June 2017 Posts

Brew North: A Beer Story

WDSE-TV‘s recent documentary on the brewing history of northern Minnesota can now be viewed online … right here. Brew North: A Beer Story explores the many ways beer established a niche in the Duluth area and continues to leave its mark on the region.

2 Dope Queens discuss Justin Bieber’s Duluth chakra

At the very onset of episode #36 of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, hosts Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson drop a reference to Duluth while going over items on Justin Bieber’s tour rider.

Video Archive: Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad

This weekend (tentatively) the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad begins its 37th season of running 90-minute tours along the St. Louis River. This historical documentary was produced in 1983.

Fact Check: Matilda attacks Jimmy Hart’s Megaphone in Duluth

Prior to a Heavy on Wrestling card in Duluth this past weekend, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart sat down for an interview on Fox 21. At the very outset he launched into an anecdote that seems to imply a tag team he managed, the Hart Foundation, wrestled the British Bulldogs in Duluth in the 1980s.

In the dressing room before the match, so the story goes, a dog named Matilda, the literal bulldog that accompanied the two wrestler “Bulldogs” to the ring, became agitated by Hart’s megaphone and unexpectedly attacked it. The summation of the story is that the surprise attack by Matilda in Duluth inspired planned antics by Hart at Wrestlemania III, the famous wrestling card that attracted 93,173 people to the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., considered at the time to be the largest audience for a live indoor event in North America.

Rolph, Wilson named head brewers at Earth Rider

Earth Rider Brewery in Superior has named Allyson Rolph and Tim Wilson as lead brewers. The craft brewery, founded by Tim Nelson, is expected to launch later this year. It will service bars, restaurants and liquor stores throughout the Arrowhead region. The project was announced in February.

Madeline Island Diving Board

Duluth relay of the Current moving to full-power frequencies

Minnesota Public Radio is moving the Duluth relay of its Twin Cities album-oriented alternative music station, the Current, to full-power frequencies at 104.3 and 94.1 FM.

The switch to 104.3 is already in effect; 94.1 will be in operation later this summer.

The tower for 104.3 is in Two Harbors. Broadcasting with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts, the signal reaches Duluth’s eastern neighborhoods, but begins to break up in the Downtown area and is marred by static in most locations southwest of Lake Avenue.

Jen Keavy, senior communications manager at MPR, said the “reach is dependent upon topography and proximity to the tower in Two Harbors, which is why we will also launch 94.1 (which is in Duluth) once technical upgrades are made. It will help cover the gaps in the Duluth area.”

MPR purchased the two stations from Red Rock Radio for $300,000 in a deal that closed May 15. Both frequencies use the call letters KZIO and were previously branded by Red Rock as 94X “pure rock.”

Perfect Duluth Day Outdoor Summer Concert Primer 2017

Summer is upon us (you can tell because that big hot bright ball is occasionally up in the sky), and that means a gaggle of outdoor concerts are in the PDD Calendar, ready for consideration. Of course, the usual suspects like Bayfront Festival Park and Big Top Chautauqua are in there, as are smaller series like Bayside Sounds, Chester Creek Concert Series and Summer (Mostly) Thursdays. Here’s a peek at some of the upcoming sure-to-be highlights:

June 16
Everclear
Canal Park
1990’s hitmakers Everclear, Vertical Horizon and Fastball perform during Grandma’s Marathon weekend in Canal Park.

June 16
Lake Ave Live 2017
Canal Park
Local original artists also get some tent time at this two-day tenttacular.

June 23
Warren Nelson
Big Top Chautauqua
The founder of Big Top Chautauqua, Warren Nelson, celebrates 50 years in show business with a concert of songs chosen from way back to now.

PDD Quiz: Parks of Duluth

The summer weather is upon us and the outdoors are calling. Duluth is home to 133 parks and green spaces, according to the city of Duluth website. How many parks can you identify from photographs and brief descriptions? Fire up the quiz and find out!

