Create Family Memories at Farmer’s Market in the Park

Meander the Boardwalk on Saturday Mornings in Arnold’s Park. Summer at the Iowa Great Lakes is filled with excitement, activity, and families. Farmers Market in the Park is no different, as the Saturday community-based event is a haven for people looking to spend several hours browsing for a niche product ...
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Lake Life Review

The Lake Life team is at it again! You know that song Where in the World is Carmon Sandiago? I think our team needs a theme song. I would call it Where in the Lakes Are They? Don't try to sing the title as you did with Where in the ...
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Blue Lake Maps — Celebrating 60 Years!

Every decade, Kyle Hamilton of Blue Lake Maps designs and creates a new snapshot of the Iowa Great Lakes region, showcasing new additions alongside the area’s long history. For the past 60 years, these maps have become family keepsakes at area homes and businesses. Blue Lake Maps were first released ...
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Brooks Golf is a Gem Found in the Heart of the Iowa Great Lakes

Nestled in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes, for almost 90 years, Brooks Golf has drawn all levels of golfers to their 27-hole course complete with three distinct nine-hole layouts. From smooth greens to bent grass tees and fairways, the course’s masterful design has created superb playing conditions for ...
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Our Pets Brings us Smiles

A pet is often one of our very best friends! Cats, dogs, and multiple other animals bring huge value to our lives. These cuddly animals are valued companions, extremely loyal and constantly willing to bring a smile to our faces. A loveable pet will run to us in excitement when ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

Wild at Heart by KA Tucker In the last issue I recommended The Simple Wild and when I finished it, I immediately started the follow up, Wild at Heart. It’s official, KA Tucker has ruined me for all other romance novels! All I want is a third novel to continue ...
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Welcome to Camp Foster of Okoboji — Where Kids Get to be Kids

Past and Present Camp Counselors Share Their Love for Camp FosterThe idea that “Kids Can Be Kids” is one reason campers love to come back to Camp Foster year after year. Parents, who once attended or worked as counselors, now send their own children. Kids of all ages travel from ...
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K & K Masonry, Inc Creates Beauty One Brick at a Time

The art of masonry takes exact technique and temperament to withstand the physical rigors of the profession, as well as an eye for detail, in order to create beautiful, quality designs often seen on homes and businesses. This was an art Gus Kopsas began learning at age 16 and later ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

The Simple Wild by KA Tucker 2020 has been an exceptional reading year for me and The Simple Wild is at the top of that list. I have to say, it easily became one of my favorite romances ever! This book was beautiful and adventurous. I always love a story ...
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Simply Delicous

The recipes this month are geared towards everyone who is young at heart! Chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs, pussy willows and tulips are some of my favorite spring things. Personally, I miss the days of Easter Sunday, when the little boys wore their best suits and ties while the little girls ...
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The Wilkerson Cottage is a Summer Haven for Family

The minute you walk into Dr. Rick and Barb Wilkerson’s summer cottage along West Lake Okoboji you feel at home. The warm environment entices a sit-down conversation, knowing a “How are you?” is soon to come. At the same time, the house built in 1920 is filled with pockets of ...
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Concrete Used in Flooring

Walk out your front door and look around. Concrete is everywhere. It paves our driveways, forms our houses and provides porches to sit on. And for good reason — for thousands of years “concrete” has been used as a building material. Over this time it has evolved into the concrete ...
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Cottage Gardens Creates Blooming Beauty for the Iowa Great Lakes

A Hidden Gem! You may have wondered where the beautiful plants seen around the Iowa Great Lakes have come from. Cottage Gardens in Milford has been creating stunning planters along the Okoboji Bridge and the Arnolds Park State Pier for years. Cottage Gardens has also been supplying annual and perennial ...
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Solar Made Simple

Simpleray Provides Solar Energy Options for the Midwest Simpleray has brought renewable energy to homeowners, farms, businesses, and communities throughout the Midwest for over ten years. Over the past decade, they’ve learned how to successfully install solar power by creating individualized design plans, using the right equipment and technology and ...
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Carefree, Stress-Free Patio Home Living

Berkley Heights Development in the Heart of Spirit Lake There are numerous housing options in the Iowa Great Lakes region but few quite like the homes being tucked behind the Highway 9/71 hub of Spirit Lake businesses. The Berkley Heights Residential Development is being built in the heart of Spirit ...
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Lake Life Review

I just want to start with, many people have their own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, leaving not even two of us the same. Our personalities, hobbies and passions intermingle and cross paths with each other. But each to their own. No judging here! This brings us to this ...
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Ahrenstorff: Named NAM Jr. Teen Runner-Up

