Where did the summer go?

I know, there are still a few weeks left, but I really wish the cold winter months would pass as fast as the warm, sunny summer months.

It seems like just yesterday that summer unofficially began as we congratulated high school graduates from Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus schools. It was about that time that the summer activities started in full bloom in our area.

It was a busy schedule, especially if you enjoy outdoor music events. I attended a handful this summer, like traveling to Walker for Moondance Jammin’ Country. We enjoyed stopping by the concert on a Friday night to watch Kane Brown and hang around with a group of Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point campers, who earned the top campsite award again this year.

The next weekend was Lakes Jam at Brainerd International Raceway. I enjoyed the music over three nights, especially featured artists Gary Allan and Justin Moore, and survived a scary moment on stage. Since our newspaper is a sponsor of Lakes Jam, I was allowed to go on stage and talk for a minute about our business relationship with the event. But, in a last-minute twist, I found out because of a time crunch that I was going out on the stage by myself in front of more than a thousand people.

That was scary since I usually have someone with me on stage. Plus, I was told two minutes before going on stage that I would be introducing the color guard. That was a great honor, so I quickly collected facts and wrote some notes to give the color guard a proper introduction.

I was nervous as I walked out in front of the crowd, and I think I even forgot to tell them my name. The people cheered when I asked how they liked the 90-degree heat that day. I should have stopped there, but my mouth kept talking, and I added some parenting advice to drink some water between each alcoholic beverage. The crowd booed my advice (it was a good thing I didn’t give them my name). The fans did go back to cheering as I successfully introduced the color guard to kick off the night’s concert schedule.

There were many other fun music events this past summer - ranging from Iconic Fest in Brainerd to a street dance with the Wyld Ryce Band in Pequot Lakes to the Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River.

There were also many summer parades in our communities. I did enjoy driving an Echo Journal/Brainerd Dispatch float in the Pequot Lakes Fourth of July parade. Again this year there was another large turnout of people along the parade route.

There were many other popular outdoor events in our area, like the recent NHRA National drag races featuring men and women piloting nitro-powered machines at more than 320 mph. Other activities included fishing tournaments, marathons and nonprofit golf tournaments.

And finally, there were dozens of summer get-togethers like county fairs and festivals spread through the summer months.

The lakes area does a great job of hosting events for local residents and visitors. The only problem is that the busy schedule makes the summer fly by way too fast.