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101 Fun Things To Do In Douglas County

101 Fun Things To Do In Douglas County

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Published by Echo Press
Looking for something to do in or around Douglas County, Minnesota? Whether you are a year-round resident of Douglas County, an Alexandria snowbird, or just visiting or vacationing in the Lakes Area, this handy guide can provide you with 101 fun-filled ideas for year-round activities!
Looking for something to do in or around Douglas County, Minnesota? Whether you are a year-round resident of Douglas County, an Alexandria snowbird, or just visiting or vacationing in the Lakes Area, this handy guide can provide you with 101 fun-filled ideas for year-round activities!

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Published by: Echo Press on Apr 30, 2012
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101 fun

IN DOUGLAS COUNTY

things to DO
An Echo Press Publication Spring 2012

Stop Shop One
We are your for all your needs!

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2 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

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01 things to DO 1 fun
index
Give go-karts a go......................4 Bowl a few frames.....................4 See an AAAA production ..........4 Stop and smell the roses...........5 Sing and dance ..........................5 Go horseback riding ...................5 Pick up a good book ...................6 Bait a hook and hit the lake.......6 Get to know our 300 lakes.........6 Shop ‘til you drop.......................6 Savor some pie and coffee........6 Smash/crash at demo derby .....7 Take a bike tour..........................7 Attend an auction ......................7 Go to the fair ..............................7 Tour a manufacturing facility.....7 Drive a go-kart, make a splash..8 See the Runestone.....................8 Tour the spirit distillery..............8 Sharpen your marksmanship.....8 Tour the Silk Stocking District ...8 Go sledding ................................8 Rent a kayak...............................9 Experience live radio theater.....9 Climb Inspiration Peak...............9 Enjoy free summer concerts....10 Step back in time .....................10 Picnic at Park Osagi .................10 Start wining..............................10 Learn something new..............11 Tube the Long Prairie River......11 Kick up your heels....................11 Enjoy Art in the Park ................13 Visit a ‘niche’ boutique ............13 Hike at Spruce Hill Park...........13 Attend a concert .....................13 Build an igloo ...........................13 Take a scuba diving class ........13 Take a shot at hunting .............13 Visit a petting zoo ....................16 Make homemade ice cream....16 Paint a landscape.....................16 Rent a movie and get cozy ......16 Try your hand at bowfishing....16 Visit Our Lady of the Hills........16 Explore the area by foot ..........16 Learn at the terrace garden.....17 Embrace area history...............17 Visit the Maritime Museum ....17 Watch vintage snowmobiles ..22 Pick some fresh berries ...........22 Visit Runestone Park................22 Challenge friends to disc golf .22 Rev up for a stock car race......22 Check out Farmer’s Market......22 Attend outdoor worship...........23 Socialize at church bazaar.......23 Ooh and aah on 4th of July .....23 Attend a summer festival........23 Feed ducks at Noonan Park.....23 Treasure hunt for antiques ......23 See state park by candelight...23 Gear up ‘fore’ golf....................24 Take in Blizzard hockey game..24 Play with your pooch ...............24 Visit Lake Carlos State Park ....24 Browse classic boats...............25 Bike/blade Central Lakes Trail 25 Show/swap vintage vehicles..25 Visit a local art gallery.............26 Attend a play at TLHD .............26 Go to garage sales...................26 Take family photos...................26 Achieve balance with pilates..26 Cast off in fishing tourney .......26 Adopt a furry new friend .........27 Enjoy scenic motorcycle ride...27 Get informed ............................27 Pitch a tent ...............................27 See a movie..............................27 Simulate your golf game .........27 Rent a pontoon.........................29 Try geocaching .........................29 Ice skate at Noonan Park.........29 Become a volunteer.................29 Take the Polar Plunge ..............30 Shop historic downtown .........30 Jumps, grinds and rails ...........30 Hit the slopes ...........................31 Scream for ice cream...............31 Lose yourself in a used book...31 Relax at Chippewa Park ..........31 Take in a baseball game..........34 Cruise the DATA trails..............34 Make a splash at waterpark ...35 Hunt upland game ...................35 Tap your toes at band fest.......35 Find fine dining ........................36 Sign up for softball ..................36 Become a beach bum ..............36 Rent a personal watercraft .....36

A pubication of the Echo Press. Alexandria, MN To advertise, call 320.763.3133 Jody Hanson Publisher Tara Bitzan Special Projects Editor Nichole Roell Graphic Designer

online at www.echopress.com
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 3

Give go-karts a go

Bowl a few frames
There is time to spare. Bowling is a great way to have fun and spend time with family and friends. The local lanes provide plenty of options for both the serious and recreational bowlers. Set up the bumpers for the kids, spend a night in competition with friends, gather with coworkers, or celebrate that special occasion at the local bowling alley. It is sure to be a strike.

1 2

Check out the miniature racing action at the weekly go-kart races held Friday nights all summer long at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. These youngsters will wow you with their driving expertise and amaze you with their speed!

See a stage production at AAAA
Check out the local talent on stage at the Alexandria Area Arts Association in downtown Alexandria. The AAAA presents four productions a year – fall, Christmas, winter and spring. All are comprised of local talent in the cast and crew. There are also several other productions and concerts held at AAAA Theatre throughout the year.

3

Over

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Stop and smell the roses

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…and the lilacs and the daisies and the petunias. And while you’re at it, see some gorgeous greenery, all during the Tour of Gardens sponsored by the Douglas County Master Gardeners. Held every July, this tour features about six local gardens, and is a must-do for anyone who enjoys the beauty of a well-kept garden.

Sing and dance the night away
Go out for a night on the town! Douglas County features lots of options for the night owls. Many local establishments feature karaoke, bands or DJs, pool or dart tournaments and more for a fun evening painting the town red.

Spend the day horseback riding

6

Spend the day horseback riding. Local stables can provide you with a horse and scenic trails and you can take a leisurely, relaxing ride through the countryside.