We introduce Carlie Jo Ahrenstorff, National American Miss (NAM) Jr. Teen Runner-up, from the “Field of Dreams!” Selected as one of the top five at the national NAM competition in Anaheim, CA on Sunday, Dec. 1, the nerve-wracking minutes on the big stage were anxiety-filled for this outwardly poised 16-year-old ...
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Simply Delicious

The unseasonably cold temperatures and snow seemed to put me into hibernation early this year so I was ready for Winter Games in November. The only thing missing was the lake wasn’t frozen yet. With the temperatures bouncing around, fingers are crossed for a frozen lake by the end of ...
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Snow Happens, Trails Don’t

Dickinson County SnowHawks Maintain 120 Miles of County Trails The glittery of white snowflakes fluttering through gray skies inwardly brings delight to a group of Dickinson County individuals. These men and women, boys and girls have a passion for snowmobiling and love exploring the area’s unique landscape. The Dickinson County ...
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Martinson Wedding

Kevin Martinson and Taylor Glover Enjoy Gorgeous Fall Wedding Day A 400-meter oval track has been a common bond between a Spirit Lake boy and a Spencer girl. The one lap race brought the two together, connecting Kevin Martinson and Taylor Glover in 2012 at an Indoor Lakes Conference Track ...
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Dermus Skincare Offers Bridal Makeup Packages for the Special Day

A wedding day is a moment in time where beautiful dreams come true! The couple is in their finest and countless preparations have taken place leading up to the special event. For a bride, she finds a gorgeous gown and has her hair specially done. Many brides will also utilize ...
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A Helping Hand to Fight the Daily Food Battle

Over 82% of us are too stubborn to give up the foods we like in order to live a healthier lifestyle. We love our French fries over the choice of a salad. A frozen pizza or fast food drive-through can be easier on a busy night. Why choose an available ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan I have to give a shoutout to my mom, Donna, who gifted this book to me and introduced me to Jenny Colgan. The Bookshop on the Corner was the most delightful reading experience I have had in a very long time! This ...
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Lake Life Review

A group of us recently completed the "Mission Possible" program at the Family Bedell YMCA. I need you to all re-read the last line. This is Mission POSSIBLE not Mission IMPOSSIBLE! While Tom Cruise has been my Hollywood crush since I was probably eight, I will be talking more about ...
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Bob’s Drive-Inn Expanding to Year-Round Location in Iowa Great Lakes

Continuing to Carry on Iconic Family Traditions Kevin Kass grew up learning how to run a business from the pros – his family! His grandfather Bob Kass opened Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, IA in 1949, creating an eating establishment that quickly became a popular hangout for people of all ...
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Holiday Traditions at the Dinner Table

A person could find traditions every where they looked.  The tradition of the biggest pep rally before your favorite's team homecoming football game. The tradition of decorating for the seasons. The tradition of visiting your grandma every year for her birthday who is now 97! The tradition of taking first ...
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Young Hearts for Giving

Elementary Students Raise Funds for Local Public Services Some could say youth don’t have the means or the skills to make a difference. But sometimes their enthusiasm and innocence have a bigger impact than those much older. This is true for a group of elementary girls who have big hearts ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh This was my first book from Clare Mackintosh and had I known she was a former police officer, I definitely would have picked her work up sooner! Let Me Lie is both a psychological thriller and a character-driven, beautiful narrative. If you decide to ...
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Creating Family Memories for a Lifetime

A Magical Family Tradition: Picking Out a Christmas Tree Magical memories are created every year when families carve out a special time to pick out a Christmas tree together for their home. The entire experience is centered on finding that perfect tree. Is it tall or plump? Maybe short and ...
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The Toews Embrace Old and New Holiday Traditions

Family Blessed by Foreign Exchange Students Back in fall 2013, Marcy Toews was waiting for her son Carter to finish soccer practice at the Bedell YMCA. During those moments, she spotted a random post on Facebook about a family announcing the exciting news, “It’s a boy!” The story went on ...
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Sharing Music from the Heart — Family Style

St. Joseph Church in Milford Hosts Brown’s Family Christmas Dec. 8 Some of the Brown family’s first musical recollections together are singing Christmas carols door-to-door in Le Mars. Shelly dressed up the three kids in Victorian costumes, top hats for the boys and full skirts for the girls. While those ...
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Lake Life Review

The other day, six of us ventured onto the "Riddle Me That" grounds to put our minds together and master the riddle of one of their rooms. Walking in we were greeted…by someone…I wasn’t aware of exactly who, because I was soaking up  all the puzzles, they are everywhere! As ...
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Gathering For A Showdown

