Best Bets: Bent Paddle Festiversary returns

Find something to do in the Northland this weekend.

Bent Paddle's new look.
Bent Paddle employee Isaiah Jorgensen reaches for a six pack of IPA bearing the company’s new design April 7.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

It will be a Festiversary like no other as Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth welcomes you "and 3,000 of your closest friends" to a Saturday street party celebrating the ninth anniversary of the craft brewery that's quickly grown into a regional go-to and a staple of the booming Lincoln Park neighborhood. This year's lineup is stacked like cans of Bent Hop, with headliner Pert Near Sandstone as well as Mae Simpson, Jeremy Messersmith and Dred I Dread on the main stage. The event will also feature games, food, and, needless to say, beer — served, for the first 2,500 attendees, with a commemorative Festimal Glass. Check out for information and tickets. If you're ready to keep the party going, the Caddy Shack is hosting its own afterparty with Blu Volta and A Band Called Truman; details at

A picture book boat launch

Cover of picture book "Lily Leads the Way," with sailboat illustration and credit for author Margi Preus and illustrator Matt Myers
A brave little sailboat stars in "Lily Leads the Way."
Contributed / Candlewick

Could you tell the differences among a sloop, a schooner, a brig, a barque and a barquentine? You can help make sure you're raising a self-respecting Zenith City kid by introducing them to Lily the sailboat in "Lily Leads the Way," a new picture book by Margi Preus with illustrations by Matt Myers. In the story, little Lily finds herself overwhelmed by big, busy boats coming and going by way of the Aerial Lift Bridge — but finds her voice when it's time to signal the bridge to make way for some tall ships. Preus will be launching (so to speak) the new book at a virtual event with St. Paul's Red Balloon Bookshop on Wednesday, followed by an in-person signing Saturday at Duluth's Zenith Bookstore. See and for details.

'Paulie Go!' at Twin Cities film fest

Adolescent girl and boy standing in rowboat that the girl is paddling across a lake as the boy casts his gaze forward.
Shot in northern Minnesota, "Paulie Go!" is the closing night selection at this year's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
Contributed / Matthew McIntosh

If you follow high school extracurricular news, you know Northlanders are serious about their robotics. They're also, needless to say, serious about their fishing. Director Andrew Nackman brings the two together in "Paulie Go!" The feature, which is having its world premiere Thursday at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, was shot in Hubbard County and comes advertised as "a coming-of-age comedy about an anti-social robotics prodigy who pairs up with a headstrong young angler to track down a reclusive genius in the mazy lake country of northern Minnesota." It's the festival's closing night selection; for schedule and tickets, see

Davina goes West

Band of four men in suits play jazz instruments while person wearing red dress leans against a small piano looking bored.
Davina and the Vagabonds are returning to West Duluth this week.
Contributed / The West Theatre

Audiences around the world love Davina and the Vagabonds — and local audiences are no exception. Last time Davina Lozier and their crack jazz-blues-pop-R&B band played West Theatre, in December, the show sold out. Now, Duluthians have another opportunity to party with Davina before the band heads off on a fest-filled summer that includes stops in Australia and the United Kingdom. Bring your New Orleans attitude to the West Duluth venue on Thursday, when Davina hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. For information and tickets ($18-$23), see

Children's Museum invites adults to play

The Duluth Children's Museum, seen shortly after it moved into its new Lincoln Park home in 2020.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

"It's our turn to play," reads the tagline for After Dark at the Duluth Children's Museum. Adult parties, with adult beverages, are popular everywhere from the Minnesota Zoo to the American Swedish Institute — but what does the Children's Museum have to offer 21+ grown-ups sipping on drinks catered by the Caddy Shack? On Friday night, attractions include live music by the McCullough Brothers, carnival games and a raffle. The event is a fundraiser for the Children's Museum and "programs benefiting families with the most need." See for details and tickets ($25).


Lake Superior Art Glass turns 10

A pint glass with a green grass-like pattern sits on a bar, with tap handles visible out of focus in the background.
Lake Superior Art Glass is inviting customers to celebrate its 10th anniversary by custom designing pint glasses like this one.
Contributed / Lake Superior Art Glass

Lake Superior Art Glass in Duluth is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a party aptly themed "The Decade of Fire." The Saturday event, at Hoops Brewing and the adjoining Ripple Bar, will feature live music, a silent auction and beverages including a special brew created specifically to honor the Canal Park glass shop. There's also a marble hunt Saturday morning, and live glassblowing at the shop throughout the day. Throughout May — either before or after the party — Lake Superior Art Glass is inviting customers to design their own pint glasses, created on the spot by glass artisans. Each glass ($56) also comes with a Hoops drink token, but plan ahead if you're hoping to bring your pint to the party: each glass has to cool overnight before use. See for details.

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
What to read next
The animatronic attraction's crew had less than two days to turn the DECC's Pioneer Hall into a prehistoric playground.
Beer drinking and ax throwing don't sound like two things that should be done simultaneously, but the Duluth brewery has scored a direct hit with taproom visitors.
With July 4 falling on a Monday this year and live entertainment back to pre-pandemic scale, it's shaping up to be one of the most epic long weekends in years.
Entertaining musical opened Friday night and runs through July 17 at the NorShor.