For the second year in a row, there will be no Miss Northwest or Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen crowned in Detroit Lakes during the Northwest Water Carnival.
Unlike last year, however, it is not due to a global pandemic putting a kibosh on all water carnival events. Rather, it is a lack of sufficient candidates signing up for the pageant, which had originally been scheduled for this past Friday, July 9.
"Being that we are with the Miss America organization, we need to follow their rules and regulations," said Miss Northwest Pageant organizer Rachel Kohler. "One of those is that you have to have a minimum number of candidates signed up in each division (Miss Northwest and Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen). We did not have enough candidates to hold the pageant this year."
Though the 2019 Miss Northwest and Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen, siblings Catherine and Grace Jaroszewski, were officially released from their titles after the crowning of a new Miss Minnesota on Saturday, June 26, Kohler said that the two young ladies have both agreed to be a part of this year's Northwest Water Carnival, and to help promote the pageant for next year.
"Some of the other title holders from nearby communities have also agreed to help us promote the pageant this year," Kohler said, adding that pageant volunteers would be out selling "World's Finest Chocolate" bars at various water carnival events over the coming week, as well as at other events throughout the summer.
The chocolate will serve the dual purpose of helping to promote the pageant for next year, and to raise funds for area charities, she added. For instance, half of the proceeds from chocolate sales during the demolition derby on Saturday were designated to be given to Kamp KACE (Kids Against Cancer Everywhere) on Cormorant Lake.
"This year, we will be working very hard to do some promoting and working within the community to possibly still crown a Miss Northwest (and Outstanding Teen)," Kohler said, adding that they may be able to schedule a pageant event independent of the water carnival, in time for the winning candidates to compete at the 2022 Miss Minnesota event next June.
"The January-February time frame — that's what we're shooting for," she said. "We'd still like to send someone to Miss Minnesota."
Kohler added that the participating candidates would be asked to help promote Miss Northwest during the 2022 Northwest Water Carnival, by volunteering at various events.
The timing of the Miss Minnesota pageant may have played a role in the lack of candidates this year, Kohler said, as the most recent title holders at other area pageants aren't released from their titles (and therefore eligible to compete again) until after a new Miss Minnesota is crowned.
"Our pageant is the first after Miss Minnesota," Kohler said — and while she extended the entry deadline as long as she could, she still needed at least a few days to get the information about each candidate mailed out to the judges in time for the competition on July 9.
When she didn't have the minimum number signed up that was required to meet pageant guidelines, Kohler said, she was forced to announce that there wouldn't be a competition this year.
Kohler noted that other area pageants in the Miss Minnesota system had been struggling to garner a large enough field of candidates to meet minimum guidelines as well. "All of the pageants throughout Minnesota are struggling," she said.
Kohler hopes to bring in more potential candidates for the 2022 pageant by calling attention to the fact that Miss Northwest offers multiple scholarship opportunities for young women planning to pursue a college education.
"Outstanding Teen candidates can enter as young as 13," she said — which means that those who continue competing at area events through the end of their eligibility at age 25 can build a significant college fund by the time they're done.
In addition, Kohler said, scholarship opportunities exist beyond winning the overall competition: Awards are given not only to the winners and runners-up, in both the Miss Northwest and Outstanding Teen divisions, but also to those who win the talent, private interview and Miss Congeniality categories.
Water Carnival continues through July 18
Though there is no Miss Northwest Pageant this year, other Northwest Water Carnival events are still going strong, with the festival continuing through Sunday, July 18.
Monday's events include the Junior Water Carnival Pageant, set for 6 p.m. at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion.
"We will crown a prince and princess," Kohler said, adding that kids between ages 5-7 are eligible to compete. Winners will be asked to appear at other water carnival events throughout the week as well.
Also on Monday, there will be an "Xtreme Tippy Cup" competition starting at 6 p.m. in the City Park; beach soccer on the City Beach at 7 p.m. (registration starts at 6 p.m.); and a trivia competition at the Pavilion starting at 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 13 events include the Junior Tug-O-War and adult Tug-O-War competitions, which get underway at 7 p.m. on the City Beach; and the Dance on Detroit with Doc & the Scrubs, who will play starting at 7 p.m. beneath the City Park Bandshell. The Lakes Area Farmers Market will also be open at Peoples Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day (as well as on Saturday).
Wednesday, July 14 events start with the Great Admiral's Hat Hunt, which gets underway at 4 p.m. (clues can be found throughout the city). The Junior Water Fights start at 5 p.m. in the City Park, with the adult Water Fights starting at 7 p.m. (registration at begins at 6 p.m.). In between the Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union will host an ice cream social in the park from 6 to 7 p.m.
Bingo will be played at the Pavilion from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 15; cost to participate is $1 per card.
Friday, July 16 events will include the Water Carnival Softball Tournament, which gets underway at 8 a.m. in Snappy Park and continues through Sunday, July 18; the American Legion Water Carnival Baseball Tournament, which also runs Friday through Sunday at Washington Ballpark; Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary's Food Truck Friday in the City Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; inflatable Games to Go in the City Park from 3 to 9 p.m.; and helicopter rides at Kent Freeman Arena throughout the day (as well as on Saturday and Sunday).
The Detroit Lakes Jaycees' two-day Bash on the Beach is set for Friday and Saturday, July 16-17, with gates opening at 6 p.m. both nights. Featured entertainers are Slamabama and Terri Clark on Friday, and Troubadour and Clay Walker on Saturday.
Other Saturday, July 17 events include the Water Carnival Fun Run at 9 a.m.; the Pet & Doll Parade at 10 a.m. (line up at 9:30 a.m. in the Holy Rosary Church parking lot); the Pet Show at 10:30 a.m. under the City Park Bandshell; a sand volleyball tournament starting at 10 a.m. in Peoples Park (registration from 9-10 a.m.); and a bean bag tournament on the City Beach starting at 11 a.m. (register from 10-11 a.m.). There will also be a free family picnic in the park from 11 a.m. to noon.
Afternoon events on Saturday include a Home Brew Beer Tasting competition starting at noon on the beach; a classic car show from noon to 3 p.m. in the park; a junior bean bag tournament starting at 1 p.m. on the beach; and inflatable Games to Go in the park from noon to 9 p.m., along with helicopter rides throughout the day at Kent Freeman Arena. The day's festivities conclude with the final night of Bash on the Beach.
The final day of the Northwest Water Carnival — Sunday, July 18 — begins with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Holy Rosary Knights of Columbus from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pavilion. The Parade of the Northwest gets underway at 1 p.m. on Washington Avenue, and will immediately be followed by a free water ski show on the City Beach. A full schedule is available at dljaycees.com.