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78th Northwest Water Carnival kicks off Friday in Detroit Lakes

The Detroit Lakes Northwest Water Carnival kicks off its 78th year this Friday, July 12, providing 10 days brimming with entertainment, activity, and fun for all ages through Sunday, July 21.

Join the community, the Detroit Lakes Jaycees, and many other local sponsors in celebrating the lakes and other wonderful features of the area.

Friday, July 12

The festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with the Miss Northwest/Miss Teen Pageant held at the Historic Holmes Theatre. The newly crowned Miss Northwest will move on to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant. A game of night golf begins at 9 p.m. on the Lakeview Executive Course.

Saturday, July 13

The day begins with the Detroit Lakes Midsummer Bike Tour around the lakes area. Bikers can choose to participate in the 15-mile family ride, or take on the challenge of the 30 or 45-mile loops. A kids’ version of the ride is also offered.

Ride for the Future, a motorcycle ride takes through the area, zooms off from the City Park at 9 a.m.

New to the Water Carnival this year is the “Beast on the Beach” event, which provides contestants a chance to showcase their strength and speed at the Pavilion with competitions for time, repetitions, and endurance.

The Demolition Derby, a returning favorite, revs up at 6pm at the fairgrounds. The spectator fee is $7 to take in daring drivers and exciting crashes. 

Sunday, July 14

Sunday’s activities cater especially to families, with Family Day in the Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For even more Water Carnival fun, including a complete schedule of events and registration info, visit