Our next quiz, reviewing June happenings, will be posted on June 25. E-mail question suggestions to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by June 22.

A Cool Resource: Digital Collections in Veterans Hall

I’m preparing to teach a class that integrates literature and games about Vietnam into writing, and my excellent colleague Carl introduced me to Veterans Memorial Hall

Veterans Memorial Hall is a joint program of the St. Louis County Historical Society and the United States Military service veterans of northeastern Minnesota, with a mission to gather, preserve, interpret, and promote the rich and diverse human experiences of veterans, their families, and communities through museum, archival, and educational programs

Veterans Memorial Hall has moved to the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot) and is maintained by the St. Louis County Historical Society and the military service veterans from the Arrowhead region. The speakers at the original dedication ceremony promised, “Your services to the country will be remembered so long as liberty is prized and the patriotic valor is remembered.”

Veterans Memorial Hall aims to honor that statement. We have collected more than 1,500 artifacts and 6,000 veteran stories. Today, we have one of the largest collections of military items and veterans’ stories in the state of Minnesota.

Stories can be found here.  If you know more local resources about Veterans, I’d love to hear them.

Àlamode – “My Mistake”

WDSE-TV’s The PlayList captured Duluth-band Àlamode performing at the Sports Garden during the Homegrown Music Festival in May. The electro-dance pop outfit is comprised of Alex Piazza, Nathan Holte, Ned Netzel, Peter Knutson and Rio Daugherty.

North Country Trail in Wisconsin: Wood Tick Flats

You can’t start hiking the North Country Trail at the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin without first hiking in from one direction or the other. If you want to go southeast through Wisconsin, for example, you need to start on Wild Valley Road in Minnesota and hike in for 3.2 miles.

I don’t know how far into Wisconsin you’ll get if you try that. As of the date of this post, the interactive map on northcountrytrail.org is unclear. It’s hard to tell if the trail ends cold in the woods, dumps out on a highway or carries on uninterrupted.

On the gorgeous Sunday afternoon of June 4, I tried to solve this mystery and failed. It was still a fun scouting mission, though, and that’s what I’ll share in this essay. Obviously I could call the trail association or maybe spend an hour scrolling through Facebook posts to obtain the knowledge I seek about the state of the trail, but I’d still want to see it for myself, so why bother with the hands-off research, right?

It has been thoroughly documented in a series of 13 essays on this very website that I slowly and somewhat methodically hiked all of Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail in sporadic spurts from 2000 to 2016. That journey started at the Canadian border and ended on the Wisconsin border. But the trail doesn’t stop at either of those points. The SHT is part of a much longer trail — the North Country National Scenic Trail — which extends to Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota to the west and Crown Point in New York to the east.

Drone footage from the North Shore of Lake Superior

Twin Cities videographer Matt Smith of Odyssey Visuals recently took a quick weekend trip up the North Shore and captured these images from his drone.

Selective Focus: Karen McTavish

Duluth’s Karen McTavish has been named the Minnesota Quilter of the Year for 2017, and her work is being displayed at the DECC as part of the Minnesota Quilt Show this weekend, June 7-10. Her work can also be seen at the quilting studio she runs at 1831 E. Eighth St..

K.M.: In 1997 I came to Duluth to machine-quilt full time as my only source of income. I had no prior experience quilting so I had a lot of fear. I had no mentors and no idea what I was doing. I went to the Duluth Public Library and started my research into the medium, carrying hand quilting books out of the library six at a time. I applied for a studio at the Washington Studios Artists Cooperative to live/work and was accepted. I met a hand-quilter named Cheryl Dennison there. Cheryl was a modern quilter, my mother was an art quilter and I was this wandering idiot trying to find my style, my passion and my voice.

Zenith Bookstore opens July 1 in West Duluth

A year-long quest to launch a shop selling new and “gently used” books is almost complete. Zenith Bookstore will open for business July 1 in the former Wild West Liquor building at 318 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth. Perfect Duluth Day first reported about the store’s development in September.