Osakis Festival ends with a parade and water fight

Osakis ended its weekend-long festivities on Sunday, June 20 with a parade and water fight that ended with Carlos Fire Department taking the win against a local family and two-retired firemen.

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Participants at the Oskais festival parade gather candy as they are tossed on June 20, 2021. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)

The Osakis Festival wrapped up its events on Sunday, June 20, with a parade followed by its annual water fight hosted by the Osakis Fire Department.

The water fight is usually fought between the Osakis Fire Department and other fire departments from the area. However, this year it was opened up to local businesses to compete against each other.

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Two teams battle at the Osakis Festival water fight on June 20, 2021. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)

The Bowling Barn and Grill, Osakis Creamery, Osakis Visitor Center, Howard’s Handcrafted Furniture, Osakis First Responders, Carlos Fire Department, and the Osakis Fire Department all took part in the water battle this year. The Carlos Fire Department took the win against Howard’s Handcrafted Furniture in a double elimination battle.


When asked what the strategy was before the final battle, Howard Swenstad of Howard’s Handcrafted Furniture simply said, “To win.”

Howard’s Furniture put up a tough fight against Carlos’ two-person team, Parker Sukke and T.J. Carlson, but Carlos prevailed in the end.

Howard’s team was lead by Swenstad, who is a retired Osakis firefighter with 26 years of firefighting service under his belt. Accompanying Swenstad was his son Kyle Swenstad, who joined the Osakis Fire Department almost a month ago, his daughter Kristie Swenstad and retired Osakis firefighter Chad Mathews, who also has 26 years of service with the Osakis Fire Department.

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Retired Osakis firefighter and his children participated in the annual water fight on Sunday, June 20, 2021, at the latter end of the Osakis Festival. From left, Kristie Swenstad, Howard Swenstad, and Kyle Swenstad. Howard retired with 26 years of service, and his son, Kyle, recently joined the Osakis Fire Department. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)


Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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