85th Northwest Water Carnival won't take place until 2021; Audubon's Summer Fest also canceled

The Junior Water Fights were held late Wednesday afternoon at the Detroit Lakes City Park, as a prelude to the Northwest Water Carnival's signature event. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

The 85th Annual Northwest Water Carnival won't be happening this year, and all related events have been pushed back to 2021.

The Detroit Lakes Jaycees posted the notice on the Northwest Water Carnival's Facebook page Thursday morning.

Annette Korth, co-admiral of the 2020 Northwest Water Carnival, said in a telephone interview that the decision had not been an easy one to make, but ultimately, there were two key factors that left them with little choice.

"The funding is one thing," she said. "We (the Jaycees) are a nonprofit, and with our community the way it is right now, (everyone) having hard times. ... We don't want to be out there begging for money — but we need those donations to run (all the NWC events) as well."


Besides the financial aspect, Korth added, there is also the state's current social distancing restrictions on large gatherings, which will most likely be extended until fall.

"There may not be any events over 100 people all summer," she said. "That would exclude all of our events that we have planned."

So for that reason, the decision was made to push back the 85th annual festival to July 9-18, 2021. Korth and her co-admiral, Mandie Henningsen, will have their reigns extended for an additional year, to oversee all the 2021 events.

"We may be adding a few things before then," Korth said, adding that while she and Henningsen are both "pretty upset" about having to postpone their plans for a year, they simply couldn't find a way to make it work for 2020, even with a limited schedule.

"I’m 39 years old and I don’t think I’ve ever missed a water carnival," she said. "This sucks, but there’s really nothing we can do."

For updates on the 2021 schedule of events, visit or check out the Jaycees' Facebook page .

Audubon's Summer Fest also canceled

The Audubon Summer Fest planning committee also posted a notice about the cancellation of this year's event on Facebook this Thursday, May 14.


Audubon's summer festival had been scheduled for June 26-28.

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