Happenings around the lakes area, Dec. 7-17

All the upcoming events and gatherings in the Detroit Lakes area.

Vince Neil.jpg
With flags blowing in the breeze behind them, local volunteers, city and state officials and representatives from local veterans organizations gathered at Veterans Memorial Park for a past Wreaths Across America celebration. This year's presentation gets underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022
Contributed / Ed Gehrke
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The Detroit Lakes Tribune accepts community calendar items for publication online and, space permitting, in our Wednesday and Sunday print editions. Submissions must be made at least a week in advance of the event date, in writing, to either or . Each submission must include the date, time and location of event, and where to go for more information (phone, email and/or website). Also include whether the event is free or paid admission, and how much it costs when applicable.

Wednesday, December 7

Advent Mini-Concert: Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church will host the second of four Advent Mini-Concerts, featuring saxophone soloist Rich Johnson, vocal soloist Emma Duncan and piano accompanist Karen Bimberg. The music starts at 12:05 p.m., and will be followed by a soup-and-sandwich lunch in the church's fellowship hall. All of the half-hour concerts in this series can also be streamed live from the church website, , and are available for viewing throughout the holiday season. The church is located at 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Writers Group: Writers and prospective writers seeking encouragement, feedback and collaboration are welcome to join the Detroit Lakes Public Library's Writers' Group, which meets at the library at 3 p.m. If you have any questions, send an email to or call 218-847-2168.

Thursday, December 8

Teen Book vs. Movie Club: Area teens are invited to join a Book vs. Movie Club at 4 p.m. in the main meeting room of the Detroit Lakes Public Library, 1000 Washington Ave., for this month's Book Vs. Movie debate on "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson in all of its many adaptations. Visit or call 218-847-2168 for more information.

John Berry Christmas: Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre will host a 7:30 p.m. Christmas concert with award-winning country music star John Berry. There will also be a VIP experience with the star at 6 p.m. in the Holmes Ballroom (for an extra charge). Tickets $34 for adults and $17 for students.


Friday, December 9

Project 412 Start-Up with Skye Fingalson: Come learn about and celebrate local entrepreneurs at the Project 412 speaker series; this month's speaker is Skye Fingalson, and the event will be held at her business, Allure, at 812 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes, starting with a social at 8:15 a.m. Free and open to the public; no registration is necessary.

Community Blood Drive: The Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary will host a community blood drive in the Forest Conference Center at Ecumen Detroit Lakes, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For an appointment to give blood, contact Madi at 218-849-3228, Brenda at 218-849-3471, Sue at 218-841-0371 or Twila at 218-849-2855. You can also schedule an appointment online at , by using the blood drive code DETROITLAKES.

Holiday Open House: Come to the Detroit Lakes Public Library (1000 Washington Ave.) between 2-5 p.m. for some holiday cheer, with music, refreshments and a chance to check out all the latest releases. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, December 10

Free Holiday Movie: Cinemagic 7 Theatres, located inside Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall, will host a free screening of the holiday movie classic, "Elf," starting at 10 a.m. Doors and concessions open at 9:30.

Veteran Gift Card Giveaway: Disabled American Veterans Lakeland Chapter #1 and Detroit Lakes VFW Post 1676 are hosting a gift card giveaway for any area veteran from 9 to 11 a.m. at VFW Post 1676, 500 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes. All veterans will receive two gift cards as a show of gratitude for their service, and as wishes for a joyful holiday season. No preregistration required. Contact Matt Erickson, Becker County Veterans Service Officer at 218-846-7312 for more information.

Children's Christmas Store: First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes will host a Christmas store for kids age 4 and up to choose gifts for their whole family, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All items are $1. Reserve a shopping time at (link is on the home page) or call 218-847-5656.

Holiday Market Shops: Come to Washington Square Mall between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and enjoy shopping an assortment of artist and vendor booths, along with some make-and-take crafting opportunities for the kids from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a free book giveaway from the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary starting at 11 a.m. Open to the public.

Burgers, Brews and Bands: Come to the lodge at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area from 6 to 9 p.m. and enjoy freshly-grilled burgers, brews on tap and live music from Wayne McArthur and Mick Klein. Open to the public.


Native Comedy Night: The Mustang Lounge at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino will host a Native Comedy Night at 6 p.m., featuring comedian Teresa Choyguha. Open to the public.

Sunday, December 11

That Old Country Christmas: The Heart O'Lakes Harmony Men's A Capella Chorus will present "That Old Country Christmas" at 3 p.m. in the Pelican Rapids High School Fine Arts Auditorium.

Holiday Concert: The Lakes Area Community Concert Band will present its holiday concert at 4 p.m. in Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church. Hosted by the Historic Holmes Theatre, this event is free and open to the public, though free will offerings will be taken to support the musicians. This band includes more than 50 of the lakes area's most talented musicians, performing a variety of holiday favorites.

