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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.

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The team from T.S. Dock and Lift battled hard and emerged victorious in the Northwest Water Carnival's Tug-O-War competition, held Tuesday night, July 12, 2022 at the Detroit Lakes City Beach.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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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.

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The Northwest Water Carnival's Junior Pageant ended on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, with four crowns being bestowed: From left, Junior King Elliot Rath, Junior Queen Madaline Lauinger, Junior Princess Eden Lindstrom and Junior Prince Brink Baker.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

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Five-year-old Dottie Kelly enjoyed her moment in the spotlight with emcee Alexis Kohler at the Northwest Water Carnival's Junior Pageant on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

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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.

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The Mighty Ducks proved to be just as mighty as expected in Tuesday night's Junior Tug-O-War competition, taking this year's Northwest Water Carnival title on July 12, 2022.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

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The J & K Marina team dug deep, but was unable to pull out the victory over T.S. Dock & Lift in the finals of the Northwest Water Carnival's Tug-O-War competition on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

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Competing shortly after taking the tire flip title, Fargo's Shafik Taban, right, was unable to overcome Detroit Lakes' Matt Smith, who took the title before going on to take second in the trolley pull.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

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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.

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Staying low to the ground rather than pulling from atop the giant tire proved to be the winning strategy for Frazee's Andy McRae, as he took first place in the trolley pull at the Nortwest Water Carnival's Strong Person Competition on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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