I haven’t

accomplished yet. If you’re not constantly setting new goals, you’ll always stay in the same boat or on the same step on the ladder. My personal future goals include my own HGTV show, opening a second location, and building spec homes. I am currently researching what I need to know to fulfill one or all of these.

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About Grace

Grace Davidson-Thooft is the director of performing arts at the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes. She has been involved with the arts for the last 15 years and is proud to have worked in Arts Administration for most of the past 6 years. She loves new and energetic performances, especially challenging theatre productions or loud and exciting music. Although she grew up on the East Coast and only moved to Detroit Lakes a few years ago, she’s fallen in love with the Midwest and the Detroit Lakes lifestyle and has started planting roots in the community. When she’s not working, she loves traveling and exploring with her husband Taylor and daughter Amelia.

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#1) Croce Plays Croce: “This was one of the first shows I was here for last year and it was incredible! A.J. Croce is folk singer Jim Croce’s son and does a great job covering his late dad’s work. This was a great example of the tributes we bring each year.”

#2) Art & Theatre Classes: “We have at least one, if not a few classes going on each week. The Holmes Art Cellar brings visual artists from the community and beyond to teach different mediums. In the theatre, we’ve had a range of activities from a pop-up master class with a touring dance company, acting classes for youth and adults, and focused discussions with artists. There’s always something cool to try out!”

#3) International Artists: “I am excited to bring international artists back to Detroit Lakes! The pandemic

and some shifting in grant availability made this close to impossible the last few years, but we are excited to see a return in our upcoming 2023-2024 season. This will be a group worth traveling for a high-energy, intense, and exciting performance.”

#4) Concerts in the Park: “If there’s a concert in the city park, there’s a good chance the Holmes Theatre is involved. Art should be accessible for all, and our free concerts in the park help us to accomplish that goal.”

#4) Fabulous Armadillos and Rock & Roll Christmas (RRXS): “Nothing more needs to be said for these two.”

In recent years, it’s been tough to get involved in theatre and tough to even get to see theatre due to COVID restrictions and social distancing. That’s why Grace Davidson-Thooft is making plans to help bring community theatre back to Detroit Lakes and get young people more involved in the theatre community. Here are some of her plans (some of which are already in action)!

Community Theatre:

#1) “We aim to have monthly community theatre with meetings! We hear from so many people (especially young professionals and people with kids) that it's hard to commit to doing a full show. Through these meetings—which we plan to start in the fall—we will approach different parts of community theatre, whether it's learning from an acting coach, staged readings of a new play, or even some writing or directing work! It'll be low-commitment but also give those who miss the theatre the chance to get involved.”

#2) “In the 2023-2024 season, we plan to have two plays—one aimed at an adult cast and one that will be open for everyone and anyone! We want there to be many ways to get involved and a place for everyone.”

Young People’s Involvement & Engagement:

#1) “We will be working through social media to reach new audiences. Our marketing manager is a social guru and we've already seen a new audience this year which is so exciting and makes us feel like we are on the right track.”

#2) “We will be working on more family-friendly programming—we want the whole family to be able to come out to shows. We know it's a big-ticket item for so many, so we try to create community partnerships wherever we can to help with the ticket price.”

#3) “We are also working on including more diversity at the theatre. Representation is so important, and we really want everyone to be able to see themselves on our stage. Part of that is also knowing who our audience is and could be.”

#4) “The theatre is creating multiple ways to get involved, including social events around shows! We've worked with La Barista and Bucks Mill Brewery to do pre-show events at the brewery with meals. We plan on having more events in our ballroom around each show as well to make it a whole experience.”


Your guide to Detroit Lakes sits within the pages of this magazine, and we’ve compiled the upcoming summertime events so you can plan your perfect lakeside adventures!

Week of July 31 - August 6

Summer is Color, Tuesday, August 1

These various art classes are for youth, geared for kids ages 8-12. The August 1 class is all about acrylic painting! $10 per class, register now at


Tuesday, August 1 9-11:00 a.m.

806 Summit Ave Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Tuesdays in the Park, July 25-August 29

Head to the DL City Park Bandshell at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays this summer for an evening full of tunes. Remember to bring your blanket or lawn chair to relax in the grass. Tuesday, August 1 features Ulen Centennial Band! Come early at 5:30 p.m. for the Picnic in the Park and support a fundraiser for Fuller Center for Housing.