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101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 5

Pick up a good book

Bait a hook and hit the lake
Fishing might just be the most popular activity in the Alexandria lakes area. The lakes are swimming with panfish, Minnesota’s favorite big-game species – the muskie, walleyes, northern pike, bass and others. Area lakes have every kind of fish to angle for. There are plenty of guiding opportunities available also for those who may need some help finding the hottest spots.

7 8

Pick up a good book at a local bookstore or the library and head to a shady spot under a tree and read the day away. Or park yourself at the beach while you soak up some sun while reading. Ahhhh, summer in Minnesota!

Get to know our 300 lakes
Get to know the county’s lakes – all 300 of them. Grab a map and take a scenic drive around each and every lake. Yes, it will take more than a day if you want to drive around them all!

9

Shop ‘til you drop
Head to the shopping mall! There’s something for everyone at the local mall. Even if you aren’t a shopper there is plenty to do there. The mall welcomes mall walkers, and also offers numerous special displays and events throughout the year.

10

Savor some pie and coffee

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Need a jolt of java and some stimulating conversation? Not to mention some delicious baked treats? There are hometown cafes with home-baked pies, branded coffee shops, and restaurants galore in Douglas County to meet where you can indulge in a chat session, a piece of pie and a cup of coffee.

6 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Smash and crash at the demo derby
Are you a demolition derby fan? Then don’t miss the demo derbies held at the Viking Speedway in Alexandria in mid-August during the county fair. They promise lots of banging, slamming, scraping and fun!

12

Take a bike tour

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Spend a day taking in the sights from the seat of a bike! Don’t have one? No worries – there are local establishments that have bike rentals available. Find one that suits you and pedal off for a day of stress reducing exercise while enjoying the sights nature has to offer.

Attend an auction
It’s a great way to score a deal on a wide variety of treasures – everything from vintage knickknacks to classic furniture, antiques to home décor, and so much more.

Go to the fair
There’s nothing that says summer like the county fair! The Douglas County Fair is set for August 16-19 at the fairgrounds in Alexandria. There you’ll find exhibits and displays, performances, animals, carnival games, rides, stock car racing, demolition derbies, a tractor pull, and an endless array of great food!

Tour an area manufacturing facility
Douglas County is a manufacturing mecca, and many of the industries are more than happy to open their doors and show you what they do.
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101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 7

Drive a go-kart and make a splash

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Have some fun at a local amusement park. The many activities at these parks provide hours of entertainment for all ages. From go-karts and bumper boats to mini golf and batting cages, amusement parks offer plenty of fun throughout the summer months.

See the Runestone
See the famed Kensington Runestone at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria. Decide for yourself – is the controversial runestone real or is it a fake? While there, be sure to view the other indoor displays, let your kids dress up in some vintage attire, and then step outside to visit the historic buildings in Fort Alexandria.

Tour the spirit distillery
Take a tour of the first legal whiskey and spirit distillery in Minnesota – right in Osakis! The area’s lush golden corn, crisp clear water and tall white oaks are the perfect combination for quality small batch whiskey and distilled spirits!

Sharpen your marksmanship

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Sharpen your marksmanship at a shooting park. The local shooting parks offer plenty of opportunity for those looking to perfect their aim before hunting season or just have fun on the range. Shooting sports offer people of all ages, sizes and abilities the chance to succeed, with a little practice.

Tour the Silk Stocking District
Take a guided tour of Alexandria’s historic “Silk Stocking” District. Learn about the architecture of the historic homes in one of the prestigious neighborhoods of Alexandria’s past, as well as about the residents of those homes and their ties to the city’s history.

Go sledding
Go sledding at Kensington Runestone Park. The park is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and has a toboggan hill and warming house. Take Highway 27 west of Alexandria about 13 miles, turn left on County Road 103 and go about one mile.

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8 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Rent a kayak

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Rent a kayak and paddle around Lake Agnes. Located at the heart of Alexandria, this little lake was named in honor of the girlfriend of one of the town’s earliest settlers, William Kinkead.

Experience live radio theater
Attend a live taping of a radio theater performance at Lakes Area Theatre. Shows are performed before a live studio audience, recorded and played on the radio. Live performances are Fridays at 7 p.m. On-air performances can be heard on KXRA 1490 AM on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and through a live stream on the website, www.kxra.com.

Climb Inspiration Peak
Climb Inspiration Peak and marvel at the view overlooking Douglas County. At 1,706 feet, it’s the highest point in the area and one of the tallest peaks in Minnesota. It offers a captivating view any time of the year. It is part of what is known as the Leaf Hills, which are the greatest development of glacial moraines in Minnesota.

25

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101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 9

Enjoy free summer concerts
Enjoy free summer concerts on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn on Thursdays at 7 p.m. beginning May 24 for 15 weeks, sponsored by the Red Willow Arts Coalition. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and get ready for an awesome lineup of great musicians this summer.

26

Step back in time

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Spend a day back in time at the Evansville Historical Foundation. Check out the log cabin, dug-out house, original school house and replica pioneer church, as well as the thousands of historical artifacts on display throughout all of the buildings. The little town is big on history. It will be worth the trip.

Picnic at Park Osagi
Have a picnic at Park Osagi along the southern shore of Lake Osakis. The park is located on Lake Street and it’s easy to get to. The scenic park has a lot to offer: check out the playground, fishing, picnic shelters, basketball court, shady spots to sit and open area for games. A restroom is also on site.

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Start wining

29

Check out a local winery and learn more about wine making in Minnesota. Not only can you get a tour of the vineyards and orchards, but you can enjoy some samples of wine made right here in Douglas County. There are several activities and events to take part in as well.

10 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Learn something new

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Learn. Engage. Do. Lots of fun learning, workshops, tours and special events for all ages are offered through community education programs year around. Learn about film, art, storytelling, music, history, tours, gardening, cooking and culinary arts, exercise, active living in the great outdoors, and much more!

