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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For many of us, Christmas is a day to be spent with family and friends — opening presents, singing our favorite carols, enjoying all those holiday goodies that mom, grandma and all the aunts have been busy baking since Thanksgiving, and generally making merry. But what about those people who, for whatever reason, are spending the day alone? At First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, the congregation has decided to embrace all those who need a little extra holiday cheer.
Lady Antebellum will make their WE Fest debut at the Soo Pass Ranch next summer. Townsquare Media announced on Thursday that the chart-topping trio would join Luke Bryan and the Zac Brown Band as the three main headliners for the country music festival's 35th anniversary celebration on Aug. 3-5, 2017. Also joining the all-star lineup on Aug. 3-5, 2017 at Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch will be Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Brett Eldredge, Randy Houser, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson and Brett Young.
When Lake Ida resident Gloria Anderson and Detroit Lakes middle schooler Allyssa Witthoeft were paired in October 2015 via the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center's Kinship mentoring program, they quickly discovered they had something in common. "We both love animals," says Anderson, noting that she had signed up to be a Kinship mentor last year, after reading about the program in the pages of this newspaper. Witthoeft had learned of the program at school, and suggested it to her mother.
The holidays are almost upon us — which means it must be time for the National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count. This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere. Locally, the Detroit Lakes area count is set for this Thursday, Dec. 15, while the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge will host a similar event on Monday, Dec. 19.
It's been 15 years since the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center opened its doors to the public in December 2001, and the staff is celebrating with "15 Days of Fun" starting on Thursday, Dec. 15 and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 31. "We thought we'd end it with our traditional New Year's Eve Bash," said DLCCC marketing director Kim Bettcher, adding that the 15-day event schedule does not include the Christmas holiday weekend, as the center will be closing at noon on Saturday, Dec. 24, and won't reopen until Monday, Dec. 26.
For those who were paying attention to the roundup of holiday events that was included in a feature about the Grace Lutheran Church Holiday Vendor Fair in last week's Community pages, you may have noticed a listing for the Lakes Area Community Concert Band's Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 11. The problem is, the concert was actually scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17—but some public calendar listings still had the Dec. 11 date included.
The year 2016 was one of change for Becker County, including the hiring of several new department heads, the completion of a new solid waste transfer station and the selection of a site for the new county jail. But through it all, said County Board Chair Barry Nelson on Tuesday, cooperation and collaboration remained a constant. "We really are a team," Nelson said during his "State of the County" address. "When we work together we accomplish so much more than individually."
It's been three years since the Minnesota Flyers' Level 3 and 4 gymnasts made a trip to the state meet to compete in the compulsory category — but this weekend, that's exactly what the 13 Detroit Lakes gymnasts who qualified for the meet are doing.
After more than a year of planning and wishing and hoping and praying, Detroit Lakes' Manna Food Co-op officially has a new home. "We signed the lease today," said Wendy Gordon, a founding member of the local food co-op, on Thursday. "It's so exciting! Manna's mission of bringing our community better health and access to local foods is becoming a reality." Manna's new home will be in the former Cutting Edge hair salon building, across from the M State college campus on Highway 34. Building owner DeForest Malstrom is pleased to welcome his new tenants.
Christmas stories spun and carols sung by candlelight, with a homemade turkey dinner to follow — it's become a popular tradition at Detroit Lakes' Trinity Lutheran Church, which will open its doors to the community this coming Sunday at 4:30 p.m. for the church's 14th annual "Candles & Carols" celebration. This year's celebration is titled, "This Little Light of Mine," and it's intended to fill those present for the event with the joy of Christmas, according Mark Berg, director of music and arts programming at Trinity.