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Celebrate the season at Chester Bowl

Last weekend, the Canal Park area was Duluth's "party central." This weekend, families and music lovers should head for the hills. Celebrate fall -- and summer weather -- at the 25th annual Chester Bowl Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturd...

Chester Bowl Fall Festival
Even without the love-it-or-hate-it white stuff, there's plenty to see and do at Duluth's Chester Bowl park, like its annual Fall Festival. Submitted photo

Last weekend, the Canal Park area was Duluth's "party central." This weekend, families and music lovers should head for the hills. Celebrate fall -- and summer weather -- at the 25th annual Chester Bowl Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 (rain date is the next day, same time, same place).

"It's the biggest event of the year at Chester Bowl, with the biggest crowds since some of the ski jumping competitions in the early part of the last century," said Curt Leitz, a board member of the Chester Bowl Improvement Club, adding that they've had anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 come out for the day.

He promised a fun day for the whole family. Kids can take a pony ride, get their faces painted, jump in a bouncy castle and more. Eat at the farmers' market, which features locally grown produce as well as hand-dipped caramel apples, fresh apple cider and locally grown sweet corn -- plus there are scores of other vendors selling everything from art to mini donuts.

Check out the live music, starting with Bill and Kate Isles at 10 a.m., Rough Roads at noon and the Mark Rubin Family Band at 2 p.m. There is no admission fee, but a suggested donation of $2 will go toward programming at Chester Bowl.

"As the city's relationship with the ski-and-kids' programming has changed, the Chester Bowl Improvement Club has picked up the slack and tried to keep good, safe activities alive at the Bowl," Leitz said. "This is our biggest fund-raiser."

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To help with parking, a free shuttle bus will run all day to Chester Bowl from the Darland administrative building parking lot at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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