Mixed Feelings In Walker About The Possible Departure Of The Eelpout Festival
In a community where its number one draw is tourism, people in Walker have been buzzing over the possibility of losing one of its largest events. The International Eelpout Festival has made Walker its home for nearly 40 years, but now is looking to make Bemidji its home due to ongoing issues in Cass County.
One of the issues sited for the festivals possible departure was the strict enforcement of vehicles on the ice. For the Cass County Sheriff’s Office when having thousands of people on the ice, the main issue for the festival was public safety.
Whether residents are for or against the International Eelpout Festival leaving Walker, one thing certain: no matter what the final decision, it will have a lasting impact.
At the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the phone has been ringing off the hook with business owners and guests askng about the future of the festival.
While most in the Walker community would like to see the festival stay, the chamber and the county have both said they will assist Beltrami County and the City of Bemidji if needed.