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Rebecca Yeh of Nisswa was crowned 2012 Miss Northwest during the pageant on Friday night in the Historic Holmes Theatre. Photo by - Brian Basham

Royal start for Water Carnival

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entertainment Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The 77th annual Northwest Water Carnival is off to a good start.

With events like the Miss Northwest pageant, Fly-In, Midsummer Bike Tour, Demolition Derby, Family Day and more, this past weekend had something for everyone.

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"It's been amazing. We're off to a great start," said Jon Olson, who shares duties as Water Carnival admiral with his wife, Angie.

The carnival started off with the Miss Northwest pageant Friday night where Rebecca Yeh was crowned Miss Northwest 2012. Yeh is 19 and from Nisswa. Her platform is "A Voice for Autism."

Yeh was formerly Miss Brainerd Lakes 2011, and was first runner-up for Miss Minnesota 2012.

"Rebecca will be a great Miss Northwest, and she's already proven herself at Miss Minnesota," said Cindy Moore, the Miss Northwest pageant chair.

Yeh received her crown from Siri Freeh, the 2011 Miss Northwest and 2012 Miss Minnesota.

Moore credits Freeh with being able to juggle her Miss Minnesota schedule with her duty of coming to DL and presenting the 2012 Miss Northwest crown.

"Siri will be an inspiration to all of the contestants," Moore said.

The first Miss Northwest Teen was also crowned that night, Sarah Labine. She's 15 years old from Detroit Lakes.

Moore said she is proud of all of the Miss Northwest and Miss Teen contestants.

There was a good crowd at the pageant, Olson said. "It was a great pageant, it got us started off on the right foot."

Later Friday night was Night Golf at the country club executive course, with glow-in-the-dark golf balls and a golf course lined with LED lights.

"We got a lot of positive feedback," Olson said of the event. He said the attendance number was down slightly compared to past years, and some of their typical golfers weren't there, but there were a lot of new faces.

"We plan to grow that event," Olson said.

Saturday morning, among other events, was the Fly-In, which Olson described as a "huge success," with continuous traffic.

The Lakes Area Experimental Aircraft Association organized the event.

"They did just a remarkable job," Olson said.

Also on Saturday was the Water Carnival's first ever Rotate the Lake, an event that the Jaycees partnered with Morning Rotary to organize.

"Rotate the Lake went well for Year 1," Olson said. "We were pretty pleased."

Rotate the Lake participants circled the lake, visiting participating bars and drawing cards, each of which was worth a certain number of points. Prizes were given out to winners and were also drawn at random.

Olson said a lot of people on motorcycles participated, as well as those on boats.

Sunday was Family Day, which was as popular and well attended as always, Olson said.

Sweet Summer Night on Monday night had somewhat low attendance, Olson said, possibly because the event is in its second year.

"It's a nice event with potential," Olson said.

He said the Jaycees are very pleased with this year's Water Carnival overall.

"As a group, I don't think we could be happier," Olson said.

Coming up for the rest of the week are favorite events like the Bed Races tonight (Wednesday), Bingo on Thursday, and Water Fights and Party in the Pavilion with live music by The Front Fenders on Friday.

Also, at 9 p.m. during Party in the Pavilion, the band will take a break and the Jaycees will formally dedicate their trolley.

Saturday is one of the days with the most buzz about it, Olson said, with live music all day, including Bash on the Beach featuring Blackhawk, and the Chili Cook-off, the Fun Run/Walk, the Classic Car Show and more.

Then the Water Carnival closes Sunday with a few last events, including the big Parade of the Northwest.

Water Carnival schedule:

Wednesday, July 18

4 p.m. Great Admiral's Hat Hunt

4 p.m. Open Swim Meet

6:30 p.m. Ice Cream Social

7 p.m. Bed Races

Thursday, July 19

5 - 10 p.m. Bingo

6 - 10 p.m. Home Brew

8 p.m. Baseball Classic

Friday, July 20

3 - 9 p.m. Inflatable Games

5 p.m. Junior Water Fights

7 p.m. Water Fights

8 p.m. - midnight Party in the Pavilion/The Front Fenders

Saturday, July 21

7 a.m. Fun Run Walk

8 a.m. Chili & Salsa Cook-Off (Tasting at noon)

9 a.m. Softball Tournament

10 a.m. Baseball Classic

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Paddle Board Race

Just Kids, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

9 - 9:30 a.m. Pet Show

10:45 a.m. Pet & Doll Parade

noon - Ronald McDonald Show

noon - 9 p.m. Inflatable Games

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Classic Car Show

11:30 a.m. Picnic In The Park

noon - Sand Volleyball Tourney

1 p.m. Bean Bag Tournament

3 p.m. Sand Castle Contest

7 p.m. Bash on the Beach featuring BlackHawk

Sunday, July 22

8 - 11:30 a.m. Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Inflatable Games

1 p.m. Parade of the Northwest

3 p.m. Water ski Show

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