Brian Matuszak column: Brian has even more Tall Ship ideas for Visit DuluthSo everyone was dusting off their “avast, matey” and “thar she blows” this week as we all waited for the arrival of the tall ships to Duluth’s waterfront.
So everyone was dusting off their “avast, matey” and “thar she blows” this week as we all waited for the arrival of the tall ships to Duluth’s waterfront. These ships are so tall, in fact, that there was a very real danger that they might not fit underneath the Aerial Lift Bridge as they sailed in.
Be honest, that’s probably the real reason you were willing to plunk down top dollar to check them out; you wanted to be there to document the historical moment when a mizzenmast took out a hunk of rusty bridge span. (Coincidentally, that almost happened in 1975 when an agitated Jeno Paulucci threw a bag of frozen pizza rolls at Mayor Ben Boo.)
Never one to look a gift shop in the mouth, Visit Duluth (OFFICIAL MOTTO: Tourist dollars spend the same as real dollars) has even more tallish, ship-like plans in place to showcase our fair city. You’ll say “Take my money, please” when you hear about all of these exciting, completely 100-percent original, upcoming rip-off ... uh, I mean, rip-roaring events!
SHORT SHIPS FESTIVAL: If people get excited about looking UP at tall ships, they’ll be even more euphoric for the chance to look DOWN at itty-bitty ones! Fun fact: Thunder Bay originally tried this cute idea back in the ‘80s, but quickly abandoned it after the tiny ships were gobbled up by muskies.
TALL HIPS FESTIVAL: “Let’s just drop the ‘s’” was the thinking here, and then the thinking stopped. Originally planned to be a celebration of towering Duluth hipsters, this idea had to be revamped when none of the participants would agree to be seen away from Tycoons. Now, any and all lofty, long-legged Northland citizens are invited to let tourists pay $3 for a balloon ride up to view their sky-high hips.
TALL TALES FESTIVAL: This event has been put on hold after it was discovered that politicians, lumberjacks, and Fox News own the name.
WALKING TALL FESTIVAL: You get to dress up like Sheriff Buford Pusser and smack people with a foam 2-by-4 for three straight days this
SHORT PEOPLE FESTIVAL: Randy Newman is scheduled to sing the theme song to this new festival as a parade of short people walk under the Lift Bridge. Ironically, all of them will be wearing lifts.
TALL, DARK STRANGER
FESTIVAL: As “Some Enchanted Evening” blares over the Vista Fleet loudspeakers, a parade of tall, dark strangers will walk across the blue pedestrian bridge until it breaks, randomly launching one of them into the harbor. Guess which stranger and you could win $2 off a watered-down drink at Grandma’s.
TALL MEDIUM FESTIVAL: Giant psychics will make their way into town to predict how much money Visit Duluth will spend on North Dakota billboards.
If you have any ideas you’d like to share with Visit Duluth, write them down on a postcard, address it to Terry Mattson, then toss it into the trash because he probably won’t look at it anyway.
Happy Tall Shipping!
Brian Matuszak is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and believes that fun in Canal Park is a myth in the summer, just like Bigfoot and free parking.