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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It's been more than 50 years since members of the Heart O'Lakes Harmony Men's Barbershop Chorus first began to offer singing valentines to sweethearts throughout the lakes area every Feb. 14. This year, no less than three quartets of barbershop singers will be sent out on Valentine's Day to deliver the musical missives in the different areas where Heart O'Lakes Harmony group members live, says Carl Andersen, who serves as the scheduler for one of the three groups.
Looking for a fun, free activity for the whole family to enjoy together this coming weekend? Now might be the time to give ice fishing a try, as kids' fishing derbies are scheduled in both the Detroit Lakes and Cormorant communities this coming Saturday, Feb. 17. The Cormorant Lakes Sportsman's Club and Cormorant Pub are co-hosting their annual Luke Gandrud Memorial Youth Fishing Derby this Saturday, Feb. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. on Lake Ida, a quarter of a mile west of the Roadhouse on Becker County Highway 4.
By now, most local residents are familiar with the history of ice harvesting in Detroit Lakes — the majority of which was done at the location where the Holiday Inn Lakefront now sits, on the shores of Big Detroit Lake. In fact, the Holiday Inn's own Ice House Restaurant is an homage to the site's history... and now, the local hospitality business has expanded on that theme even further, by opening the Ice Box H2I, an "ice bar" located amongst the fish houses on Little Detroit Lake.
The opening of Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration is almost here — and with it, the highly anticipated Grand Lighting Ceremony for King Isbit's Ice Palace, the 32-feet-high, 600,000 pound structure made of solid ice that has swiftly risen to tower over the frozen shore of Little Detroit Lake during this past month.
Though this Thursday, Feb. 8 is already shaping up to be a "red letter day" in Detroit Lakes, with the evening's Ice Palace Grand Lighting Ceremony set to bring in excited onlookers and news media from around the region, eight local nonprofits are hoping to make the day memorable for an entirely different reason. That's because this coming Thursday is also the date set for Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event that has raised over $41 million for charities throughout North Dakota and Minnesota since its inception in 2008.
For the past month or so, ice harvesting, King Isbit and the Polar Fest Ice Palace have been dominating local headlines... and the Becker County Museum's "History of Ice Harvesting" exhibit at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion has been right at the center of the action. As the official Grand Lighting Ceremony for the ice palace approaches, the museum is preparing for one last big influx of visitors to the Pavilion exhibit, which will be open to the public for three more days during the community's upcoming Polar Fest celebration, which runs Feb. 8-21.
Got a complaint to register about the parking regulations — or lack thereof — in downtown Detroit Lakes? The city's Public Works Committee and Chamber of Commerce want to hear from you.
A 2017 audit of the City of Detroit Lakes' stormwater management standards and practices by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has resulted in a $7,000 fine being assessed against the city. The fine was announced in a Jan. 24 press release from the MPCA. "The audit took place on Jan. 19, 2017," said Detroit Lakes City Administrator Kelcey Klemm. "But even before the audit took place we had already begun to address some of the MPCA's concerns."
For more than a decade now, the Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance has been the unofficial "kickoff" event for Detroit Lakes' Polar Fest celebration — but not this time. "This year we got trumped by the Ice Palace," joked Beth Horslev Gilbert, who has been coordinating the event since she became the theater's arts outreach director in 2015. "But that's OK. Every princess needs a palace, right?"
It's time to pull those old Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski Doo sleds out from the shed, shine them up and fire up the engines: The Midnite Riders Snowmobile Club is hosting its annual Old Timers Run this coming Saturday, Feb. 3. A tradition among lakes area snowmobiling enthusiasts since the early 1990s, the run is an opportunity to enjoy a fun ride along tree-lined trails while testing out your riding skills and the durability of your sled. Prizes are also awarded to the best looking and most creatively decorated sleds in several categories prior to the start of the run.