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Water Carnival heats up this week

DETROIT LAKES - Detroit Lakes' biggest festival of the summer, the 73rd Annual Northwest Water Carnival, ends with a bang this weekend.

In honor of admirals past and present, the famous Great Admiral's Hat Hunt begins today (Wednesday) at 4 p.m., and continues until the hat is found. The hat can be found on public property, either inside or outside. The intrepid sleuths who locate the elusive chapeau will receive cash prizes.

Tonight is one of the carnival's signature events, the Water Fights, which get underway at 7 p.m. in the DL City Park. They will be preceded by a Water Balloon Toss and Junior Water Fights at 6 p.m., and an Ice Cream Social at 6:30.

Thursday's schedule will include the kickoff of the 14th annual Legion Baseball Classic at Washington Ballpark. Play continues through Sunday. There will be bingo from 5-10 p.m. in the DL Pavilion, and a home brewing/beer tasting contest from 7-10 p.m. at Zorbaz (across from the beach on West Lake Drive). The Lodge on Lake Detroit will also feature live music from 7-10 p.m. in the fireside lobby.

The Spanish Juerga (pronounced weer-ga), hosted by the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center on Friday in the Pavilion, will consist of a pig roast, fiesta dancers, music and conversation.

Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for students. There is a $2 discount for attendees wearing water carnival buttons. Food and drink will be available for purchase. "It's a big fiesta," said Historic Holmes Theatre Executive Director Amy Stearns, who is helping to host the event along with the rest of the theater staff.

There will be an All Comers Track Meet starting at 5 p.m. on Mollberg Field at Detroit Lakes High School. The meet is open to all ages and athletic abilities. St. Mary's Family Council will also host its annual Party in the Park Friday from 110 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Holy Rosary Center on Lake Avenue.

Saturday will be the busiest day on the schedule, with sand castle and ship building contests, a pet show and pet/doll parade, frog jump and turtle races, chili and salsa cookoff, live music in the beer garden throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m., and finally, the Bash on the Beach at 8 p.m., featuring October Road. Most activities will take place at the Pavilion, on the adjacent beach or in the city park.

Sunday will, of course, feature the annual Parade of the Northwest at 1 p.m. It will be preceded by a pancake breakfast at the Pavilion starting at 8 a.m., a softball tournament at Snappy Park starting at 9 a.m., and a Classic Car Cruise at 12:45 p.m. (following the parade route).

For a complete schedule, visit the NWC Web site,

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