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Water Carnival cruises into final weekend: Water fights, beer brewing contest and more draw big crowds to DL

From Two Harbors, Minnesota, Castle Danger Brewery representatives show off their favorite brews, like the Summer Crush American blonde ale with a pleasant lemon aroma and brewed with dill and rosemary. Emily Driscoll / Tribune1 / 14
Some of the face-offs at Wednesday night's Water Fights grew quite contentious, causing large amounts of water to cascade into the crowd — and the DL Jaycees' trolley. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)2 / 14
Indeed Brewery out of Northeast Minneapolis made a pit stop to enjoy the Water Carnival's home brew beer contest event. Emily Driscoll / Tribune 3 / 14
Jaycee Paula Linn works the home brew pour station, directing traffic as efficiently as possible. Emily Driscoll / Tribune 4 / 14
Twenty-two teams squared off at the Northwest Water Carnival's signature Water Fights on Wednesday night in the Detroit Lakes City Park. The sunny, warm weather drew big crowds for the event. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)5 / 14
These kids waited patiently for Detroit Lakes Jaycees volunteers to scoop out teh ice cream for their cones at Wednesday night's Northwest Water Carnival Ice Cream Social. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)6 / 14
The Detroit Lakes Fire Department showed off its expertise in handling fire hoses, winning Wednesday night's Water Fights at the City Park in dominating fashion. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)7 / 14
Cruise DL Night drew a big crowd of Northwest Water Carnival attendees to West Lake Drive on Wednesday night, to view the dozens and dozens of vintage and custom-designed vehicles on display. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune) 8 / 14
Detroit Lakes Jaycees members carefully scooped vanilla and neapolitan ice cream into cones for the crowd at this year's Northwest Water Carnival Ice Cream Social, held Wednesday night at the City Park between the junior and adult water fights. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)9 / 14
Fargo Brewing Company brewery representative Aaron Krogh pours a habanero apricot wheat ale for a beer patron. Emily Driscoll / Tribune10 / 14
Miss Northwest 2018, Aurora Eckberg, and Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen Hannah Hagen took turns positioning the ball in the center of the cable suspended over the parking lot at this year's Water Fights, held Wednesday night in the Detroit Lakes City Park. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)11 / 14
The Junior Water Fights, held in the Detroit Lakes City Park just prior to the main event, drew approximately 30 contestants, who squared off individually against each other, using garden hoses to direct a rubber ball, suspended over the parking lot by a cable, all the way into their opponents' territory. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)12 / 14
The Junior Water Fights on Wednesday night included some heats where boys and girls faced off against each other. Approximately 30 boys and girls of all ages competed for bragging rights in the event. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)13 / 14
The monthly Cruise DL Night gathering drew an even bigger crowd than normal to West Lake Drive late Wednesday afternoon, as the Chamber-sponsored event coincided with the 2018 Northwest Water Carnival festivities at the nearby City Park. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)14 / 14

One of the Northwest Water Carnival's signature events, the Water Fights, drew huge crowds to the Detroit Lakes City Park Wednesday night.

With plenty of stray streams of H2O spilling over into the crowd, the hot and sticky air didn't prove much of a deterrent for spectators, who enjoyed watching 24 teams square off for the water fights championship, which lasted well into the evening.

In the end, however, the Detroit Lakes Fire Department's experience with handling the large fire hoses proved impossible to beat, as the team of local volunteer firefighters was declared this year's champions and presented with the winning trophy. Second place went to J & K Marine.

But before the water fights began, people enjoyed strolling along West Lake Drive and viewing the many vintage cars on display for the monthly DL Cruise Night, then wandered over to the park for the Junior Water Fights, where about 30 youngsters squared off with garden hoses instead of fire hoses in a fun-filled, though sometimes hotly-contested, competition.

The home brew contest at Zorbaz on Thursday evening brought a large beer-loving crowd. A $5 wristband gave attendees access to endless samples at 30-plus nationwide brewery tents, plus a dozen or so home brewed beers later on in the evening.

The event went from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and it was all about tasting beers and getting some free merch like stickers and bottle openers from your favorite breweries. But the main event was the home brew contest. Judges tasted, chose a winner, and then the limited supply home brews were made available for everyone else to sample. The line quickly piled up as everyone wanted to try the winning beer, which was Dale Sattler's pale ale.

Most of the beer tents were offering summer beers, like lime pilsners, peach IPAs, or triple sours. Lagunitas, Summit, Uinta, Castle Danger, Fargo Brewing Company, Indeed, Drekker, and many more were present.

FBC brewery representative Aaron Krogh brought the Fargo Brewing Company beers to the party. He said his favorite brew is Iron Horse and said, "the habanero apricot wheat ale (or "hot cops") has been super popular, followed by our kenny's lemonade."

Things got a little crowded in Zorbaz, but everyone seemed to enjoy conversations over and about beer.

The 83rd Northwest Water Carnival concludes Sunday, with the Parade of the Northwest at 1 p.m., followed by the Water Ski show at approximately 3 p.m. on the City Beach. A look back at the weekend's events, including the Bed Races (Friday), Bash on the Beach (Friday and Saturday), Chili & Salsa Cookoff (Saturday), Sand Castle Contest (Saturday) and today's festivities, will appear in this Wednesday's edition of the Tribune.

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