Category Archives: Blog

2018 Harvest Madness

Winner of the DRC Window Decorating Contest!
Congratulations Ortonville Flower Shop!

Harvest Madness Window Display Winner

SANTA DAY in Ortonville

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christmas parade poster 2018


Harvest Madness Store Front Window Contest

Harvest Madness 2018


DRC Window Decorating Contest

Harvest Madness 2018

Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) on Big Stone Lake!

The MWC is presented by The Walleye Federation.

With the drop in water temps and weather changes, it was a tough bite on day one (and those that pre-fished took a weather-rich beating last week!)

Congratulations to this year’s winners Artie & Scott Arndt!

A few photos from Day 2 (photo credits to our friends at


As we wait for the anglers to come in off the lake today, here are a few photos taken from day 1 (photo credits to our friends at


The medallion hunt runs through Thursday, February 16. Clues given each morning on KDIO 13.50AM, at 9:20. $50 given away in Chamber Bucks, decreasing by $5 each day until found. Each day’s clue is good for 24 hours before the amount decreases.

Once near a “One Way”
Product from the ground,
A piece from the past,
In the area, can be found!

Win $45 in Chamber Bucks

Hustling, or perched upon
Were Scholar Rookies,
Along with Aptitude Wits,
Athlete’s and Royalties.

Today the clues ended.
As it came to be,
Plumber, Don Sykora
Solved the medallion mystery!


Santa Day

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Harvest Madness/Treat Street


Downtown Festival

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is a group of hosting businesses. Retail  stores on Second Street in Ortonville have sales, refreshments, and even consultants available. They hold a raffle, Classic Car Show, display local artwork, have live music, and lunches. Check out this video of their first festival!

2017 Dates – July 20 & 21

Lake Days June 2016

The weather was not looking good before the Lake Days activities started last night… but all cleared and we had an awesome evening!  Make sure to check the Lake Days Flyer for all of today’s activities!

Flyer PDF

Flyer JPG

LakeDaysCampfireSing from Vicki Oakes on Vimeo.



Lake Sturgeon: A Big Comeback to Big Stone Lake!

The lake sturgeon fingerlings stocked in Big Stone Lake in 2014 have really grown!

According to an online article written by Tom Cherveny, 14- and 15-inch lake sturgeon were netted earlier in February.

In September 2014, four- to six-inch fingerlings were stocked in Big Stone Lake by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office in Ortonville. According to the article, the sturgeon are growing at a proper rate, and its reintroduction is going as planned.

To read the full article, click here.

To see the video of the sturgeon being stocked in 2014, click here.



31st Annual Pheasants Forever Banquet

It’s time for the 31st Annual Pheasants Forever Banquet in Ortonville!

The banquet is Saturday, March 19 at Sioux Historic Pavilion. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a free door prize raffle for Pheasants Forever members!

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Greg Peterson at 320-760-5080.

Sports & Leisure Show

Our 23rd Annual Sports & Leisure Show will be March 19 and 20 at the Ortonville School!

Sports & Leisure Show poster: click here!

Spring-related Scavenger Hunt details: click here!

Raffle tickets are now available for purchase at the Chamber office! Great prizes this year include:
•GE camo freezer from Larry’s Refrigeration & Heating and a 55-lb meat bundle from Pioneer Meat;
•Groceries for 6 months from Hartman’s Supervalu Foods;
•Gas for a year from S&D OneStop / Cenex; and
•A print signed by Minnesota Twins great Tony Oliva!

Follow the activity on Facebook, too! Click here to go to the event!

To request a vendor application, contact the Chamber by emailing or by calling 320-839-3284.

Master Gardener Teri Knight of Garden Bite with Teri Knight will be at the Sports & Leisure Show at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 19!

Teri Knight is the current news director and morning show talent at radio station KYMN in Northfield. She was the morning traffic reporter on television station WCCO from 1996 to 2006, as well as multiple radio stations throughout the Twin Cities from 1994 to 2006 and morning show personality on WLTE from 2006 to 2008.

