Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.
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The youngest member of the Detroit Lakes Women's ONE-Hundred group has come up with a creative way to get more kids to join in with her. Maren Skadsem, age 11, got involved with Women's ONE-Hundred in its kickoff year of 2016, and she's continued to be the group's sole school-aged member. She realized at the end of last year that she wanted to help spread awareness of the charitable group amongst her peers, and ultimately recruit more girls her own age.
Hope Fest is returning for another round of family-friendly, faith-based entertainment in Detroit Lakes. In its eighth year, the three-day music festival runs Friday through Sunday, July 20-22. The dates were pushed back into July this year, after last year's June event suffered from bitter cold and rain. "Everybody was out there with blankets and was buying hot chocolate," recalls Aleisa Jopp, a leading organizer of Hope Fest. "So they changed it to July in hopes that it would be warmer."
It's the Minnesota version of an African safari. A friendly tour guide in a khaki adventure vest greets you, and you load yourself, your camera and your bug spray into your safari vehicle, a light grey Dodge minivan. You head out on your expedition, all set to tour the Great Outdoors of Lakes Country, hoping to catch a peek at wild animals in their natural habitats.
When Brady Labine traveled to Colorado Springs, Col., a couple years back to assist with cleanup efforts following the 2013 Black Forest Fire—one of the state's most massive and destructive fires in history—he didn't realize just how much the experience would impact him.
From the very first Habitat 500 Bike Ride Dave Peterson joined in on 10 years ago, there've been unforgettable moments for him and his family. On the first and second nights of his first-ever ride, he recalls, "I watched my son Josh and (another rider) Mariah start to notice one another... which moved into riding together by the third day. This blossomed into their marriage a few years later!" Josh and Mariah have since ridden together in the Habitat 500 on several occasions.
After Crystal Bliss and her daughter, Taylor, traveled to Peru on a missions trip in 2011, they couldn't wait to go back and see more sites. So the following year, in June of 2012, they made a second trip, this time making a vacation out of it, and also making sure to see the site they were most curious about—one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. "It was such an amazing trip," Crystal recalls today. "It was a wonderful experience."
Phillip Rotz fears for his family's future in dairy farming. His small 55-cow farm, Twin Oaks Dairy near Dunvilla, has been around for about 45 years. Rotz and his brother took it over from their parents and now run it together. They're both married and have four children each, so the farm is supporting 14 people. As Rotz says, "That's a lot of people to support with 55 cows."
New northwestern Minnesota royalty will reign after the Miss Northwest 2018 Scholarship Pageant in Detroit Lakes on Saturday. The pageant will also usher in a new era after Saturday, following the example of the Miss America pageant and saying farewell to its swimsuit competition. The Miss Northwest Pageant started in 1935 and has been held every summer since, always during the Northwest Water Carnival in Detroit Lakes. A Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen Pageant was added in 2012.
This year's Music on the Mountain fundraiser is Detroit Mountain Recreation Area's first sold-out event. Featuring the hit-making country music duo Big & Rich — of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" fame — this year's Music on the Mountain sold all 2,500 available tickets by this Monday morning, according to Jeff Staley, general manager at Detroit Mountain.
Detroit Lakes' annual Northwest Water Carnival is one of Minnesota's longest-running festivals. Now in its 83rd year, the multi-day celebration of all things wet and wonderful is one of the Lakes Area's premier summer events. But according to a brief history on the Water Carnival website, it wasn't always that way. "The first Water Carnival was held in 1935," the site states. "It took several years to become established, and was even cancelled in 1937."