150 Sails Up Regatta Party set for April 30 in Detroit Lakes

A public art project known as "150 Sails Up in Detroit Lakes," which has been in the making since last summer, will be unveiled at a special Regatta Party set for Friday, April 30 at DL's Freeman Arena. It will be the only time that all 150 uniquely decorated sailboat sculptures created for the project will be displayed in one location.

Small Sailboat.jpg
This small, undecorated sailboat sculpture is an example of the base design used for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project, which will be unveiled at a Sailboat Regatta Party set for Friday, April 30 at Detroit Lakes' Kent Freeman Arena. All 150 uniquely decorated sailboats, ranging in size from 20 inches to 4 feet tall, will be on display during the event, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Fittingly enough for the 150th anniversary celebration of a city that is built around a lake, Detroit Lakes will kick off its year-long sesquicentennial celebration with a Sailboat Regatta.

The Regatta, set for Friday, April 30 at Kent Freeman Arena, will highlight all the sailboat sculptures that were created for “150 Sails Up in DL," a regional public art project driven by local residents Mary Beth and Hans Gilsdorf.
With support of area businesses, the project has resulted in 150 uniquely decorated sailboat sculptures, created by over 80 regional artists.

The sailboat structure used for all the sculptures was designed by artist Hans Gilsdorf, and the 150 metal sailboats were built and donated by BTD, a metalwork manufacturer based in Detroit Lakes. The sailboats range in size from 20 inches to four feet high. “People are going to be blown away by the work these artists are creating,” says Hans. “It is the same sailboat to start with. But each now has a totally different look, unique to each individual artist.”

This will be the first, and only, opportunity to see all of the sculptures together, before they sail to their new homes throughout the community. Everyone is invited to stop by to see the sailboats and meet the artists who have now made their mark on the sailboats, on this project, and on the community.

“It will be incredible to see all 150 sailboats in one spot,” said Mary Beth Gilsdorf. “But I also cannot wait for the opportunity to gather with the artists that I’ve been communicating with in every way, except in person. I’ve got 80+ new, fun and creative friends, and I’m excited to give them a celebratory elbow bump!”


The Regatta will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on April 30; admission to the arena is $5 for adults, and free for children and students. Outside the arena, there will be live music by the Cropdusters, tasty food options from area food trucks, and a cash bar.

To continue to celebrate Detroit Lakes 150th Anniversary, additional events are being planned throughout the year, including recognition of the City’s official founding date on July 29. Watch and follow @DL150Events on Facebook for details!

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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