June 8, 2022

The little Northwoods community of Lakewood is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2022, based on a Village Plat survey being recorded in 1897, the railroad reaching Lakewood in 1897, and the United States Postal Department awarding Lakewood a Post Office in 1897.  One of the featured events will be the annual summer Mardi Gras, scheduled for July 15, 16, & 17.  The celebration has been held every summer since 1955, except for the COVID Pandemic year of 2020.  The event took place last summer in a scaled-down version, but organizers are working to return the event to its previous levels of activity.

 The carnival returns!  Badgerland Midways has been contracted to provide carnival rides, games, and food stands on all three days of the celebration.  The Midway will be open starting Friday at 3:00 p.m. and will shut down at approximately 11:00 p.m.  Midway hours on Saturday will be 12:00 Noon until approximately 11:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 12:00 Noon until 5:00 p.m.  Carnival ride tickets will have a pre-sale option with daily wrist bands on sale for $25 and a full weekend wrist band option available for $50. Pre-sale tickets will be sold at many of the local businesses including Waubee Lake Lodge, Paul Bunyan Ski Hill, Billy Goats, Lakewood Super Valu, Lakewood Depot, Laona State Bank, Mike’s Grocery Store, Northern Perks Coffee Shop, McCauslin Brook Golf Course, Coldwell Bankers, and Firelite Lounge.

Besides the carnival, beer stand, and a variety of food stands, live music will be featured in the pavilion on Friday night.  The band, “A-Town Unplugged” returns to the Mardi Gras and will take the stage at 7:00 p.m.

The annual softball tournament that has been a big part of the Mardi Gras for many years, is in the planning stages and will be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 & 17, at the Lakewood ballpark.  Games are tentatively scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Games will continue through Sunday afternoon until a champion has been determined.  Eight teams have committed to the tournament at this time and there are some openings for other teams to join the field.

Saturday will definitely be KIDS TIME again.  Besides the carnival on the Midway, the Lions Fish Pond will open at 10:00 a.m.  Mischief and Magic have again been contracted to entertain the kids on Saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. They will feature such things as henna, face painting, and balloon twisting; all activities the younger crowd enjoyed pre-pandemic.

In coordination with the historical significance of Lakewood’s 125th birthday, the community building adjacent to the Mardi Gras grounds will again host the Museum For A Weekend, with a scheduled opening of 10:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, closing at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Volunteers will turn the community building into a museum celebrating Lakewood’s past and also recognizing the veterans of the area.  Many old photographs, pictures, documents, and artifacts will be on display.  Also included this year will be a few old displays of the Townsend area that have just recently been acquired.  The earlier opening on Sunday will allow people coming into town for the parade to take advantage of this limited opportunity before they watch the parade.  If you or your children are full-time residents of the Lakewood/Townsend area, or even if you are a part-time resident, this is a very limited opportunity to enhance your knowledge of our area.

Saturday’s events will conclude with live music again in the pavilion.  The popular band “Crankin Yankees” will take the stage at 7:00 p.m.  A hit in the past, they are sure to provide an evening of good entertainment.

One of Sunday’s highlights is always the big Mardi Gras parade. The parade starts at 12:00 Noon near the Lakewood Cemetery and winds its way through the downtown and back to the festival grounds.  Again businesses and organizations are encouraged to be represented in the parade and to remember that Lakewood is celebrating its 125th birthday this year.  Following the parade, the carnival will be operating on the Midway, the softball tournament will play until the conclusion, the Museum For  A Weekend will be open, the beer stand and food stands will be open, and music in the pavilion is presently being scheduled. 
Mark your calendar for this very special event.  Help Lakewood celebrate and enjoy some great activities in the area.  The organizing committee promises something for everybody.  Praying for no rain and no pandemics is acceptable. Hope to see you in July.