Tenth annual event to be held near Cultural Center in NYM

Contributed photos
Decoy painting (above) and the annual fish house festival speer house painting (below) will once again highlight a busy day of activities near the Cultural Center. The fish house festival will feature a number of activities for children and adults of all ages.

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center is gearing up for its 10th annual Fish House Festival on Friday, July 12, with art, fishing, community, and fun throughout the day, culminating in a raffle drawing 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 NY Mills Fire Hall on Centennial 84 Drive. 

Between 12-4 p.m., the public is invited to join the 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 & Landscape Art Exhibit “Rural Heritage” inside the Gallery, and live music by Darren Quam from 1-3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend 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. Lund Mania activities begin on Centennial 84 Drive with Boatville Drags at 4:30 p.m., fishing tournament results at 5:30 p.m., live auction & raffle drawing at 6:30 p.m., parade at 7 p.m., and street dance to follow with live band Whiskey Business. There will also be kids activities, food vendors, a bouncy house, dunk tank, and more in Central Park throughout the evening.

This year, one ice-fishing spear house will be painted by regional artists. Currently confirmed artists include 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: Dawn Rossbach, Paul Sparks, Wayne Leaderbrand, Cheryl Bannes and Lindsay Kennedy; additional artists welcome. Artists receive 50 percent of the sales price for any items contributed to the live auction. Artists are also welcome to set up a booth and sell their own work.

Raffle prizes include the artist-painted fish house, half-day guided fishing trip with PT’s Guide Service, John Peeters fish painting on a paddle, $50 Overflow Creative gift certificate, and Lund Boats gear. Raffle tickets are just $10 with only 220 sold. Purchase tickets at the Cultural Center, F&M State Bank, Mills Liquors, and Gene’s Sport Shop in Perham; from any Cultural Center Board Member, or call the Cultural Center at 385-3339 to purchase.

Live auction items will include artist-painted bean bag boards, fish signs, decoys, and more. The live auction by Perala Bros. Auctioneers begins at 6:30 p.m.; bid numbers will be available at the Cultural Center in the days leading up to and during the Fish House Festival, and on Centennial Drive after 4:30 p.m. 

The Cultural Center is proud to feature two talented artists in this year’s annual Decoy/Landscape Gallery Show: decoys by Rick Whittier and paintings by Michelle Roise. The gallery will be open for attendees to visit during the Fish House Festival, and a gallery reception is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 1 from 5-7 p.m. 

The gallery show will be on display from July 2-August 3. Summer gallery hours are Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Private tours available by contacting Cheryl at 385-3339 or cheryl@kulcher.org. Admission to the gallery is always free and open to all.

The Fish House Festival is made possible by an ongoing partnership with the National Fish Decoy Association, Decoy Eduation, and Rod Osvold; their invaluable support connects us with the country’s best decoy artists. Thanks also to our main event sponsors, Lund Boats, Lumber Depot, and East Otter Tail Darkhouse & Angling Association, as well as PT’s Guide Service, Overflow Creative, and John Peeters for their raffle contributions. 

This activity is also made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Lake Region Arts Council and 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 www.kulcher.org.