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Best bets: Free Range films, Fourth Fest and chamber music

The Free Range Film Festival returns to a 100-plus year old barn in Wrenshall. 2016 file/ News Tribune

Sunburn pranks, yolk meals and more at Free Range Film Festival

Free Range Film Festival has — among its 20-something picks — a sunburn prank gone way, way wrong, a 10-year-old girl looking for a sparring partner so she can box her way into the 2024 Olympic Games, and a chicken bent on eating its own egg.

The 15th annual three session fest, famously set in a 100-plus-year-old bar in Wrenshall, has a mix of animation, documentary, feature-length flicks and at least cat-themed music video that considers modern political issues.

Expect to see film by fest faves like John Akre (on local artist Chris Monroe) and Joshua Carlon, and locals like Mike Scholtz (who is also an organizer), Matt Dressel and Emily McNeill.

Free Range Film Festival is 7 p.m. June 29, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 30 at the Free Range Film Festival Barn, 909 Country Rd. 4, Wrenshall.

Savannah ConleyRed, white and tunes

For years, the Fourth of July has been a two-day affair that starts with the likes of Poison-esque ballads, Alice Cooper's wildlife and enough Leppard-like pyrotechnics to singe your dirt-stache before segueing into the next day's tamer affair with a handful of local bands and a newcomer to the national country scene.

Rock the Park with Hairball is Tuesday at Bayfront Festival Park. The next day, Savannah Conley headlines Fourth Fest — a family-friendly event that starts with Under the Bus, Breanne Marie & The Front Porch Sinners and Feeding Leroy before the Tennessee-bred singer-songwriter who has gotten mega-kudos from Rolling Stone magazine. Fireworks follow.

Rock the Park with Hairball is at 5:30 p.m. July 3 at Bayfront Festival Park. Tickets: $20 at or the DECC box office.

Fourth Fest is at 4 p.m. July 4 at Bayfront Festival Park. Free, open to the public.

Also: The Mighty Thomas Carnival will be in town July 4-8 in the DECC parking lot.

Four friends at the DAI

Works by Carl Gawboy, George Morrison and Joe Geshek will be featured at the Duluth Art Institute, St. Louis Historical Society and Historic Union Depot. The exhibition, "Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg" translates to "four friends" — a group that includes the three artists and the viewer, according to a news release from the art institute. The show considers the way each of the artists has impacted contemporary art and how each celebrates Anishinaabe life.

The opening reception is part of the Downtown Duluth Art Walk; The closing reception, 6-8 p.m. July 24, will include a pipe ceremony, feast, speakers and presentation of gifts.

"Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg" gets an opening reception 5-9 p.m. June 29 at the Depot's Great Hall, 506 W. Michigan St. Free, open to the public.

Art trek

A new Downtown Arts Walk will feature 25 stops hosting open-house, open-gallery, open-studio style chances to drop in and gawk. The lineup ranges from Tischer Photographic Gallery, where landscape photographer Ryan Tischer will show off images from his 10-day trip to Iceland, to Mavis Designer Showroom with its high-concept furniture and lighting, to Rockingchair Studio, where digital artist Joellyn Rock and friends make prints and ceramics.

Downtown Art Walk starts at 4 p.m. June 29 at downtown galleries, studios and shops. For an interactive map, go to


Perfect Duluth Day, among Duluth's Duluthiest websites — as they say — celebrates its 15th birthday Friday at Wade Stadium.

The site has modest roots as the host of an ongoing conversation about local haps: music, issues, oddities, inside jokes, photos of angry Duluthians and has since grown into a much-needed alt news source. These PDDers know how to throw a party. Expect cake, trivia, small talk, remember-whens — then retreat into the stadium for the Duluth Huskies' baseball game.

PDDXV is 6-9 p.m. June 26 at Wade Stadium.

LSCO premieres work by visiting composer

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra kicks off the season with a U.S. premier — and a visit from the composer. "Consort Lessons" is by Alexander Litvinovsky and is billed as a contemporary piece based on tunes from the English renaissance. Litvinovsky, of Belarus, is flying in for the performance.

The program also includes "Down a River of Time" by Eric Ewazen with Duluth oboist Brett Linski, Franz Schubert's Fifth Symphony and George Gershwin's "Lullaby for Strings."

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. June 28 at Mitchell Auditorium, College of St. Scholastica. Tickets: Available at

Alamode plays the Bowl

Local synth-pop-funk band Alamode will play a free concert on Tuesday at Chester Bowl as part of the park's summer concert series.

The band is fronted by the always-fashionable Nathan Holte and released its debut album "Swell" earlier this year.

Chester Creek Concert Series features a mix of local bands — and a mix of genres — playing free shows in the park.

Alamode plays at 7 p.m. July 3 at Chester Bowl. Free, open to the public.