File photo
The ninth annual Fish House Festival will kick off Friday morning in front of the Cultural Center. Local artists will collaborate to paint a custom fish house.

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will be hosting the ninth annual Fish House Festival on Friday, July 7, with art, fishing, community and fun throughout the day, culminating in a raffle and live auction at 6:30 p.m.  

Artists begin painting in the street at 10 a.m., and family activities begin at 12 p.m. on Main Avenue in front of the Cultural Center and continue until 4 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., a raffle drawing and live auction will be held in front of the NYM Fire Hall on Centennial 84 Drive. 

Between 12-4 p.m., the public is invited to join us for artists painting in the street, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, games, vendors, fish cookie decorating, free “Art in Your Park” activities for kids, youth decoy painting at 1 p.m. ($5 fee, max 20 kids, please pre-register), the annual Decoy Show and Nature Art Exhibit inside the Gallery with Artist Reception 1-3 p.m., and live music by Darren Quam from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome and most activities are free for all to enjoy. 

The Cultural Center’s Fish House Festival is held in conjunction with the New York Mills Lund Mania fishing tournament and community celebration of Lund Boats 75th Anniversary in 2023. 

This year, one ice-fishing spear house will be painted by regional artists Cheryl Bannes of Wadena; John Peeters of NY Mills; Nancy X. Valentine of Underwood; and Patricia Ann Wahl of Fergus Falls. Other artists currently signed up to paint on the street include Noah Noffsinger and Paul Sparks; additional artists welcome. Artists receive 50 percent of the sales price for any items contributed to the live auction.

Raffle prizes include the artist-painted fish house, half-day guided fishing trip with PT’s Guide Service, John Peeters fish art, $50 Overflow Creative gift certificate, and Lund gear. Raffle tickets are just $10 with only 220 sold at the Cultural Center in NY Mills and Gene’s Sport Shop in Perham; or call the Cultural Center at 385-3339 to purchase.

Live auction items will include artist-painted fishhouse-style birdhouses, decoys, and more, including artists “quickdraw” paintings created that day on the street by local artists. The live auction by Perala Bros. Auctioneers begins at 6:30 p.m.; bid numbers will be available on July 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cultural Center and on Centennial Drive after 4:30 p.m. 

We are proud to feature three talented regional artists in this year’s annual Decoy & Nature Art Show in the Cultural Center Gallery: decoys by Howard Pfeil and Sandy Reed, and paintings by Tom Dimmock. A gallery reception will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, July 7, with an Artist Talk at 1:30 p.m. 

The Gallery show will be on display June 28-29. Gallery hours are Wednesday/Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; private tours available by contacting Cheryl at 385-3339 or Admission to the gallery is always free and open to all.

This event is made possible by an ongoing partnership with the National Fish Decoy Association, Decoy Eduation, and Rod Osvold; their invaluable support connects NY Mills with the country’s best decoy artists. 

This activity is also made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through an operating support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

For more information, call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339 or visit the Center’s website at