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OtterFest a full day of fun and entertainment

FOCUS File Royalty from Ottertail's Otter Dazzle celebration in December are annual entrants in the OtterFest parade, which is considered one of the largest small-town parades in the region.

Ottertail will be the center of activity on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12 and 13 when it hosts its summer OtterFest celebration.

This year's event kicks off with the Ottertail Rod and Gun Club's annual demolition derby. The derby starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12 and is held in the demo area south of the water tower on Hwy. 108.

On Saturday, the fun really gets going, with activities scheduled throughout the day. The Ottertail Lions Club host their annual pancake and sausage breakfast, which will be held at the Community Center from 7:30 to 11 a.m.

What some consider to be one of the largest small town parades in the region starts at 11 a.m. Lineup begins at 10 a.m. by the water tower. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. there will also be a car show behind the water tower.

Turtle races will be held by the park after the parade is completed. Children's events will also be conducted starting at 1:30 p.m. that include games and prizes for all ages. There will also be bingo from 1 to 3 p.m. at the community center.

Tractor enthusiasts can enjoy the annual tractor pull that begins at 1:30 p.m.

Throughout the day Saturday there will be horse and buggy rides courtesy of the Shady Oaks Riding Stable, horse rides provided by the Heart of the Lakes Saddle Club and, of course, food and beverages will be available.

The Heart of the Lakes Community Band will provide music at the Fire Hall after the parade, and there will be inflatables at the park, which is sponsored by Perham Memorial Hospital and Home.

Otter Idol, which was held for the first time last year, will be back again. The event is open to the first 25 contestants ages 16 and older. There is a $20 entry fee.

The first round of the competition will be held at the Otter Supper Club on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. Round two and the finals will be held at the Ottertail Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 14 starting at 2 p.m.

A prize of $250 will go to the winner, with $100 for second place and $50 for third place. The top three contestants will also perform at the street dance on Saturday night from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. There is a $5 admission charge for the dance.

Closing out the day, fireworks sponsored by the Ottertail Lions will be lit off starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, closing a full day of fun events for the entire family.