Water Ski Days June 23-26, 2022

Lake City is celebrating 100 years as the Birthplace of Water Skiing!

50th annual Water Ski Days

June 23-26, 2022

Water skiing was invented in Lake City in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson. Each year Lake City celebrates the man and the sport. 

2022 is a big year for Lake City. We’re celebrating 150 years as a city, 100 years of waterskiing and 50 years of Water Ski Days. So come to our quintessential summer party, June 23th-26th and be treated to live concerts, an arts and crafts fair, water-ski shows, a grand parade, a classic car show, and much, much, much more. Scroll down this page for a full schedule of events.
Mark your calendars. We cannot wait to see your smiling faces!


Discounted Full-Weekend Passes Available ONLINE UNTIL 5PM JUNE 23!

Download a printable full program of events here

Lake City Celebrates 100 Years as the ‘Birthplace of Water Skiing’ in 2022

It’s been 100 years since Ralph Samuelson invented the sport of water skiing on Lake Pepin. Lake City -with the generous support of Hearth and Home Technologies– brings a full slate of exciting programming in honor of his achievement.
– On Friday (6/24) from 12-5pm the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation will be hosting a free “get on the water” event featuring Joe Knapp (Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame), Betsy Gilman Anderson (world-renowned barefoot skier), and Megan Adams (2020 Junior World Water Ski Champion).
– On Saturday and Sunday over 50 regional show team performers, organized by the Ski Dox show team, will hold 3 gravity-defying shows for fest-goers, complete with reenactments of Ralph Samuelson stunts. These shows will occur at Ohuta Beach on Sat (6/25) at 11am and 4pm and Sun (6/26) at 4pm, with Saturday’s show featuring Wisconsin Rapids pilot and performer Kurt Gross with his Lake Amphibian floatplane. 82-year-old Glen Sperry, the first person to ever ski on stilts, will also showcase his skills at this year’s shows.
Jay Mercill, professional motocross racer, will be attempting to beat 2 world records riding a motorcycle on water – 20+ miles in distance and 58 mph in speed. Sat (6/25) 12:30pm.
– Lake City Area Arts will be home to a fascinating historical exhibition curated by the Water Ski Hall of Fame. The exhibit will also feature on the hour showings of Ben Threinen’s documentary, Ralph Samuelson: The Father of Water Skiing presented by the Lake City Historical Society.
– Big Water Sports will offer water ski lessons Saturday (6/25) and Sunday (6/26).
– Other Water Ski 100 related activities in Lake City this summer include the public debut screening of Threinen’s documentary at Lincoln High School on June 21, and the official unveiling of a life-sized Ralph Samuelson bronze sculpture at Ohuta Beach Park on July 2.  


2022 Water Ski Days Schedule

Thursday 6/23:

Water Ski 100 Exhibition (Lake City Area Arts) 2 – 5pm
Wild Wings Tent Sale (2101 Hwy 61 S) 3 – 6 pm
Beverage Garden (Ohuta Beach Park) 4 – 10pm
Carnival (throughout downtown) 5 – 10pm
Market by the Lake (Ohuta Beach Park) 5 – 8pm
Knight Barry WSD Volunteer Appreciation Party (Ohuta Beach Park) 5 – 7pm
Concert: The Jorgensens (Ohuta Beach Park) 6:30 – 10pm

Friday 6/24:  

Wild Wings Tent Sale (2101 Hwy 61 S) 9am – 5pm
Water Ski 100 Exhibition (Lake City Area Arts) 11am – 5pm
Carnival (throughout downtown) 12 – 10pm
Beverage Garden (Ohuta Beach Park) 12pm – Midnight
USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation’s “Get on the Water” (Ohuta Beach Park) 12 – 5pm
Lake Hits 95 Karaoke Contest Finals (Ohuta Beach Park) 5:30 – 7:30pm
Concert: Hitchville (Ohuta Beach Park) 7:30pm – Midnight

Saturday 6/25:  

