For many years, the VIP food and beverage service area at WE Fest has been staffed by volunteers — volunteers from the local Boys & Girls Club, who this year are tasked with filling about 300 shifts from Tuesday through Saturday, Aug. 3-7.

""That's a total of about 1,400 hours," said one of the club's two WE Fest VIP volunteer coordinators, Lisa McLeod (Raina Askin is the other).

The club receives $10 from WE Fest for every hour worked by its volunteers, so that means the club stands to make as much as $14,000 from five days' work, she added.

Though volunteers are needed for all shifts, staffing is most critical for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, between 4-9 p.m. "That's where we really need people," McLeod said.

One special "perk" for this year's volunteers: Free camping and music passes for WE Fest. Here are the details:

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  • Earn a complimentary one-day, general admission music pass by working one six-hour volunteer shift.
  • Earn a complimentary three-day, general admission music pass by working at least three festival shifts (two evenings and one day shift), totaling 18-22 hours.
  • Volunteers living within a 25-mile radius of Detroit Lakes will receive complimentary employee parking passes and/or shuttle service passes from the Becker County Fairgrounds.
  • Volunteers living outside of a 25-mile radius of Detroit Lakes who are scheduled to earn three-day music passes will receive complimentary festival camping passes.
  • All volunteers will receive complimentary T-shirts for their appropriate shifts.

For more information, contact Lisa McLeod at 218-204-0494, Raina Askin at 701-381-2787, or send an email to: bgcwefestvip@gmail.com. You can also sign up at the website: bgcdl.org (there is a pop-up box for WE Fest volunteering when you open the page).

This brand-new, 21-foot Aspen travel trailer is one of the prizes included in the $19,000 grand prize package for the Boys & Girls Club's annual WE Fest raffle. Two $500 cash prizes will also be given away as part of the raffle this year, with the drawing to be held on the Main Stage at WE Fest this Saturday, Aug. 7, at approximately 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)
This brand-new, 21-foot Aspen travel trailer is one of the prizes included in the $19,000 grand prize package for the Boys & Girls Club's annual WE Fest raffle. Two $500 cash prizes will also be given away as part of the raffle this year, with the drawing to be held on the Main Stage at WE Fest this Saturday, Aug. 7, at approximately 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Raffle tickets on sale

The Boys & Girls Club is also bringing back its WE Fest raffle this year. As has been the case since the raffle was started, there will be just one grand prize winner.

For just $20 per ticket, you get a chance to win a WE Fest 2022 VIP camping package that includes a brand-new, 21-foot Aspen travel trailer that sleeps four, with both a gas heater and air conditioning unit (valued at just under $17,000), along with two VIP WE Fest tickets that include camping with electricity ($2,400 value).

But this year, the raffle is being "super-sized," said Alyssa Hoskins, the club's marketing and communications coordinator.

"We're offering two $500 cash prizes as well," she said, "which means there will be three winners."

The winning tickets will be announced on WE Fest's Main Stage, at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7.

Tickets will be available for purchase all week at the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes (150 Richwood Road), as well as on the WE Fest grounds throughout the festival. Ticket sales will continue until 6 p.m. on Saturday, after which the drawing will be held.

"Our sponsors were so incredible in covering all our expenses every $20 ticket sold goes directly back to the club," she added. "That $20 will fund a full day of summer camp, 20 healthy snacks, or new games and supplies."

All together, Hoskins said, between raffle sales and staffing the WE Fest VIP food and beverage service, the club stands to raise about $30,000 for its programming and services.

DL Lions also holding WE Fest raffle this year

Members of the Detroit Lakes Lions Club will also be back out at WE Fest this year, selling tickets for their charity raffle.

Raffle tickets are $5 each and the drawing is for 2022 WE Fest VIP seats and camping, according to Lions member Brenda Wieland.

Tickets are on sale now from any Lions Club member, and will continue to be available until the drawing, which will also be held on the WE Fest stage at approximately 6 p.m. Saturday.

