The Detroit Lakes Jaycees have been putting on the annual Northwest Water Carnival since they organized as a chapter in 1935. The Water Carnival, now in it's 70th year, is one of the longest running festivals in the State. It has become one of the premier summer events in the lakes area, and includes a wide range of activities for the whole family.
The first Water Carnival was held in 1935. It took several years to become established, and was even cancelled in 1937. However, it has been held every year since then. From its humble beginnings, the Water Carnival has grown to be as much as an 11-day affair with more than 60 events. In its current format, it will be an 8-day event, beginning Sunday, July 10th, with the Water Carni-follies Production at the Historical Holmes Theater, and conclude on Sunday, July 17th with everybody's favorite The Parade of the Northwest. The approximately 30 members of the Detroit Lakes Jaycees, led by the "Admiral", work hard all year planning and coordinating the many events, from the Water Fights to the Miss Northwest Pageant to the demolition derby, culminating with the annual Parade of the Northwest.
After the Parade, the Jaycees traditionally gather by the Pavilion to find out who will be the next year's Admiral. The Admiral is the person selected by the previous year's Jaycee President to be in charge of the festival, delegating responsibilities to various chairpersons and making the final decisions. The identity of the new Admiral is kept secret until after the Parade, and is the subject of much speculation by Jaycees past and present. Come enjoy the Water Carnival, and join with us after the Parade to welcome the new Admiral and celebrate another successful Water Carnival!