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Parrot Heads to host Tropical Food Drive June 18

Dave Herzog and his island steel drums have provided the music for both previous incarnations of the Tropical Food Drive, and will be there this year as well. The third annual fundraiser for the Becker County Food Drive, hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads, is set from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, at Central Market in Detroit Lakes. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Lakes Area Parrot Heads will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this weekend.

The chapter, which formed in 2003, now numbers about 65 members strong, drawing people from as far away as Canada and Wisconsin, and as close as Detroit Lakes and Fargo-Moorhead.

Over the past decade, the local nonprofit has raised thousands of dollars for charity — particularly the Becker County Food Pantry, for which the Parrot Heads host not just one, but two fundraisers each year.

The first, which is held during Detroit Lakes’ Polar Fest celebration in February, is the “Welcome to Polaritaville” Dance, which takes place at Zorbaz on West Lake Drive.

The second is the Tropical Food Drive, which is gearing up for its third annual run at Detroit Lakes’ Central Market on Tuesday, June 18.

The Parrot Heads came up with the idea to hold the event in June because it is officially designated as National Hunger Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness of the fact that hunger exists throughout the year, and not just during the holiday season.

As part of the June 18 celebration, there will be someone from the Food Pantry on hand to provide information about hunger on the local level.

“It’s pretty amazing how much need there is right here in Becker County,” said Jim Brogren, president of the Lakes Area Parrot Heads.

The number of individuals and families utilizing the Food Pantry’s services just keeps going up, year after year, Brogren continued.

“The demand just keeps increasing,” he added.

Though donations of non-perishable food and personal care items are always gratefully accepted, monetary contributions will actually go much farther, as the Food Pantry is able to buy food from the USDA at greatly reduced prices.

“It’s crazy how much they can purchase with just a little money,” Brogren said.

And that’s where the Parrot Heads’ Tropical Food Drive comes in.

From 5 to 7 p.m. on June 18, the Parrot Heads will be grilling up brats in the Central Market parking lot and selling them with glasses of soda pop for $2 each.

Dave Herzog and his Island Steel Drums will also be providing live music throughout the event.

“We invite everyone to come listen to some great tropical music, learn about your local food pantry and donate as you can,” Brogren said.

For more information about the Lakes Area Parrot Heads and the programs they support (as well as their 10th anniversary plans for this weekend), please visit the website at or take a look at their Facebook page.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

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