Bemidji Jaycees gear up to host 80th Annual Water Carnival July 3-7

Bemidji Jaycees gear up to host 80th Annual Water Carnival July 3-7

Jun. 25—BEMIDJI — Back for another five days of summertime fun, the Bemidji Jaycees’ Annual Water Carnival returns for its 80th year on Wednesday, July 3.

“It is incredible to think that this carnival has been going for 80 years strong,” said Eva Fisher, Bemidji Jaycees board member and event chair. “This all started with the Jaycees wanting to host fireworks for the community 80 years ago and now it has turned into this amazing carnival filled with events.”

Continuing through Saturday, July 6, the Water Carnival will see the return of a whole slew of traditional events like the Grand Parade, Color Run, the Red, White and Boom Fireworks show and much more.

The first clue for the Medallion Hunt is set to be revealed on Monday, July 1, with more clues released each day on Lakeland News, Paul Bunyan Broadcasting, RP Broadcasting and on the

Bemidji Jaycees website

and Facebook page until the Medallion is found.

Interested participants can purchase their Medallion Hunt Buttons at the Bemidji Woolen Mills, Paul Bunyan Broadcasting/Hubbard Broadcasting, Visit Bemidji and myBemidji through July 1, with Water Carnival Buttons then available at the same locations through July 7.

The $3 Medallion button is required to win the $500 grand prize in the hunt, and it’s only available through July 1. The $3 Carnival button will be available for purchase from July 2-7.

From carnival rides and games to a variety of different food vendors, Merriam’s Midway is set to open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, in the Sanford Center parking lot with rides running until 11 p.m. The midway will open at 1 p.m. each day through the remainder of the carnival. On Sunday, July 7, Merriam’s Midway will have an earlier close at 7 p.m.

Armband specials will be $25 from 6 to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. On Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, July 6, armbands will be $20 from 1 to 5 p.m. and $25 from 6 to 11 p.m. On Sunday, July 7, armbands will be $20 from 1 to 7 p.m.

Bingo will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, at the Sanford Center parking lot. Bingo will continue daily from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday, July 4, through Sunday, July 7. Bingo is hosted by Noth Star A.B.A.T.E.

This year, there will be the first-ever veteran’s picnic to honor the veterans in the community.

“New to the carnival events this year is a veteran’s picnic with a flag ceremony, entertainment and food to recognize and celebrate our veterans and their families,” Fisher said.

The picnic will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, in the Entertainment Tent at the Lake Bemidji Waterfront. VFW Post 1260 will hold a flag ceremony at 1:30 p.m. with musical entertainment provided by Mike Naylor.

A free-will donation will be accepted with proceeds going to the new Bemidji Veterans Home.

The Kiddie Parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, with registration starting at 10 a.m. It will start at the Bemidji State University Bangsberg parking lot on 12th Street and go down Lake Boulevard onto Sixth Street and end at the entertainment tent at the waterfront.

For those interested in participating in the parade, pre-registration is available on the Jaycees


Attendees can also download the form and bring it with them on the day of the event.

The Color Run is also on Saturday, July 6, with the Bemidji Junior Jaycees organizing the event.

The fun run starts at 10 a.m. at the Paul Bunyan Park parking lot and goes along the south shore of Lake Bemidji, loops back at the Nymore Boat Access and ends at the starting point.

Interested participants can register online at

as there will be no on-site registration. Online registration will close at 8 a.m. on July 6.

There will be several color stations along the way to blast attendees with tons of colorful fun. Check-in for the event starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Rotary Pavilion at Paul Bunyan Park.

The Entertainment Tent will be open July 3-6 for events including live music, happy hour and a variety of games.

Tent events kick off on Wednesday, July 3, with food vendors opening at 5 p.m. The Empty Cooler Band will perform from 7 to 11 p.m. for attendees 21 or older.

Food vendors will open each day at 1 p.m. July 4-7.

From 9 to 11 p.m. on July 4 The 4onthefloor band will perform for attendees 21 or older, the cost is $10.

On July 5, a corn hole tournament will take place at 2 p.m. with Corey Medina and Brothers slated to perform from 8 to 11 p.m. for attendees 21 or older.

On July 6, Elvis tribute artist Sean Wallin will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by the Bad Campers from 8 p.m. to midnight for those 21 and older.

July 7 will be a Sunday Funday with North Star Trivia from 4 to 7 p.m. followed by live music from Dynamic Sound Productions from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Grand Parade will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. It will start at the intersection of 15th Street and Beltrami Avenue and travel south on Beltrami Avenue, turn west on Fifth Street for one block and then head north along Minnesota Avenue, ending again on 15th Street.

For those interested in participating in the parade, pre-registration on the Jaycees


is required by Monday, July 1. Registration fees after Monday are not refundable and a late registration fee will apply after July 1.

The Red, White and Boom fireworks display will be held at dusk, usually around 9:45 to 10:15 p.m., on Thursday, July 4, on Lake Bemidji. Fireworks typically start launching around 10:10 p.m.

For the best view of the show, the Jaycees recommend the south end of Lake Bemidji. Cameron Park is not a good viewing location as there are too many trees in the way according to the Jaycee


but they can be seen well from Diamond Point Park, Library Park, Paul Bunyan Park and South Shore Park.

The fireworks barge will be located 450 feet north of the Nymore boat landing, which will be closed for 24 hours, beginning at midnight on July 4, for show preparation.

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