Tube the Long Prairie River
Float down the Long Prairie River on a tube. This is the perfect way to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Load up the air mattresses or inner tubes and a cooler, and jump in the slow-moving river with friends and family for a memorable summer adventure.

Kick up your heels
Kick up your heels at a summer street dance. Lots of communities in the area – Brandon, Garfield, Evansville, Forada, Miltona, Osakis– all have summer festivals, many of which include a toe-tapping street dance.

SUMMER FUN! Learning & Special Events
• Kids & Adults • Film • Music • Trips & Tours • Art • History • Hobbies • Story • Cooking • Active Living in the Great Outdoors
Check out what Community Education has to offer at

www.alexandria.K12.mn.us/ce

320-762-3310 ext. 4270
Follow us on Facebook at Alexandria Community Education

101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 11

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225 7th Ave. E. Alexandria, MN 320.763.3133 echopress.com

Enjoy Art in the Park

33 34 35 36 37

Held each July, the event is sponsored by the Alexandria Area Arts Association and features local and regional artists displaying their wares at Alexandria City Park. There is also a variety of music and food. See you July 28 and 29!

Visit a ‘niche’ boutique
If you’re looking for something special and a little out of the ordinary, visit a specialized boutique in the lakes area. There are several shops that offer items like clothing, jewelry, tuxedos, lefse, bikes, knickknacks and more. The area’s downtown is a great place to shop for something unique!

Hike the trails of Spruce Hill Park
Spend a day hiking the trails and taking in all nature and Douglas County history have to offer at historic Spruce Hill Park. This 97-acre park is located at the site that was once the village of Spruce Hill. The village was vacated in the early 20th century, but remnants of it are still evident today through depressions in the ground and old building foundation pieces.

Attend a concert
Attend a series of high quality concerts through the Central Lakes Concert Association. CLCA, formed in 1983, sponsors several concerts a year for season ticket holders from September to April. Members can attend all the concerts in Alexandria, plus concerts in five nearby communities, for a minimal membership fee.

Build an igloo
Most of us have built a snowman at some point. Why not try building an igloo? Amaze your kids with your building know-how while teaching them what could be a life-saving skill. It’s a great way to have fun in the snow, which we seem to have plenty of in this area.

Take a scuba diving class

38

Douglas County lakes are good for more than just fishing. They also offer a great opportunity for those looking to explore what’s below the surface. The Alexandria area has instructors who offer courses for those looking to become scuba certified.

Take a shot at hunting
It’s a hunter’s haven in Douglas County. From ducks, geese, pheasants, grouse and turkey to deer and coyotes…there’s plenty of game to satisfy the avid hunters.
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 13

39

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101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 15

Visit a petting zoo

40

Meet all kinds of interesting animals – pygmy goats and their kids, sheep, miniature horses, llamas, potbelly pigs, rabbits and cats. Feathered friends can be met too – ducks, chickens, geese, peacocks, pheasants, pigeons and doves. You find all this variety at the next best thing to grandpa’s farm – a petting zoo. You can visit any time of the year and even get a chance for a little hands-on experience.

Make homemade ice cream
Yum! There’s nothing better than the taste of homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. If you’ve never tried it, now is a good time to learn. It’s a fun activity to do together as a family – and you can all enjoy the results together.

41

Paint a landscape
Paint! Not your house, but one of the many beautiful landscapes Douglas County has to offer. Set up an easel, gather some paints and let the artist in you escape. Galleries in the area may give you the opportunity to display your work.

42

Rent a movie and get cozy

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Rent a movie for a quiet, cozy evening in. Sometimes you just want to stay home, and there’s nothing like renting an old movie classic, popping some popcorn and snuggling in with your loved ones for a quiet evening.

Try your hand at bowfishing
This sport has taken off over the past couple years. It is inexpensive and easy to equip an old or new bow with all the accessories you need to hunt for rough fish that all the local lakes have. The best time to bowfish is in the spring when the fish are spawning in the shallow water near shore.

Visit Our Lady of the Hills
Visit Our Lady of the Hills during a drive through the country roads near Millerville. This shrine of the Virgin Mary was erected by a local resident in response to answered prayers for healing. The cement and steel statue stands 22 feet tall and weighs 4,500 pounds.

Explore the area by foot
The Active Living Douglas County group created walking maps of Alexandria and Osakis and they’re available in the area free of charge. Pick one up, lace up your walking shoes and explore the historic sites and points of interest in these towns.

16 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Learn at the terrace garden

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Check out the Terrace Learning Garden by the Douglas County Services Center. This garden is a labor of love, created and maintained by the Douglas County Master Gardeners.

Embrace area history
Learning about history is always time well spent. Tour the historic Knute Nelson house and visit the Douglas County Historical Society. Organized in 1976, the mission of the society is to discover, preserve and disseminate the history of the county and its people. The society is located in the historic home of one of Alexandria’s most famous residents – Knute Nelson. Nelson served in public office for more than 50 years. His home was built in 1874 and was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1978.

Visit the Maritime Museum
Tour the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, which celebrates the area’s lake traditions and legacies. It is dedicated to the preservation of antique and classic watercraft, resort memorabilia and sporting equipment used on Minnesota lakes. The museum is located on 3rd Avenue West in downtown Alexandria. The season runs from May 15 to October 15.

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18 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

115 6th Ave. E, Downtown Alexandria • 320-759-2277

your local dining guide

C
located at the

lakeside inn

het’s
110 30th Avenue West • 320.763.7763
[across from Cinema 9 & Viking Plaza Mall]

Our same Family serving the ur s “Bes “Bes st “Best to the Best” Since 1953 Famous Sw ous • Famous Swedish Chicken • Prime Rib •Fresh Wa ley a alleye Walleye •Soup n’ Salad Bar • Cocktails OPEN Monday & Wed-Sat at 5 Sundays at 11 • Closed Tues.

