Spirit of the Lakes adds new events for 2017

The Spirit of the Lakes Festival is ramping up it’s family friendly atmosphere for 2017 with the addition of a mini golf showcase and the incorporation of the Guns vs. Hoses charity softball game into the festival.

This will be the second annual charity softball game between the Mound Fire Department and Orono Police Department, but it will be the first time it’s being added to the Spirit of the Lakes line up.

“Deputy Chris Fischer from Orono came to me and asked if we could sponsor,” Spirt of the Lake Board Member Gwen Wood said. “It just seemed like a great fit to help kick off our festival. They’re both family and community oriented events that help charities so we thought it was a win for everyone.”

That game will take place on Wednesday, July 19 at WRA fields in Minnetrista and will also feature the kiddie parade that ran on Thursday evening last year.

Fast forward to Saturday morning for a new take on the traditional business showcase. In previous years, the event consisted of sponsor businesses setting up tents through Surfside Park with giveaways and information on their products and services. This year, the Spirit of the Lakes board members decided they wanted to have more interaction between festival goers and their sponsors by creating Mini Putt by the Bay. Each sponsor will be set up at one of the 18 holes on the course and mini golfers will get their putters from the sponsors before putting the hole that sponsor designed and decorated.

“People used to just walk between the booths on the way to the food court,” Wood said. “We wanted to have more interaction between people and give the sponsors a way to have more fun with it by decorating their own holes.”

The mini putt course will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and admission is free for all attending the festival.

The only events that have an admission fee over the weekend festival are the 21 and up wine tasting and Meet Your Makers Craft Beverage Fest. Meet Your Maker features local breweries, wineries and distilleries with samplings of their products from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday at Surfside Park. Last year was the first time the event added distilleries and Wood said she thought it added an extra element to the event.

Continue reading here: Laker & Pioneer | Spirit of the Lakes adds new events for 2017