Things to Do Memorial Day Weekend

Big weekend ahead. Got plans? Here are some suggestions, assuming that you’re not heading off to hibernate at your cabin on the lake … though if you are reading this now, you really should be outside.

14th Annual Battle of the Jugbands
Produced by Icehouse Studio, Coho Handcream for Men and De Elliot Bros., the Battle is this Sunday, May 30 from 1 to 8 p.m. The Battle of the Jugbands is held in Duluth each Memorial Weekend Sunday. In years past, eight to ten regional bands have shown up, celebrating seven hours of old time down-home, string band roots music. It is also a competition as they vie for the coveted Yid-wegian Krumkake Iron. As you might imagine, some of it is quite over the top. Unique homemade instruments are shown and played, audience participation encouraged. Check it out at the Amazing Grace Cafe, downstairs in the DeWitt-Seitz Building, Canal Park. For a foretaste, check out these scenes from last year.

Pre-Show Jugband Escape
Tonight, de Elliot Bros. will be performing at Amazing Grace from 7 to 10 p.m. in a pre-battle performance. If you like good music and can’t make it Sunday for the annual hoopla then stop in Saturday evening. Maybe you’ll even want to participate. I believe the stage is open.

Dylan Days
The only acceptable excuse for not checking things out at Amazing Grace is because you went up to Dylan Days, which officially began Thursday in Hibbing, Bob Dylan’s hometown. (OK, so he lived here till he was 6.) Poetry readings, a writing contest, all kinds of music, bus tours and other distractions make for a great destination, if you’re even remotely a Dylan fan or music lover. Get the whole story and weekend schedule at

Indianapolis 500
For me, Memorial Day Weekend used to mean only one thing: I was not going to church that Sunday because I was going to watch all the pre-race interviews and opening ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500. My Indy 500 weekend always begins when I pick up Friday’s USA Today in order to obtain the special Indy 500 racing coverage, with starting grid, profiles of the drivers and the latest dope on all the backstage gossip. This year’s stories include a first time four women drivers, though the way the Penske team is racing, these ladies will have to get seriously lucky to have even the remotest chance. (Ana, Simona and Danica are my sentimental favorites.)

So, if you have an ear for music but like the action in Indy, do what I often do … check out the Battle of the Jugbands at Amazing Grace, then slip across the street to Grandma’s Sports Garden for a brew and a bit o’ big screen TV. See if you can catch Danica Patrick in her neon green Go Daddy machine. Prediction: Will Power will set the pace … and will drink the milk in the winner’s circle. And for the record, the average lap speed these days for drivers in the front row is over 227 miles per hour.

Open House at the Historic Armory
In the event that you’re not a racing fan, but you are a Dylan fan, but you can’t make it to Hibbing for Dylan Days, Sunday there will be an open house at the Armory from 2 to 4 p.m. during the 500 and the Battle of the Jugbands. Not sure how I will fit it all in, but I’ll give it my best shot.

“Meantime life goes on all around you.” ~ Dylan



about 13 years ago

$170 for tandem skydiving today and tomorrow (5/30 & 5/31) at Skydive Superior. Call 218-391-7936 to sign up.


about 13 years ago

Got a great sunburn at the cabin yesterday, ran five miles, went to a wine tasting, and had dinner at Fitger's Brewhouse.


about 13 years ago


Meet at the Lakewalk Vietnam Memorial at 10:00 AM - Mulching flowers and shrub beds, weeding flower gardens, picking up trash and painting benches.

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