With pandemic safety requirements limiting the crowd to just 250 people, Friday afternoon's Sailboat Regatta Party for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project didn't quite fill Detroit Lakes' Freeman Arena to capacity — but a steady stream of people did queue up outside to take their turn at viewing the one-night-only spectacle.

Inside the arena, just past the lobby and concessions area, there were a few rows of Detroit Lakes 150th anniversary merchandise for sale — but it was just around the corner from the merchandise area that the evening's main attraction — 150 three-dimensional metal sailboat sculptures, each uniquely decorated by more than 80 regional artists — stood ready to greet the onlookers.

A total of 150 sailboat sculptures, each uniquely decorated by more than 80 regional artists, were on display during the Sailboat Regatta Party on Friday, April 30. The sailboats are now in the process of being transferred to their new homes around the City of Detroit Lakes, as part of its Sesquicentennial celebration. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
A total of 150 sailboat sculptures, each uniquely decorated by more than 80 regional artists, were on display during the Sailboat Regatta Party on Friday, April 30. The sailboats are now in the process of being transferred to their new homes around the City of Detroit Lakes, as part of its Sesquicentennial celebration. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Many of the artists stood quietly next to the sailboats they had designed, ready to listen to comments and answer questions about their creations.

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Mosaic artist Becky Mitchell stood proudly between the two 4-foot sailboat designs she had created, for the Becker County Museum (of which she is the executive director) and the Detroit Lakes Public Library. Greta Guck, the director of the local library, came up to Mitchell and gushed about how much she loved the design for their sculpture.

Mosaic artist Becky Mitchell with Detroit Lakes Public Library director Greta Guck, next to the library-sponsored sailboat that Mitchell created for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project. Mitchell also created a sailboat for the Becker County Museum, of which she is the executive director. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
Mosaic artist Becky Mitchell with Detroit Lakes Public Library director Greta Guck, next to the library-sponsored sailboat that Mitchell created for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project. Mitchell also created a sailboat for the Becker County Museum, of which she is the executive director. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Early in the festivities, the 150th and final sailboat design — which had been a closely guarded secret up until that point — was finally unveiled. The artist? Detroit Lakes 5th grader Ava Marchus, whose brightly colored image of a sailboat on the lake at sunset was the grand prize winner in a sailboat coloring contest sponsored by the City of Detroit Lakes.

Sailboat coloring contest winner Ava Marchus with her award-winning design, "Sails Up, Detroit Lakes." The 5th grader's design was made into a digital image on vinyl that was wrapped around a 20-inch sailboat sculpture. It was auctioned off Friday night at the Sailboat Regatta Party for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project, with proceeds to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
Sailboat coloring contest winner Ava Marchus with her award-winning design, "Sails Up, Detroit Lakes." The 5th grader's design was made into a digital image on vinyl that was wrapped around a 20-inch sailboat sculpture. It was auctioned off Friday night at the Sailboat Regatta Party for the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project, with proceeds to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Marchus's award-winning design had been secretly applied to a vinyl wrap for one of two 20-inch tabletop sailboats set to be sold via silent auction that evening. The other, a mosaic design titled "Spinner Blade Parade," was created by local artist and avid fisherman Rick Livermore.

Proceeds from the sale of the Marchus-designed sailboat, titled simply "Sails Up Detroit Lakes," will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes, while the proceeds for Livermore's creation were designated for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Meanwhile, outside the arena, an equally large crowd had gathered to enjoy a variety of culinary creations provided by local food trucks including Johnny's, Fork on the Road, Slim Piggins and the DL Ice Cream Truck; a cash bar was also set up outside the arena, directly across from an open semi trailer where the Cropdusters performed live music throughout the evening.

A half dozen local food trucks were parked in front of Kent Freeman Arena on Friday, April 30 for the Sailboat Regatta Party, celebrating the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project.  (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
A half dozen local food trucks were parked in front of Kent Freeman Arena on Friday, April 30 for the Sailboat Regatta Party, celebrating the "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Friday's Regatta Party was the only time where all of the "Sails Up" sculptures were set up in one place; starting this weekend and continuing through Saturday, May 15, each of the sculptures will be relocated to their new homes throughout the city.

Interactive map of sailboat locations to go live later this month

Kyle Meacham of Minnesota Multimedia, the man behind the creation of the Detroit Lakes Sesquicentennial website, dl150.com, is in the process of finalizing the design of an interactive map that will be available on the website for those wanting to hunt down the locations of all 150 sculptures this summer.

Minnesota Multimedia web designer Kyle Meacham displays the prototype for the interactive "150 Sails Up in DL" digital map that he is creating for the Detroit Lakes Sesquicentennial website. Meacham says that the map is designed to be interactive, so people looking for the exact GPS location of each of the sailboats in the public art project can find them easily. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
Minnesota Multimedia web designer Kyle Meacham displays the prototype for the interactive "150 Sails Up in DL" digital map that he is creating for the Detroit Lakes Sesquicentennial website. Meacham says that the map is designed to be interactive, so people looking for the exact GPS location of each of the sailboats in the public art project can find them easily. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Each sailboat location will be marked by a tiny sailboat on the map; when a person clicks on one of the sailboats, a pop-up menu will appear, containing a picture of the sculpture, its name, the artist, the sponsor, and the exact street address of its location. There will be a Google Maps link to help track that location via GPS, and a link to the artist's website, when he or she has one set up.

Visit the website www.dl150.com/sailboat or facebook.com/150SailsUp for more information as it becomes available.