Facebook.com/Chet’s “ChickenShack” Just a short drive— Near Miltona! Just off Hwy. 29 on Co. Rd. 102, W Side of Lake Irene

HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS
Everyday 3-6 pm & 9pm-Close. L u n c h s p e c i a l s M o n d a y - F r i d a y.

218-943-2471 • 320-760-5639

w w w.

b e n n i g a n s .com

Rudy’s Redeye Grill has been noted as having the best steak in town. We know you will also enjoy our Walleye, Pasta, and Sandwiches, or take a look at our full menu. Also don’t forget our famous pizzas & every Wednesday Pasta Bar!

Restaurant Restaurant
320-763-7712

Saloon
Downtown Alexandria

Karoke Friday Nights DJ Saturday Nights

Renovated Old Burlington Train Depot overlooking Lake Agnes. •Large Menu •Salad Bar • Pizza - The Best in the Area •Dine In or On the Deck • Full Loung, TV’s, Pool Tables & Games •DJ Thurs-Sat Nights •Large Groups Welcome • Full Catering Available
Reservations recommended, but not a must! See you at the Depot!
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 19

Alexandria, MN • Call 320-763-9983

your local dining guide

Since 1925, Alexandria’s Recommended Family Dining
Open 7 Days a Week Breakfast served All Day

OPEN DAILY FOR LUNCH
HOURS: Sun.-Thurs. 11am-1am Fri. & Sat. 11am-2am

Visit us at travelersinncafe.com
• Full Menu from Omlettes & Pancakes, to Walleye & Prime Rib • Known for Great Breakfasts... Egg Dishes, Omelettes, Pancakes, Waffles and Biscuits & Gravy • Breakfast Specials Mon - Sat until 10 AM • Home-made Soups & Daily Specials • Deli Sandwiches – Area’s Best Salad Bar • Caramel Rolls & Home Made Pies 511 Broadway - Historic Downtown - 320-763-4000

2 for 1 Happy Hour
Mon-Thurs 3-6 & 9-11 • Fri 9-11
MON. $5 Pizza Special TUES. Burger & Beer Special WED. Wing Special, 38 Flavors FRI. Prime Rib SAT. & SUN. Broasted Chicken & Ribs
FULL MENU • FULL BAR KITCHEN NOW OPEN UNTIL 10pm LIVE MUSIC ON SAT.

320-834-3250 - Friend us on Facebook

115 30th Ave E, Alexandria, MN

320-763-6565 • 1-800-657-3294
FULL MENU FROM A VARIETY OF Appetizers to Salads, Sandwiches, Prime Rib and Steaks Fast Track Lunch Special Mon-Fri 11am-1:30pm Sunday Buffet starting at 9am • Over 25 varieties of tap beer • Nightly drink specials
20 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11:30am-1am Fri.-Sun. 11am-1am
Full Menu including Ribs, Broasted Chicken & Burgers! Food Served Until 11 pm Full Service Bar
For more information call 320-834-2532 or 218-267-2726 during club hours.

your local dining guide

“PEOPLE’S CHOICE”
Douglas County Dining, 2010

“BEST DINNER RESTAURANT”
Readers Choice Award, Echo Press, 2009

Great Food, Great Music, & Great friends

f oun found here! foun

320-759-0885
Full Menu 11 am - 11 pm daily Hwy 94 & Hwy 29 S, Alexandria www.doolittlesrestaurants.com
4820 HIGHWAY SOUTH 4820 HIGHWAY 29 SOUTH HIGHWAY ALEXANDRIA, MN 56308 (320)763 7128 (320)763-7128 | www.tennesseeroadhouse.com

Experience Classic Railcar Dining
STEAKS • CHOPS • SEAFOOD • PASTA

OPEN DAILY • Serving lunch & dinner • BURGERS • STEAKS • SEAFOOD • PASTAS • ICE CREAM DRINKS • FULL BAR

4960 Co. Rd. 42 NE, Alexandria 1 Block N. of the Carlos / L’ Homme Dieu bridge

320-846-1051 www.interlacheninn.com

4417 St. Hwy. 27, Alexandria 3 miles east of downtown Alexandria Reservations 320-763-6677 www.thewestonstation.com Come home to Weston Station
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 21

Cheer for the vintage snowmobile races

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Check out the vintage snowmobile races held every January on Lake Osakis. This event features multiple classes of vintage snowmobiles.

Pick some fresh berries
Pick some berries at a local berry farm. There’s nothing more tasty than fresh sundrenched strawberries or raspberries right from the garden, and there are several pick-your-own options in the Douglas County area.

Visit Runestone Park
Visit Runestone Park near Kensington and see where the famous Kensington Runestone was discovered! Besides great historical displays, the park features picnic tables, shelters, charcoal grills, electricity, restrooms, drinking water, a softball field, horseshoe pit, volleyball court, playground, hiking trails and a heated building with kitchen facilities.

Challenge your friends to disc golf

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Challenge your friends to a game of disc golf – it is a great way to spend an afternoon outside. A new 18-hole disc golf course is open behind the Alexandria YMCA. The course offers a variety of challenges for players of every talent level.

Rev up for a stock car race
Attend a stock car race at the local half-mile dirt track. Auto racing has been going on at this track since the 1950s. Every Saturday night from May through August the rumble of the WISSOTA-sanctioned stock cars and the cheering fans can be heard.

Check out the Farmers’ Market

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From May to October an assortment of local specialties, fruits, organic food, meats, baked goods and vegetables are available at Big Ole Central Park in Alexandria. Hours are Saturdays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

22 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Attend an outdoor worship service
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, outdoor services are held Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at Lake Carlos State Park and 11 a.m. at Alexandria City Park. The natural setting provides the perfect way for you to find your inner peace and spirituality.

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Socialize at a church bazaar

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If you want a really good comfort-food lunch and the best pie around, attend a church bazaar. With more than 60 churches in Douglas County, there’s no shortage of bazaars, complete with food, crafts, bake sales, and lots of other treasures and goodies.