Tuesday, August 1 7 p.m.

Free-will donations are accepted.

Detroit Lakes City Park Band Shell

Wild Wednesdays, July 26-August 30

Wild Wednesday is back, where kids can be guided through the beautiful and engaging nature at Tamarac! Geared for kids ages 3-7 (siblings welcome), with a group size limit of 30 students per week. Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge partner with parents, daycare providers, an adult, and/or grandparents as they guide children with a story and program, a hike, a craft, and sometimes even a song or dance!


Wednesday, August 2 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Free Admission—Sign up at - Wild Wednesday Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, 35704 270 St, Rochert, MN 56578

Brown, Brothers Osborne, Gabby Barrett, Chase Rice, Travis Tritt, Blackberry Smoke, Ernest, Bailey Zimmerman, Neal McCoy, Jo Dee Messina, Ashland Craft, Ben Burgess, and Ashley Cooke, and get in on all of the campground and festival fun!


Thursday-Saturday, August 3-5 Soo Pass Ranch, 25526 Co Hwy 22, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Tickets at

Summer is Color, Friday, August 4

These various art classes are for youth, geared for kids ages 8-12. The August 4 class is all about mural basics! $10 per class, register now at


Friday, August 4,9-11:00 a.m. 806 Summit Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Food Truck Fridays, July 28-September 1

Join the community for Food Truck Fridays! Head to the DL City Park every Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. this summer for some food truck dishes and summer fun! Event hosted by Project 412.


Friday, August 4 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Detroit Lakes City Park, MN 56501

WE Fest Country Music and Camping Festival, Thursday, August 3-August 5

The WE Fest Country Music and Camping Festival is back and gearing up for its 40th annual event! Grab tickets to hear performing artists Morgan Wallen, Brad Paisley, Kane

Cruise Night Pit 611, Every Other Summer


Roll out your hot rod every other Sunday night in DL. Anyone and everyone with a vehicle they are proud of is welcome to join! The first drink is free from the Pit! Sunday nights 4-7 p.m.


Sunday, August 6 4-7:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Week of August 7-August 13

Pine to Palm Tournament 2023, August 7-13

The Pine to Palm Golf Tournament is one of the largest and most prestigious golf tournaments in the Upper Midwest, attracting contestants from more than 35 states. It is the premier golf tournament in the “lakes area” of Northwestern Minnesota!


Monday-Sunday, August 7-13 Detroit Country Club, 24591 Country Road 22, Detroit Lakes Contact: 218-847-5790

ENGAGE: Fun for Active Adults over 50! | Folklorama-Winnipeg, Canada, August 8-10

ENGAGE: Fun for Active Adults over 50 provides wellness opportunities and programs focusing on body, mind, and spirit. This Folklorama Experience offers entertainment, authentic cuisine, hospitality, and beautiful cultural displays during this largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. The trip includes luxury coach transportation provided by Minn-Dakota Coaches, “visits” to six countries, hotel accommodations, a tour of The Mint, parks, interactive cultural experiences, and four meals. For more information contact


Tuesday-Thursday, August 8-10

Winnipeg, Canada Must have a passport!

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Crazy Days 2023, Tuesday, August 8

This local shopping event has all of the crazy deals! Located on Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, this super saver day begins at 7 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m.


Tuesday, August 8

Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, MN

Cruise DL Night, August 9

Head to West Lake Drive to see all the sweet wheels! There is special parking by the Detroit Lakes City Beach on West Lake Drive, grab some food, go shopping, hang out on the beach, and relax! Held the second Wednesday of each month through September.


Wednesday, August 9 4-8:00 p.m.

West Lake Drive

DM Summer Nights, August 10

Thursday nights at Detroit Mountain are filled with fun for the community. Starting at 5:30 p.m., try out chair lift rides, live music, burgers, brews, and a corn hole tournament each week! Plus, free access to crosscountry trails for hiking and biking!


Thursday, August 10 5:30-9 p.m.

Detroit Mountain, 29409 170th St, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Food Truck Fridays, Fridays, July 28-September 1

Join the community for Food Truck Fridays! Head to the DL

City Park every Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. p.m. this summer for some food truck dishes and summer fun! Event hosted by Project 412.


