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Water Carnival 'warm-up' events set Saturday

Though Detroit Lakes' 72nd annual Northwest Water Carnival doesn't officially get into full swing until next week, there are a few "warm-up" sporting events scheduled for this weekend.

First up is the Lake Swim, which takes place from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, July 7. As the name suggests, this competitive racing event involves swimming on Detroit Lake itself.

There are half-mile and one-mile events, divided into age and gender categories. The entry fee of $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the event will include a free towel.

For more information, contact Kim Bettcher at 847-5170.

Also on Saturday will be the

DL Angels Amateur Baseball Alumni Game at Washington Ballpark. The festivities begin with a 2 p.m. home run contest. The game itself gets underway at 3 p.m., and there will be prizes and contests held throughout the day.

For more information, contact Phil Kirchner at 846-0613.

The day's activities conclude with the Red River Valley Pullers Association Truck and Tractor Pull, which gets underway at 5 p.m. in front of the grandstand at the Becker County Fairgrounds.

According to Gene Brend of Detroit Lakes, who is one of the directors of the RRVPA, this sanctioned pull is part of a circuit that includes events in Perham, Park Rapids, West Fargo, Bemidji, Bagley and Fertile, Minn., Mountain and Northwood, N.D., as well as Teulon, Manitoba (in Canada).

"We've got about 12 pulls in the (RRVPA) circuit," Brend said.

This will be the third year that the RRVPA has held a pull in conjunction with the Water Carnival.

"We're going to try to make it an annual event," Brend said. "We want to make it kind of a centralized location, where we will get some really good competitors."

Brend said there will be competitors coming from as far away as Canada, eastern Minnesota, North Dakota and possibly even Wisconsin. At the same time, he noted, "We've got quite a few locals from right around here -- Vergas, Frazee, Perham (and, of course, Detroit Lakes)."

"We're going to have about 70 competitors, including both pickups and tractors," Brend said. "About half of them are locals, I'd say -- that is, within 75 miles of here."

Brend said the event will probably take about three hours to complete.

"It depends on the number of entries," he added. In case of bad weather, the pull will most likely be rescheduled -- possibly as early as Sunday.

Any extra funds from the event -- once prizes and other expenses have been deducted -- will be donated to the Detroit Lakes Fire Department, Brend added.

There will be a concession stand available throughout the event, with pork sandwiches and other tasty treats.

Brend also noted that those wanting to catch a glimpse of the competitors' vehicles prior to the event should take a drive around the area on Friday and Saturday.

"There should be some of these units sitting around town for people to look at -- at Hedahl's, the City Park, maybe Select Auto out on (Highway) 59 and a few other places," he said.

For more information, check out the official Web site of the Red River Valley Pullers Association at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454