The work to prepare for such an event starts months in advance. The representatives from each of the ten counties gather to plan, fundraise and promote the Northwest Iowa Showdown starting in the fall, keeping in touch through email and phone conversations throughout the entire year. It takes an army ...
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Sailing Is About The Thrill Of Competition

Alexander Brothers Have Eyes Set on the Future The Alexander brothers love the thrill of competition. Their drive for success is perfected against one another, as these three brothers love competing against each other and anyone else out on the water. They have big dreams of sailing at high levels; ...
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Simply Delicious

Summer’s end and the onset of fall brings out the baking maniac in me. It’s time for harvest dinners in the field, tailgate parties and back to school lunch boxes. I have brought you comfort and simplicity for the changing of the seasons. The peanut butter cookies are easy and ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager I've decided that Sager's books should come with a printed warning: Enjoy with a friend or loved one, DO NOT consume alone, whatever you do. By now most of you know thrillers are everything to me. I want to write suspense, so I spend ...
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Smith Family Creates Legacy in the Iowa Great Lakes

Okoboji Dairy and Ice Cream Store are From Days Past Life has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. The simple days of milk being hand delivered to your door in glass bottles or 5¢ ice cream cones from Smith’s Okoboji Dairy are from days past. It was a time ...
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Northwest Iowa Bone, Joints and Sports Surgeons

Whether you are an injured athlete or just want to be able to walk without pain, the physicians at NWIA Bone, Joint & Sports Surgeons will do their best to help you achieve your goal. The success in helping patients reach their goals is what attracts people from NW Iowa ...
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Magical Beauty of the Monarch Butterfly

Dickinson County Conservation Board Hosts Bee and Butterfly Festival September 6th. There is something absolutely magical about the Monarch Butterfly. Their indescribable beauty fills the air like orange clouds of fluttering confetti. They flicker through the air, some big and some small. They add moments of color to flowers, gathering ...
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Lake Life Review

The other day we took out a Moke. Two Mokes actually. Does anyone know if the plural of a Moke is actually Mokes or is it something like mouse/mice? Moke/Mike? Who’s Mike? When you take out more than one Moke would that be a herd? Maybe a fleet. I think ...
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Dickinson County Fair

Rylee Johannsen has been showing cattle at the Dickinson County Fair for the past four years. She picked out her calves in the fall and began working with them right away. The seventh grader is bringing three calves to show this year at the fair named Gus, Whiskey, and Vegas. ...
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Dr. Kolegraff’s Passion for Medicine Impacts the Community

re*be® Skin and Vein Clinic Provides Professional Certified Medical Care Well-known for his medical expertise in Iowa, Dr. Ronald Kolegraff MD, FACS has a passion for helping people better their lives. Dr. Kolegraff and his staff at re*be® Skin and Vein Clinic enter each day providing professional certified medical care ...
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Cyndee’s Cooking Corner

This is going to be the Best Summer Ever! I love living in Okoboji with all the amazing things to see and do. The weather is balmy and sunny and to be honest, I feel like a teenager again. Exciting! One thing I love is a house full of people ...
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Sailing is a Lifetime Family Sport

Four Generations of the Rierson Family Enjoy Sailing on West Lake Okoboji There’s no sound but the hum of the wind and the crash of the water against the boat. The beautiful white sails are full out. With a personality all of its own, the boat speeds up. The constant ...
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Lakeside Lab — The Best Kept Secret in the Iowa Great Lakes Area

Lakeside Lab’s Outdoor Classrooms Immerse Students in Nature Every year, thousands of students of all ages discover a hidden jewel on the west side of West Lake Okoboji. Open to the public, the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory is owned by the state of Iowa and operated through the Board of Regents. ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves Tracey Garvis Graves won me over years ago with her debut novel On the Island and even with my high expectations/the buzz around this novel, this story blew me away. We meet our protagonists Annika and Jonathan in present day ...
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Ready for Adoption!

