Manitou means "spirit" in the Dakota language, according to the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society. To learn more about the Legend of White Bear Lake, visit the City of White Bear Lake or the White Bear Area Historical Society.
In 1967 the White Bear Chamber of Commerce started Manitou Days, a tradition that has carried on for more
than four decades. Since the beginning the annual festival served to
bring the community together. Events were planned in the downtown area
as well as the White Bear Shopping Center, on the lake itself, at
Memorial and Ramsey County Beaches and the area schools.
the years the festival enthusiasm ebbed and flowed while sponsors and
volunteers were difficult to find. In 2005 the Chamber chose to retain the Grande Parade activities but
relinquish the events to a committee of volunteers. That group of
volunteers returned the festival to a ten day event in June, reviving
past events like the Community Pool Party at the YMCA, an Art Fair at
the White Bear Shopping Center, Tours of the Fillebrown House as well as
adding a few new ones including a Disc Golf Tournament at Lakewood
Hills Park and a Class A Sailing Regatta on the lake.
The following year the Chamber deciding to pass the parade to the committee of volunteers as well. In 2006 White Bear Events—a volunteer driven committee that promotes and celebrates our hometown through fun and exciting events—was formed to coordinate Manitou Days and other events throughout the seasons. That year events continued to expand and community members and local organizations responded enthusiastically.