‘Ooh’ and ‘aah’ on Fourth of July

Most of the communities in Douglas County celebrate summer with an annual festival – Brandon Midsummerfest, Miltona Tornado Days, Evansville 4th of July Celebration, festivals in Osakis, Kensington, Garfield, Forada, Parkers Prairie... attend one or all for good food, fun parades, creative displays and good oldfashioned fun.

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Have a star-spangled spectacular Fourth of July! Awesome fireworks shows can be viewed in Alexandria, Osakis and Evansville.

Attend a summer festival

Feed the ducks at Noonan Park

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This is a fun family outing that will delight your kids, grandkids… and the ducks! Scatter pieces of bread on the ground for the ducks and geese and let the devouring commence. The kids will squeal with excitement when dozens of ducks waddle and swim their way over to the bread buffet.

Treasure hunt at an antique shop
Antique shopping opportunities abound in the Alexandria area. Shoppers can spend hours snooping through several antiques stores for something specific. Chances are you will come across a treasure that you must have. Local antique store owners offer a wealth of knowledge and history about the items they carry.

Enjoy the state park by candlelight
Experience the beauty of Lake Carlos State Park in the winter by candlelight at this family-friendly event. Cross country ski, walk, hike or snowshoe on trails illuminated by candles, then warm up around a fire and have a hot drink.
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 23

Gear up ‘fore’ golf
Fore! Douglas County is home to professional and top amateur golfers, and it has some of the premier public and semi-public courses found in Minnesota. There are nine courses to choose from that sport signature holes, breathtaking views of the lakes and rolling hills, so you’re sure to find a course that is made just for you.

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Take in an Alexandria Blizzard hockey game

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The Blizzard is a team that boasts some of the nation’s best collegiate hopefuls on ice. As a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the team showcases young players and allows them to develop into outstanding collegiate and professional players. Fast and furious, you’re never far away from the action at a Blizzard hockey game. Check out the team at the Runestone Community Center.

Play with your pooch
Spend some time with your pooch at a spot made just for them – the local dog park. Don’t be a couch potato, or let your dog be one either. Studies show that 65 percent of dogs are overweight. So get them – and yourself – off the couch and head to Pooch Playland for some quality time.

Visit Lake Carlos State Park
Sculpted by ancient glaciers, this 1,231-acre park contains a tamarack bog, marshes, woodland ponds and lakes. One third of Minnesota’s 80 mammals and more than 150 species of birds inhabit the park. The park is a perfect setting for camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing and exploring all nature has to offer.

24 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Browse classic boats
Visit the Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show. On July 14, the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum presents a stunning display of classic boats right where they belong – floating in a local lake! Take a closer look at the boats of yesteryear. Often the boat owners are nearby and you’ll have a chance to learn more about each boat’s story. The show is held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center on Lake Darling.

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1213 Broadway, Alexandria • 320-763-4455

Bike or blade the Central Lakes Trail

GTX 155/215

68

Spend an afternoon biking, walking or rollerblading on the Central Lakes Trail, a paved trail that spans Douglas County. It connects the cities of Osakis, Nelson, Alexandria, Garfield, Brandon, Evansville and Melby and on to Fergus Falls. The trailhead in Alexandria is at the north end of Broadway in Big Ole Central Park.

Reinvent your summer
with Sea-Doo & Can-Am!

Show and swap vintage vehicles

69

Attend the Vintage Car Club car show and swap meet. The Vintage Car Club, formed in 1969, is a group of enthusiasts who share an interest in vintage automobiles. Its 24th annual car show and swap meet is set for Sunday, June 24 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. It typically features 125 to 175 vehicles. There are 30 classes, including a motorcycle class.
R001572745

O T O D A Y ne !

Te s t D ri v e

www.olliesservice.com
®TM Trademark of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates.

101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 25

Visit a local art gallery
Visit a local art gallery. Douglas County offers lots of opportunities to enjoy art in many forms, including art studios displaying local paintings and drawings; a pottery place, silversmithing and glass fusing studio; photography studios; and local art clubs that include classes and time to hone your own artistic skills.

70

Attend a play at TLHD
Attend a play at Theatre L’Homme Dieu in Alexandria. For more than 50 years, TLHD has presented exceptional and entertaining theater. Five productions are set this summer, including God of Carnage, Legacy – A Tribute to the King of Pop, The 39 Steps, Doubt: A Parable, and Gilligan’s Island: The Musical.

71

Go to garage sales

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There are garage sales galore in the area nearly every weekend! To ensure a successful day of garage saling, check out the garage sale ads in Friday issues of the Echo Press; circle the sales that you can’t miss; map your route; bring dollar bills and change; and get there early!

Make memories with family photos
Wouldn’t it be great to get your family together and make memories you can treasure forever? Have a family portrait taken. Several professional photographers in the area can capture those special moments – children giggling, picking flowers or dangling their feet off the dock, the entire family gathered next to the shores of a serene lake.

73

Achieve balance with pilates

74
Group Classes & Private Lessons Available!

Take a pilates class! This body conditioning routine helps with coordination and balance and builds flexibility, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips and back. Breathing techniques relieve stress and allow adequate oxygen flow to the muscles. It’s a perfect option for all ages!
First

“Alexandria’s Traditional Pilates Studio”

NEW IN DOWNTOWN Class tournament FREE! ALEXANDRIA! Many local tournaments and some fishing tours from all over Jason’s House of Pilates the country offer a chance to

Cast off in a fishing

75

422 Broadway St • 320.815.1077 • jasonshouseofpilates.com

compete for fun or for some nice prizes against other competitive anglers. The Ice Fishing Challenge is one of the biggest tournaments held here each year. Almost 3,500 anglers hit the ice on Lake L’Homme Dieu for the 2012 event.