LET RESCUE BECOME YOUR FAVORITE BREED! MEET REMY! Remy is a three-year-old Shepherd/Heeler Mix. She is good with kids, she does not care for other cats and is very dog selective. She is a HUGE lover who can melt your heart with those BIG BEAUTIFUL eyes and is a gentle ...
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Trail System Connects Communities in Dickinson County

Bikes – Brews – Bites Dickinson County Trails Benefit on July 27 The trails looping throughout Dickinson County are family favorites, whether it’s for a bike ride or a jog. These paths link communities throughout the Iowa Great Lakes area, providing a safe path for enjoying nature and recreation. Many ...
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Love For Our Iowa Great Lakes

The 2018 plan treated 61 acres of curly leaf with a combination of mechanical harvesting and the use of an aquatic herbicide. 4.25 miles of shoreline was treated. The beautiful clear, blue waters of the Iowa Great Lakes are a summer mainstay for locals and residents! The Okoboji chain is ...
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Iowa Lakes Region Welcomes In The World

Residents of the Iowa Great Lakes region don’t always realize the blessing of living in this area. Surrounded by complete beauty and Midwestern values, the area is appealing to hundreds of young people from around the world. Every summer, these amazing young people come from places around the world to ...
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Creating Memories for a Lifetime

Arnolds Park Amusement Park Opens for the 2019 Season The smiles on faces and the laughter in voices bring such delight to the observer. This joy seen in the eyes of children year after year is one reason Historic Arnolds Park Amusement Park is an area favorite by locals and ...
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A Day On The Lake

“The Bridge” joins Okoboji to Arnolds Park, over a channel connecting East and West Lake Okoboji. The junction of all traffic – rail, bicycle, foot, auto, horse, and, of course, boat, this area has drawn people together for over a century. One such person was a man named W.S. Wilson. ...
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Let Rescue Become Your Favorite Breed

MEET COPYCAT! Copycat was surrendered to us in 2017 and is 12 years old. He is good with other cats yet has a dominant personality. He likes to be held and loves attention. He has had several teeth pulled, but eats well and is very healthy. Adoption Fee: $25   ...
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Cyndee’s Cooking Corner

Memorial Day is the official first day of summer for me.  It means picnics, gatherings, boating, and lazily reading a book by the pool. Easy, quick, great taste and appearance is what you will find in the 5 recipes.  Some I created, others were shared.  With these recipes I believe ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson Peter Swanson does it again in a big way, so creepy, so shocking. He is the thriller master. Just when I thought this story was as twisted as it could be, it turned in a way I did not expect. It all starts ...
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Animal House — Celebrating 30 Years

Growing up, Steve Strom never imagined retail sales in his future. The Jackson, MN native went to college for teaching, completed student teaching, and was focused on impacting children. However, when he was in high school, he remembers standing in the middle of the Animal House and daydreaming, “this would ...
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Shop Chop A GoGo’s Home Cooked Meals

Merten Shares Tips for Healthy Cooking The intermingling of flavors and ingredients bring warmth to a home and welcome anyone who comes through the door. Who doesn’t love the smell of a home-cooked meal seeping from the oven! While so many of us love a home-cooked meal, the ability to ...
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Fagen Construction

BRINGS PEOPLE'S DREAMS TO LIFE From an early age, Jay Fagen’s favorite place has been in the middle of a build. He gained his passion for building dreams, whether it’s a house remodel or a new build, when his parents built a family home in 1973 in Humboldt. Fagen was ...
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Northwest Bank

NORTHWEST BANK HELPS BRING NEW CONSTRUCTION TO THE IOWA GREAT LAKES The anticipation of a new build is an exciting process for a lot of different parties. From the homeowner to the contractor, it’s the start of a new adventure. However, for most people, the whole process doesn’t take place ...
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Midwest Modern

Midwest modern Offers Modern Comfort& Timeless Style Selections Modern Furniture Showroom Opens This SpringThrough the years, Shannon Dunham has known when a niche needs to be filled in the Iowa Great Lakes area. It will be no different when she opens Midwest Modern in early May. The grand opening for ...
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Transform a Home Into a Haven

The gorgeous white lines found throughout Chip and Jeannie Goodwin’s home near Pocahontas Point are their haven amongst life’s craziness. This summer home is a retreat for their family of four, located alongside the blue waters of West Lake Okoboji. However, the building didn’t start this way. In fact, in ...
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Ferguson’s Garden Center — Beautifies Homes & Gardens Throughout the Lakes Area

  Vibrant buds blossom out of colorful planters and baskets located throughout the greenhouses at Ferguson’s Garden Center. With planting season right around the corner, Ferguson’s has been preparing for its fellow garden lovers since last year. On February 22, the staff enjoyed digging in the soil and planted succulents, ...
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Garage Doors Can Transform the Aesthetics of a Home

A garage door not only protects a residence from the outside elements, but is the finishing touch to the home and adds a tremendous amount of curb appeal. Nicole Norgaard has a passion for helping homeowners find the right garage door to complement their home while also making the home ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and currently living in the literary hub of Portland, Maine! I have Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction, and now hope to begin a novel writing career. As with most writers, one of ...
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Let Rescue Become your Favorite Breed

