Celebrate smelt; eat smelt

If the past is any indication, the annual Run, Smelt, Run! parade will have people and pets wrapped in a silver shimmer, foil-covered hats, silver streamers and original, hand-crafted smelt decked out in curled streamers and tiny jewels, and smelt royalty will be introduced.

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The Magic Smelt troupe's quirky parade, which includes music by the Brass Messengers, has become a fish-themed rite of spring. First, the smelt are celebrated, then eaten at a smelt fry.

Run Smelt Run! parade is at 3:30 p.m. May 14 and starts near the Aerial Lift Bridge behind the Maritime Visitors Center. The smelt fry follows at 5 p.m. at Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, 222 E. Superior St.

Beer + bands

Bent Paddle is celebrating its fourth birthday with jam bands, funksters and folkies - along with some family-friendly games and food from local food trucks.

The lineup for Festiversary includes The Big Wu, Big Wave Dave & The Ripples, Jillian Rae, Black River Revue, Noble Sound System, Ben Weaver and more. Plus, there will be entertainment by the old-timey radio podcasters from Take It With You. And, of course, beer.

Festiversary is 2-8 p.m. May 13 at Bent Paddle, 1912 W. Michigan St. Tickets: $15 in the taproom, $10 for designated drivers, and free for kids 12 and younger with adults.

Mixed-up tales

Your narrator Jack has a background in beanstalk rappelling in the Duluth Playhouse Theatre for Young Audiences production of "Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," a story with classic characters, newbies and mixed-up plotlines. It's based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.

Duluth Playhouse's Theatre for Young Audiences' "Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales" plays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays May 13-28 at The Underground. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for youth at duluthplayhouse.org.

With a spoon

Gag Me With a Spoon is a chance to crack into that vintage puppy journal and read deep-dark thoughts from your teen years in front of a live audience. Who would have believed that your worst nightmare could become, decades later, good comedy.

This month's event is mother-centric and includes guest storytellers like former Duluth musician Haley and Sarah Bamford Seidelmann, and Adeline Wright. Then, open mic participants each get three minutes to share.

"Gag Me With a Spoon" is 7-9 p.m. May 14 at Blacklist Artisan Ales, 120 E. Superior St. Tickets: Free, open to the public.


North Shore Bank of Commerce is hosting "Voyages," an art exhibition with works by regional artists - including Scott Murphy's portrait of recently retired president Larry Johnson.

Other artists include Sarah Brokke, Cheng-Khee Chee, Adu Gindy and Karen Savage-Blue.

Opening reception for "Voyages" is 5-7 p.m. May 17 at North Shore Bank of Commerce. Exhibition is open during business hours through Aug. 18. Free, open to the public.