It's finally here! This weekend is one of Crosslake's biggest celebrations: Crosslake Days. The annual festival draws thousands to town and fills the town with the smells of simmering chili and sounds of laughter.
Crosslake Days is a wonderful amalgamation of several family-friendly, ultra-fun events. There's the annual chili cookoff competition that includes free chili samples at each participating competitor; the search for the missing chili pepper; arts and crafts shows; and much more.
Join in the hunt for the missing chili pepper beginning on Thursday, Sept. 26. Clues are released daily at 9 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday, or until the pepper is found. Find the pepper and you'll become the owner of a prize package worth well over $1,ooo! Prizes include donated gifts from your favorite local businesses as well as gift cards and more. Read each clue at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Crosslake Days event webpage, here.
Chili tasting for the annual chili cookoff begins promptly at noon on Satuday, Sept. 28. Thirty-six businesses are competing and you can try chili at every one, so long as you're fast! Chili tasting goes until 3 p.m. or until gone. Cast your vote at any of several voting sites or on the Crosslake app. Chili cookoff contestants are listed on the right hand side of the event website.
The annual Jul Kaffe Fest Bazaar at Crosslake Lutheran will include arts and crafts as well as a lunch served. That festival is from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. A flea Market will be held at Town Square on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there will also be an arts and crafts market in the old Exchange parking lot (on County Rd. 66) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with more than 60 vendors!
The Historic Log Village will have its annual Cider and Candlelight Tour from 7-9 p.m. This event takes you back in time as you explore some of the buildings that founded the city of Crosslake, all lit up for an evening stroll. The Historic Log Village is on County Road 3 across from the dam.
There's more, too! Saturday holds many other events: Enjoy a bon fire and free s'mores at the Army Corps of Engineers from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, where Bobber the Water Safety Dog will be making the rounds. A kids treasure hunt will be held at Moonlite Bay at 11 a.m. for kids 10 and under. A bloody Mary tasting will be from 12-3 p.m. at Barstock Liquors. Stop by Town Square and see miniature therapy ponies from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Changing Strides Therapy.
There will be afternoon live music at JAG interiors featuring the Rusty Crayfish Brass Band from 12-2:30. Lisa Wenger will play at Maucieri's from 7-10 p.m., acoustic guitarist Mike Derus will play at 14 Lakes Brewery at 7:30 p.m., Kelly Peterson will play at the Bourbon Room at 8 p.m., and DJs will be spinning evening music at Andy's, Zorbaz, The Wharf and Moonlite Bay. Karaoke will be from 12-4 p.m. at Riverside.
The entire weekend is loaded with fun, beyond just Saturday's events. Check the Brainerd Chamber website here to see a full list of events.