The 85th Northwest Water Carnival may have been sidelined by the coronavirus until 2021, but that doesn't mean the Detroit Lakes Jaycees are taking the summer off.

After a campaign to sell specially created apparel and buttons with the logo "Water Carnival Has Sailed Away: Quarantined in 2020," the Jaycees are hosting a Community Night event Thursday, July 9. The event is an opportunity for purchasers to pick up their "COVID carnival" gear, and for the general public to enjoy a "mini-carnival" of sorts.

"We just decided to just do a little something for the community to let them know we didn’t forget about water carnival, even though we can’t have it this summer," said Annette Korth, one of two admirals chosen for the 85th annual event (she and co-admiral Mandie Hemingsen will now preside over the 2021 carnival).

Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, the Jaycees will be hosting a variety of events on the City Beach and areas of the City Park surrounding the Pavilion.

Throughout the evening, local residents can enjoy:

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  • Hot dogs, chips and beverages (the DL Ice Cream Truck will also be selling frosty treats on site);
  • Making sidewalk chalk art;
  • Face painting;
  • Making sand castles (bring your own tools);
  • Trolley rides;
  • Live music by Mike Hokanson;
  • A bean bag tournament on the beach, starting at 7 p.m.

"It's all free to the community, except the bean bag tournament, because there is cash prize for that," Korth said. Local businesses have also donated a few gift cards to give away to the participants at some of the other events, she added.

In addition, Essentia Health will also be hosting a special clothing drive for emergency room patients; clothing is needed for all ages, sizes and gender, from kids on up to adults.

And speaking of the grownups, the Jaycees' beer garden will be open as well, for one evening only; bring your past Northwest Water Carnival mugs (of any vintage) and enjoy a special deal on adult beverages.

For more information, visit the Northwest Water Carnival Facebook page.