Best bets: Ford's trek, lots of music, and oddities at Glensheen

This week's top picks in local arts and entertainment.

Submitted / file photos

Hiker Emily Ford featured on PBS

Emily Ford, the Glensheen gardener who made a historic through-hike on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with her sidekick Diggins, will be featured on an episode of “Prairie Sportsman” that airs at 4 p.m. June 5 on WDSE PBS North.

Emily Ford (File 2021 / Clint Austin /

Ford, the second person and first woman to complete this trek, worked her way from Door County to the Interstate Park less than two months later — all the while offering something to root for to the home-viewing audience cuddled up snuggly in front of Instagram. The more-than-1,100-mile hike attracted national attention — including News Tribune coverage, Backpacker magazine and documentary filmmakers. It’s a story worth reading about-watching-listening to in all its incarnations.

RELATED: They did it! Emily Ford, Diggins finish 1,136-mile trek across Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail After 69 days on the trail, Ford becomes only the second person on record to complete a winter thru-hike of the trail.


Keller Williams (Photo courtesy of Keller Williams)

Keller Williams to play Earth Rider grounds

Singer-songwriter Keller Williams, a heavy-touring guitar star whose most recent record, “Cell,” dips into moments of robotic zings and the sweet sound of oozing neon, is scheduled to play a show at 7 p.m. June 6 at Earth Rider Festival Field. Williams, who first emerged in the mid-1990s, is known for his live shows and the way he single-handedly creates a DIY performance. Tickets: $35 at .

Al Church (Promotional photo from Facebook)

Al Church says ‘Divorce Your Ego’

Last week, Al Church released on his YouTube page a video for his single “Divorce Your Ego” — vintage footage of dancing ladies set to a catchy, layered and insightful song. “Never found a question to reveal you to me / Divorce your ego floating in the creek.” Church is a Minneapolis artist with roots in Duluth.

The quarantine was a productive period, he says on Patreon. He is in the middle of a project called “The Song Rainbow,” which gives potential collaborators the opportunity to reimagine the music.

Charlie Parr (2014 file/ News Tribune)


Celebrate Pete at Wussow’s

Pete Fest, which this year features
musicians Charlie Parr, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, Jen West & The Cold Shoulders and more, is a four-day festival held annually at Wussow’s Concert Café. The theme: It’s billed as a “celebration of good friends, music, art and community,” and it tends to fall around the birthday of Pete Cich — the sound engineer-social media-booker for the West Duluth café-art haven. Pete Fest runs June 6-12, with tickets available at .


June 8: Charlie Parr, Cory Coffman, 7 p.m.

June 10: Low, Mississippi Mike Wolf, New Salty Dog, 6 p.m.

June 11: Rick McLean, Jeffrey James O’Loughlin, 7 p.m.

June 12: Jen West & The Cold Shoulders, Sonofmel, 7 p.m.

Skull and snake inkwell from Glensheen mansion. (Photo courtesy of Glensheen)


Oddities at the ’Sheen

Glensheen Obscura is a new exhibit showing off some of what’s behind the closet doors at the Congdon mansion (there are 23, we’re told) — oftentimes pieces that were purchased during the family’s travels abroad.

Expect to see dolls that have aged creepily, maps, an instrument called an angklung. A wooden skull with an ivory snake entwined is an inkwell.

The exhibition opens on June 4 and runs through the summer. Glensheen is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Christa Lawler is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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