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Summer boredom? There's no excuse for that in these parts

With graduation already behind us and Turtle Fest just ahead, it's really starting to feel like summer in the Perham area.

Two fun events that have long signaled the start of the season around here were just held this past weekend in New York Mills: The Ronald McDonald House Ride and the Think-Off.

It was my pleasure to cover the Think-Off, which I had never attended before. The debate about human nature (whether we are inherently evil or inherently good) was rich and thoughtful. And from what I couldn't help but overhear on my way out, it sparked some powerful conversations for audience members afterward. I know it did for me.

Covering the ride and bike rodeo earlier in the day was also a pleasure, but this time it was reporter Connie Vandermay's, not mine. Many of you may have seen Connie as the riders took off - she was the one in the lift next to Lumber Depot, way up high above the road, clicking away on her camera and waving 'hello' to the riders as they drove out of town.

But last weekend's events were just the start of what's to come this summer. Every weekend now through August, there's at least one major community event planned in the East Otter Tail County area.

This coming weekend, for example, there are three to choose from: Smokin' Iron in Ottertail, the start of Turtle Fest in Perham, and the High Plains Regional Rendezvous just outside of Perham. No one should have any reason to be bored.

Turtle Fest fun will continue through next weekend, and the weekend after that is the Average Joe Triathlon.

By then we're into July, which means Independence Day festivities, Lund Mania, the Miss Perham Pageant, Dent Daze, Phelps Mill Festival, and of course the East Otter Tail County Fair.

Things don't slow down in August, with Crazy Days, Otter Fest, the corn feed and film festival in New York Mills, the rendezvous at Pioneer Village and the Finn Creek Folk Fest all taking place.

And this is only a partial list.

Obviously, we know how to take advantage of our three months of nice weather in Minnesota.

It takes a lot of community support, donations and volunteer work to put events like these together - and even more to pull them off successfully. Those involved deserve a big 'thanks' for what they do.

I encourage everyone to try and make it out to at least a few of these celebrations; to take a break from the lake and see all that our area has to offer in the way of summer entertainment.