26 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

R001717332

Adopt a furry new friend
Adopt a pet at the Lakes Area Humane Society. There are many four-legged friends waiting to move in to a loving home. Stop by the local humane society to tour the facility and meet dogs and cats that will be happy to meet you and melt your heart.

76

Enjoy a scenic motorcycle ride

77 78

Rev up your engine and take a motorcycle ride around the lakes. With about 300 lakes in Douglas County, a motorcycle ride around any of them can bring you up close and personal to their scenic beauty. During the ride, stop at a local café for lunch, then hit the road again. There is plenty to check out from the seat of a bike.

Get informed of area happenings
Grab a copy of the Echo Press or Osakis Review and pull up a chair at one of many local coffee shops or restaurants. Not only can you get the scoop about local happenings, you can chat with the group seated next to you – we’re friendly around here. Plus, we guarantee you’ll get a great cup of coffee with small-town hospitality anywhere you go.

Pitch a tent or sleep under the stars

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The lakes area offers everything you’ll need for campground comforts, whether you’re rolling up in an RV or your tent is rolled up in a backpack. Any of the 11 locally owned campgrounds are a great choice for a weekend of fun, and Lake Carlos State Park is a closer-to-nature choice that’s still close to town.

See a movie
Who doesn’t love a great film on the big screen? The local movie theater offers nine theaters and the most up-to-date movie options. A perfect activity for a day when the weather isn’t cooperating, or when you just need to sit back and do nothing but be entertained.

80

Simulate your golf game

81

Want to golf but the weather isn’t cooperating? Get your swings in at a golf simulator. Golfers don’t have to wait for sunny weather to get out on the course. Golf simulators are available in Alexandria, Brandon and Carlos for those in the area who want to keep their swing sharp throughout the off-season.
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 27

ome lcAKES! We
to the

L

E

njoy your stay with us, whether it’s for a day, a week, the entire summer, or the rest of your

life! Our community is proud to offer many exciting and fun events throughout the season and you can count on the Echo Press ess to cover all of them. In addition to our award winning newspapers, we also offer special supplements that have in-depth information: on: on: n Real Estate Guide, Community Guide, Vacationer, Churches of Douglas County, Lakes Area Savings Coupon Book, Wedding ng Planner and more! Most of these are available free on newsstands or in our lobby. by by. You can keep up with everything that’s happening in our area by checking out our website: www.echopress.com, where you’ll l find up-to-the-minute news plus many of our r special publications!

225 7th Avenue East, Alexandria (320) 763-3133 | www.echopress.com
since 1891

R001718845

28 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Rent a pontoon
Rent a pontoon and tour a lake. There are several places across the county that offer pontoon rentals. Launch on one of the area lakes, pack a lunch and cooler and get set for a day of sun and water with your friends and family. Boat rentals allow everyone the chance to enjoy a day floating on the lake.

82

Try geocaching

83

Try geocaching at Lake Carlos State Park or anywhere else in the county. Geocaching involves hunting for a hidden object with the use of GPS coordinates. It’s a high-tech treasure hunt in the great outdoors! Learn more about geocaching opportunities at the Minnesota DNR website.

Ice skate at Noonan Park
Spend an afternoon ice skating or playing hockey at Noonan Park. Located at Nokomis Street and 10th Avenue in Alexandria, the rink is regularly maintained, has a warming house and is well lit for night skating. There are two hockey rinks set up. The park is usually open around December 20 or when there is 8 inches of ice. There is no charge to skate.

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Become a volunteer

85

There are several opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community. Volunteer at the Douglas County Outreach Foodshelf, Lakes Area Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, United Way or one of several other nonprofit organizations that could use a helping hand. Volunteering is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience. Your help will be appreciated.

you name it...

we have it!
We purchase insur ance losses, unclaimed freight and much more at amazing discounts!

R001718043-052

Fur niture, tools, grocer ies, gif ts, clothing, toys and much, much more!

up to 70% off retail!

Ron ’s
A whirlwind of savings!

WAREHOUSE

Highway 27 East, Alexandria (320) 763-5555
Check us out on

www.RonsWarehouse.com
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 29

Take the Polar Plunge

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During February, people jump into a frigid lake on purpose! The Polar Bear Plunge is an annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota. This year’s plunge registered 340 people, raising more than $60,000. The event draws a great crowd every year. Thinking about taking the plunge? Watch for registration details.

Shop historic downtown Alexandria

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at

Make a day of it – shopping and lunching at the unique stores of downtown Alexandria. There is a variety of shops – everything from unique clothing and jewelry to antiques, tasteful home décor to books. Plus, the downtown dining choices are another benefit. You may want to return again and again to check out everything downtown Alexandria has to offer. It takes way more than one day!

Jumps, grinds and rails
Hone your skateboarding skills at the Alexandria skate park. The park, located on Fillmore Street, is free to visit and offers a variety of ramps and pipes for boarders of every talent level.

more fun

it’s just

arrowwood!
2100 Arrowwood Lane, Alexandria, MN 320-762-1124 arrowwoodresort.com

Home of Leisure on the Lake! L
Lake Café, Rafter’s Lounge & Deck Bar & Grill

2 200 Deluxe Guestrooms • Riding Stables • Full Service Marina Indoor/Outdoor Pools & Tennis Courts • Indoor Waterpark Darling Reflections Spa • 18-Hole Championship Golf Course D

30 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Hit the slopes

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Head to Douglas County’s local ski resort and get your fill of snowboarding, downhill or cross country skiing, and even tubing. You can take a lesson or even try your hand at racing. With 15 downhill runs, there’s something suitable for any skill level.

Scream for ice cream
Do you have a craving for ice cream? Not to worry. Douglas County is rich with places to indulge that craving for ice cream, smoothies, frozen yogurt and other cool summer-time treats.

Lose yourself in a used book

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Make a stop at the Used Book Store at the Douglas County Library. Each year, the Friends of the Library holds a used book sale. There is now a shop located in the library that sells used books all year. Stop by, grab some used books at a low cost, and immerse yourself in another world through the magic of a good book.

