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The running theme of our time so far at the Lake City Chamber has been one of gratitude. The way this community comes together to support each other and the events that bring us together is nothing short of inspiring.

Elizabeth and I walked into our positions this spring with Tour de Pepin, Water Ski Days, and the 4th of July coming in fast. In each event’s case, the only ‘details’ that seemed to have been planned were the looming dates. Between the challenges we faced due to Covid restrictions and location switch ups, the hills we had to climb seemed insurmountable at times.

Then YOU showed up.

First there were the sponsors, the local businesses, organizations, and individuals that provided much needed financial support to these endeavors. We cannot overstate how important our sponsors are to these events. In fact, the truth is these events could not and would not happen if folks did not step up with either cash or in-kind goods and services. From Hearth and Home who send not only a donation, but a small army of workers to help with Water Ski Days, to Fiesta Foods who initiated a ‘round-up’ at their registers for the 4th of July fireworks display, to literally every other generous soul and organization in between, we are humbled and grateful for your involvement.

Next came the volunteers. Tour de Pepin and Water Ski Days both have awesome citizen committees that hold invaluable institutional knowledge of the events. These folks worked along side Elizabeth and I to get the details right every step of the way. Everyone contributed in their own ways to make Lake City shine brightly. While every committee member is appreciated, an extra special thank you is owed to Heidi Myers Schwer and Ed LaBrash who worked their tails off to make sure that two of the most complicated aspects of Water Ski Days, the grand parade and beverage tent entertainment, went off without hitches. We’d also like to recognize Destin Peters who led the team that assembled and tore down the beverage tent area, Bruce Wallerich, Scott Jensen, Melissa Krier, Bill Weist, and all the city employees who worked behind the scenes to make sure we were ready to rock n roll come ‘showtime’, Nick Majerus who powered up an area not exactly tailor made for a large event like Water Ski Days, Robyn and Pat Udenberg who made numerous trips around the lake loading hundreds of riders’ bicycles at Tour de Pepin in 100 degree temperatures, and Jim Basso who similarly ran around the lake countless times in the intense heat assisting TDP riders when they ran into issues. These are just a few names out of the two hundred-plus people who dedicated their valuable time to make these events possible.

Finally, we honor those who came out to participate and celebrate! From the 700+ registrants of Tour de Pepin, to the thousands and thousands who came out for Water Ski Days, to all who gathered on the lakeshore or on their boats for the 4th, you all made Lake City THE PLACE TO BE in Minnesota over the past month. Thank you for buying a ticket, a t-shirt, a ride, a drink or a sandwich, etc, etc, etc. You are awesome!

Of course, we would be remiss to not give a shout out to our vendors and contractors. From our amazing beverage suppliers at Northern Beverage, to the food truck operators, to the ski team, to the arts and crafters at Patton Park, to all the phenomenal entertainers, you were all so wonderful to work with!

We will keep the fun happening in Lake City throughout the year, and we will be continually grateful to those who will assist us in so many different ways going forward, but after the intensity of the past month, we just wanted to say that Lake City has made our hearts overflow with appreciation. We are in awe of this community. Give yourself a well-deserved round of applause. Thank you.

Ed Hoffman, Executive Director Lake City Chamber of Commerce

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