The Humane Society of Northwest Iowa is a 501(c)3 non-profit animal shelter that proudly serves Dickinson, Clay, Emmet, Palo Alto, O'Brien and Osceola counties. Our mission is to promote the ethical and humane treatment of all animals, as well as provide care, housing and rehabilitation for animals in need while ...
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Okoboji – A Winter Wonderland

There’s been this idea that people have passed around about Okoboji over the years, and I even believed it a bit myself when I was younger - that there’s nothing to do in Okoboji when the summer ends and it starts getting cold. Everyone goes away and the area shuts ...
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Hard Work Breathes Success for Norris in Toronto

Spirit Lake Native Wins Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon With a fist pump of excitement, Spirit Lake native Will Norris accomplished a dream when he was first to cross the finish line at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon in a time of 1:05:30. The international race was held October 21, 2018, ...
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Hope & Help to Older Adults

It’s easy to feel discouraged and depressed during the long and dreary winter months. The days can be long and hard, providing numerous challenges from the cold, snow, and ice. These cold days impact everyone’s ability to get out and about the community, but difficulties especially increase for older adults ...
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Heartfelt Pain Provides Inspiration to Others

Levi and Shai Markwardt and Alissa Van Middendorp Compete with Team USA in November. With hands torn up and sweat running down her face, Alissa (Christoffer) Van Middendorp didn’t have anything else to give. The Team USA competitor stood on an international platform at the Kettlebell IKMF World Championship Marathon ...
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YMCA is There for ALL Ages – Strengthening the Community

There are few buildings in Dickinson County that bring together the entire community and surrounding area. Fewer still draw in all age groups on a regular basis. On any given day, the Bedell YMCA is a meeting place for families, older adults, and students. Programming is created for all ages, ...
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Make Meal Planning a Priority for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Hy-Vee’s Dietitian Abby Kipfer Provides Tips for Eating Healthy When life seems crazy, it can be difficult to prioritize and plan nutritional meals and snacks for your household. It’s sometimes easier to reach for frozen pizza or go through a fast food drive through. While both can be enjoyed now ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite Listening to books is an interesting experience. I think you take away different things, and the performance can really sway one’s opinion on the book. However, it’s a wonderful way to discover more literature and take time otherwise spent driving to enjoy ...
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Cyndee’s Cooking Corner

This issue of Lake Life magazine provided a challenge for me to incorporate the three themes of Winter Games, Weddings and Wellness into my recipes. At first, I let out a deep sigh. It’s winter people! Don’t you know? The time of year I hibernate and I just want to ...
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Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Preparing for a wedding can be a bit stressful. You can become so focused on the big things such as booking the venue, the menu, and the guest list, it can easily become overwhelming and something little is forgotten. After your special day has come and gone, you don't want ...
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Okoboji Weddings Bridal Affair

For any engaged couple, the Okoboji Weddings Bridal Affair on Feb. 17 is the place to be. There will be over 40 vendors showcasing their talents, whether they are a DJ or a caterer. There are cake designers, bridal gowns, and even a limo service. Held in the Wimbledon Room ...
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Bringing Dreams To Life All Year Long

Grand Occasions Hosts Okoboji Weddings Bridal Fair in February Magical dreams come to life at Grand Occasions. With over twenty years of local event experience, Grand Occasions' passion is to create the unforgettable wedding or party. From the linens to the centerpieces, this design and rental boutique knows how to ...
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2019 Style Guide for Brides

THE BOLD BOW The soft and romantic bow is back! This trend isn't shocking, but it is making a huge comeback for 2019! THE SHAPED TRAIN Shaped train gowns are made for the classic yet modern bride! This new take on a traditional train is both unexpected and refreshing! OFF ...
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Deck the Halls of Christmas Throughout Your Home

Tips for Holiday Decorating This Season The aura of the Christmas season often centers on a gorgeous Christmas tree, lights, and other decorations scattered around your home. Decorating takes place together as a family or as a surprise for when they come through the door. It’s a beautiful season where ...
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Kylie’s Book Nook

My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and currently living in the literary hub of Portland, Maine! I have Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction, and now hope to begin a novel writing career. As with most writers, one of ...
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The Nutcracker: American Midwest Ballet Company

Local Dancers Join American Midwest Ballet Company for Performances November 30 - December 1 The tale of a little girl at Christmas, her toy nutcracker and their adventure into a kingdom of sweets has become a family tradition for so many during the holiday season. This well-known story of The ...
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