Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 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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It's something no one really wants to think about, but with active shooter situations at public schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, even music concerts and summer festivals on the rise, knowing how to respond when an armed gunman comes through the front door – or a sniper takes aim from above – is something that many public officials are beginning to take all too seriously.
Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, assemblies known as chautauquas were a popular form of entertainment in communities across the United States, and the village of Detroit — which later became the city of Detroit Lakes — was no exception. Early next month, the University of Minnesota Extension, Pelican River Watershed District, Becker County Museum, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Becker Soil and Water Conservation District, Historic Holmes Theatre and RMB Labs are joining forces to bring this tradition back to Detroit Lakes on Thursday, Aug. 9.
Frazee's 64th annual Turkey Days celebration started off with a big splash Friday afternoon at the Town Lake city park, as an even dozen of the area's finest canine athletes showed off their jumping skills at the festival's first-ever Puppy Plunge. After two qualifying rounds and a final jump involving the event's seven finalists (two pups tied for sixth place in the qualifiers), it was golden retriever Copper and his handler Dane who claimed the first place prize with leaps of 14, 18 and 17 feet.
Every year since 1973, the Becker County Fair has honored two county residents as the county's outstanding seniors — but this year, they decided to expand on that a little. After announcing that Ogema resident Fran Mattson and Cormorant Lakes area resident Rick Julian as this year's award recipients, the program's emcee, Cynthia McDonough of Mahube-Otwa Community Action, announced that the competition between two of the nominees, Julian and Detroit Lakes resident Don Sayer, had been so close that they decided to make Sayer an honorary third recipient.
For 125 years now, the Becker County Fair has been a beloved summer tradition.
Despite an unusually long, bitterly cold winter — or maybe, in part, because of it — Detroit Lakes visitors and residents alike have indulged in plenty of eating, drinking and making merry so far this year.
The Boys & Girls Club's old home on Richwood Road is no more. Demolition began Tuesday afternoon on the 13,000 square foot structure, which has served as the club's home for most of its 61-year tenure in Detroit Lakes. Pat Petermann, the club's executive director, said that demolition was expected to be complete by early Wednesday morning, with earth work to be done shortly thereafter. "The project was supposed to start in late May or early June," he said. "We're about 6 to 8 weeks behind schedule."
Calling all superheroes, big and small... organizers of this year's Frazee Turkey Days celebration need your help to catch the archvillain, Shadow, who has been disrupting preparations for the 64th annual community festival left and right. "She's been stealing candy from kids, disrupting city council meetings, and generally running amok around town," says Amber Bender, who is co-chairing the 2018 Turkey Days festivities along with Tyler "Mouse" King.
John Deere, Case-IH, Massey Ferguson, Minneapolis Moline, Allis-Chalmers... the Becker County Fair Tractor Parade has drawn machines of just about every make, model, size and color over its decade-long history — and its popularity with farmers and tractor collectors has grown with each passing year. "We had 17 tractors that first year," says organizer Ken Shroyer. "Last year, I think we counted 65." The number of spectators has grown right along with the parade itself — and this year, its 10th anniversary, promises to be one to remember.
Though the Historic Holmes Theatre's 2018-19 season doesn't officially get underway until September, the Holmes will host two concerts on its main stage this month. The Midwest's premier bluegrass and gospel quintet, Monroe Crossing, will perform on the Holmes stage this Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m., while the 'Killer Vees,' a band consisting primarily of family, friends and former band members of the late Bobby Vee, will present a tribute to the Minnesota music legend on Thursday, July 26. Both shows are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.