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Water Carnival hit all high notes

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opinion Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
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Water Carnival hit all high notes
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Congratulations to Water Carnival admirals Nick Omberg and Tom Winters, and to the whole Detroit Lakes Jaycees organization, for a great job with the Northwest Water Carnival this year.


Excellent weather played a big role, of course. For the most part it wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there was plenty of sunshine.

But credit also has to go to the Jaycees for organizational skills and just plain hard work, making sure the dozens of events over the 10-day carnival ran smoothly.

Record attendance was set at several events, and record participation was set at several more. The community really got behind this festival, and it showed.

Landing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on Saturday night was a coup for organizers, and Amy Stearns at the Community Center deserves credit for helping with the logistics of booking the act.

The concert on the beach was jam packed on Saturday, and the Roosters were also popular Friday during the party in the park that followed the bed races.

The bed race competition raised more than $7,000 for the United Way’s Food 4 Thought Backpack Program, enough to supply 40 kids for an entire school year.

Both weekends of the water carnival had the feel of the Fourth of July, with the public places in Detroit Lakes, the beach and the parks, crowded with visitors and families.

The Jaycees did a great job of giving out-of-towners a taste of the smells, sounds and joy that can go with unplugging and just enjoying summertime in Detroit Lakes.

The Water Carnival has been a great success, from the pageant that kicks it off to the parade that brings it to an end.

In the past few years the pageant has been a gateway to the top levels of the Miss Minnesota Contest.

The Parade of the Northwest, already the longest running parade of its kind in Minnesota, seemed to attract more spectators than ever this year.

And in between organizers have wisely created a mix of events, keeping, or bringing back, old favorites like the tug of war and classic kid games, while not being afraid to experiment with newer events, like night golf with glow-in-the-dark balls, the Pup Plunge and the craft beer contest.

In a time of sometimes bitter politics, stagnant incomes, foreign threats, and technology that moves with blinding speed, the fun-with-neighbors Northwest Water Carnival is a balm to the soul. 

We wish success to next year’s admirals, Alma Alaniz and Nate Woodard, and know the local Jaycees will once again rise to the occasion and put on an event that does Detroit Lakes proud – just like they have for the last 79 years.