Perfect Duluth Day | Duluth News Events Music and More



Duluth FourthFest 2011 at Bayfront Park

Monday, July 4, 2011 | Bayfront Festival Park

Is it still free?
Yes, just like our country.

What bands are playing?
Shaunna Heckman, Sarah Krueger, Dirty Horse, 4onthefloor and Charlie Parr. Plus, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, with its full company of 60 musicians, will perform an Independence Day program in the tradition of the Boston Pops and John Philip Sousa.

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“A Major Aurora Event”?

According to Science Buzz, astronomers are predicting some sexy Northern Lights tonight:

A major eruption on the Sun on June 7 sent high-energy particles spewing into space. They are expected to reach Earth on the night of Wednesday, June 8 (Minnesota time). Astronomers are predicting a major aurora event, with the Northern Lights visible overhead as far south as Milwaukee, and possibly visible on the northern horizon as far south a southern Indiana and Washington DC!

The most recent case of awesome Northern Lights in Duluth I remember was seven years ago. Tomasz Majewski captured the image above for Perfect Duluth Day from his home in the Piedmont neighborhood on Nov. 7, 2004.

Big Top Songwriting Competition 2011

The deadline is approaching for Big Top Chautauqua’s fourth annual songwriting competition. Interested local musicians have until June 17 to submit two original songs. Up to twelve finalists will be selected to perform in the competition finals on the Big Top stage August 19 for a chance at a cash prize of $100, a slot performing two songs as the opener for the Jessie Winchester/Johnsmith performance, and a chance to appear on the nationally broadcast Tent Show Radio program. Details here.

(Also, Big Top is celebrating its 25 years by giving away 25 prizes in 25 days. If you like Big Top Chautauqua on Facebook before July 5 you could win show tickets.)

A few unsolicited viewing recommendations for this week’s SUID Film Fest

If you didn’t have the pleasure of attending a screening at last year’s inaugural SUID Film Fest, I encourage you for your own sake to not let this opportunity escape you the second time round. This year the programmers have once again assembled a remarkable slate of films, many of which will be accompanied by Q&As with the directors and producers. As a film fan, it is close to utopia to have a festival of this quality here in our hometown. This year I (legally) got my hands on screener copies of some festival selections and have a few recommendations for films to check out this weekend.

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There’s nothing to fear from independent cinema…

Free Range Film Festival
July 29 & 30

The Chicken Hat Plays, sponsored in part by Pizza Luce!

This Saturday, come see 8 plays that don’t exist right now.

Eight writers draw their prompts from hats full of suggestions on Friday night. (Odds are pretty good that someone will get “wiener.”)

Eight directors and a bunch of actors show up Saturday morning. Each director draws a script from a hat, then their cast from a hat, then they all go away.

Saturday is spent memorizing lines, finding costumes and props, and general cramming.

Saturday night at 7pm, you get 8 original world premiere plays from the area’s bravest theatrical artists.

All of this for ten bucks.

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Duluth Int’l Film Festival This Week

A friend of mine said that when he went to the Duluth Film Festival last year he was blown away. His expectations were modest, but after the first film he couldn’t believe what he just saw. Then he took in the second, and the third. Ultimately he attended 11 films and participated in many of the dialogues with directors that can be part of a film festival experience.

Two weeks ago I met Richard Hansen, director of the event, and was sufficiently impressed with his vision and enthusiasm to make sure we had lunch together last week. I now understand why an international film festival would make its home in Duluth. It’s my hope that Hansen and associates are sufficiently successful to make this the next Sundance.

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Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll!

Shot in Bemidji. Starring Owen Kosevich after his first bike ride, with his father Nick behind the camera.

“I feel happy of myself!” Owen says. “Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you will know how to ride a bike! If you don’t you just keep practicing. You will get the hang of it. If you keep practicing you will get the hang of it and then you can get better and better at it as you do it. Thumbs up, everybody, for rock and roll!”

Poems by Ray Smith

Four poems by the late Ray Smith, director of the Superior Public Library, 1971-75, and visiting lecturer in English at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, 1975-83, have been posted by the Wisconsin Academy Review:

Poems by Ray Smith

17 pretty great local songs – only $5

So yeah, you can find it at the Electric Fetus.  If you’re like me and you think it’s pretty neat that our little city produces so much incredible talent, maybe you should buy this cd.  It has a low-key vibe to it, good for your family BBQ this summer…

I self-financed the production, if I can cover my costs on this one, I have another one in mind, more of a rock mix.  What are you’re favorites here?  What would you like to see on the next one?

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This week at Hartley

Busy week at Hartley Nature Center:
-Tuesday, June 7 Our first volunteer garden work night in the Butterfly Garden, 6pm.
-Wednesday, June 8 COGGS members lead a trail bike ride, 7pm.
-Thursday, June 9 Yoga night, Back to Basics 4:30 pm & Hatha 1 6 pm.

And there are a few summer day camp spaces left for youth ages 4-15. Register soon!
More information at

Duluth Public Library Mural finished this weekend by Proctor artist Scott Murphy

Duluth Library Mural

The artist who created the Duluth Art Institute rotunda mural in 2010, at it again!

Free Movie Monday at Duluth Art Institute

Monday, June 6
6:30 Gallery Tour
7:30 Movie: “9 to 5”

Friday night isn’t the only free movie night in Duluth this summer! The Duluth Art Institute is offering Free Movie Monday at the Depot to celebrate the exhibit “Esther Bubley: On Assignment”. Treat yourself to a tour of our exhibition, then head downstairs to the Train Museum’s Zelda theater for a free movie.

Our first film of the series celebrates three sassy women as they take on their terrible boss. Dolly Parton memorized the entire movie, word for word, in preparation for her part, not realizing she really only needed to know her own lines!

An Open Letter To Our Community

Dear Citizens:

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” — Maya Angelou

And perhaps we can understand each other right here.

We, the members of our state and local community, ask you, the members of our state and local community, to join us in making Saturday, July 9, 2011, a milestone.

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Free Chamber Music Concert

Come hear some amazing chamber music by some of the country’s best musicians and members of the Duluth Superior Youth Orchestra at the beautiful Sacred Heart.

Concert starts at 7:30 and is free.

More info at

Duluth’s Enger Tower, refurbished

Enger Tower reopened yesterday after three months of concrete patching, roof repairing, repainting, fancy new light installing, etc.

It looks great.

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PDD Disinfected. Resume blogging.

Sorry about the little Malware problem earlier today.

I’d tell you what happened, but then I’d have to ask the tech guy and he’d have to explain it to me and, well … it’s a nice day and the problem is solved.

PDD, Infected. Leave immediately!

PDD appears to be infected with malware, which may harm your computer. Please leave immediately and take proper measures to cleanse your computer of our apparent filth.

We’re working on the problem, but it may take awhile for us to set things straight. Don’t check back. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook accounts for further information.

And may God have mercy on our souls.

Something’s Not Quite Right!

This warning greeted me on my browser when I tried to visit PDD just now. What gives?

Today was actually a perfect Duluth day.