From Cabins to Homes

Maple Plain Water Carnival

     Every August from 1952  to 1956, the Maple Plain Civic and Commerce Association sponsored a water carnival on Lake Independence, with carnival rides, speedboat races and waterskiing shows.

     Speedboat and hydroplane races were organized by the Midwest Power Boating Association. The 1954 races featured over 100 drivers from seven states, including two world record holders.

     In 1954, the water skiing event was “Ski Antics of 1954”, a nationally-touring show produced by Baddor Brothers of Minneapolis.  Their acts included a blind skier, a “drunk act”, a one-legged skier, a Great Dane dog on skis, “Paul Bunyan from the Northland” and a fire jump.

     In 1956, the water skiing show was performed by “Pat Guy and his Whizz Kids”. The show featured 15 different acts including a pyramid, upside-down and backward skiing, ski jumping, barefoot skiing and a clown act. The events included a night-time performance with special lighting.

     The 1956 Water Carnival featured a parade of “bathing beauties,” billed as an opportunity for amateur photographers. Cedric Adams, a popular Star-Tribune columnist, in the August 5, described the event:

“(The) parade of lovelies, headed by Marie Miller, Miss Minnesota of 1956, will do special posing on a ramp built out over Lake Independence. The girls will trot out and pose indefinitely for the lens lads. Cheesecake at its best.”

Undated photos of Water Skier and Hydroplane Races, and 1956 Button
Credit: Maple Plain Museum

© 2019 by Robin Reid. Created with Wix.com