Happenings around the Perham area, Aug. 11-21

All the latest happenings in and around perham

Kalevala Pageant.jpg
The Kalevala Puppet Pageant returns to New York Mills next weekend, with performances set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 at the VFW in New York Mills, and 12 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Finn Creek Open Air Museum. There is no cost to attend, though free will donations are gratefully accepted to help support the program.
Contributed / New York Mills Regional Cultural Center
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The Perham Focus accepts community calendar items for publication online and in our Thursday print edition, space permitting. Submissions must be made at least a week in advance of the event date, in writing, to either or .

Each submission must include the date, time and location of event, whether it is recurring or a one-time happening, and where to go for more information (phone, email and/or website). Also include whether the event is free or paid admission, and how much it costs when applicable.

Thursday, August 11

Looney Days Opening Night: Otter Coffee and Ice Cream in Vergas will host an evening of live music by Mitch Groethe from 5 to 7 p.m. to kick off the community's annual Looney Days celebration. Open to the public; the Jonny's BBQ food truck will also be on site.

Bob Riepe Book Signing: Author Bob Riepe will be signing copies of his latest book, "Absolution," 6 p.m. at the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, 230 1st Ave. North, Perham. Signed copies of Riepe's book will be available for purchase.

Friday, August 12

Vergas Looney Days: The Friday schedule for Vergas Looney Days includes local rummage sales throughout the day; sidewalk chalk art, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Natalie's Serendipity; pickleball demonstrations, 10-11 a.m. at the pickleball courts; brats and beans lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at United Methodist; Voices of the Past Cemetery Tour, 2-3 p.m. at City Cemetery; kids' fishing, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; food trucks, 4-9 p.m.; water ski show, 5 p.m.; Church of Cash live music, 6:30-9 p.m. All events take place at Loon Park unless otherwise specified.


Saturday, August 13

Otterfest: The Ottertail Chamber of Commerce is hosting the community's annual Otterfest celebration, with a pancake breakfast, 8-11 a.m.; all-day vendor show; Nick the Strolling Magician, 9:30 a.m.-noon; inflatable games, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; classic car show, 10 a.m.; Otterfest Parade, 11 a.m.; Imaginick Magic Show, 12-1 p.m.; family games in the City Park, 1 p.m.; face painting, 12-2 p.m.; bingo, 1-3:30 p.m.; Chicken Poop Bingo, 2 p.m.; Otterwalk, 3:30 p.m.; pork and corn feed, 4:30 p.m., live music by the Red Letter Band, 4-7:30 p.m.; street dance at The Woodshed featuring the 57 Chevy Band, 9 p.m.-midnight; and fireworks at dusk.

Vergas Looney Days: The Saturday schedule for Vergas Looney Days includes a 5K run/walk, 8 a.m.; Lions Breakfast at the Event Center (dine in or drive through), 8-11 a.m.; pickleball demonstrations at the pickleball courts; street fair, Main Street, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. winer dog races, 9 a.m., baseball field; family games, 9:30-11:30 a.m., baseball field; inflatable games, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., baseball field; Vergas Fire and Rescue open house, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., fire hall; Trowbridge Petting Zoo, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Summers Construction; ice cream stroll, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Vergas Assisted Living; brats and beans lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at United Methodist; beer garden, 12 p.m.-midnight, Railway Avenue; Road Rally, 12 p.m.; Little Miss and Mister Vergas Pageant, 12 p.m.; Loon Calling Contest, 1 p.m.; Puppy Plunge, 3:30 p.m.; Bean Bag tournament, 3 p.m. (registration starts 2 p.m.), Railway Avenue; water ski show, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; and street dance featuring music from Mall Rats, 8 p.m.-midnight, Railway Avenue. All events take place at Loon Park unless otherwise specified.

Live Music: Zorbaz on Little Pine Lake will host live music by Sapphire on the patio, starting at 7 p.m. Open to the public.

Sunday, August 14

Vergas Looney Days: The final day of Vergas Looney Days includes a classic car show on Main Street, 9 a.m.-noon; Yoga Among the Blooms, True Blue Flower Company, 9:30 a.m.; community church service, baseball field, 10 a.m.; Looney Days Grand Parade through Vergas, 2 p.m.; and water fights following the parade on Main Street. There will also be TIP Bingo at Billy's Bar following the parade, with a raffle drawing at 8 p.m.; and live music at Skal, 4-10 p.m., featuring Damien Anderson, Seth Moore, and Shelly and Dave.

Tuesday, August 16

Old-Time Variety Dance: LeRoy and Jerry will provide the music for an Old-Time Variety Dance taking place from 1-4 p.m. at the Frazee Event Center. All are welcome; admission is $5 per person.

Thursday, August 18

We Are Water MN Opening Ceremony: The opening ceremonies for the Otter Tail County-sponsored "We Are Water MN" exhibit at the Fergus Falls Public Library will begin with a 5 p.m. exhibit preview, followed by a 6 p.m. program and 7 p.m. reception. The exhibition, which focuses on the connections to water that we all share, will continue through Oct. 10.

Summer Concert Series: The Slew Foot Family Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Perham Center for the Arts, 101 5th St. NE, as part of the Center's Summer Concert Series. Raffles start at 7:15, with $10,000 in prizes available. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating; in case of rain, the concert will move indoors.

Sunday, August 21

St. Henry's Summer Festival: St. Henry's Catholic Church, located at 234 2nd Ave. SW, Perham, will be hosting its summer festival following the 10 a.m. mass, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a picnic dinner, silent auction, raffles, bingo, cake walk and more. All are welcome.


