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Perham's Turtle Fest

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Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Perham's Turtle Fest
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

After 26 years of any event, it's hard not to have the same activities every year. But this year, in its 27th year, Turtle Fest organizers are doubling the size of the affair from 16 events to 32.


"There are a lot of kid's things we included. We've tried to make this a family event and tried to include not only something for the kids but for the adults, too," organizer Gary Bergum said.

Taking place June 18-26, Turtle Fest opens Saturday with road races, a chili cook-off, the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby and more.

The medallion hunt begins Monday, along with Chuck a Duck. The medallion hunt will continue throughout the week until someone finds where it is hiding.

Thursday brings a dog show expo, and vendors with arts and crafts will be set up Friday. Geared for the younger kids, there will be Penny and Pals on Friday, and Imaginick -- a magician show -- on Saturday.

Friday night kicks off the major events as well, including the grand parade, a free street dance -- which will highlight the Yellowjacket Garage Band, opening for Power Play.

"Everything is going to be free," Bergum said. "They can get into the dance and listen and enjoy and have a good evening."

As for the parade, "we're going to have approximately 100 entries in the parade this year, which is a few more than we've had in the past. I was impressed with the way they did it last year, so it will hopefully be a nice way of kicking off," he said.

Saturday has a day full of events including a pancake breakfast, road race, sand volleyball, Average Joe Triathlon and a motorcycle ride for Project New Hope.

"We're hoping we can get a large number of cyclists in. It's going to be a 100-mile ride," he said.

That afternoon there will be face painting, dunk tanks, water wars, laser tag, mechanical bull rides, inflatables, all games kids can enjoy.

The demolition derby is Saturday afternoon.

"The demo derby is one of those things that has been going for probably 25 years. I can't verify that, but I think it's been about that long."

A Props over Perham fun fly is also on Saturday, located along Highway 10 across from the DL Cycle facility before exiting into Perham. New that night will be Perham Idol, with, you guessed it, a singing competition.

"We're going to try and get individuals involved and see who has the best voice."

A deejay light show will be the closing event that night.

Breakfast and a golf tournament kicks off Sunday, and the nationally recognized Miss Turtle Tootsie Pageant will close the evening.

For a full list of times and events, visit the Lions website at

"We've got a lot of activities. We'd like to jam it up even more next year," Bergum said. "I think we've got a pretty good show."

Which leads to one more change this year -- the Perham Lions Club has taken over the duty of running Turtle Fest, this year themed "We be Jammin.'"

"Our Lions organization has taken this over and is basically trying to revive it and bring it back to what it was when it first started," Bergum said, admitting this is his first year organizing this event, but he also has experience organizing larger scaled events.

"It's fun. We've been working on it since last October, so it's been a rather lengthy process, putting each piece together." -- Pippi Mayfield