Tuesday, December 13

Teen Writers Group: Teens interested in pursuing writing are invited to join this group at 4 p.m. for inspiration and support. Grab a snack, do a writing prompt, learn writing tips, and hear feedback from your peers. Group meets at the Detroit Lakes Public Library, 1000 Washington Ave. All area teens are welcome.

Sons of Norway: The Sons of Norway Lodge 1-495, Detroit Lakes, will hold its monthly meeting at First Lutheran Church, starting at 6 p.m. with a Potluck Christmas Party. The official meeting will follow the potluck. All are invited. Any questions contact Cindy Sauer at 218-234-5737, or by email at .

Wednesday, December 14

Advent Mini-Concert: Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church will host the third of four Advent Mini-Concerts, featuring the Alleluia Ringers bell choir, directed by Carla Hanson, and flute soloist Peggy Hammerling. The music starts at 12:05 p.m., and will be followed by a soup-and-sandwich lunch in the church's fellowship hall. All of the half-hour concerts in this series can also be streamed live from the church website, , and are available for viewing throughout the holiday season. Cost of the luncheon is a free-will offering. The church is located at 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Student Blood Drive: The Detroit Lakes High School Student Council will host a blood drive at the high school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment please contact Mary "Buff" Haus at You can also schedule an appointment online at , by using the blood drive code DLLAKERS.

Thursday, December 15

Holiday Train: After missing the last two years because of the pandemic, the Canadian-Pacific Holiday Train is back, baby! The 14-car lighted train will roll into Detroit Lakes at 2:30 p.m. and Mahnomen at 4:20 p.m. Admission is as simple as bringing a nonperishable food item or cash donation for the local food pantry. In Detroit Lakes, the train will arrive at its regular location, the Holmes Street Railroad Crossing down from the Detroit Lakes Community Center, while in Mahnomen, the train will park west of Highway 59 and south of East Washington Avenue. At both locations, entertainment will be provided by singer, songwriter, and actor Alan Doyle and singer-songwriter Kelly Prescott.


Rock & Roll Christmas: Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre will host a sold-out performance of Rock & Roll Christmas at 7:30 p.m. This Las Vegas-caliber, multimedia, full-production show mixes an eight-piece band with music, comedy, parodies and even a game show! Join an all-star cast of musicians as they rock their way through timeless holiday classics and bring new takes on hit songs you didn’t even know were holiday classics. Show is sold out; contact the Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469 for more information.

Friday, December 16

Tanya Tucker in Concert: Legendary country chart-topper Tanya Tucker will perform at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, starting at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $17, $40 and $54, and they may be purchased online at .

Saturday, December 17

Free Holiday Movie: Cinemagic 7 Theatres, located inside Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall, will host a free screening of the holiday movie classic, "The Grinch," starting at 10 a.m. Doors and concessions open at 9:30.

Wreaths Across America: Detroit Lakes will participate in the nationwide Wreaths Across America event, with ceremonies taking place at Veterans Memorial Park, 11 a.m.; Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Park, 11:20 a.m.; Lyle Crovisier Park (at Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club), 11:30 a.m.; Oak Grove Cemetery, 11:40 a.m.; and Holy Rosary Cemetery, 12 p.m. For more information, contact organizers Tom and Pam Mortenson at .

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Third Crossing Bar and Restaurant in Frazee will host an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party from 5 to 11 p.m., with Karaoke by Matt Bachman, 7-11 p.m., along with drink and food specials, drawings and giveaways. Must be present to win; must be age 21 years and older to attend.

Multi-day and Recurring Events

Lake Park Parade of Trees: The community of Lake Park will host the final weekend of its 17th Parade of Trees this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11. More than 30 uniquely decorated trees will be on display in a new location at the corner of State Highway 10 and County Highway 5. Enjoy complimentary coffee, cider and Christmas treats while you explore, and be sure to pick up a 2022 commemorative ornament before you go. Hours will be 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Open to the public; a free will donation will be taken at the door, with proceeds to benefit the event's former home, the American Legion, which was destroyed by fire and is in the process of rebuilding.

Santa's Workshop: Come to the Lincoln Education Center in Detroit Lakes (204 Willow St. East) on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 8-9, to see its magical transformation into Santa's Workshop. Santa and Ms. Claus will be ready by the fireplace to visit and have pictures taken. Games, make ornaments, activities, snacks, hot chocolate, and more are on tap for families with preschoolers, along with a free book for each child from DL's Breakfast Rotary. Hours are 5:30-6:45 p.m. Thursday and and 10-11:15 a.m. Friday.

Photos and Wishes with Santa: Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall will host a visit by Santa Claus and his elves from noon to 3 p.m. on both Dec. 10 and 17. Photos and wishes are free.

Young Life Tree Sales: Lakes Area Young Life will be selling Christmas trees in the parking lot of West Lake Laundry, 802 West Lake Drive, Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Dec. 17 (while supplies last).