Rotary Club 5k/10k/Half-Marathon/Kids Fun Run (Underwood Park) 7am
Lion’s Club Classic Car Show (Lincoln High School Football Field) 7am – 2pm
Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast (St. Mary’s) 8am – 12pm
Arts and Crafts Fair (Patton Park) 9am – 5pm
Wild Wings Tent Sale (2101 Hwy 61 S) 9am – 5pm
Beverage Garden (Ohuta Beach Park) 10am – Midnight
Children’s Penny Hunt (St. John’s) 10am
Bean Bag Tournament (Ohuta Beach Park) 10am – ?
Historic Walking Tour (City Hall) 10am, 1pm, and 3pm
Live Broadcast with Lake Hits 95 (Patton Park) 10am – 12pm
Water Ski Show Team Performances presented by Hearth and Home Technologies (Ohuta Beach Park) 11am and 4pm
Jay Mercill World Record Attempt (Ohuta Beach Park) 12:30pm
Water Ski 100 Exhibition (Lake City Area Arts) 11am – 5pm
Carnival (throughout downtown) 12 – 10pm
Lake City Area Arts BINGO! (Ohuta Beach Park) 1 – 4pm
Concert: Chase Matthews with The 4 on the Floor (Ohuta Beach Park) 7:30pm – Midnight
Venetian Boat Parade (Ohuta Beach Park) 9pm

Sunday 6/26:

Arts and Crafts Show (Patton Park) 9am – 5pm
Wild Wings Tent Sale (2101 Hwy 61 S) 10am – 3pm
Beverage Garden (Ohuta Beach Park) 11am – 10:30pm
Water Ski 100 Exhibition (Lake City Area Arts) 11am – 5pm
Carnival (throughout downtown) 12pm – 8pm
Grand Parade (Garden and High Streets) 2pm – 3:30pm
Water Ski Show Team Performance presented by Hearth and Home Technologies (Ohuta Beach Park) 4:00pm
Concert: Junk FM (Ohuta Beach Park) 7pm – 10:30pm

*Big Water Sports will offer ski lessons on Saturday and Sunday of the event. Call or text (507) 481-7298 for info and pricing.

2022 WSD Map




While nearly all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in Minnesota, the Water Ski Days organizers recognize that the virus is still an active threat. If you are not fully vaccinated for Covid-19, do not have Covid-19 antibodies, or are otherwise or especially vulnerable to Covid-19, we recommend mask wearing, social distancing whenever you are in the proximity of others, or not attending the event.

Following state rules, at this time we are not requiring masks, However, we still recommend wearing a face covering and social distancing. We ask that you practice frequent hand washing and sanitizing when possible.


  • Do you have any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 that you cannot attribute to another health condition? Symptoms include: Fever or feeling feverish, chills, a new cough, shortness of breath, a new sore throat, new muscle aches, new loss of smell or taste? https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facilityhlthscreen.pdf
  • Have you or anyone in your household been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or symptoms of it?
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19?

Presenting Sponsor

Water Ski 100 Presented By…

Admiral Sponsors

Commodore Sponsors

Captain Sponsors

Jake Davidson Painting

Commander Sponsors

LT Commander Sponsors

Deck Hand Sponsors

Anne Marie Kjelland    Lake City Appliance & Video   LA Anderson Accountant

2022 Water Ski Days Sponsorship 

If you are interested in sponsoring in 2022,
please Contact the Chamber of Commerce


Arts & Crafts Show

Thank you for your interest in the Water Ski Days Arts & Crafts Show.  If you would like to participate as a vendor, the 2022 application can be found here, and the required ST19 form here. All assignments will be given out in the order in which application materials are received.  We will do our best to accommodate your special requests.

The following must be filled out and returned to the Lake City Chamber of Commerce:

Grand Parade

Thank you for your interest in the Water Ski Days Parade.  If you would like to participate, you’ll find the necessary paperwork here.  The registration deadline is May 27, 2022.  Your timely response is appreciated and is necessary to guarantee a place in the parade, as the number of units are limited.

The following must be filled out and returned to the Lake City Chamber of Commerce:

  • Parade Application
  • Certificate of Insurance (Participants must present a certificate of insurance for their vehicle along with the application.)

Grand Parade Application – 2022

Carnival Street Closures

The following streets will be closed to accommodate the carnival:

South Franklin Street (near Lake City Federal Bank) to the intersection of North Franklin Street & East Chestnut Street.

The East Lyon Avenue block between South Washington Street and South Franklin Street.

The East Center Street block between South Washington Street and South Franklin Street.