Friday, August 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Detroit Lakes City Park

Live Music at Pit 611, August 12

Head to the Pit 611. Three Fifty Seven will be performing live music Saturday, August 12 from 7-11 p.m.!

Details: Saturday, August 12 7-11:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Week of August 14-August 20

Black Tie Gala, August 17

Phaser Marketing is bringing the community the Second Annual Black Tie Gala. Starting at 7:00 p.m., find food, drinks, music, and a live auction. Grab your ticket for $50, they are available at the door. All proceeds are donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes.


Thursday, August 17 7-10:00 p.m. Holmes Ballroom, 806 Summit Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

it up among friends and family members. Register at


Saturday, August 19 6:30 a.m. check-in, 8 a.m. race start, 11:30 a.m. course closed Detroit Lakes City Park Picnic Shelter

Live Music at Pit 611, August 19

Head to the Pit 611. Mike Hokenson will be performing live music Saturday, August 19 from 7-11 p.m.!


Dan Brekke, August 18

Head towards the lake and stop on the Patio at Hotel Shoreham for live music from Dan Brekke!


Wayne McArthur, August 12

Head towards the lake and stop on the Patio at Hotel Shoreham for live music from Wayne McArthur!


Saturday, August 12 9:00 p.m.

The Hotel Shoreham Patio, 24110 Co Hwy 22, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Zorbaz Live Music, August 12

Come to Zorbaz for live music from My Famous Friends, delicious 'za, and a great time!


Saturday, August 12 9:00 p.m.

Zorbaz, 402 W Lake Dr, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Friday, August 18 9:00 p.m.

The Hotel Shoreham Patio, 24110 Co Hwy 22, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Young Life Triathlon, August 19

Celebrating 20 years this year, The Young Life Triathlon offers two options for participants to choose from. The Sprint course, which consists of a 500m swim, a 20k bike ride, and a 2.92mile run, and the Long course, which consists of a 1.5k swim in Little Detroit Lake, a 40k bike ride, and a 10k run along North Shore Drive. You can even sub out the swimming portion of the race and do a 2-mile Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) or Kayak divisions a try. You and a team can also enter the Relay Team challenge—either enter the Sprint or Long distance by breaking

Saturday, August 19 7-11:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Cruise Night Pit 611, Every Other Summer Sunday

Roll out your hot rod every other Sunday night in DL. Anyone and everyone with a vehicle they are proud of is welcome to join! The first drink is free from the Pit! Sunday nights 4-7 pm.


Sunday, August 20 4-7:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511


Week of August 21-August 27

Tuesdays in the Park, July 25-August 29

Head to the DL City Park Bandshell at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays this summer for an evening full of tunes. Remember to bring your blanket or lawn chair to relax in the grass. Tuesday, August 1 features Ulen Centennial Band! Come early at 5:30 p.m. for the Picnic in the Park and support a fundraiser for Fuller Center for Housing.


Tuesday, August 1 7 p.m. Free-will donations are accepted.

Detroit Lakes City Park Band Shell

Ojibwe Forests Rally

Join the annual August American Rally Association Championship car race on Northern Minnesota Forest roads in 2023.

Headquartered at Soo Pass Ranch (home of WE Fest Music Festival), Detroit Lakes, you’ll be able to camp out, watch the races on live stream, and pick up some merch! Details and schedule at ojibweforestsrally. com.


Friday, August 25

Soo Pass Ranch, 25526 Co Hwy 22, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501Shell

Food Truck Fridays, Fridays, July 28-September 1

Join the community for Food Truck Fridays! Head to the DL City Park every Friday from 11-2 p.m. this summer for some food truck dishes and summer fun! Event hosted by Project 412.


Friday, August 25 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Detroit Lakes City Park

STYX, August 25

Sail away for a night of unforgettable rock. One of the top bands of the ’70s, is playing in DL! Get ready to hear live versions of hits like “Mr. Roboto,” “Lorelei” and “Lady” from Styx. Get your tickets today!


Friday, August 25, 2023 8:00—9:30 p.m. Shooting Star Casino, 777 S Casino Rd, Mahnomen, MN 56557

Shelter Fest, August 26

Shelter Fest will be held at Pit 611, including a silent auction to support the Humane Society and live music from 3rd Street Blues Band!


Saturday, August 26

5-9:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Troubadour Live at Long Bridge, August 26

Join Troubadour for their last outdoor show of the summer on the Long Bridge stage in DL!


