Best Bets: Duluth International Rowing Regatta, Dances on the Lakewalk and more

Find something to do in the Northland this weekend.

Four rowing women and a coxswain sit in a boat, working hard to propel it forward.
Jayva Jordan, from left, Maj-Lis Helmer, Emily Lewis, Kyra Peterson and Sarah Morehouse competed in the Junior Women Four plus coxswain during the 59th annual Duluth International Rowing Regatta in Lake Superior off Park Point in 2017.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — If you checked out our guide to summer weekends, you're already aware of Saturday's sold-out Trampled By Turtles concert at Bayfront Festival Park, and you also know about the Movies in the Park season kicking off on Friday with "Sing 2." So let's dive a little deeper and highlight six more events you might not know about.

Dead Man Winter and Glitteratti at Earth Rider

Cover art for Glitteratti "Rectify!" EP featuring stylized gold text in the center of a photograph of sun breaking through dark clouds along a tree-laden horizon line.
Glitteratti's EP "Rectify!" was released July 4.

Just two days before taking the Bayfront stage with Trampled By Turtles, frontman Dave Simonett will be at Earth Rider Festival Grounds with his other band, Dead Man Winter. The bill also includes Duluth's own Glitteratti; Marc Gartman's project has just released an EP that's a whole summer vibe. The six-song "Rectify!" kicks off with a taste of yacht rock ("I Don't Always"), moves on to a Knack-style rave-up ("Joseah!") and wraps up with a burbling Caribbean-flavored song that avers, "when the going is smooth and good, many, many people will be your friends." You're making it too easy for us, Marc. See for details on the music. For information on the show, which also includes Eric Koskinen, see

The $5,000 grant comes with the opportunity to open for Trampled By Turtles and Jenny Lewis at Bayfront Festival Park on July 9.

DSSO at the Depot

A green banner, hanging on a brick chimney against a white-painted brick wall, reads THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY DEPOT.
The Depot's Great Hall will host a series of Bridge Sessions featuring the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra.
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's "Bridge Sessions" aren't concerts on the Lift Bridge — though a fanfare from above would be a real cherry on top for this summer's cruise ship arrivals. They're designed to "bridge the gap" among music genres with Depot collaborations featuring non-classical musicians. Three weekly concerts begin Friday with Danny Frank and the Smoky Gold; Rachael Kilgour plays the July 15 Bridge Session and South of Superior close the season July 22. The 7 p.m. Great Hall concerts are free, with food and beverage vendors available. See for more information.

Dances on the Lakewalk

Dancers, from left, Kristen Hylenski, Brianna Hall, Patrick Timmons and Marco Carreon rehearsed a "Dances on the Lakewalk" number at Gitche Ode’ Akiing before the festival in 2021.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

Freshwater Dance Collective is hosting its annual two-day free dance festival Friday and Saturday at Gichi-Ode’ Akiing. Dances on the Lakewalk will feature "a variety of concert dance styles ranging from ballet to modern dance," according to a news release, with contributions from 10 Duluth-based choreographers as well as a few from the Twin Cities. Doris Ressl, who launched the series in the 1990s, told the News Tribune last year that "there’s not a lot of concert dance in Duluth. I love that this is free, it’s accessible — and if you don’t like what’s happening, wait a few minutes." Each day's performances begin at 7 p.m. For more information, see


Bay Days

Rocky Taconite
Rocky Taconite, a 1964 sculpture celebrating "those whose genius and labors are responsible for the utilization of taconite for converting a useless rock into a useful, valuable product and a huge new industry in Minnesota," will preside over Bay Days.
File / Duluth News Tribune

"Many of you rocked to 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy,' but have you ever done it LIVE, in Silver Bay, Minnesota?" The Bay Days Committee know how to pose a tough question, and how to follow it up. "Well, now you can," they write on the website promoting this year's event, which spans Friday through Sunday with entertainment including Great White, "American Idol" winner Caleb Johnson, a parade, fireworks, bingo, a logging competition, a display of lighted boats, a car show, and Rocky Taconite photo ops. For information and Saturday night concert tickets ($20 advance, $25 at the gate), see

Duluth International Rowing Regatta

The Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club lowers a boat from its trailer outside the Duluth Rowing Club in 2019 at the 61st Duluth International Rowing Regatta.
Ellen Schmidt / File / Duluth News Tribune

"People always seem to be excited to be able to say they actually competed on Lake Superior," wrote Jules Zane in a 2018 USRowing spotlight on the Duluth International Rowing Regatta, a draw for rowing teams from across the Midwest and Canada since the 1950s. This year's event takes place Saturday on Superior Bay, with hundreds of rowers expected to compete in races at three levels. "The Duluth Regatta generally attracts a large crowd of spectators who enjoy a festive atmosphere watching exciting races throughout the day," notes the Duluth Rowing Club, organizer of the event. For more information, see

'Much Ado' at Pattison Park

A white man and woman in colorful costume sit together on a suitcase in a grassy open-air setting with a brown wooden building, as well as a canvas painted with hilly exterior scene, visible in the background. They clasp hands and look into one another's eyes.
"Much Ado About Nothing"? Doesn't seem like it, based on the intensity these two actors are bringing to their roles.
Contributed / Summit Players Theatre

Seventy-five minutes isn't nothing, but it's only about half the time a production of Shakepeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" typically takes. The abridged script is part of the mission of Summit Players Theatre, the Milwaukee-based company that takes pride in being "America's only traveling Shakespeare in the state parks troupe." Their take on "Much Ado" is playing at Superior's Pattison State Park on Saturday at 7 p.m., with an educational workshop preceding at 5:30. "There’s a reason 'Much Ado About Nothing' is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies," said the troupe's executive director A.J. Magoon in a statement. "It’s hilarious and heartfelt, and this version is perfect for audiences of all kinds.” For more information on the free show, see

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.
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