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.
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Though the celebrating has already begun for some — campers began lining up outside the festival grounds as early as Monday morning, and the first of two "pre-party" concerts took place last night (Tuesday), with another to follow this evening — the 35th edition of WE Fest doesn't officially get underway until Thursday afternoon, when the gates to the main concert bowl open for the first time at 2 p.m. In honor of the 35th anniversary, festival presenters Townsquare Media have made some impressive upgrades that concert goers are sure to notice.
When lifelong Frazee resident Justin Oelfke entered his truck in the demolition derby for the 2017 Becker County Fair, he knew it might be for the last time. "He had to get medical clearance to compete," says Oelfke's longtime girlfriend, Jamie Larson.
The Edith Sanford Breast Center at Sanford Health's Detroit Lakes clinic is now offering 3D mammography screening to its patients. "We started providing them here on July 17," says Erin Swyter, radiology supervisor at Sanford's Detroit Lakes clinic. "It's been going for a week now here in Detroit Lakes," added Jenny Lessman, a physician's assistant who works in the clinic's obstetrics/gynecology department. "But we've had it in Fargo for almost two years."
Cormorant Days, the annual celebration that brings upwards of 2,000-3,000 people to the tiny Becker County village on the third Saturday in August of each year, is still a few weeks away — but Mayor Duke has already hit the campaign trail, seeking re-election. "He's world famous," says Karen Nelson, a member of the Cormorant Days planning committee. "He even has his own Facebook page." The 11-year-old Great Pyrenees became the village's elected mayor during the 2014 Cormorant Days celebration, and has been re-elected by a landslide every year since.
"Every act of kindness is like a pebble thrown in a pond, sending out ripples far beyond where the pebble entered the water. When we're caring and kind to our neighbors, our actions send rings of kindness that spread from neighbor to neighbor to neighbor." — Angela Artemis The Lakes Crisis & Resource Center in Detroit Lakes provides help to countless numbers of men, women and children from the area who are victims of a variety of crimes and most particularly, of domestic violence.
When Lake Park-Audubon School Board member Rich Veit resigned last August, in order to accept a position as a special education paraprofessional at the high school in Lake Park, it created a vacancy that was later filled when Mande North was appointed. Because that appointment was only for one year, however, the board must now hold a special election to fill out the one year remaining on Veit's original term. At its regular meeting on Monday, the board called for a special election to fill the one-year vacancy, to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Fresh off their first-ever regional competition in Park Rapids this past weekend, the Becker County 4-H Horse Drill Team will be giving a live demonstration of their competitive program at noon on Saturday, July 29 during the Becker County Fair. The event will take place at the Horse Arena on the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, starting at noon. Though they did not advance to state competition, the Becker County team's coach, Andrea Hoff, said she was very proud of their performance at their first-ever competitive event.
Today's the day that many local 4-H and FFA members have been waiting for all year — the opening of the 2017 Becker County Fair. From now through Saturday, July 29, the fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes is the place to be, for local residents and visitors alike. The live entertainment kicks off under the Big Tent at 1:30 p.m. today (Wednesday), and will feature performers including the Slew Foot Family Band, Mike Hokanson, David Malmberg (a ventriloquist), Dan Holt, Steve Russell (a juggler), Bruce Nelson, Pop Wagner and Alexa Anderson over the next four days.
With more than 60 events set to take place over a three-day period, Frazee's Turkey Days celebration is one of the biggest summer festivals in the region. The 63rd annual event is set for this coming Friday through Sunday, July 28-30. Though the fun doesn't officially get underway until Friday's opening ceremonies, which take place at 4 p.m. in Little Turkey Park, there are several "pre-events," such as the crowning of Frazee Care Center's king and queen on Monday, July 24 at 2:30 p.m., and the kickoff party on Thursday, July 27 at the VFW (8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.).
Longtime lakes area residents recall with fondness the years when the Detroit Lakes Pavilion would host dances every weekend, bringing in some of the region's finest touring musicians and "big band" orchestras. One of the bands that used to grace the Pavilion stage on a regular basis was Bobby Vee and the Shadows — though unlike many of the local music acts of that era, Vee and his bandmates would go on to find national, and even international acclaim.