She became a Master Gardener in 2003 and developed her “Garden Bite” radio show in 2007. The two-minute feature airs Monday through Friday on radio stations throughout Minnesota including KDIO Radio! Her show is about the “weekend weed warrior” or backyard gardener!

We look forward to having Teri in Ortonville for the Sports & Leisure Show!

Winter Photo Theme Weeks!

Through Explore Minnesota’s popular Instagram account, using #OnlyinMN_Winter, travelers can engage in winter theme weeks each Monday through Friday for a chance to win prizes or be featured in “Top Pics of the Week”!

Share your photos on your Instagram account to join the fun by following Explore Minnesota on Instagram.

  • Jan. 25-29: Sparkling Scenery (snow, ice, water, sunsets)
  • Feb. 1-5: Minnesota Food and Drink (your favorite #OnlyinMN dishes & drinks)
  • Feb. 8-12: Cozy Indoors (restaurants, cafes, shops, breweries, museums, theaters)
  • Feb. 22–26: Winter Sports/Adventure (skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing)
  • Feb 29–March 4: Cabin Fever (ways to embrace the season, throwback spring photos)

MN Twins Visit Ortonville!

A Minnesota Twins great, a couple current stars and, of course, everyone’s favorite mascot, hit the road for the 2016 Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan and made a stop in Ortonville Thursday, January 21!

On the Caravan were current Twins pitchers Trevor May and Tyler Duffey, broadcaster Cory Provus, Twin great Tony Oliva and TC!

Check out a video from their stop by clicking this link:

Fishing the Midwest Features Big Stone Lake!

Fishing the Midwest made a stop to Big Stone Lake in the cold 2015 winter for some hot-bite fishing! Check out the episode here: Fishing the Midwest Episode 4

Fishing the Midwest’s Mike Frisch was also radio program guest on KFAN Outdoors, one of the Midwest’s leading radio outdoors programs. Click here for a link to that broadcast: Mike’s interview begins around the 32-minute mark.

Nominate a BSLA Community!

Main streets are filled with small businesses that have the passion and the drive to sustain its town.

The Small Business Revolution on Main Street awards one community a $500,000 makeover that includes “marketing services for small businesses in the community and revitalized public spaces, store fronts and more, designed to protect and reinvigorate the sense of community,” according to the Small Business Revolution website.

Nominate a Big Stone Lake area town by clicking here; the contest entry period ends January 28!

Small towns fewer than 50,000 residents will be considered. Nominees will be judged on challenges faced by local businesses and the town itself, impact of the Small Business Revolution on Main Street award and the need for support.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and will then be put to a public vote during National Small Business Week (May 1—7).


The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber Board of Directors is excited to announce an event featuring one of our area’s greatest attractions: BIG STONE LAKE!
Lake Days Flyer 2

“This year’s cover photo of Big Stone Lake was taken by Ortonville native, Mary Fridgen Stuart.  After years of working in the corporate world, Mary her husband and
two cats moved to Belize.  While there, she started her photography business, Life Travels Photography, which focuses on images from her travels around the world.
Mary’s photos are available for purchase at”

A Look Back at 2015!

As we’re on the verge of a new year, we thought now would be a good time to take a look back at 2015! Thanks to Vicki Oakes of the Ortonville EDA and MNBump, we can do that! Below are some videos of this year’s events! Enjoy!

Graceville St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March)

Sports & Leisure Show: Just for Kix (March)

MWC Fishing Tournament (May)

Fairway View Senior Community Groundbreaking Ceremony (June)

Downtown Festival (July)

Cornfest: BSLA Sings Competition (August)

Cornfest: 5K/10K Run (August)

Holiday Kickoff (November)

Clinton Tasters Tea (November)

Santa Day (December)

We enjoyed 2015 and look forward to a great 2016!

Holiday Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the following winners of the Big Stone Lake Area holiday contests!

