After a year on hiatus, the Carlton Daze festival is back on the schedule with events for kids and adults alike.

The annual celebration was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but returns this weekend, July 23-25, with a full slate of events.

The weekend kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, July 23, with the 28th annual Carlton Daze 5K Run/Walk. The race starts and ends at the Four Seasons Sports Complex and follows Chestnut Avenue into Jay Cooke State Park before returning to Carlton on the Munger Trail. Register for the race at carltonchamber.com/carlton-daze.

The Third Base Bar in Carlton will also sponsor softball and volleyball tournaments throughout the weekend.

Runners start the 2019 Carlton Daze 5K Run/Walk. (Dave Harwig / File / Pine Journal)
Runners start the 2019 Carlton Daze 5K Run/Walk. (Dave Harwig / File / Pine Journal)

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From 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 24, judging for a pie baking contest followed by a pie social will be held in the Carlton Wellness Center’s community room. However, this year's pie social will feature store-bought pies instead of samples from the entries.

“New to the pie scene is that our pie social will be open to the public,” organizer Daisy Rose said. “In years past, they would have people sample the pies that were entered in the contest. They will not be doing that, but they’re going to bring in pies to serve.”

Connie Male, Jody Turek, Amy Bergstrom and Lissa Soukkala judge the berry pie baking contest at the Thrivent Financial Office on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jamie Lund/ File / Pine Journal)
Connie Male, Jody Turek, Amy Bergstrom and Lissa Soukkala judge the berry pie baking contest at the Thrivent Financial Office on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jamie Lund/ File / Pine Journal)

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24, a car show will be held in front of the Carlton VFW. The Carlton VFW will also host bingo and live music throughout the weekend and will have a “booze cart” to buy drinks from.

On Sunday, July 25, the parade will begin at 1 p.m. and Jeopardy! champion Sam Kavanaugh, a 2009 Carlton graduate, will be the grand marshal. Floats can line up for the parade at noon at Carlton High School. Contact Andy Bailey for more information at 218-391-6617 or register a float carltonchamber.com/carlton-daze.

Jeopardy! champion Sam Kavanaugh will be the grand marshal of the Carlton Daze parade Sunday, July 25. (Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)
Jeopardy! champion Sam Kavanaugh will be the grand marshal of the Carlton Daze parade Sunday, July 25. (Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

Following the parade, Rose said there will be a bubble dance at the Northern Pacific Junction Bike Shelter at the DNR Park in Carlton, as well as a coin hunt for kids.

Rose said she loves many of the events of Carlton Daze, but she really looks forward to the parade and kids' activities on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s your typical small town parade and something that’s been a part of Carlton Daze since the beginning and it’s become very much a tradition that I think a lot of people look forward to," she said.

Drought delays ‘Paddlemania’

Carlton Daze typically works with Swiftwater Adventures to promote “Paddlemania,” a kayak race on the St. Louis River.

However, the ongoing drought in northern Minnesota has caused the St. Louis River to drop to “historic lows,” according to Swiftwater owner Cliff Langley.

Langley hopes the race can still be held Aug. 14 if it rains enough to warrant a release of the Thomson Dam and add water to the St. Louis River.

“We’re just hoping for some good rain events to get us out of this drought,” Langley said. “So do your rain dance.”

Carlton Daze Schedule

All weekend

  • B&B Market Wagon at the Third Base Bar.
  • Magnolia Cafe fourth anniversary celebration.
  • Food vendors at the Four Seasons Sports Complex.
  • Carlton VFW Auxiliary Booze Cart.

Friday, July 23

  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Community garage sale. Contact Carlton Community Education at 218-384-4225, ext. 213, for more information.
  • 5 p.m.: Kids' Fun Races.
  • 6 p.m.: 28th annual Carlton Daze 5K Run/Walk start at the Four Seasons Sports Complex.
  • 6 p.m.: Carlton VFW Meat Raffle.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Softball tournament at the Third Base Bar. Call 218-384-4515 to register.
  • 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Live music at the Third Base Bar and Carlton VFW.

Saturday, July 24

  • 8 a.m.: Volleyball tournament at the Third Base Bar begins. Call 218-384-4515 to register.
  • 9-11 a.m.: Pie Baking Contest at the Carlton Wellness Center community room. Contact Julie Atkinson at 218-349-1178.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Car show in front of the Carlton VFW. Contact Derrick Wehe at 218-269-1356 to register.
  • 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Live music at the Third Base Bar and Carlton VFW

Sunday, July 25

  • 1 p.m.: Carlton Daze Parade, line up begins at noon at Carlton High School. Contact Andy Bailey at 218-391-6617 for more information.
  • 2 p.m.: Kids' activities and root beer floats at the Carlton Fire Hall.
  • 2 p.m.: Bubble dance party and Kids' Coin Hunt at the DNR Park.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Live Music at the Third Base Bar.
  • 4-8 p.m.: Live Music at the Carlton VFW.