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Third annual Bean Bags, Beer and Beach Bums set April 26

A competitor takes aim during last year’s bean bag tournament in the Holmes Theatre Ballroom. SUBMITTED PHOTO

As old man winter slowly loosens his icy grip on the Detroit Lakes area, residents here are starting to see visions of summer dance in their heads.

The local Jaycees are getting ready to help bring those visions into full focus.

The third annual Bean Bags, Beer and Beach Bums is set for Saturday, April 26, at 6 p.m. in the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.

“The idea is to get everyone out after a long, cold winter into hopefully a relaxed, fun, summer-themed atmosphere,” said Detroit Lakes Jaycee Nick Omberg, who says judging from the last couple of years, organizers are expecting over 100 people.

“And last year everyone really bought into it — showing up in shorts and flip flops, and some of them brought lawn chairs,” said Omberg, adding that that’s exactly how they like people to show up.

Prizes such as pontoon rentals, hotel stays and more are up for grabs for the big bean bag tournament, which runs as a 2-person, 32-team competition with double elimination.

“But something new that we’ll have this year is  we are adding stay-and-play mini-games so that once you are eliminated those people still have something to do,” said Omberg, who says they will essentially be a “bunch of yard games set up like lawn darts and cowboy golf.”

Omberg also said that unlike the last couple of years when the Jaycee ran the event in conjunction with Bleachers, this year it will just be the Jaycees hosting it.

“And we will have a cash bar available,” he said, adding that another new aspect of the event this year is a $10 bottomless cup for keg beer.

A deejay will be there as well, adding music to the summer-themed festivities.

Tickets for Bean Bags, Beer and Beach Bums are $20, and can be purchased at the door of the DLCCC ballroom, which is where the party will be held.

“And if you show up with a food pantry donation, you get $5 off,” said Omberg, who says the ticket includes a picnic-style meal and one free drink.

Funds raised from the event go to the Detroit Lakes Jaycees, which turns around and helps area charities like Gifts for Kids, which is where the Jaycees purchase Christmas presents for area children in need.

“And then one day in December the families come in and we distribute them to the kids, so that’s a fun one,” said Omberg, who says with that event keeping them busy in the winter, the Northwest Water Carnival consuming them in the summer, they were looking to add something else to their relatively uneventful spring.

“And so a few years ago we thought of this because we just thought everybody is really sick of winter around this time, and this would be a good way to get them out and have some fun,” said Omberg, “and we promise that ballroom will be a good 75 degrees.”

Omberg says not only has this event proven a fun one for participants, but also for the Jaycees, who have experienced a growth in membership over the past few years.

“Four years ago we were below 60 (members), and now I think we’re over 80,” he said, adding that the increased membership and the enthusiasm of the new members is making events like Bean Bags, Beer and Beach Bums fun and easy to plan.

For more information on the event, call Lucas Hoffman at 218-841-4803 or Nick Omberg at 218-849-7809.