Relax at Chippewa Park
Spend the day at Chippewa Park near Brandon. Located right between two lakes – Little Chippewa and Devils – this beautiful, shady county park offers a perfect oasis on a hot summer day.

101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 31

Golf Directory

Joel Goldstrand Design • 27 Hole Championship Golf Course • Indoor Year Round Practice Facility • Best Golf Value in the Area

• 18 Hole Championship Golf Course • Par 72 • 6,492 Yards • Overlooking Beautiful Lake Minnewaska! • Full Service Bar

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Twilight, $29 - Unlimited holes! Call after 4 pm! 9 Holes, Weekdays $18; Weekends $21 18 Holes, Weekdays $30; Weekends $35

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Located 3 miles N on Hwy 29 to Co Rd 73, then 1 mile E and then S on Liberty Rd

Great Membership Packages Available FREE DRIVING RANGE WITH PAID GREEN FEES
15 miles S of Alexandria on Hwy 29 to Glenwood. 1.5 miles W of Glenwood on Hwy 28/29 W to Golf Course Rd

www.genevagolfclub.com Pro Shop 320-762-7089 Geneva Grill 320-762-7092

Call for Tee Times at 320-634-3680

TIP

A SIN

H

MO

• Pro-Shop • Snack Bar • Rentals • Open to the Public

UN

G OLF C OURSE

DS

18 Holes Overlooking Pomme de Terre Lake
• Lush, Open Fairways • Challenging Greens • Relaxed & Friendly Atmosphere • Group Rates Available • Monday & Wednesday Specials West from Alexandria 25 miles on I-94 to Evansville - Elbow Lake Exit 82, West 6 miles on Hwy 79, then North 1 mile on Golf Course (Co. 24) Rd.

Arrowwood is proud to announce Minnesota Golf at its finest! This newly renovated golf course was designed with wetland preservation in mind and focuses on scenic lake views and unique challenges. Experience the natural and undisturbed beauty of Alexandria’s most scenic golf course.

218-685-4271 www.TipsinahMoundsGolf.com
32 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

2100 Arrowwood Lane NW • Alexandria

320-762-TEES (8337) www.arrowwoodresort.com

...your guide to area golf courses!

• Scenic • Challenging • Par 35 • Food & Beverages Available 9 Holes of Golf $13 • 9 & Under FREE with Paid Adult • Jr. & Sr. Rates • Cart Rental Available • Driving Range

SEASONAL OR WEEKLY PUNCH CARDS

5 miles west of Alexandria on Hwy 27 to CR 27, follow signs Call for Tee Times or Book Online

320-886-1400 • www.hardwoodhillsgolf.com

image area
GOLF
ROCK
COURSE

Pine Ridge
Golf Course

• Public Golf Course • Driving Range • Club & Cart Rentals • Homemade Food GREEN FEES We accept Visa, Mastercard & Debit Cards 9 holes Mon.: $10.50 (Youths $6) Tues.-Thurs.: $12.50 • Fri.-Sun. & Holidays: $14 Call for Youth & Senior Rates & Times CART RENTAL - 9 holes: $12.50 • Additional 9 holes: $8 From I-94, Exit 90 at Brandon & five miles N on Co. Rd. 16 NW

www.PineRidgeGolfCourse.net 320-834-4028 • 320-876-4028

RED

Designed by Alexandria Native PGA Tour Professional Tom Lehman • 18 Hole Championship Layout • Located on Sauk Lake • Golf Digest “Best Places to Play” 2007-2011 • Golf Digest 4.5 Stars • Full Service Bar & Grill with Patio Seating

Hoffman, Minnesota

Don’t be distracted from your game by the natural beauty at Red Rock! Mon-Wed Specials: 2 golfers for 9 holes with cart $30 2 golfers for 18 holes with cart $40 Located 15 minutes west on State Hwy 27 N on Douglas County 25 Golf Course Road

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
20 minutes east of Alexandria on Hwy 71 North of Sauk Centre Call for Tee Time or Book Online

320-351-GOLF (4653) • www.greystonegc.net

Call for Tee Times 320-986-2342 www.redrockgc.com • Follow us on Facebook
101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 33

Take in a baseball game

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Along with dozens of youth and amateur teams, Alexandria is home to the Beetles, a summer team comprised of top college players from around the nation. You never know when you might see the next Major League Baseball player in action – The Beetles have had several players drafted by the MLB. You might even spy one of Major League Baseball’s greats, such as pitcher Goose Gossage, former Minnesota Twins Frank Viola, Gary Serum, Dan Gladden and Ron Coomer, all whom have visited historic Knute Nelson Memorial Park as special guests.

Cruise the DATA trails
Douglas County is a snowmobiler’s paradise! Filled with spectacular views along wellgroomed trails that travel through flatlands and heavily wooded hills, not only can you enjoy a ride on the sled, but the sight of abundant wildlife. The Douglas Area Trails Association (DATA) maintains the 370 miles of trails that connect every community within the county, so food, gas, services and accommodations are always nearby.

ATTER UP! B
get one
Buy one general admission ticket,

FREE!
*Limit one coupon per visit.

*

Good on Mon-Tues-Wed Games thru 8-10-12

Shop Over 30 Stores in Comfort
(320) 763-8151
3015 Hwy. 29 S, Alexandria
Wi-Fi Hot Spots Available! Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-9pm Saturday 10am-6pm • Sunday 11am-5pm
R001715174

alexandriabeetles.com
34 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

Make a splash at a water park
If you’ve got water fun on your mind but the weather won’t cooperate, don’t despair! Tons of fun awaits you at the local 38,000-square-foot indoor water park, featuring a four-story slide that twists and turns, lazy river and 500 gallon splash bucket!

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Hunt upland game

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Do you want to hunt game birds but don’t want to wait until fall? Local game farms provide hunting opportunities to chase upland birds for months after the regular season ends. It is a great opportunity to keep up your hunting skills and get your dog ready for opening day.

