Fish House Parade

Aitkin’s anglers show off their lake abodes

Aitkin's Fish House Parade.

photo by Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch


The small town of Aitkin, ensconced amid a smattering of lakes just north of Mille Lacs, has long observed fishing with near piety—and, alas, we’ve angered the weather gods. Last winter, Aitkin ice fishers mothballed their shanties early after a fish house on Cedar Lake sunk through the crackling surface. Small-town tradition never yields, so you can depend on those outhouse-size shelters appearing in Aitkin’s decades-old Fish House Parade. On Black Friday, fisherpeople gussy up their ice shacks in holiday cheer à la Snoopy’s doghouse and wheel them down Main Street. Among 50 or so floats—a giant toothy bass, for example—the procession doesn’t throw Swedish Fish at gawking out-of-staters, but maybe it should.