Saturday, August 26 6-9:00 p.m.

Long Bridge Bar, Grill & Marina, 2000 Long Bridge Rd, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Week of August 28-SepT4

Laddies Loppet Mountain Bike Races, September 1-4

Held since 1990, the Laddies Loppet Moutain Bike Races is

one of the oldest in the state! Mountain bikers travel each Labor Day weekend to Maplelag Resort for racing and fellowship during Laddies Loppet Mountain Bike Races. There are races and age categories for every level of rider. Watch out for registration details at laddiesloppet or on their socials at!


Friday-Monday, September 1-4 MapleLag Resort, 30501 Maplelag Rd, Callaway, MN 56521

ENGAGE: Fun for Active Adults over 50! | Minnesota State Fair, September 1

ENGAGE: Fun for Active Adults over 50 provides a variety of wellness opportunities and programs focusing on body, mind, and spirit. Enjoy an intergenerational adventure exploring the Minnesota State Fair. Hop on the coach bus the day of, head to the fair, and enjoy your day filled with shows, booths, and, of course, fair food! You will return that night at 10 p.m.

Details: September 1

Minnesota State Fair, 1265 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108

Live Music at Pit 611, September 1 - 2

Head to the Pit 611. Front Fenders will be performing live music Friday, September 1 from 7-11 p.m.!


Saturday, September 1

7-11:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Zorbaz Live Music, September 2 - 3

Come to Zorbaz for live music from Adios Pantalones, delicious 'za, and a great time!


Saturday, September 2 9:00 p.m.

Zorbaz, 402 W Lake Dr, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Cruise Night Pit 611, Every Other Summer Sunday

Roll out your hot rod every other Sunday night in DL. Anyone and everyone with a vehicle they are proud of is welcome to join! The first drink is free from the Pit! Sunday nights 4-7 pm.


Sunday, September 3 4-7:00 p.m.

The Pit Sports Bar & Grill, 15057 Co Hwy 11, Audubon, MN 56511

Front Fenders, September 3

Head towards the lake and stop on the Patio at Hotel Shoreham for live music from the Front Fenders!


Saturday, September 3 9:00 p.m. The Hotel Shoreham Patio, 24110 Co Hwy 22, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

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Make sure you keep an eye on for more of the lake time events and happenings!

Shedding a New Light on Home Interiors


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Take a stroll through downtown Detroit Lakes, and you'll be welcomed by family-owned businesses lining the blocks—that's the beautiful charm of Detroit Lakes; business here means family. For one family in particular, business meant the open door to pursue a longtime dream

In the fall of 2022, Uni Fegely and her family started a new venture, taking over the ownership of Lit Decor & Gift in Detroit Lakes—an opportunity to further explore her

passion for home interiors. Although new ownerships and change in smaller towns can be an obstacle, especially with retaining the trust of existing customers, Uni was ready for the challenge, eager to put her own special twist on the already well-established home decor boutique founded by The Nines Founder and Owner Lauren Zima. Along with her daughter Emma, who has interior design experience in Minneapolis, Uni is helping Lit to shine brighter than ever, and is even expanding into a new venture.


Walking into the beautifully-arranged shop, you're met with a wide variety of styles and selections, all staged to show different moods and aesthetics. "We pride ourselves as a onestop shop for furniture, home decor, gifts, and everything in between," Uni said. A few things Lit exclusively offers in their store are custom gift boxes, their Pendleton section, baby and kids gifts and clothing, and a variety of full-size rugs.

Some current trending products Lit has been selling a lot of are mixed wood and metal wall shelves, black leather accent chairs, and textured vases. Uni and Emma handpick trending styles at the market but also like to make sure they have those classic timeless pieces as well.

A Look Inside Lit

"I would say the Scandinavian look is on trend [right now]," Uni said. "It offers a simplistic design with warm wood tones and fresh greenery." When navigating through current styles like this or finding unique treasures, shoppers at Lit look for pieces to complete their look that they will also love for years to come. The challenge can be that there are so many styles and trends, so Uni and Emma's goal is to make sure that the items their customers ultimately choose are a cohesive blend between what’s “in” and their own unique style.

In addition to the wide array of styles and decor, Uni and Emma have expanded into their latest venture, Universal Interiors, which allows Uni to finally delve into a longtime passion of having a design and decor consultation business.

