Lund Mania, Summer Celebration to get underway on Friday

File photo
The annual Boatville Drags will roll through downtown New York Mills on Friday afternoon.

By Tucker Henderson


The New York Mills Civic & Commerce is gearing up for Lund Mania/Summer Celebration, which is the annual summer festival held in cooperation with Lund Boats. Most of the staple activities will be present again this year as well as some new contributions by the organization.

“We are having Tripwire, a new regional band with a pretty big following,” said Latham Hetland, C&C president. “We’re also having a classic boat show in the bank parking lot on Friday throughout the day. It’s boats from the start of Lunds throughout the history of Lund Boats. We’re also going to have fishing lessons from 12-4 p.m. at Central Park in the southwest side of the park. Anybody who wants to know how to cast and reel—teaching them how to do that. Those are both things Lunds is putting on.”

This will also mark the ninth annual Fish House Festival as well which takes place during Lund Mania in front of the NY Mills Regional Cultural Center on Main Avenue.

“The artists, I think nine years ago, they didn’t necessarily recognize themselves as artists and now they do,” said Betsy Roder of the Cultural Center. “I’ve had some of them say, ‘Wow, until I saw my work in a gallery, I didn’t see it as art.’ So that’s great.”

Roder said the event is a way to promote new artists and celebrating their contributions to the community. This year, the fish house portion of the event will change slightly.

“We are changing it up a little bit in that we’re only doing one fish house this year and that will be the top raffle prize,” said Roder. “We’ll continue to have some decoys and wildlife art items, and we’re also doing bird houses that look like little fish houses and we’ll have artists paint those. It’s a fun family-friendly event.”

Artists are coming from throughout the county to paint the fish house this year. John Peeters will be the most local artist, while other artists will be coming from Wadena, Underwood and Fergus Falls to contribute their talents to the unique canvas.

The Cultural Center also thanked Ron Hamm and Rod Osvold, who have been instrumental in the Fish House Festival workings during the past nine years, for their contributions to the festival. Neither will be able to attend this year due to health issues.

“We’ll really miss having the two of them there,” said Roder. “We want to honor them and how much they’ve done for the festival over the years.”

Hetland encouraged people to come out to the festival and said that he has a few of his own favorite activities during the weekend.

“I really like the Boatville Drags, it’s always really entertaining and hilarious,” he said. “The energy that’s coming from the people that are participating is only matched by the energy of the crowd. It’s just such a unique event, you can’t find it anywhere else in the world. The fishing tournament results ceremony is really special too. These guys put in a lot of work. The way the event is put on is really intense too.”

The Boatville Drags will get underway at 4:30 p.m. near Central Park. 

This year, the Lund Mania Fishing Tournament will host 75 teams for the 75th anniversary of Lund Boats. The number of teams is up from 60 last year and from 50 the year before.

“There’s a lot of new things that we’re trying and we’re making it bigger and better and this is a really big year for this event,” said Hetland. “The rest of it got bigger because of that. It’s full, it’s been sold out, everything has been taken care of. It’s a pretty big amount of fishers.”

The annual parade at 7 p.m. will give Hetland a new perspective this year as he waves from the Class of 2013 float. He also mentioned that the parade will have three Grand Marshals this year.

“Buzzer and Ruth Koehler, we’re commending them for their history of being community leaders and what they’ve done in the community,” Hetland said. “We also have a second Grand Marshal—Doctor (Thomas) Seaworth is retiring, and he’s been a really great community member too. There’s a lot of history there.”

Other events on Friday include the great boat hunt beginning at 12 p.m., the free swim at Legried Community Pool from 1-5 p.m., kids events at Central Park at 4 p.m., Lund Mania fishing tournament results ceremony at 5:30 p.m. 

On Saturday the 3 on 3 basketball tournament will be held at the school beginning at 8 a.m.