Held the last full weekend in June (June 23-26, 2022), Water Ski Days celebrates the invention of water skiing in Lake City, and its inventor, Ralph Samuelson.
This city-wide event has something for everyone! A carnival, complete with rides and games, an arts and crafts fair with 100+ vendors, a grand parade, a classic car show, food trucks, huge concerts, and of course, water ski show teams!
In 2022 we celebrate the 50th year of the festival and 100 years as “The Birthplace of Water Skiing” with 4 days of fun, featuring Water Ski 100 programming presented by Hearth and Home Technologies. You’ll want to mark your calendars early and start planning today!
Water Ski Days is a Lake City Chamber of Commerce event.
As for entertainment, we have three big shows taking place over the course of the weekend.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!! Early-bird 3 day all-access passes for only $35.00!!
1. Two ski shows on Saturday and one on Sunday featuring between 50 and 60 of the region’s best show team performers. Organized by long-time Water Ski Days partner, Cole Nelson, from the Ski Dox show team. Saturday’s shows are at 11am and 4pm, Sunday’s at 4pm. 82 Year old Glen Sperry, the first person to ever ski on stilts, will showcase his skills during Water Ski Days.
2. Renowned Barefoot Water Skier Betsy Anderson Gilman, 2020 Junior Champion Megan Adams, and Minnesota Sports Hall of Famer Joe Knapp are putting together a Team USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation officially sanctioned ‘get on the water’ event and demonstration on Friday 6/24 from 12-5pm.
3. The Water Ski Hall of Fame and Team USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation are curating a temporary exhibition that will land in downtown Lake City at Lake City Area Arts during Water Ski days (and the weeks surrounding it) featuring historical displays and original memorabilia. Hours during Water Ski Days are Thursday 6/23 from 2-5pm, Friday 6/24, Saturday 6/25, and Sunday from 11am-5pm. The exhibition with feature on the hour screenings of Ben Threinen’s 2022 documentary, Ralph Samuelson: A Lake City Kid who Made History on Lake Pepin.
4. Saturday’s Ski Dox ski shows will include Ralph Samuelson stunt reenactments, featuring Wisconsin Rapids pilot and ski show performer Kurt Gross from Wings Air Charter with his Lake Amphibian floatplane.
5. Other summer Water Ski 100 events include the public debut of Threinen’s documentary at Lincoln High School on 6/21 and the unveiling of a life-sized Ralph Samuelson bronze sculpture at Ohuta Beach on 7/2.
Water Ski shows and exhibitions are presented by Hearth & Home Technologies.