Deck The Halls Craft Show: Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casinio will host a Deck The Halls Craft Show, Dec. 11-13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Live Music: In the Fields, Dec. 10, Zorbaz-Detroit Lakes, 9 p.m. to midnight; Paisan and the Family Brass, Dec. 9-10, Mustang Lounge at Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, 8 p.m. both nights.

Off the Wall Art Exhibit: Detroit Lakes artist Cathy Oehler is among those featured in the new "Off the Wall" dimensional art exhibit at the Lake Region Arts Council Gallery in Fergus Falls, which runs through Dec. 23. Other featured artists include Penny Kagigebi of White Earth Ojibwe, Rick Kagigebi of Lac Courte Oreille, Mary Jo Wentz of Battle Lake, Vicky Radel of Norcross, Jarod Marrow of Fergus Falls, Phyllis Joos of Hancock, Judy Christoffersen of Dent, Kae Homeman of Erhard, Kristi Kruder of Battle Lake, Dar Eckert of Fergus Falls, Timothy Cassidy of New York Mills, Mary Williams of Clitherall, Brian Christensen of Fergus Falls and Carl Zachmann of Fergus Falls.

GED/Adult Diploma Instruction: If finishing high school is still on your “to do” list, it is never too late!! Lakes Area Adult Education is open and ready to help you meet your goals. Orientation sessions for GED or Adult Diploma classes take place twice a month, so get in touch and get started now! Call 218-844-5760 or email .

Driver's License Exam Preparation: Classes for driver's license exam preparation are now being offered virtually through Lakes Area Adult Education. These classes are designed to help unlicensed adult drivers become familiar with vocabulary, signs and rules of the road so they can successfully pass the written portion of the Minnesota Driver’s License Exam.  Classes will be held Feb. 6-March 10 on Mondays and Fridays, 5 to 6:30 p.m., with an accelerated option offered on Mondays and Fridays from March 13-March 31 (same class times). Call 218-844-5760 or email for more information.

Free ESL Instruction: Free English as a Second Language instruction is offered for adults in the Detroit Lakes Area, every Monday through Thursday (holidays excepted) at Lakes Area Adult Education. The schedule is flexible and individualized. Call 218-844-5760 or email for more information.

DL Cloggers: The DL Cloggers meet to dance and socialize every Tuesday (excluding holidays) at 1 p.m. in the basement of Detroit Lakes VFW Post 1676. No prior dance experience necessary. For more information, call Ruby at 218-847-7741.

HR Connect: The Detroit Lakes Chamber is hosting an opportunity for human resources professionals, business owners and managers to connect, every first Thursday of the month at 8:15 a.m. at the Chamber office at 700 Summit Ave. Discuss human resource topics, share best practices and review data to help attract, retain and grow the workforce for the lakes region. Event is free for Chamber members, $10 for non-members.

Library Storytime: The Detroit Lakes Public Library offers weekly storytime sessions every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join library staff for stories, flannel boards, finger plays, songs and more. This early literacy experience explores a different theme each week and is a way to encourage young children to enjoy reading; sometimes held outdoors during the summer months, weather permitting. Call 218-847-2168 for more information.

Baby Bounce: Songs, stories, and action poems for infants, toddlers and their caregivers are offered every Monday at the Detroit Lakes Public Library at 10:30 a.m. Program runs about a half hour including playtime and chatting with other caregivers. For ages 0-18 months. Call 218-847-2168 for more information.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Detroit Lakes' Alano Club meets at 827 Summit Ave. on the following days and times: Sundays at 1 p.m., 12x12 open meeting; Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Big Book open meeting; Wednesdays at noon, Grapevine open meeting; Wednesdays at 6 p.m., women's open meeting; Thursdays at 7 p.m., Intro to AA open meeting; Saturdays at 7 a.m., men's open meeting; Saturdays at 9 a.m., Women's Big Book closed meeting; Saturdays at 8 p.m., open topic meeting. There are no dues or fees for meetings. For more information, call 218-844-9970 or the District 3 AA Helpline at 877-833-2327.

Holy Rosary Al-Anon Meeting: There will be an Al-Anon meeting every Thursday, starting at noon, inside Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1043 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Overeaters Anonymous: A 12-step program for those who struggle in their relationship with food, Overeaters Anonymous continues to meet at noon every Tuesday at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes. There is no charge to attend. Contact Debbie C. at 218-234-3071. Another group also meets on Sunday nights at 6 p.m. via Zoom. This is a change of venue as of Oct. 9. Please call Sharon R. at 1-701-388-7585 or Hailee S. at 1-701-212-7904 for information if you plan to join the Zoom meeting. There is no charge to participate.

Lake Country Woodcarvers: At the Holmes Art Cellar every Tuesday from 1-4 p.m. Bring woodcarvings to show and/or take part in a free woodworking session. Pattern books and other resources available for checkout. No cost to participate. Call Dale Wavra at 701-371-5204 for more information.

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