Tuesday at the Water Carnival: Junior royalty crowned, strong men — and women — compete for prizes
For the first time, the Northwest Water Carnival crowned not just a Junior Prince and Princess, but also Junior King and Queen. The tug-o-war and strong person competitions also drew good crowds on Tuesday night, with both men and women taking part in the trolley pull.
DETROIT LAKES — One of the highlights of Tuesday night's festivities at the 86th Northwest Water Carnival was the Junior Pageant, which drew 14 contestants this year.
For the first time, the format was expanded to allow older kids to compete, with both a junior prince and princess (between ages 3-6) and a junior king and queen (between ages 7-10) crowned.
The junior prince and princess titles went to 5-year-old Brink Baker and 3-year-old Eden Lindstrom, respectively. Brink is the son of Brandon and Ashley Baker, while Eden's parents are Amy Engberg and John Lindstrom.
Elliot Kath, 7, the son of Jennifer and Dave Kath, was crowned as junior king, while the queen's title went to 7-year-old Madeline Lauinger, the daughter of Viva Lauinger.
Contestants were asked to answer the question "What's your favorite water carnival event?" by emcee Alexis Kohler, with answers ranging from face painting and food to the Parade of the Northwest and water fights.
Tug-o-War junior, senior divisions hotly contested
Though there were only six teams for the Junior Tug-O-War and four teams for the adult Tug-O-War on Tuesday night, competition was fierce, with the junior title going to the Mighty Ducks and T.S. Dock & Lift taking the adult division trophy.
The six-person Mighty Ducks took on three teams, including Mac & Cheese in the first round, the Crabs in the second round and the Rockies in the final.
Using a coordinated "1-2-3-pull" strategy, T. S. Dock & Lift made fairly short work of the Eagles 2342 team in the first round, while J & K Marine advanced against a team from State Farm Insurance after a more closely contested battle.
In the final, J & K Marine put up quite a fight, digging deep into the sand, but ultimately came up short against the T. S. Dock & Lift team.
Show of strength: Tire flipping, arm wrestling and trolley pull
The return of the strong person competition to this year's water carnival was a hit, with a large crowd turning up on the City Beach to watch contestants flip giant tires, arm wrestle and take turns pulling the Jaycees' Toonerville Trolley across the sand.
Shafik Taban of Fargo was victorious in the tire flip, but didn't fare quite as well in the following rounds.
In arm wrestling, Taban was unable to overcome Detroit Lakes' Matt Smith, who had defeated Hunter Lindquist in the first round. To win each round, Smith had to take down his opponent not just once, but twice in the best-of-three format.
"I just moved here!" said Smith jubilantly after taking the arm wrestling title.
Smith, Taban and Lindquist all took part in the trolley pull, which drew the largest field of contestants, with nine men and three women signing up to take their turn.
The victory ultimately went to Frazee's Andy McRae, who completed the pull in 13.13 seconds. He finished almost two seconds ahead of Smith, who came in second with a time of 14.83 seconds.
Earlier in the evening, a good-sized crowd showed up for the Dance on Detroit at the City Park Bandshell, where they listened to about an hour of big band music from local favorites Doc & the Scrubs. A total of 125 meals were served up by First Lutheran Church volunteers at the Picnic in the Park which preceded the concert, with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of Fuller Center for Housing. Doc & the Scrubs will return to the City Park on Aug. 9 for a 7 p.m. performance, as part of the Tuesdays in the Park summer concert series hosted by the Historic Holmes Theatre.