Frazee's 64th annual Turkey Days celebration started off with a big splash Friday afternoon at the Town Lake city park, as an even dozen of the area's finest canine athletes showed off their jumping skills at the festival's first-ever Puppy Plunge.
After two qualifying rounds and a final jump involving the event's seven finalists (two pups tied for sixth place in the qualifiers), it was golden retriever Copper and his handler Dane who claimed the first place prize with leaps of 14, 18 and 17 feet.
Second place went to Rogue and Jenna with jumps of 17, 15 and 16 feet, while third place honors went to the lovely Lily and her handler Dallas, scoring an amazingly consistent 16-foot leap on all three of her jumps.
Also held on Friday afternoon was the annual Turkey Days Sand Castle Contest. Six teams participated in this year's contest, with Samantha Jensen and Esmae Simonson and their large pineapple sand sculpture taking first place honors. Second place went to Selma and Clayton Moore and their unusually creative sand sculpture - a giant pair of flip-flop encased feet!
Other Friday festivities included the opening ceremonies at Little Turkey Park, featuring the Lake Region Color Guard; pontoon rides on Town Lake with the friendly crew from the Detroit Lakes Area Chapter of Let's Go Fishing; a baseball game with Frazee Flames alumni taking on the current team at the Frazee baseball field; Family Night activities at Harvest Fellowship Church including t-shirt tye-dying, inflatable games and a free movie, "Paddington 2"; an old-time dance at the Frazee Event Center featuring music by Maria & the Boys; and a parking lot party at the Frazee VFW, featuring music by the David Lee Trio.
The fun continues early Saturday morning with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at the Event Center, hosted by candidates for the Miss Frazee and Outstanding Teen competition that takes place that evening at 7 p.m. inside the Frazee-Vergas High School gymnasium.
There will also be a "Junior King and Queen Contest" for candidates up to 6 years of age, which is set to take place in the high school gymnasium at 10 a.m. Saturday, with registration at 9:30.
Also for the kids, there will be a fishing contest on Town Lake starting at 8 a.m., with separate divisions for kids aged 1-7 and 8-15. Participants are asked to bring their own poles, though bait will be provided.
Two kids' events are also being sponsored by the Frazee Sportsmen's Club on Saturday, a Homemade Birdhouse Contest at 9 a.m. and a Wood Duck House Building Contest at 1:30 p.m. Both events are free, and will be held on Main Street.
Kids who have just barely learned to crawl will also be able to get in on the fun with the annual Turkey Crawl, set to take place at 10:30 a.m. in the high school gym (registration starts at 10 a.m.). The Community Club is hosting a Selfie Booth on Main Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday as well, with prizes awarded to the best photos submitted.
Two events named in honor of Frazee residents who are gone, but not forgotten, will also take place on Saturday: The Dolores Smith Memorial Turkey Trot - a 5K run/walk - gets underway at 8 a.m., with registration starting at 6:30 in Riverside Park, while the Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show gets underway at 10 a.m. on Main Avenue, continuing until 3 p.m.
"The car show has gotten really big," Bender said; the event is open to all makes and models of both cars and motorcycles.
There will also be Inflatable Games from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Turkey Bowling at 11:30 a.m., a Soap Box Derby at 1 p.m. (registration starts at noon), a Pedal Tractor Pull at 1:30 p.m., and Turkey Bingo at the Frazee Event Center from 1 to 4 p.m. as well.
Fun for the adults begins at 8 a.m. with the Street Fair, which runs until 4 p.m. on Main; registration starts at 11 a.m. for the Bean Bag Toss at the Frazee Liquor Store (must be age 21 and up to enter), which gets underway at noon. The Road Rally sets off from the Event Center alleyway that afternoon as well, with registration starting at 11:30 a.m.
By popular demand, the Beard Competition at the Frazee VFW is also back for another year, starting at 3:30 p.m. (registration at 2:30). And rounding out the afternoon's activities is the annual Water Fights, with the kids' division starting at 4 p.m. outside the fire hall, and the adult competition getting underway at 5:30 p.m.
Once the kids have burned off their excess energy with all the morning and afternoon activities, they can join their parents at the FHS Band's annual Spaghetti Supper, set from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Event Center. After the queens have been crowned at the high school that evening, and the street dance is underway downtown, there will be fireworks to cap off the day's festivities at dusk (you can watch them from the football field bleachers, which will be open for viewing).
Though Sunday's schedule is a little less jam-packed, there's still plenty to do, starting with an outdoor worship service for the whole community at 9 a.m. in Riverside Park, featuring a live praise band (in case of rain the event will be held inside the Harvest Church). People of all religious affiliations are welcome, though they are asked to bring lawn chairs for seating.
Antique and restored tractors will be on display along Main Avenue from 9 a.m. to noon (registration at 8 a.m.), adjoining the motorcycle show on Main Avenue from 10 a.m. to noon.
Youth activities will get underway with kids' games on Main Avenue starting at 11 a.m., hosted by the Frazee Parent-Teacher Organization. This will be followed by the Pet & Doll Parade at 1:15 p.m., with registration at 12:45 p.m. outside Frazee Family Foods, and judging at 1 p.m. Don't forget to stop by the vacant lot at 100 East Main, where the Frazee Kaotic Robotics program will be serving up an old-fashioned ice cream exhibit starting at 9 a.m.; ice cream will also be sold at costs of $2-$4, while supplies last.
The Frazee Community Club will host a Turkey Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. inside the Event Center, (cost is $6 per person, or $3 for kids under age 6), followed by the Parade of Wheels at 1:30 p.m. on Main Avenue.
The Parade of Wheels is open to all participants in Saturday's car show as well as Sunday's motorcycle and tractor shows; in fact, it includes wheeled vehicles of any and all descriptions; both the Pet & Doll Parade and the Parade of Wheels will be following a reverse route from the grand parade, with lineup taking place at Riverside Park (past the Essentia Health clinic).
The Turkey Days Grand Parade gets underway at 2 p.m. on Main Avenue, featuring grand marshal Angie Harmer (her husband, the late Don Harmer, was also named as honorary grand marshal). Lineup begins at 1 p.m. near the Frazee Elementary School practice field.
After the parade, the Frazee United Methodist Church will be hosting an Ice Cream Social at the Event Center, and there will be a pizza eating contest starting at 3:30 p.m. in front of All In All. The ever-popular Demolition Derby gets underway at 3:30 p.m. on Main Avenue (a Power Wheels Derby for the kids will be held right before the competition), followed by the Gobbler Karaoke Contest from 6 to 10 p.m. at the VFW, featuring "karaoke with a twist."
As if all that weren't enough, there are a variety of ongoing events taking place throughout the weekend. The food court on West Main, flower show and silent auction at the Frazee Event Center, and beer garden at the Frazee Liquor Store will be open both Saturday and Sunday; the golf scramble continues at the Frazee Golf Course through Saturday afternoon; and there will be painting classes in the Frazee High School art room at 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday (classes were also held Friday).
A complete, downloadable schedule is available online at www.frazeecommunityclub.com; updates will also be posted on the club's Facebook page, along with photos from the weekend.
For more information, please call 218-334-2124 or 1-800-407-2488, or direct emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.