Multi-Day and Recurring Events

Perham Health 120-Year Celebration: The 120th anniversary of Perham Health will be celebrated on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 11-12 at the East Otter Tail County Fairgrounds in Perham. Thursday events include bounce houses, Clueless the Balloon Twister, kid-friendly DJ music and kids' tattooes, touchable emergency vehicle displays, food and beer gardens all opening at 4:30 p.m. and a performance by comedy magician Jeffrey Salveson at 7 p.m. Friday's festivities include live music, 5-10 p.m., along with concessions and a beer garden.

J.J.'s Hog Roast for Hospice: The 7th Annual J.J.’s Hog Roast for Hospice will be held Aug. 12-13 at 51943 County Hwy. 9, Pelican Rapids. Activities include a car and bike show, music and a hog roast meal, along with hole-in-one and cornhole tournaments. For a full schedule of events and to register for the car and bike show, visit

Perham High School Class of 1952 Reunion: The Perham High School Class of 1952 will be holding their 70-year reunion on Aug. 19-21. Events include a dinner at the Rocking Horse Cafe in Richville on Friday, Aug. 19, with socializing starting at 3 p.m. and dinner at approximately 5 p.m.; breakfast at the Lakes Cafe in Perham on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., and dinner at 1894 in Perham; and breakfast on Sunday, Aug. 21 at Mrs. B's starting at approximately 9:30 a.m. Reservations are requested for the Friday dinner; call 218-758-2438 to sign up. Questions? Send an email to Mary Thaves at .

Kalevala Puppet Workshops: A series of workshops are planned for participants in this year's Kalevala Puppet Pageant in New York Mills. Daily morning workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 15-18 at the Barn/Sculpture Park in New York Mills. Puppets and props will be transported to the VFW in New York MIlls starting at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 17; parent and volunteer assistance needed. Evening rehearsals are planned from 6 to 8 p.m. on both Aug. 17-18, with the final call for performers starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Additional workshops for puppet and props building are set for Aug. 15-16, starting at 6 p.m., while stilters-only workshops are set for Aug. 16 and 18, starting at 1 p.m. Cost to participate is $50 per child, with a $100 per family maximum. Adults and teens are invited to participate free of charge. Visit or call 218-385-3339 to sign up, or for more information.

Kalevala Puppet Pageant: Performances of this year's Kalevala Puppet Pageant are set for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 at the VFW in New York Mills and noon on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Finn Creek Open Air Museum. Visit or call 218-385-3339 for more information, or to sign up.

Wolf Lake Harvest Festival: The community of Wolf Lake will celebrate its annual Harvest Festival on Aug. 19-20. Friday, Aug. 19 events include the Miss Wolf Lake Pageant and silent auction, bean bag tournament and meat raffles; Saturday, Aug. 20 events will include a petro/car show, 5K walk/run, VFW Auxiliary breakfast, pedal tractor pull, obstacle course, parade and various kids' activities. Check out the event's Facebook page for updates as well as a complete schedule.

International Turtle Races: Perham offers turtle racing every Wednesday, June through August, at Turtle Race Park (next to the Perham Chamber of Commerce), starting at 10:30 a.m. (registration starts at 10 a.m.). Turtles are provided, or bring your own. Suggested donations of $2 per racer help care for the turtles over the summer months. All ages welcome to participate.

Mah Jongg at Calvary Lutheran: Men and women are welcome and play Mah Jongg at Perham's Calvary Lutheran Church on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. in the library. No prior experience necessary, as experienced players will teach the game to newcomers.


Sit-n-Stitch: A weekly gathering of fiber artists will be held every Thursday from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Free and open to all.

Progressive Bingo: Every Tuesday, 6-7 p.m., Thumper Pond, Ottertail.

Glendalough Scavenger Hunt: Beginning June 1, visitors to Glendalough State Park can add some extra fun to their summer experiences with an educational scavenger hunt launched by Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. This scavenger hunt is tailored to Glendalough, highlighting 19 different types of birds, mammals, wildflowers, trees and recreational activities that can be found there. The hunts are designed for all ages, but with a special attention to parents of young children. Visit Parks & Trails Council's website at to access the hunt or look for a flyer in the park for more details the next time you visit.

Summer Museum Activities: STEAM into Summer with NASA–approved activities at the Otter Tail County Museum in Fergus Falls, every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum received an Earth and Space grant from the National Informal Science Education Network, which enables them to offer STEAM and STEM activities in both English and Spanish versions. The grant provides hands-on activities and games for the whole family, covering topics such as Asteroid Mining, Nebula Spin Art, Orbiting Objects and Space Guess Quest. All activities are free. The Otter Tail County Museum is located at 1110 Lincoln Ave. West in Fergus Falls. For more information call 218-736-6038 or email .

Perham Networking Opportunity: The Nest in Perham will host a one-hour free business networking opportunity on the first Wednesday of every month, starting at 8:15 a.m. Personal introductions, sharing of upcoming events and projects, and a focus presentation. Coffee will be provided by the focus topic presenter.

Tuesday Trivia Night: Billy's Corner Bar & Grill in Vergas will be offering Trivia Night every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Open to the public.

Library Storytimes: The Perham Area Public Library hosts preschool storytime every Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. Toddler Storytime with Becky is held periodically on Monday evenings at 6 p.m. Visit or call 218-346-4892 for more information.

Old Time Photographs: Stop by the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, at 230 First Ave. North in Perham, and take a trip down memory lane. The museum would like the public's help identifying old photos. Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 218-346-7676 for more information.

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