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Time for Looney Daze

All through the summer months, the towns in the lakes area each take their turn in the spotlight with an array of unique community festivals, from the Northwest Water Carnival in Detroit Lakes to Turkey Days in Frazee, Turtle Fest in Perham and Taste of Dorset, just to name a few.

This weekend, that spotlight shifts to Vergas, as the town gets ready to host its annual Looney Daze festivities.

"It's going to be a great weekend," says festival chairman Kevin Flynn, who is taking his first turn at the helm of the annual event, though he has worked behind the scenes for several years.

The fun gets underway Thursday, Aug. 12 with the 25th Annual Miss Vergas and Miss Altona Scholarship Pageant, which starts at 7 p.m. inside the Frazee Community Center.

Then on Friday, Aug. 13, area businesses and homeowners get their bargain on, with continuous rummage and sidewalk sales throughout the day. The beer garden opens up at 4 p.m., and the evening's festivities will start with "Kids Got Talent" Karaoke at 6 p.m. (registration at 5:30 p.m.), followed by adult karaoke from 7 p.m. to midnight.

On Saturday, festival organizers have cooked up a little something new for the kids, Flynn said: there will be inflatable games and children's activities at Loon Field all day long, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be kids' rides at Kadings' starting at 10 a.m.

Other, more familiar activities will include the 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m., followed by the Kids'

"Fun Run."

Rummage sales will continue throughout the day, and there will be a craft fair on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well.

"Main Street will be packed with crafters -- everything from airbrushed tattoos to log furniture," Flynn said.

A variety of food vendors will also be set up on Main Street throughout the day, and the beer garden opens at noon. The Vergas Fire and Rescue Department will host an open house stating at 8 a.m., and the Vergas Lions will host bingo from 10:30 to 3 p.m.

There will also be a Royalty Pageant at the Vergas Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with free admission., and of course, the world famous Loon Calling Contest gets underway at noon (registration is at 11:30 a.m.).

The evening's street dance will feature a one-two-three punch of popular music acts, from Carmen The Cactus at 6 p.m., to The Fat Cats at 8 p.m., and finally Tim Mahoney at 10:30 p.m.

"The bands are awesome," said Flynn.

The festival comes to a close on Sunday, with a Collectible Car Show from 9 a.m. to noon (registration is at 8 a.m.), and an outdoor church service at St. John's Church starting at 10:30 a.m. The church service is being jointly hosted by St. John's and St. Paul's Lutheran churches -- don't forget to bring your own lawn chairs and blankets!

You'll need to hang on to those lawn chairs for the afternoon's activities, as the Looney Daze Parade gets underway at 2 p.m., followed by the Water Fights.

"We already have 60 entries for the parade," said Flynn.

The beer garden will also be open on Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m., and there will also be "lots of raffles" with prizes to be given away, said Flynn.

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