Business Decorating Contest Grand Prize: Hasslen Construction
“2nd Place”: Barr’s Conroy Electric
“3rd Place”: Grandma’s Thrifty Hideaway

Resident Decorating Contest 1st Place: Bill Hynnek on Minnesota St
2nd Place: Lane & Teresa Nelson on Minnesota St
3rd Place: Luke Backstrand on Highland Highway

Avenue of Trees Grand Prize: St. John’s Faith Formation Classes (prize donated to Watertown Right to Life)

See the gallery below for all the contest entries!

Thanks to all who participated!

Avenue of Trees!

Main Street Ortonville is merry and bright with a new Avenue of Trees!

The Avenue of Trees is located in the former Kaye lot (across from the Community Center)! People can vote for a favorite tree from December 5 to December 18. The trees, decorated by local businesses and organizations, are numbered. By the entrance is a ballot box to submit your vote.

In the spirit of the season of giving, the DRC and Chamber Director will donate $100 to a charity of choice by the group/person who decorated the public-voted favorite tree!

Voting ends December 18!

Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific’s Holiday Train is ready to brighten communities and warm hearts for a 17th year!

​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Every year, the lighted Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

Again this year, the Holiday Train program is encouraging people attending events to bring heart healthy donations. Heart health education and awareness is a tenet of CP’s community investment program, CP Has Heart, which focuses on improving the heart health of men, women and children in communities across North America.

The two brightly lit trains kicked off their seasonal journey in the Montreal area November 27 and 28 on their way to visit approximately 150 communities. The “Canadian Train” travels west across Canada finishing its journey in British Columbia. The “US Train” visits communities across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, and returns back to Canada for shows in Saskatchewan and Alberta.​​

In our area, the Holiday Train will stop in Glenwood and Alexandria December 13 and in Elbow Lake December 14. Other stops include southeastern Minnesota from December 6 through December 9 and the Twin Cities area from December 10 through 12.

Included with the Holiday Train are free concerts, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank—either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay within the local community.​​

For a schedule of the train’s route as well as addresses and arrival times, visit

Lighted Parade!

Main Street Ortonville will be lit up with a Lighted Parade at 5 p.m. December 5 for Santa Day!

The parade route will start at the corner by Investors Advisory Management Group and will proceed to the Community Center.

Included in the Lighted Parade will be the Avenue of Trees! Following the parade, the trees will be lit in the former Kaye lot (across from the Community Center), where people can vote for a favorite tree from December 5 to December 18. There will be a ballot box in the lot to submit your vote.

In the spirit of the season of giving, the DRC and Chamber Director will donate $100 to a charity of choice by the group/person who decorated the public-voted favorite tree!

If anyone wants to have an entry in the Lighted Parade, contact the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber at 320-839-3284 or at! by December 3!

Small Business Saturday

November 27, 2010 was the first Small Business Saturday; it was (and still is!) a day to encourage people across the country to support small, local businesses!

On Small Business Saturday in 2012, 79.3 million people went out to shop at small businesses, and last year, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.

This year, Small Business Saturday is November 28! In the Big Stone Lake Area (all the way from Clinton to Ortonville to Big Stone City), 37 small businesses have registered with American Express and are listed on the Small Business Saturday website!

While some Black Friday shopping is OK, supporting our local businesses November 28 on Small Business Saturday is just as great!

Santa Day!

Santa (and the Mrs.) Claus is comin’ to Ortonville!

The Claus’ will be in town December 5 for Santa Day! They will be at Lingonberry’s Pastry & Coffee Shop for pictures with the kiddos from 1 to 3 p.m.! They will also be riding in the Lighted Parade at 5 p.m.!

Other activities include holiday arts & crafts, cookie decorating, an adult ugly sweater contest, hay rides and holiday movies!

Stick around for the Lighted Parade and Avenue of Trees Lighting at 5 p.m.!

Click here for a Santa Day poster!

Click here for the Ugly Sweater Contest poster!