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"We knew that there was a ton of opportunity in our community in this industry," Uni said. "Our favorite time to work alongside a client is to join early on during the building process. This allows us to have time to really get to know our clients so that we can make their house a home."

For the Fegleys, the timing was everything, and it all fell into place after meeting with the Zimas and taking over Lit.

From party planning, wedding consulting, renovations, new builds, design consultation, and more, Uni and Emma work alongside top-tier contractors to see any project through.

"I would say our superpower is really hearing our clients out and making sure they are being heard," Uni said. "It's our job to sell the fresh trends, but always remember that we are decorating our clients' sanctuary and making sure they ultimately are loving the space they call home! You constantly are refining and learning and wanting to be better at your trade."

"Fresh flowers every week—you deserve them!"

3 3

"Make your dining and living space part of the outdoors. When we have shorter summers, we need all the Vitamin D we can get."

"Make yourself a designated coffee/happy hour spot in your kitchen. Create that experience. It is so important to make moments in your day where you can reflect."



"If you feel overwhelmed about starting/re-doing a space, pick one or two items that excite you and work around them; having a starting point can get a good flow going."

"Playing with different heights has a huge place in the decor world. In order to add some balance and visual interest to a space, it’s important to keep this in mind to create a cohesive space."




"Decor should be fun! Don’t be so hard on yourself if your vision doesn’t come together on the first try. Decor is an ever-changing thing and that’s the beauty of it. Keep what you love and swap out what you don’t. You’ll eventually get there—and if not, give us a call!"


The Detroit Lakes Arts Community’s Vision for the Future

very community has some connection to art. Whether it’s the local elementary school children fingerpainting in art class or a Broadway-caliber musical performance or a teenager scratching poems into the back of their notebook in the middle of a boring geometry lesson (no offense to geometry teachers), art is present in each of our lives, every day, in some form. Despite the constant interaction with and dependence on arts, many do not know much about their local arts communities. When I connected with some of the leaders in the Detroit Lakes arts community, I realized just how disconnected many communities are from

The State of the Arts

Since the Arts & Culture Commission was established in January 2022, the arts have been at the forefront of many minds in the Detroit Lakes Community. Whether it is public sculptures, a classroom art project, or a new theatre performance, art is making a place for itself more than ever before in the Lakes Area. The Arts & Culture Commission was created in order to “advise the City Council on the development of arts and cultural activities, organizations, and facilities in Detroit Lakes,” according to the Commission’s Ordinance.

Amy Stearns, Chair of the Commission and Executive Director of Project 412, noted that more and more people are getting interested in art again after COVID.

the people who bring them joy throughout their lives: theater performers, musicians, painters, or even woodcarvers or graphic designers. In the past year, those involved in the Detroit Lakes art scene have been bridging that divide between the arts and the rest of the community through the Arts & Culture Commission in partnership with the City and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as through increasing local art projects like the utility wrap project and some new city murals. Read on to learn about what the Detroit Lakes arts community is currently up to, what they believe the future holds, why art is so important to the area, and more!

“One of the ‘blessings’ of COVID is that when everyone had to stay home… a lot of people were rediscovering some of their favorite hobbies from when they were younger, or they took some online painting classes or guitar lessons or whatever it may have been,” Stearns said. “I think that has offered a bit more of a resurgence in people wanting to do art themselves and maybe even more of an appreciation of art than before.”

This new resurgence of interest in art can be seen all across DL in a variety of forms. Two of the most recent art projects in Detroit Lakes are a utility box wrap project and a mural project, both of which are exciting additions to the city’s art landscape.

But though the Arts & Culture Commission is bringing arts to the attention of the public more

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often, the arts in Detroit Lakes have been strong for years. Notable local artist Hans Gilsdorf, whose work is featured all throughout the city, and his wife Mary Beth have lived in Detroit Lakes since 1999 and have seen the way the community embraces art.

“The cool thing about DL is that it's very inclusive. We always have people wanting to be involved. Over the years with different projects, what we found is a lot of these crazy ideas that we propose get embraced so quickly by the local community and businesses in the city,” Hans said.

After being so cooped up during COVID, many locals are seeing the resurgence of arts and culture events as an opportunity to be together again. Chris Henwood, member of the Arts & Culture Commission and Creative Director at Lakeshirts, emphasized this.

