Easter Fun Day, aeromodelers show drew big crowds to Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall
The 21st Annual Aeromodelers Swap and Show might have been a big draw on its own — but this year, it coincided with the Washington Square Mall's Easter Fun Day on Saturday, April 1.
DETROIT LAKES — The Washington Square Mall was the place to be in Detroit Lakes this past Saturday, April 1, as the mall hosted not just one, but two big events: Easter Fun Day and the 21st Annual Aeromodelers Swap and Show.
Easter Fun Day, which was held between 9:30 and 11:30 that morning, included a "make and take" crafting event at Detroit Lakes Floral and a cupcake decorating event at La Barista. There was also a free screening of the 2022 animated feature, "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile" at the mall's movie theater, Cinemagic Cinema 7.
"I would say we had about 250 kids, and then you have to add in the adults," said Washington Square Mall Manager Dawn Livdahl. "La Barista had (made) 400 cupcakes, and they sold out."
The crowds that showed up for the pre-Easter event also enjoyed taking in the Aeromodelers Swap and Show, which was celebrating its 21st year at the mall. Unfortunately, the number of entries at the show was down a bit from previous years due to the weather, according to Paul Johnson, one of the event's organizers.
"We had 20 entries," said Johnson, noting that "about half" of the pilots who signed up had brought multiple planes. "It went better than we expected considering the weather. We had the tables and exhibit spaces filled."
Heavy snowfall in other areas of the state, as well as intermittently icy roads, caused those who would normally come from Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Bismarck or other distant communities to stay home this year, Johnson noted.
In a typical year, about 35-40 pilots would register for the show, and usually, they would even bring other types of remote-controlled or control-line vehicles, like cars, boats, etc. This year, however, the entries were mainly planes, Johnson said.
"You never really know what you're going to get from one year to the next," he added.
Johnson said that the reason why the show is usually held in Detroit Lakes — which does not currently have an aeromodelers club — is that it's a "central hub" for the clubs in the area, including Perham (which he belongs to), Park Rapids, Fergus Falls, Alexandria and Fargo.
"This is the first year that the weather has had any kind of impact on us, so we've been pretty lucky," he added.