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A family-friendly way to ring in 2019: Community center to host New Year’s Eve Bash

It's become a holiday tradition at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center to ring in the new year with some fun for the whole family -- yet still wrap things up early enough to get the kids in bed on time.

A large, see-through net full of colorful balloons will once again be hoisted to the top of the fieldhouse at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center on Monday, Dec. 31, in anticipation of the balloon drop that concludes the Center's annual New Year's Eve Bash, which runs from 4-7 p.m. this year. (Submitted photo)
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It's become a holiday tradition at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center to ring in the new year with some fun for the whole family - yet still wrap things up early enough to get the kids in bed on time.
The New Year's Eve Bash at the DLCCC gets underway at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, with swimming, games, food and plenty of other family-oriented fun that lasts until 7 p.m.

As always, the pool inside the BTD Aquatics Center will be open throughout the celebration, and there will be pool games, including the annual cannonball contest.

"Our cannonball contest has become a favorite," Bettcher said, adding that in the final round of competition, participants have the option of doing a belly flop, for which they earn extra points.

The contest is open to kids of all ages, Bettcher said, adding, "We have some adults who like to do it too."

The water slide will be open, as will the giant slide in the gym, where there will be plenty of games and food, all of which are included in the admission price. Hot dogs, chips and beverages will be served.


Another popular tradition at the Bash is playing "family friendly bingo," Bettcher noted.

"When you win bingo, we have prizes like board games, hula hoops, basketballs, footballs - activity-based prizes for kids and families," she explained.

The Backyard, the Center's three-story indoor playground, will be open throughout the festivities as well.
As always, the admission fee remains affordable, at $5 per person or $20 for families of four and up. The cost is the same for members and non-members, Bettcher added.

Though the DLCCC itself opened 17 years ago, in December 2001, this will be the 18th year for the NYE Bash, which was one of the first events ever held there. Bettcher says that she looks forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces, as many families come back year after year.

The celebration will conclude with a countdown and balloon drop at 6:59 p.m. - a last-minute tradition that has continued even though the Bash no longer concludes at midnight, as it did the first year.

"We wanted to give the kids the experience of New Year's Eve," Bettcher explained.

For more information about the New Year's Eve Bash at the DLCCC, please call 218-844-4221. The community center is not the only location in town that is hosting family-friendly activities on Monday, however.

The warming house at the Peoples Park outdoor skating rink will be open from noon to 4 p.m., so families can enjoy the experience of skating outdoors, yet still be able to slip indoors and warm up a little bit if conditions get a little too chilly. Or for those who prefer their ice conditions a little more controlled, one of the two indoor rinks at Freeman Arena (across the street from Peoples Park) will be open for public skating from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge for skating at either facility.


The Detroit Mountain Recreation Area will also be open New Year's Eve; skiing and snowboarding will be available from 10 a.m. to midnight, and the tubing hill will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. as well. For more information on costs for lift passes and equipment rental fees, tubing passes and more, visit or call 218-844-SNOW (7669).

Last but not least, Lake Eunice Evangelical Free Church in rural Detroit Lakes will be hosting a free screening of the movie, "I Can Only Imagine," at 7 p.m. There will also be a soup and sandwich supper at 5:30 for a free will offering. As the movie is not recommended for younger children, childcare will be provided at no extra cost. The church is located at 12986 County Highway 15, rural Detroit Lakes. Call 218-439-3255 for more information.

The balloon drop at the conclusion of the New Year's Eve Bash at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center has been a tradition since the celebration's inception in 2001. The 18th annual event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31. (Tribune file photo)

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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