Summer events in the Wadena area

Your guide to summer activities in July and August.

The Birak Shrine Club showed off their precision driving tactics at the annual Deer Trails Day parade Saturday, July 27, in Deer Creek. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

With June’s big events of June Jubilee , the Wadena County Fair and Miss Wadena past, here is what else to look forward to this summer.


  • Fourth of July: Enjoy a full day of free activities at the Vintage Golf Course in Staples including a putting contest and make your pizzas on July 3; float the river starting at noon on July 4 and then enjoy the parade, dinner and music. Celebrate the Fourth with Epicenter Church with yard games, water balloons, dunk tank and a movie as well as participate in fundraising for the purchase of their building. Fireworks will be in the parking lot.

  • Menahga Mid-Summer Music Fest : The rock music festival from July 1-3 includes Jackyl, Black Stone Cherry, Quiet Riot, Jack Russell's Great White, Saving Abel and Tantric. Tickets start at $99 for three days with free parking; you can purchase tickets online. Camping is also available. The event is open for 18 years and older.

  • Bertha Days: Come enjoy two days of Bertha on July 9-10 with a truck and tractor pull, parade, street dance, bounce houses, coin dig, golf tournament, pancake feed and bean bag tournament. You can register for the golf tournament in support of Bertha-Hewitt Sports by mailing your registration check to the school; teams of four are $200. The 5K Brunch Run will not be during Bertha Days.

  • New York Mills Summer Festival : The Lund Mania fishing tournament, fish house festival and parade are taking place on July 9. Take a gander at artists painting fish houses and decoys, enjoy the parade, dance in the street and make crafts. You can even win a painted fish house, guided fishing trip and Lund Boat gear with raffle tickets for sale in New York Mills and Gene's Sport Shop in Perham. Call 218-385-3339 with questions.

  • Phelps Mill Festival : The festival, located at Phelps Mill County Park just north of Underwood, highlights artists, music and wine and beer on July 10-11. Tickets are $5 with children under 12 years old free. The wine and beer tasting event from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Enduro Series: The Wadena County Enduro series continue through July and August, including July 11, July 25 and August 14. The races start at 1 p.m. at the grandstand. You can purchase tickets online or at the fairgrounds ticket booth.

  • Wadena Lions BBQ: Stop by for a dine-in or to-go lunch or dinner of roast beef and pulled pork sandwiches on July 15 at Burlington Northern Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Ottertail Music and Theater events : Enjoy evening performances in Ottertail City Park with "Three Nights in Arid Flats" performed by the Wadena Madhatters Community Theatre (July 10), Music with Blue English (July 13), Music with Whiskey Business (July 27) and Flashbacks (Aug. 24).

  • Sounds of Spirit Lake concerts : The free concerts at Spirit Lake in Menahga are on July 16 (Back Up & Push), July 23 (Monroe Crossing), July 30 (Davina & the Vagabonds) and Aug. 6 (City Mouse). The concerts start at 7 p.m. Make sure to bring your own lawn chair or blanket. If it’s raining, the concerts are held at the Menahga High School.

  • Henning Fly-In: Enjoy the pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at the municipal airport on July 17.

  • Sunnybrook Park Disc Golf Tournament: The two morning and afternoon tournament rounds are open to professional and amateur players. The 18-holes include water hazards, tree shots and open shots. Prizes will be available for the winners. You can sign up for the tournament on the Disc Golf Scene website.

  • Wadena Street Dance: The dance with Wadena businesses is planned for July 24 at Burlington Northern Park with the Tate McClain Band, bean bag tournaments and more details to come.

  • Deer Creek Trail Days : Start the day off right with the Smokin’ Hot 5K at 8 a.m. on July 24. They’ll be plenty of Deer Creek to enjoy with the costume party kiddie parade, grand parade, baseball, a magic show, street dance with Eric’s Dance band and face painting.

  • Sebeka Red Eye River Days : The days kick off with a baseball game and bean bag tournament on July 30 and continue through August 1 with games, a 5K run/walk, escape rooms, ice cream, tug of war, parades, street dance and duck races. Registration information for the 5K, kids triathlon and escape rooms are available on their Facebook page.

  • Verndale Days : Begin with the Raiders Run at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 31 and continue with fun for the family including bounce houses and face painting with fireworks at dusk. Street dance is from 9 p.m. to midnight.


  • Crazy Days in Wadena: Find a shopping deal and some fun on the side Thursday, August 5.

  • Wadena Rotary Corn and Chicken Feed: Experience the delights on Aug. 12 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Burlington Northern Park.

  • Otterfest: Enjoy a parade, games and plenty of food alongside the Slew Foot Family Band on Aug. 14.

  • Old Wadena Rendezvous : From Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. to Aug. 15 at 4 p.m. the event includes music, food, reenactments and a genuine walk back in time to the area's early days of fur trade.

  • Kalevala Puppet Pageant and Corn Feed : You can take part in puppet pageant workshops starting Aug. 9 at the Barn Sculpture Park and then enjoy the New York Mills street theater on August 20. The characters highlight Finnish culture through the poem “Kalevala.”

  • Staples Railroad Days: Take in a car show, kabob cook-off, parade, 5K, street dance and axe throwing on Aug. 21. The penny wars begin on Aug. 16 and continue through Aug. 22.
  • Bluffton Hometown Days: Take in Bluffton on Aug. 20-21 with a car show, movie in the park, parade and fireworks along with more event details to come.

  • Henning Crazy Days and World Famous Turkey BBQ: Shop the sales and enjoy the food on Aug. 20.

  • England Prairie Show Days : Take part in harvesting potatoes on Aug. 22, enjoy a roast beef dinner on Aug. 20 and spend the rest of the weekend enjoying an antique tractor pull and horses working the fields. The events take place at 14229 County Road 1, Verndale.

  • Wadena Fly-In: The airport event is scheduled for Aug. 21 from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. including breakfast from 7-10:30 a.m.

  • Landmark Center Corn & Brats Feed: Come hungry for the event on Aug. 27.

  • Pig-N-Wig Challenge: The finger-licking good barbeque challenge is scheduled for Aug. 28 with details to come.


  • Salsa Fest: Come celebrate salsa and enjoy music performances on Sept. 18 in Burlington Northern Park, Wadena.

  • Whiskey Creek Film Festival : Soak in all the latest movies at the Cozy Theatre from Sept. 10-16 as well as a Minnesota film and a free movie for families. Tickets will be available at area businesses and online.

Farmers’ Markets

  • Wadena-Deer Creek Greenhouse: Stop by the school greenhouse on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon through August.

  • Wadena Tuesday market: Find the market on Tuesdays starting mid-July in Burlington Northern Park from 7 a.m. to noon.

  • New York Mills: Head to Central Park on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting on June 30.

  • Staples: The Thursday market is from 2-5:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Health System main campus.
  • Wadena Friday market: The market is open on Fridays from 2-5:30 p.m. on Wesley Lawn across from Tri-County Health Care.

What To Read Next
Get Local