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Fair Hills Resort hosts Hootenanny, smorgasbord every Tuesday

Fair Hills staff members join in the fun during the weekly Hootenanny, which is filled with fun songs and plenty of laughter. SUBMITTED PHOTO

If you’re looking to fill a Tuesday night and craving an evening of food and fun with a well-established local history this summer, the Hootenanny at Fair Hills Resort is for you.

“It’s a lot like ‘Dirty Dancing’ without Patrick Swayze,” laughs Larry Swenson, director of the Hootenanny and recreation program coordinator with the resort.

About to begin its 49th summer as an area tradition, the Hootenanny provides musical entertainment following a delicious smorgasbord, and is open to all members of the community.

“It started as a sing-along, sitting on hay bales under a tree,” Swenson said of its origins in the 1960s.

The Hootenanny has evolved over the years, eventually moving indoors, where it remains as a favorite fixture at Fair Hills Resort.

Today “it’s sort of a comical musical review of many types of songs, from the 1930s to the 2000s,” Swenson said.

However, through the changes in popular music over the years, there are some songs that have stuck around.

“Will the Circle,” “The Monotone Lawnboy” and “the Telephone Song” are included in every performance, and the show traditionally closes with a rendition of “Pelican Lake,” which according to Swenson always “ends in the water.”

The music of the show is performed by the entire staff of the resort, everyone from waitrons (a term that covers both waiters and waitresses) to the housekeepers, though Swenson said there’s also “plenty of audience participation.”

Though the staff and the songs have changed over the Hootenanny’s long history, the high-spirited heart of the performance has remained a constant force throughout the decades.

Before the show begins, guests are welcome to partake in the smorgasbord, which according to Swenson comes complete with salad, smoked salmon, two or three varieties of meat, fruits and vegetables and dessert.

The Hootenanny makes its 2013 debut on June 18, and continues throughout the summer. The Tuesday performance dates are June 18 and 25, July 2, 9, 16, and 23, and August 6, 13, and 20.

Dinner is served from 5:30 to 7 each evening, and the “Hoot” kicks off at 8.

Reservations can be made by calling 218-847-7638.

For more details about the Hootenanny and smorgasbord, check out the Fair Hills Resort website at

Article written by Libby Larson of Detroit Lakes Newspapers