The warm days of summer are here! We are ready to celebrate here at Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, with a season full of events and festivals! Join the fun as Detroit Lakes celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2021 with 150 individually decorated sailboats that you may discover as you stroll around our community.
DL Cruise Night
We are revved up for a big summer. Just check out the 200-plus buffed and shiny vintage automobiles parked along West Lake Drive or the City Park by Detroit Lakes City Beach. Five blocks of these beauties are a reminder of yesteryear. Don’t zoom past the cars—the lake breeze is a pleasure unto itself. When your stomach roars louder than a muffler, it’s time to head to the many bars and grills serving up pizza, burgers and more. DL Cruise Night is held from 4 to 8:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month June through September.
Tunes and Chow in City Park
The outdoors are certainly in these days, making the Detroit Lakes City Park a must-visit. From June through August, the Detroit Lakes City Park bandshell attracts a lawn chair-toting crowd each Tuesday at 7 pm to appreciate an evening of outdoor music. Hungry for more? Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm Trucks and Tunes warms you up with bands and food truck chow. Find them at the City Park Bandshell June 16 and 30, July 14 and 28, August 18 and September 1.
Northwest Water Carnival
For 86 years, the Detroit Lakes Jaycees have rolled up their sleeves each July to host 10 days of Water Carnival events. The schedule of events kicks off Friday, July 8, and concludes with the region’s largest parade at 1 pm on Sunday, July 17. Family-friendly activities include everything from sandcastle building on the Detroit Lakes City Beach, bike tours, beach soccer and airport fly-in to tug of war, water fights and beanbag tournaments. The two-night Bash on the Beach will be a chance to dance away all of our anxieties. The festivities wouldn’t be complete without the grand-finale parade along Washington Avenue on Sunday, July 17.
Outdoor Craft Shopping
The arts scene is certainly not going to be left out of the fun. Two annual summer events celebrate the art of the matter. Street Faire at the Lakes kicks off the crafty season on Friday and Saturday June 3 and 4. Set up on six blocks of Washington Avenue and side streets, more than 100 vendors display handmade crafts and foods. Try a new dish in the food court and relish the flavor at a picnic table while a live band entertains you. There’s a beer garden for adults and activities for the kiddos.
Slip on your sundress or shorts with flip-flops and head to the shady Detroit Lakes City Park Sunday, July 24, for Art in the Park, where crafters set up 100 booths for you to find handmade treasures. The City Park is located next to the City Beach. While you stroll through the park, your kids will be entertained on the playground and find festival foods to munch on.
It’s Fair Time
Cotton candy. Animal exhibitor buildings. Tilt-A-Whirl. Tractor parade. For decades, families have flocked to the fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes for the annual Becker County Fair. This year’s event, which runs July 27 through 30, will be no different. In its 128th year, the fair is pulling rabbits out of its many hats with magic shows, a fashion revue and all sorts of other entertainment under the big tent. But wait, there’s more—with animal attractions (including real bunnies!) and livestock exhibitions. This is sure to be a barnyard of fun!
Fun for You in ‘22
Are you ready to dance the nights away? The WE Fest Country Music and Camping Festival is back Aug. 4 through 6! The event features Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan for a star-studded lineup, plus more than a dozen other country artists performing over the three days. Take the convenient ride out to Soo Pass Ranch just south of Detroit Lakes by riding the shuttle when you park at the Fairgrounds. It will be days of camping, music, food, vendors, friends and fun.
Drums and Dancers
Celebrate local culture and heritage with dancers in colorful regalia and spirited drummers at the White Earth Pow Wow June 11 and 12 at White Earth. Before the summer wanes, the Pine Point Pow Wow is held at Ponsford August 13 and 14. Pow Wow grand entries are held on Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check out the Rez Car Parade Sunday morning at the Pine Point Pow Wow.
Tri With All Your Might!
The annual Young Life Triathlon launches into the waters of Little Detroit Lake at the City Beach Saturday, Aug. 20. Hundreds of participants spend the morning swimming, running and biking to the finish line. If you’re looking to get your feet wet, try the sprint course with a 500-meter swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run. Or look into the stand-up paddleboard and kayak division if you feel swimming-challenged. Make it fun with friends by entering the relay team challenge. Feeling confident? The long course is for you. The 1.5K swim is followed by a 40K bike ride and 10K run. Tired just by reading all of that? Feel free to just cheer on the participants!
Fans will be back to cheer on the 2022 Ojibwe Forests Rally August 19 and 20. Teams speed through free flowing stage roads in the forest. Headquartered at the Soo Pass Ranch (home of WE Fest), view the action on the live stream after snatching your favorite merchandise, food and beverages. Make a weekend of it with camping opening on Thursday. This fast rally is fun to drive and to watch!
No matter what your tastes for food or fun, Detroit Lakes is the place to be this summer!