Spirit Valley Days brings neighbors togetherFor more than three decades, the annual Spirit Valley Days festival has been West Duluth’s Great Neighborhood Get-together.
By: Budgeteer News staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
For more than three decades, the annual Spirit Valley Days festival has been West Duluth’s Great Neighborhood Get-together.
Famous for its traditional Friday Night Street Dance (3,000 to 5,000 attend), Duluth’s largest summertime parade and the largest gathering of classic cars in the Northland (about 300+), the event is traditionally held the first weekend in August.
The epicenter of the festival is Ramsey Street between Grand Avenue at 57th
Avenue West and Central Avenue, in West Duluth.
For three days there’s dancing in the street! Both Wednesday and Thursday evenings there will be live music from 7 to 10 p.m. and there is no admission charge. During Wednesday evening’s car show, Todd Eckart will perform on the Rustic Bar Stage and Circuit Breakers will perform on the Mr. D’s and Kom-On-Inn Stage.
Following the parade on Thursday, the Young Outlaws and Wildwood will
entertain the crowd. A variety of local musicians will provide entertainment on the Ramsey Square Stage both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
Thursday the West Duluth American Legion is hosting a pancake breakfast from 6 a.m. to noon. All funds raised will help to support the Legion’s charitable work in the community. Recently, the Legion has supported several Honor Flights for WWII veterans, sent area youth to Boys State, and provided flags for all of the classrooms at the new Laura MacArthur Elementary School. This is also an opportunity for the community to meet the new Miss West Duluth and Miss West Duluth Princess.
Friday’s traditional street dance features four bands on two stages. This year’s bands include Pop ROCKS, a popular regional show band; Lake Avenue, a Minneapolis-based alternative band with local ties to West Duluth and Hibbing; John & Andy, one of Duluth’s most popular musical duos; and one of the most popular acts on the Midwest country music scene, The Devon Worley Band, featuring teenage singer, songwriter and guitarist Devon Worley. Admission is $8, and is restricted to those 21 and older.
The Valley Youth Centers are again active partners in the planning of this year’s events. Following the success of last year’s Teen Dance, the Centers will again be hosting that event at Memorial Park, to coincide with Friday’s Street Dance. They will also be raising funds for their
programs by manning a dunk tank on Ramsey Square throughout the festival.
On Saturday, a wide variety of activities is scheduled, and they include Lake Superior Zoo’s Run Like an Animal 5K Walk/Run, the Western Garden Tour, rummage and Frummage (free rummage sale) and craft sales, and Family Fun Day at Memorial Park.
Family Fun Day is hosted by Valley Youth Centers and Westside Vineyard Church, and made possible by a generous donation from the Irving Community Club. The event runs 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. and includes free cotton candy, Barrel of Fun, Moon Walk plus a wide variety of additional activities and games from Doucette’s Party Rentals, as well as a skateboarding demonstration by the Encounter Skate Park, a show presented by Westside Vineyard Church’s Vacation Bible School at noon, Home Depot Crafts for Kids at 1 p.m., the Zoomobile from noon to 3 p.m., and more, including free food while supplies last.
Sunday evening the Westside Vineyard Church, in cooperation with other area churches, is hosting a neighborhood worship service. The service starts at 6 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend, even if you don’t have a church you attend regularly.
The food is always a favorite! Festivalgoers will find plenty to eat! Longtime favorites like Winky Dinky Donuts, the Italian American Club’s Italian menu offerings, and Kosta’s Greek Gyros are returning, along with vendors offering mini donuts, pizza, pork chop on a stick, cheese curds, onion rings, curly fries, pretzels, poppers, deep-fried corn dogs, pulled pork, shredded beef, polish, nachos, brats, corn on the cob and more. Vendors will be open starting at noon on Wednesday, Thursday and