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Overview

The broad band of countryside between Minnesota's northern and southern reaches exemplifies middle-America. Each of the towns has its annual celebrations — Turkey Days in Frazee, the Turtle Festival in Perham, Alexandria's Vikingland Band Festival, Northwest Water Carnival and "WE Fest" country music extravaganza in Detroit Lakes. Auction sales, farmers' markets, church suppers, weekly bingo games and street dances dominate community events calendars. The quiet beauty of the lake country has attracted a larger than usual share of artists and artisans, whose wares are on display both nationally and in some out-of-the-ordinary places. The ...

The broad band of countryside between Minnesota's northern and southern reaches exemplifies middle-America. Each of the towns has its annual celebrations — Turkey Days in Frazee, the Turtle Festival in Perham, Alexandria's Vikingland Band Festival, Northwest Water Carnival and "WE Fest" country music extravaganza in Detroit Lakes. Auction sales, farmers' markets, church suppers, weekly bingo games and street dances dominate community events calendars. The quiet beauty of the lake country has attracted a larger than usual share of artists and artisans, whose wares are on display both nationally and in some out-of-the-ordinary places. The world-class Forest Edge Gallery is located in a meadow about five miles northwest of the little town of Vergas. Artists and artisans around Ottertail and Battle Lake designate area-wide open studio days. Works created by émigrés from the former Soviet Union, Somalia, Bosnia, Mexico and Vietnam are sold in Pelican Rapids gift shops. In July, the annual Phelps Mill Art Festival 15 miles northwest from Battle Lake attracts artists from a multi-state area. Though fishing for walleyes, northerns and bass is still part of lake life, on the more highly populated lakes, aluminum fishing boats have given way to 12-passenger pontoons as more and more cottages have grown to mega-mansions.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May through Labor Day