Duluth-Superior Events

What’s Happening this summer in Duluth-Superior?

Beginning the weekend of June 14 – 16, there will be almost 10 consecutive weekends of festivals in Duluth, Minnesota.

Grandma's Marathon Champion Mary Akor
Grandma’s Marathon Women’s Champion Mary Akor heads towards the finish line

Always the highlight of the summer in Duluth is Grandma’s Marathon. Being held this year on June 22nd, this will be the 37th running of the marathon. The race attracts some of the top marathon runners in the world as well as over 10,000 more average Joe and Jane runners challenging themselves. Festivities begin June 20th and include other runs in addition to the regular 26.2 mile marathon. There’s a half-marathon, a couple of 5K runs, a run/walk, a youth race plus live entertainment, food, and fun activities for all ages. Jo and I caught the 2008 race and enjoyed the whole experience. You can see our report and photos from the 2008 Grandma’s Marathon here. Also see Grandma’s Marathon Website for more details on activities during the 3 day event.

The following weekend, June 29 – 30th, will be the Park Point Art Fair. This event has been going on even longer than Grandma’s Marathon. This will be the 43rd fair. Park Point is a long, narrow sandy isthmus of a peninsula that separates Lake Superior from the Bay of the St. Louis river. In addition to the artists and artisans displaying their works there will be music and food and some kids activities. Park Point Art Fair Website

Next up the following weekend will be the Duluth Fourth Fest at Bayfront Festival Park, on the 4th of July naturally. Fireworks, entertainment, rides, etc. More food, more music, more beer. The day before there will be a concert by Hairball, a rock-n-roll retro group who recreates a number of heavy metal rock groups from a few decades ago. The next weekend on Saturday July 6th is the Twin Ports Bridge Fest, a unique community event with music and showcase exhibits. Events include a water ceremony included in Saturday’s festival admission along with all the other activities and entertainment, highlighted by The Kingston Trio, Cloud Cult, Mason Jennings and activities for the whole family. Just a few days later, more food, music, and now some shopping thrown in when Downtown Sidewalk Days runs from July 10th through the 12th. More information on the Sidewalk Festival here.

Next up to bat is the All Pints North BrewFest on July 13th, followed by the popular Reggae & World Music Festival on July 20th, again being held at Bayfront Festival Park.

The US Brig Niagara is a reconstruction of the original ship captained by Commodore Perry

The most exciting event of the summer promises to be a return of the Tall Ships to Duluth for the 2013 Tall Ships Duluth Festival held from July 24th to July 30th. We were there the last time the Tall Ships were in Duluth, in 2010, and it was really neat to see these historic vessels sailing into the Duluth harbor. We took pictures and reported on the 2010 Tall Ships Festival in SuperiorTrails.com and are planning to return for this summer’s Tall Ships Fest. Last time there were 9 sailing ships in port; this year at least 10 are expected. Some of these ships will be participating in the Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge Races being held this summer.

Lake Superior Dragon Boat Race
Three teams head for the finish in the Lake Superior Dragonboat Race & Festival, held at Barkers Island, Superior, Wisconsin

The following weekend is the Bayfront Jam Mus ic Festival on August 2- 4th. Headlining the Sunday show will be Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. A week later Duluth welcomes the 25th Bayfront Blues Festival, August 9 – 11th, held, of course, at Bayfront Festival Park. More info here on the Blues Festival. A week later Bayfront hosts Art in Bayfront Park on August 17th and 18th.

August 23 – 24th
That following weekend, you can cross the bridge over to Superior, Wisconsin and watch the Lake Superior Dragonboat Races. The race is held in a protected bay on the south side of Barkers Island. The island is the site of the festival part of the race. Yes, more music, entertainment, food and beverages. We’ve been to the race two times and it is a fun weekend. You can see our report and photos from an earlier Dragonboat Race here.  For more on Superior, Wi see our SuperiorTrails.com website or check out the events calendar in the Superior-Douglas County website.

September 7 – 8th
We’ll be heading north to Duluth the first weekend in September to attend the KIA Duluth Street Drag Race and Car Show. This is a really fun event because it is like an old-fashioned street race with the starter simply waving a flag and lots of souped up muscle cars (show and go) as well as sleepers that look like grandpa’s family sedan yet under the hood are sumethin’ else (no show, but all go).

Lots of fun in Duluth this summer. Go see our SuperiorTrails website for more ideas on things to see and do in Duluth.

Happy Traveling,

Roscoe – roscoetrails@gmail.com