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Out and About - Lakes area alive with activity

The Awake the Lakes Ribfest had enough ribs for everyone. (Tara Bitzan/Echo Press)1 / 14
Erickson’s Petting Zoo was a hit with this young lady who enjoyed petting a rabbit. This gentleman donned his pig cap and came to the Awake the Lakes Ribfest to enjoy some lip-smackin’ good ribs.2 / 14
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Massman Automation Designs always turns heads with its unique grilling machine, on which it cooked up ribs for the Awake the Lakes Ribfest. (Tara Bitzan/Echo Press)5 / 14
Clockwise from top left: Andrew Rauk of Alexandria and his dad, Jason, put together a model car at the Vintage Car Club’s show Sunday. (Tara Bitzan/Echo Press)6 / 14
Car show attendees checked out the motor in this 1973 Chevrolet Camaro owned by Jim and Darla Brink of Carlos.7 / 14
The motor shone in this red 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 owned by Mike Jahnke of Parkers Prairie.8 / 14
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This young car show visitor admired a 1931 Chevrolet Rat Road pickup while munching on popcorn.10 / 14
Sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Friday Lakes Area Endurance races included a One-Mile Family Fun Run where children chased a runner dressed in a Cardinal suit, and a 5K (above) that drew 76 runners. The action continued Saturday with quarter-marathon and half-marathon races with 69 competitors. The races began and finished at the YMCA. For results, visit / 14
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Police Chief Chad Gulbranson taught First Responder President Craig Dropik how to properly use a Taser during the Taser demonstration.13 / 14
The warm weather drew a large crowd on Saturday to watch Chief Gulbranson get tased.14 / 14

Races, animals, cars, marching bands, parades and bones and bones and bones of mouth-watering ribs were all part of what turned out to be a huge weekend of fun in the Alexandria lakes area.

The annual Vikingland Band Festival, Osakis Festival and Vintage Car Club have long celebrated with their events on the last Sunday in June.

This year the all-new Awake the Lakes festival also moved to this weekend to round out a full schedule of fun.


The weather was a little iffy for the start of Saturday’s Awake the Lakes celebration when a couple of storms moved through but soon the sun was shining and the fun kicked into high gear.

“It was a huge success,” said Amy Hennessy, an Awake the Lakes board member. The event featured something for everyone, including kid-friendly activities such as a petting zoo and inflatables to bounce on.

The Ribfest was a lip-smacking success with enough ribs for everyone, Hennessy said. A secret panel of judges rated the ribs and selected the Alexandria Area Hockey Association as the winner of the amateur division; the Elks Club took home the professional division trophy.

Fourteen teams from fire departments throughout the area battled it out during the water fights. The open mic event was also a hit.

The band, Contention, put on a great performance for the street dance and a fireworks display, sponsored by Elden’s, capped off the evening with colorful explosions over Lake Agnes.

Do Awake the Lakes organizers plan to bring the event back next summer? “Absolutely,” said Hennessy. “We certainly hope to pair with Vikingland Band Festival and work together to make it a big weekend in Alexandria.”


Organizers said at least 1,000 people attended the 26th annual Vintage Car Club car show Sunday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Car fans showed up in force to gawk and swoon over the stellar classic vehicle collection – organizers said they also sold out of food during Sunday’s show.

There were about 220 cars on display, which is down a bit compared to past years, mostly due to the sketchy weather forecast Sunday, according to car club member Jerry Cline.

The forecast was a flop – Sunday’s weather was beautiful with sunshine and a refreshing summer breeze.


The 46th annual Osakis Festival brought community members and visitors together over the weekend for quality, small town fun.

From a salad luncheon to a Taser demonstration, the town was full of smiles and laughter as everyone welcomed the summer weather.

The biggest success was the Grand Parade on Sunday, which filled the streets of downtown Osakis with kids, candy and fun.