Over the last 10 days, lakes area residents and visitors have dodged water balloons, raced through the streets on mattresses, competed in athletic challenges and--of course--swooned over musician Frankie Ballard.
The 82nd Annual Northwest Water Carnival officially came to an end this weekend, culminating in a final three days packed with activities.
Bed Races took over City Park on Friday as teams competed for the trophy and onlookers cheered from the sideline (or the beer garden).
In the end, the "Backpack Brigade" overtook a team from Bremer Bank, becoming a three-time Bed Races champ.
The Kiwanis team was recognized for raising the most money.
"This seems like more work than usual," remarked a member of the Bremer Bank team, which did end up taking home the trophy for "Best Spirit."
On Saturday, the Carnival kicked off early, with participants taking part in the Neon Fun Run and the Chili Cook-Off right away in the morning.
Kids' games, a softball tournament, the Pet Show, the Pet & Doll Parade, a sand volleyball tournament and a bean bag tournament kept carnival-goers entertained throughout the remainder of the day as they awaited the annual Bash on the Beach celebration.
Pontoons lined the shore and excited fans closed in on the stage later that night, as country music singer Frankie Ballard began crooning into the microphone.
For many, it was the first Ballard concert they'd attended--but for two superfans from Minneapolis, Ballard was no stranger.
Jacquelyn Bullert and Joni Pohl, both of whom lived in Fargo prior to moving to Minneapolis, leaned eagerly over the fence as they awaited Ballard's entrance.
"This is my 97th time seeing him," Bullert said, "and it's her 78th time. He's one of the sweetest people on the planet."
Pohl agreed, adding, "Plus, he puts on one of the best live shows ever."
The following morning--after an especially late night, as Ballard's concert wrapped up around 11:30 p.m.--concert-goers recovered with the KC Pancake Breakfast and children snatched tootsie rolls from the pavement during the Parade of the Northwest.
All in all, another successful year of the Northwest Water Carnival is in the books--and next year's admirals are already beginning to plan the next one.