“There’s a big social aspect of it for the locals,” Henwood said.

“It's a chance for us to get out and see each other every now and then, in addition to bringing that outside tourist influence in. It's an opportunity for us to get together and communicate and just be around each other, as well as see great art and great performances.”

Hans Gilsdorf Local Artist Hans Gilsdorf created this “Laker Ripple Effect” mural for Detroit Lakes High School.

The State of the Arts

While a lot of cool things have been going on with the arts in Detroit Lakes for years, the ultimate goal with the Arts & Culture Commission, and with the arts community in DL in general, is to bring even more art into the community.

Many of those in the art community in Detroit Lakes are seeing huge potential in the coming years to collaborate with businesses and the City. With the support of businesses that are not specifically art-related and those on the city council, it seems more likely that more large-scale art projects will start to take place.

Local art champion and wife of Hans Gilsdorf Mary Beth Gilsdorf sees this intersection impacting art as the city continues to grow.

“I see a lot of potential in the connections between artists, businesses, and the City. That is the triangle that makes really amazing things happen. We've got momentum and we are on a very good path with all the right people in the right places. We’re seeing the same mindset more often—that whatever project we're doing, art will enhance it and make it better,” she said.

Nancy Haggart, a member of the Arts & Culture Commission and the City Planning Commission, has seen strides from the city to incorporate art further into the community.

“The city is very open to incorporating more art into the community—it's been talked about for quite a while,” Haggart said. “With the addition of the Arts & Culture Commission, people are being made more and more aware of it. Even though the

commission has only been around for a year, the city has been very cooperative, and I think they will continue to be cooperative.”

Those involved in the City’s day-today operations also see the art space opening up more in the Detroit Lakes area. Carrie Johnston, President of the Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce, notes that the community is supporting more and more artistic endeavors in recent years.

“I think our community is creating spaces for people to be creative,” Johnston said. “The Becker County Museum has a maker space, along with a digital lab and a lot of other creative spaces. The Holmes Theatre has had a lot of artistic opportunities with the art cellar and their classes. There are so many more examples. All of those places have really tried to connect with the community.

This Wolly Mammoth project, created by Zach Shumack and funded by Project 412, was installed in February ‘23 at Detroit Mountain.
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Hans Gilsdorf

It has really expanded in the last 5-10 years, and it will continue to expand.”

With all of the support from the Arts & Culture Commission, the City of Detroit Lakes, the Chamber of Commerce, and many within the community, I don’t think the arts in DL are going anywhere soon. In fact, hopefully there will be more art than ever before!

The Importance of Art in Detroit Lakes

The art community is only getting stronger in the Detroit Lakes area, and this means that the community itself is getting stronger and more connected.

“Art shows vibrancy and life in the community, and also shows a community is growing and expanding and exploring,” artist Hans Gilsdorf said. “We're adding art, music, and events versus staying stagnant. Detroit Lakes is exploding with creativity and imagination to not only beautify our own community and strengthen it, but to have community ownership and community pride, which is also a huge attraction for people to come here to live. It shows that a community has a strong life to it.”

The thriving art community also shows the citizens (and those just visiting) how inclusive Detroit Lakes is. Claire Danner, a member of the Arts & Culture Commission and the local high school art teacher, emphasized this.

“These recent public art projects say to people that we are a creative and caring place because a lot of our artwork is going to be very inclusive,” Danner said. “We've got some art from a Native American perspective, we've got some art that is showcasing veterans, and more. It is going to tell people that we are an inclusive community and that we care about you and about creative minds. People will see the art in the community and think, ‘I'm a creative person, I have space here, I have value here.’ Whereas maybe before, it wasn't as visible for people to see—you had to go and search for it. It's going to create more community and give people more connections to the community.”

There will be plenty of art to see in the Detroit Lakes area in the near future, so visit to learn more about upcoming arts & culture events in DL!


Here Are the Artists Behind the Utility Box Wrap Project, and A Sneak Preview of Their Wraps!

Anna Lassonde

Gone Fishing

"The inspiration behind the painting ‘Gone Fishing’ was our lake, Detroit Lake! I wanted to paint a fisherman’s fantasy. He’s paddling out in the lake to go fishing one morning and he is just surrounded by all kinds of colorful fish!”