Tap your toes at the Band Festival
Attend the 28th annual Vikingland Band Festival, featuring the Midwest’s finest high school marching bands. Founded in 1985, the event is a highlight of the summer parade marching season. Summer parade bands are at their peak in late June and they pull out all the stops as they perform on Alexandria’s extra-wide main street. In 2012, the parade is set for Sunday, June 24 at 1:30 p.m. on Broadway.

101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 35

Find a fine dining destination

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Dine at one of the Douglas County’s local fine-dining establishments. There is no shortage of great restaurants, and all offer something unique that you won’t want to miss. Satisfy your palate at one of the in-town options, or unwind by taking a scenic drive to an out-of-the-way restaurant.

Sign up for softball

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Softball tournaments are a great way to enjoy a weekend throughout the summer. Whether you want to play or watch, there are plenty of opportunities to do both in Douglas County.

Become a beach bum
Spend a relaxing day at the beach. Douglas County has three lifeguard-staffed beaches on lakes L’Homme Dieu, Latoka and Osakis. There are also public beaches not staffed by lifeguards, including City Park Beach on Lake Henry, Rotary Beach on Lake L’Homme Dieu, Chippewa County Park Beach on Lake Chippewa and Lake Carlos State Park Beach.

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Rent a personal watercraft

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Rent a personal watercraft and splash around an area lake. You don’t have to own your own to have fun on the lakes. Rentals are available for everyone. Try it for a day or make a weekend out of viewing the lake from a new vantage point.

36 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012

It’s about time.

300 East Pike Street

Osakis, MN 56360

PantherDistillery.com

After 154 years, the wait is almost over.
We’re proud to be Minnesota’s first legal whiskey distillery. And we can’t think of a better place to make the finest tasting whiskey and spirits. Lush golden corn. Crisp clear water. Rich golden wheat. While you’re relaxing by the lake, we’ll use the wealth of natural resources in our backyard to craft the finest distilled spirits this state has ever seen.

Hey, you’ve waited 154 years. What’s one more?

101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 37

R001711013

sakis is a growing community of 1,615 people located in both Douglas and Todd counties in west central Minnesota. Osakis is located on the south end of Lake Osakis, a 6,300 acre fishing and recreation area. Lake Osakis is rated as one of the best fishing lakes in the state, featuring walleye, northern, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and sunfish. Visitors to the community will find a variety of recreational opportunities, including resort lodging, gift and

O

is ak s O
BURGERS FRIES SHRIMP SHAKES MALTS SUNDAES
Est. 1955

...where the fun begins

antique shops, restaurants and family attractions. Osakis is also the beginning of the Central Lakes Trail, a 55-mile paved biking and walking trail that runs through Nelson, Alexandria, Garfield, Brandon, Evansville, and on to Fergus Falls and connects to the Lake Wobegon Trail that runs from Osakis to St. Joseph making it the longest paved trail system in the state. The economic base of the Osakis area is tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

200 Central Ave E, Osakis 320-859-2161

Convenient Walk-up Window, Inside Seating or Take-Out!
22 West Nokomis (on Hwy. 27), Osakis

Pharmacy • Health & Beauty • Kodak Picture Maker • Giftware American Greetings Cards • UPS Shipping • Lk. Osakis Clothing Household & School Supplies • Home Health Care Supplies Store Hours: M-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 8am-Noon Pharmacy Hours : M-F 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-Noon

320-859-2217

The General Store
204 Central Ave, Osakis • 320-859-5159

County Line Marine & Storage, Inc.
•Marine & Small Engine Repair •Secure Outdoor Storage •Winterization & Shrink Wrap •Climate Controlled Storage •Retail Store •Trailer Rentals •DAKA Docks & Lifts 610 3rd Avenue E, Osakis

The area’s ONLY Winchester Advisory Center & Browning Full Line Dealer Largest Winchester & Browning Firearms Dealer in Central MN
38 101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012
Authorized Service Center

320-859-6000
www.countylinems.com
R001718088

is ak s O
Events
May August August u
Memorial Day Parade & Service Douglas County Fair ouglas Fair, Alexandria June une Osakis Silverstreak Osakis 5K Run sakis Golf Classic Lions’ Walleye ions’ Fishing Tournament September Osakis Festival sakis Sportsmen’s Club Corn Feed Quilts Along the Trail

...where the fun begins

November
Holiday Bazaar Community Thanksgiving Dinner

December
Santa Day

January
VOLS Twin 100/50 Mile Snowmobile Race

July uly

4th of July Fireworks Roddin’ Round the Lake Car Show Celebrity Auction Osakis City-Wide Garage Sales Flower Pots & Garden Stops Parish Festival

October
Christmas Boutique Community Halloween Party Visit www.theosakisreview.com or facebook.com/osakisreview for news & area happenings!

February
Old-Fashioned Sunday Afternoon Musicale

March
Ice Golf Tournament

Introductory offer! Paint & primer in one
• Our highest quality paint • Our most durable finish • Superior coverage *Limit 5 gallons per customer. Available at participating stores.

20
Family Dining, Delicious Walleye, Best Prime Rib in Town, Fish Fry every Friday & Saturday, Broasted Chicken Buffet Wednesdays, Banquet & Private Party Facilities

% OFF
Fishing Equipment and Tackle

209 Central Avenue, Osakis | 320-859-4621

25 %*

SAVE NOW

Matt’s Bait & Taxidermy
320-859-2181

11 W. Nokomis St., Osakis
Excludes Live Bait. Expires December 31, 2012

FOOD • LODGING • COLD BEER 320-859-FOOD (3663)

300 W Nokomis St • Osakis

320.859.2450

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101 Fun Things to Do • Spring 2012 39

HQ BQ B
Open 24 hours a day & 7 days a week
Corner of 3rd & Nokomis, Alexandria • 320-763-3446 • www.ELDENS.com
R001717305

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