By Chad Koenen


If you see someone from Ottertail with an extra hop in their step this week it is for a good reason—OtterFest is back and better than ever. 

After hosting a slimmed down version of OtterFest last year, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ottertail Business and Community Association is planning a full day of events on Saturday for the annual Ottertail celebration.

“I think that’s the key this year, we are going to have a full day of events,” said OTBCA President Ron Grobeck. 

OtterFest actually kicks off on Friday night at 7 p.m. with the annual Ottertail Rod and Gun Club Demo Derby. The derby will feature cars and trucks in a number of categories, as well as plenty of food and drinks for people of all ages. The cost to attend the demo derby is $10 for adults and children 8 and under can attend for free.

On Saturday, OtterFest kicks into high gear as the day will begin with the pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m., before a vendor show begins later in the morning. Nick the Strolling Magician will be performing magic acts in the crowd from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., before he takes the stage for a special magic show from 12-1 p.m.

Inflatable rides and the classic car show will begin at 10 a.m.

One of the highlights of the weekend will kick off at 11 a.m. as the big parade rolls through the streets of downtown Ottertail. 

Beginning at 1 p.m. family games, bingo and face painting will get underway. At 2 p.m. the chicken poop bingo will be held and at 3:30 p.m. the only-in-Ottertail OtterWalk will give participants the opportunity to win one of a number of prizes. 

The pork and corn feed will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Slewfoot Family Band will perform from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

While the band hasn’t performed much in the past year, Grobeck said band members like the Ottertail community so much they are getting back together to put on a show near the community center. 

The live music will continue from 8-11 p.m. as the Woodshed Bar and Grill will be hosting Key J. John for a street dance. At dusk a large fireworks display will be held to help bring the day to a close.

In addition to all of the typical events in Ottertail, a historical group will be set up in the training room at the community center with a number of displays and articles about local non-profit groups, the local churches and the history of Ottertail. That event will be held throughout the day at the community center.