Volunteers from the Detroit Lakes Lions Club will have their High Striker game out at WE Fest this week, helping to raise funds for Kamp KACE. (Submitted photo)
Volunteers from the Detroit Lakes Lions Club will have their High Striker game out at WE Fest this week, helping to raise funds for Kamp KACE. (Submitted photo)

Wieland also noted that Lions Club members will be out at WE Fest running their "High Striker" game, in which competitors swing a large mallet and aim at a target at the bottom of a slide pole, with the objective of hitting the target with enough force to push a metal ball all the way up the slide and ring the bell at the top.

In addition, Wieland said, their club has been chosen to be allowed to place donation buckets in the WE Fest VIP tent, and volunteers from both the Vergas and Detroit Lakes Lions will be out in the crowd on Saturday asking for donations as well.

"This year we selected Kamp KACE to be the recipient of our (WE Fest) fundraising efforts," Wieland said, explaining that KACE stands for Kids Against Cancer Everywhere.

The camp, which is located in the Cormorant Lakes area, provides a safe, rewarding, and memorable camp experience for school-aged kids with cancer, and their siblings. The mission of Kamp KACE is "to help kids with cancer feel like kids," Wieland added.

For more information, visit kampkace.org.

The WE Fest Shuttle buses will be back in service this Thursday, Aug. 5, running every 15 minutes between the WE Fest grounds and two stops in Detroit Lakes, at the Becker County Fairgrounds and downtown Washington Avenue. (Tribune File Photo)
The WE Fest Shuttle buses will be back in service this Thursday, Aug. 5, running every 15 minutes between the WE Fest grounds and two stops in Detroit Lakes, at the Becker County Fairgrounds and downtown Washington Avenue. (Tribune File Photo)

WE Fest Shuttle service starts Thursday

The Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce is also looking for volunteers to help run its WE Fest Shuttle Service, Thursday through Saturday. Call Chamber President Carrie Johnston at 218-847-9202 for more information.

The volunteer-run shuttle service is open to the general public, and buses run between the Soo Pass Ranch (site of WE Fest) and two stops in Detroit Lakes — on downtown Washington Avenue and at the Becker County Fairgrounds — every 15 minutes. The shuttle service opens this Thursday, Aug. 5 at noon and continues from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily through Saturday, Aug. 7 (the last buses will run at 2 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 8).

Shuttle passes are $10 per day, or $20 for all three days; the service is available free of charge for all WE Fest campers who have their camping wristbands with them.

Though the kickoff party is set for Wednesday, WE Fest 2021 doesn't officially open until Thursday, Aug. 5. The three-day country music festival is held on the grounds of Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch. (WE Fest File Photo)
Though the kickoff party is set for Wednesday, WE Fest 2021 doesn't officially open until Thursday, Aug. 5. The three-day country music festival is held on the grounds of Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch. (WE Fest File Photo)

If you go

What: WE Fest 2021

When: Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 5-7

Where: Soo Pass Ranch, Detroit Lakes

How: Single-day tickets start at $99; ticket and camping packages are available at wefest.com.

Launched in 1983, WE Fest is a three-day country music festival with extensive onsite camping. The stage is getting set, the campgrounds are cleared for campers, the bars are getting stocked, and the longtime, local employees are getting ready to say, “Welcome back to WE Fest!”

The 37th WE Fest Country Music Festival will make its long-awaited return to Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes this week, beginning Thursday, Aug. 5 and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 7.

Helping get “Back to Fun in ‘21’” will be emcee Kelli Pickler; headliners Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, and Blake Shelton; as well as several local and national acts.

Yes, the main attraction is the music, but WE Fest organizers are making sure that guests have fun beyond the stages, too. Here are a few things guests can look forward to beyond the tunes:

  • The Kickoff Party on Wednesday night, Aug. 4 at the Barn Stage will feature performances by Shane Martin, TripWire, and The Cadillac Three. It’s a cosplay party so dress to impress as your favorite country music star; there will be prizes for best male and female look-alikes.
  • Campground Parties: The theme for this year’s decoration contest is “I Love My Country!” Have the best WE Fest campsite? Prove it by posting your photo using #K102WeFest and tagging @coorslight and you could win the ultimate Coors camping package!

  • The Trading Post merchandise and craft market will open early each day for “Shoppy Hour.”
  • Check out the competitive WE Fest Baggo Tournament, sponsored by Miller Lite.
  • If you like to keep it close to the ground, jump on the mechanical bull.
  • Still up in the air about what to do? Take a helicopter ride!