SS Cougar ready for Lake Fest boat contest

Columbus Elementary sent off its pride and joy, the SS Cougar, during a program Friday morning. The vessel is bound for this weekend's Lake Fest celebration in Forest Lake. This year's festival includes a new event, the Build-a-Boat Challenge. Each elementary school in the district, plus Lakes International Language Academy and North Lakes Academy, are building boats for a competition which will be held Saturday afternoon. A showcase featuring each entry will run from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Lakeside Memorial Park and include a People's Choice Award presentation. At 4 p.m., the boats will be launched to test their seaworthiness. A panel of judges will rank the boats. The winning school will get a traveling trophy and an iPad courtesy of TEFFLA (The Education Foundation of the Forest Lake Area). The top two vote-getters from the People's Choice Award contest will be on display in the Fourth of July parade. (Photo by Cliff Buchan)