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They had a blast at Pavilion's grand reopening

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Sunny skies and warm temperatures were the order of the day this past weekend -- or at least, up until late Sunday afternoon -- and lakes area residents took full advantage of the opportunity to get out there and enjoy it.

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A total of 758 tickets were sold for Friday's grand reopening dance at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion, according to Amy Stearns at the Historic Holmes Theatre, which handled ticket sales for the event.

"I thought the response was great from the community," Stearns said.

"The dance was a huge success," said Mitch Wimmer, a member of the Pavilion Preservation Committee who has been instrumental in helping to raise the funds needed to restore the 90-year-old beachside landmark.

"The remodeling turned out wonderfully," Wimmer added. "We're very satisfied with it... anyone who didn't get over there to see it on Friday should stop by and take a look."

Though the remodeling itself is complete, Wimmer said the committee is still trying to raise about $50,000 to fund some necessary additions to the initial project such as a handicapped access lift and some upgrading to the bathroom facilities.

"The floor was also raised up to a higher level than originally specified," Wimmer said. He hopes to wrap up the remaining fund raising for the $750,000 renovation project by the end of June. Anyone interested in contributing should contact Wimmer at 847-5703, or Marcy at the Detroit Lakes city offices.

But Friday's Pavilion dance was only the beginning of the weekend festivities.

The sixth annual Street Faire at the Lakes was held in downtown Detroit Lakes on Saturday and Sunday, and festival coordinator Mary Beth Gilsdorf said it was "a smashing success in all aspects -- the artists, the volunteers, the downtown merchants all had very positive comments."

"I think it was our best one yet," she added. "The crowds were pretty steady right up until the end."

A late afternoon thunderstorm started just as the festival was wrapping up on Sunday, but it didn't dampen the volunteers' spirits as they waited out the rains to begin tearing down the booths.

"I joked with everyone that when I made the application for good weather, I said the show ended at 5... I forgot to put in a little extra time for shut-down," Gilsdorf added.

In years past, festival crowds have been estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000, but Gilsdorf said she would put that number at closer to 20,000 this year.

"The weather was perfect on Saturday, and even on Sunday, when it was a little cooler (and overcast through much of the day)," she said.

As for the preparation that went into the festival, Gilsdorf noted, "I would say it was the smoothest setup we've ever had... it was really nice. I don't think I even got nervous -- and that's usually my job!"

Gilsdorf also said that while the festival may eventually expand, she feels the current mix of booths and food vendors is just about right.

"We like the size it is right now," she said. "We'll expand when it feels right."

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers and editor of MN Boomers magazine for the past 13 years. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 847-3151
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