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From the Photo Archive | July 9, 1998


There used to be big bonfire parties on Wisconsin Point during full moons. Not the usual random 10- to 20-person parties that still happen every night, but parties with 100 to 200 people. The parties went by the name of "Luna," and the organizer(s) actually printed fliers for the unsanctioned beer bashes.

I'm not sure why this flier says "Duluth, MN" because the parties were always in Superior.

As depicted in the photo, the cops showed up one time and announced that everyone must go home. One guy, who had rented a power generator and set up a DJ tent, actually managed to talk the cops into letting everyone stay. It was one of the greatest debates I ever listened in on.

First, the police were assured that no one was drinking out of bottles (I can't remember if keg beer was provided or if people were instructed to pour their bottled/canned beer into plastic cups upon arrival).

Then, the argument was made that if everyone was forced to leave immediately, some who planned to camp out would drive home drunk. Also, they might leave garbage behind. The party leader assured the police that the beach would be cleaner after the party than before.

I listened to this thinking there was no way Luna would be permitted to continue. To my surprise, the cops looked out at the disgruntled crowd and decided to compromise. They made a new announcement that everyone under the age of 21 had to leave.

What amused me the most is that they didn't actually card anyone, they just walked up to younger-looking people and asked how old they were. Those who said they were 21 were presumed to be 21. Oddly enough, several people actually said, "I'm 19," and were told to go home.



My parties, my flyer, and it was me who spent to too much time trying reason with angry cops, memories.....

Amazing parties, great people, good spirit, fantastic music, many great people volunteering to set up, gather firewood, tear down and clean up. People came from Canada, MI, WI, IL IA, SD and beyond.

I lost hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the spirit of a good time every full moon.

I advertised it as Duluth instead of Superior to throw the cops off our trail for a little while. These were free "non-alcohol" events on a public beach with the rules printed on the flyer. It is legal to be on the beach 24 hours a day, have amplified music, fires and alcohol in non-glass containers (legally aged). Every summer month for many years I was on that beach picking up trailers full of garbage, bottle caps, cigarette butts etc until noon the next day. We left it cleaner than we found it.

We had many negative confrontations with local hessians, mullets and ultimately undercover cops looking for drugs. Most local people had never seen, heard or experienced music or an event like this and were very confused. Some were open minded enough to stick around and have fun and eventually came to the next parties.

Anyone else have photos of the Luna parties? I have some somewhere in storage.

So many good memories.

Back in the day having a pit or point party was risky but ya got away with it more often than not.
We all survived and thankfully did not have our reputations tarnished;)

Is it really legal to be on the Wisc. point at anytime, day or night?

Superior was VERY tolerant about activities on WI point back then. Unfortunately, not everyone was as responsible as Swan when it comes to trash and broken glass, and now there are more stipulations than there used to be.

I believe that it's still legal be there any time, but you can only legally park in the first slot past 10pm.

MN Point is a whole other matter. I was given an official warning by the cops once, where they told me that if I ever was caught on the beach past 10pm again, I would be charged with a very long list of crimes (trespassing, open container, noise violations, illegal burning, etc).

one time somebody brought a whole couch. I loved those parties...my favorite was the music as the sun rose over the lake.

I just got tickteted Saturday nite for staying on Wisconsin Point past 10 or 11 whatever it is beyond the first parking slot.

All of this said, I just hate the current situation on Wisconsin Point, because it's completely avoidable.

Back in the day, you could stay out there all night long, make as much noise as you wanted, drink as much as you wanted, etc. There were only two stipulations: Don't litter. Don't be drinking if you're under 21.

And it's the littering that has destroyed it all! I've been out there with a fire, drinking on that beach at 3am am so many times. The cops showed up, realized everyone was 21, saw that everyone had non-breakable containers, and went on their way.

Meanwhile, idiots downstream were smashing bottles and lighting trash cans on fire. WHY?

If you dig back into the DNT and Telegram archives, you'll see that the city of Superior really tried to be cool about Wisconsin Point parties. Unfortunately, too many people were into breaking glass on the beach and spreading trash around, which, understandably, is not tolerable.

It was good while it lasted.

i think it's pretty sweet that tate donovan and james franco came to the beach party. they grow up so fast.

Same as Barrett. Once the cops saw it was apparent we weren't making terrible violence on the beach, they walked away.

Kind of a boring encounter with law enforcement really, because we thought we were being truly naughty.

We were harmless, though, even though we had beer. No bottles, no fights, a contained fire (one frequent guy was a former boy scout :), small group -- never more than 20 people -- with occasional overnight camping, but I'm not sure that's legal today. I can't seem to find the law that states it's illegal to camp there. Anyone know?

And, like others said, the place ended up cleaner than when we arrived.

We had a chance to hit one of the "big" parties mentioned on the other side of the point, but opted out that night. I seem, however, to recall some of us trying to stumble, or flop much like mudskippers to the next puddle, there.

Nevermind, I missed it on the main website. No camping overnight except during dmelt season.

Um, embarrassing... "smelt" not dmelt.

What's "the main website"?

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