Darlene Harrison

Experiencing Detroit Lakes II

“The design is named ‘Experiencing Detroit Lakes’—I grew up in Detroit Lakes until I moved to Chicago. I now get to visit DL every year as a tourist and experience all of the seasons and activities available. I created this piece to show visitors what fun there is to have year around.”

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Marin Westrum

Minnesota Flowers

“My Inspiration for this project was to highlight the plethora of beautiful and individually unique flowers and plants that grow native or wild in Minnesota. I wanted to inspire people to look at their surroundings and to keep an eye out for some of these flowers, because when you spot one, you cannot help but marvel at it.”

Shakuntala Maheshwari

Winter with Blooming Orchids

“The inspiration behind Orchids comes from a personal experience and a desire to capture and preserve a beautiful moment in my life. In the midst of a long and cold Minnesota winter, I witnessed my orchids blooming. These delicate flowers emerged with long stems, adorned with six to seven vibrant blooms each. Their presence brought warmth and happiness to my winter days.”

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Worm’s View

“As I was raising my family and running my interior decorating business, La De Da Decor and Design, LLC, I lost track of my art, only dabbling now and again to create a piece for clients. Recently, I have found my way back to my love of the arts and I spent over a year working on abstract techniques working with acrylics, alcohol inks, and watercolors. My love of color and flowers are major influences in my art and are the inspiration behind ‘Worm Views.’ The lakes area is full of beautiful wildflowers in and around our lakes and forests and I love to use them as inspiration.”

Kent Estey

Summer Sunset No. 1, Best of Times

“Inspiration for [this artwork] comes from walking out my front door. I’ve lived on the same property my entire life, so I am forever grounded in this space. It’s what I know best, so my artwork is all about what I see daily. I wait for that moment that says, 'Paint this.' I try to honor those moments, those spiritual pieces of time, on canvas.”

Jessica Drestch

The Fabulous Four Seasons

“The Fabulous 4 Seasons depicts the beloved birch, in abstract technicolor. They are such an intelligent and symbolic tree—I can't help but compare them to 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein. Because they've given us so much, both physically and spiritually, I wanted to honor them in grand fashion. It just so happens they're so fun to paint!”

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n a delightful summer evening, when the air is filled with the joys of family, the aroma of delectable food trucks, and the excitement of free baseball, what more could one desire?

We ponder the same question, and that's precisely why you should make your way to Washington Ballpark in Detroit Lakes to witness the sensational performance of the Detroit Lakes Ligers—the area's amateur baseball team—as they embark on their second year.



Amateur baseball in Minnesota has a rich history and a rich present with over 200 amateur teams currently competing across the state. In amateur baseball, players can join teams starting at the age of 14 and can play for as long as they want to. In fact,

After a 3-10 season in the Red River Amateur Baseball League, the Ligers are eager to build upon their last season. Nevertheless, this isn't the city's first encounter with amateur baseball. Detroit Lakes has a rich history of fielding teams to compete in Minnesota's renowned amateur baseball circles, with the most recent being the Detroit Lakes Angels in 2018. According to manager/player Brandon Johnson, the community yearned for the resurgence of amateur baseball.

"We really wanted to be able to bring something for the community," Johnson said. "We also wanted to build off of the things that prevented amateur baseball from working in DL in the past."

Johnson, a former Angels player himself, has a passion for the game that has stood the test of time.

"I went to college to play baseball in Crookston. I played there my freshman year and then went to M State in Fergus Falls," Johnson said. "I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do and got too involved in the partying. I left and went without baseball for a really long time."

the youngest player on the Ligers is 17 and the oldest is over 40!

If you love a refreshing summer lemonade, Lovely Lemon, a food truck alley regular, is just the place for you to get your fix. Their drinks are generous in size, are made with real lemons, and come with a variety of flavorenhancing options. And, oh yeah, they're delicious too!

That's right, Detroit Lakes' newest adult beverage sensation, Bucks Mill Brewing, is serving up delicious, icecold beer at the games as well. Beer and baseball, that's a winning combo.

Kettle Korn, what more do you need to know? Show up to the next Ligers' game for a sweet and salty snack!

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had are The Lovely Lemon, The Ice Cream Truck, Foodie by Spanky's, Wood-Fired Pizza and Catering, Bucks Mill Brewing, Kettle Korn, and Mini Donuts by Denise," Johnson said.





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