Wild Rice Festival

The Worlds Largest



71st World’s Largest Wild Rice Festival July 12th, 13th, & 14th, 2019.



It is with deep regret that we must inform you that the Deer River Lions Club has made the decision to cancel the World’s Largest Wild Rice festival for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This decision was considered deeply as we fully understand that our community and many from outside our community look forward to this weekend of food, family, friends and fun. We also know that our club’s charitable giving for the coming year will be impacted greatly.

Though July is still a few months away and we hope that these unprecedented times are behind us by then, there were several factors that were taken into consideration in making this decision. We have listed a few of them here:

  • Our club relies on local business sponsorships and support to make our festival a success and our local business community has been EXTREMELY GENEROUS. However, with all they and their employees have been through during these difficult times, we feel that we would only be placing more of a burden on them in asking them to help this year.
  • Because of the pandemic, we have been unable to secure an act for our National Act Concert that is sponsored by White Oak Casino. This is due to the fact that booking agents are facing uncertainty with the acts they represent.
  • We believe that even after the Stay at Home orders have ended, Social Distancing will still be the norm for many of us. Many people may not be comfortable going out to large group settings for a time to come.
  • Unrelated to COVID-19, the reconstruction of State Hwy 6 in Deer River would also cause some issues with our parade route, flea market set up and parking congestion.

We are hopeful that you can understand that we’ve made this decision with the best interests of all in mind. We hope that in announcing our intentions early, people can change plans if necessary. We thank you for your past support of the Deer River Lions Club and the World’s Largest Wild Rice Festival. We also hope that you will join us one again in July of 2021 when we continue the tradition that was started over 70 years ago.

For more than 70 years the Deer River area has celebrated the World's Largest Wild Rice Festival. Originally, the festival was established to bring the community together to celebrate the abundance of one of the area's natural staples, wild rice. Though wild rice still grows abundantly in some of the area lakes and rivers, the advent of "paddy rice" which is grown commercially and harvested mechanically, has made the once regional product a national available commodity.

Like the rice itself, the Wild Rice Festival has evolved as well. Today's wild rice festivals sponsored by the Deer River Lions Club feature a full schedule of activities designed to bring the whole Deer River Area Community together for a weekend of fun, food, entertainment, and fellowship. Whether you are young or old, there is always something to see and do at the festival. To see a video slideshow of a recent Wild Rice Festival look to the right.

The 2019 Wild Rice Festival will be held July 12th, 13th, & 14th. To see what we have in store for you this year, click on the Schedule tab above. The schedule will change regularly between now and July, so be sure to check it often. We are sure that this years World's Largest Wild Rice Festival will be the best one yet.

Check out the World's Largest Wild Rice Festival Group on Facebook!

Click Here to read the feature article that ResortsAndLodges.com wrote about the Deer River Wild Rice Festival