The 2021 Northwest Water Carnival Water Fights were a splash, in every sense of the word. Held at the Detroit Lakes City Park on Wednesday evening, July 14, this traditional-favorite event started with the Junior Water Fights at 5 p.m. and then moved into the adult Water Fights at 7 p.m.

The kids dueled with spray-nozzle garden hoses while the grown-ups battled with more powerful fire hoses, but the goal was the same for all ages -- to use the force of water to push a ball hanging from a wire over to the opposing team’s side. The teams that did that were declared the winners.

Kids had fun getting soaked at the Junior Water Fights on Wednesday. (Marie Johnson / Tribune)
Kids had fun getting soaked at the Junior Water Fights on Wednesday. (Marie Johnson / Tribune)

There were several kids’ teams, and a whopping 34 adult teams. The crowd of spectators was big, too. The event’s emcee, a member of the Detroit Lakes Jaycees Club, which organizes the Water Carnival, speculated that the turnout was so high because of the evening’s perfect summer weather, plus people’s eagerness to get out and have fun again after last summer’s pandemic-related lack of community events.

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Water Carnival pageant winners are tasked with replacing the ball back to the middle of the wire between Water Fight battles. (Marie Johnson / Tribune)
Water Carnival pageant winners are tasked with replacing the ball back to the middle of the wire between Water Fight battles. (Marie Johnson / Tribune)

The evening also featured a free ice cream social and food trucks at the park. At the Holmes Theatre, Tom Petty tribute band The Heartshakers hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. and didn't leave until almost two hours later.

Earlier in the day, the Great Admirals Hat Hunt was held, with local resident Roger Vizenor taking home this year's prize for finding the hat.

Roger Vizenor of Detroit Lakes took home the prize for finding the admiral's hat in Wednesday's Great Admiral's Hat Hunt, hosted by Detroit Lakes Newspapers. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
Roger Vizenor of Detroit Lakes took home the prize for finding the admiral's hat in Wednesday's Great Admiral's Hat Hunt, hosted by Detroit Lakes Newspapers. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Today's (Thursday) schedule is a bit lighter, with Bingo being the sole entry on the list. Players of all ages are welcome to join the crowd at The Pavilion at 5 p.m., for fun and cash prizes. Games are expected to last until approximately 10 p.m. Admission is free with a water carnival button, but cards are $1 each.