Revised. Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: Cokato's Hotels." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Spring, 1998) vol. 18 no. 2.
In the early morning hours of July 8, 1977, a fire started in one of the rooms of the Cokato Hotel, located next to the railroad tracks. In an era before mandatory smoke alarms, fire spread through the wood and brick structure, claiming five lives and destroyed the entire building. The fire also brought down the only hotel remaining in the community, and one has not been built since.
But there was a time when Cokato had as many as three hotels that stood ready to serve weary travelers passing through town.
Revised. Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cecile Theatre." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Late Fall, 1996) vol. 16 no. 4.
Cokato Theatre on Millard Avenue.
Motion pictures first appeared in Cokato in 1907, when a group of men petitioned the city council for permission to use the second floor of the village hall to show movies. Shown once or twice a week, these silent movies--which usually ran about twenty minutes--thrilled local audiences.
Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cokato Winter Ice Carnivals." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1998) vol. 18 no. 1.
Cokato Winter Carnival Speed Skating Competition in Peterson Park.
When most people think of Cokato festivals, the Corn Carnival usually comes to mind. But in Minnesota, as the St. Paul Winter Carnival has shown, those cold months of December through February can be fertile ground for some fun times. So in December 1939, when members of the Cokato Association for Public Affairs (a forerunner of the Cokato Chamber of Commerce) proposed some sort of winter festival for Cokato, nobody found it an odd idea.