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Best Bets: Goat yoga, Finnish music, and more Northland delights

Find something to do this weekend.

Noelle Resignolo, of Colorado, left, closes her eyes during a 2021 class at Duluth Goat Yoga.
Dan Williamson / File / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — In addition to the Bayfront Blues Festival, here are six more winning bets for Northland fun this weekend.

Goat yoga!

"The classes are yoga-optional," Duluth Goat Yoga founder Angela Abernathy explained to the News Tribune last year. "Some people just sit there and hold a goat and take pictures." Not only is goat yoga a real thing here in Duluth, it's a national trend. Abernathy regularly hosts classes on her property near Knife River, including a class Saturday at 11 a.m. Just to clarify: It's you, not the goats, doing the yoga. While you're working out, the mini goats come to say hello. "During a tabletop position or during downward dog," said Abernathy, "they will hop on you." If that sounds appealing, you can learn more and register for class at duluthgoatyoga.com.

Angela Abernathy is the owner of Duluth Goat Yoga at 1798 Hegberg Road. These unique classes allow for people to battle stress, find their center and leave with a smile after spending time with 25 friendly goats.

Remembering Terry Millikan

A painting of yellow flowers in a blue striped vase
A painting by Terry Millikan.
Contributed / Lizzards Art Gallery and Framing

Artist Terry Millikan was part of the Northland scene for decades, creating work that was full of joy and revealed her close connection to nature. "Most people know her for very expressionistic, colorful paintings," said Jeff Schmidt of Lizzards Art Gallery & Framing, "but she would also do sculpture (and) drawings." Millikan died last year at age 78, and on Friday from 5-8 p.m., Lizzards is hosting a celebration of her life. "We have almost 100 pieces of hers that we're going to have on exhibit," said Schmidt. Millikan, who spent time living in Mexico, "was very passionate about celebrating Day of the Dead," said Schmidt, "so we're going to have a Day of the Dead altar set up here for her." Art sales at the event benefit the Duluth Art Institute and the Tweed Museum of Art. For more information, see the Facebook page linked from lizzards.com.

Bayfield County Fair

Girl, smiling, holds the collar of a small black goat as she stands in a grassy field.
This pygmy goat won a blue ribbon in 2020.
Contributed / Bayfield County Fair

If St. Cloud entertainer Greg Kaler, who performs as George of the Juggle, is still standing after the Bayfield County Fair, give him a blue ribbon: He's scheduled to do nine sets over the course of three days. It's part of the fair's "affordable family fun," which also includes hay wagon rides, a timber show, face painting and animal shows. Will there be monster trucks? Need you ask? There's also a beer garden for the grown-ups, with live music from bands including Free Range Rick & the Slick Chickens. Conveniently, a single-admission price covers all carnival rides and grandstand events. For more information on the fair, which runs Thursday through Sunday, see bayfieldcounty.wi.gov.


Fenestra Funk album release

Fenestra Funk self-titled album cover, with band's name in stylized yellow text against an orange-on-blue paisley background
Album art for Fenestra Funk's self-titled debut LP.
Contributed / Fenestra Funk

"Who says a doom funk band can't play yacht rock?" The Duluth band Fenestra Funk ask an intriguing question in their Facebook bio. Whether or not you're a doubter, you can embrace the contradictions on Saturday night at the Rex Bar, when Fenestra Funk play a free show to celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album. Find the album on Spotify or YouTube and you can sample the easygoing instrumental vibes of "Mid-Day Crisis," pick it up with "Pack It Up," and luxuriate in the three-song suite that closes the LP. For more information, see fenestrafunk.com.

Tori Finnish Market & Music Fest

The flag of Finland, with a blue cross against a white background.
The flag of Finland.
Contributed / Public Domain

The 21st annual Tori Finnish Marketplace & Music Fest may be the next best thing to flying to Finland, the country. All you need is a car to get to Finland, Minnesota, home of a Heritage Site that evokes the world of the settlers who came to the Northland in the pioneer era. On Saturday, the Heritage Site will be full of Finnish fun — from food to music to crafts to games to historical demonstrations. Musicians scheduled to perform include Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo; Bill and Kate Isles; and the Two Harbors Ukulele Group. Sunday kicks off with a pancake breakfast, followed by Mixed Precipitation's Picnic Truck Opera at 1 p.m. For more information, see finlandmnhistoricalsociety.com.

While festival season might be winding down in some places as August arrives, there's still more to come for outdoor festivities along the North Shore and up in Ely.

Old Time Fiddle Championships

Deer River fiddler Olivia Skaja won the Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships in 2016.

The stakes will be high on Saturday at the Merritt School Auditorium in Mountain Iron. The winner of the Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships will qualify to compete at the National Old Time Fiddle Championships next summer in Weiser, Idaho. A news release contained additional details: "Contestants in all categories will be playing a waltz, a hoedown, and a tune of choice, except for twin fiddlers who only need to play one tune. The show is open to the public for a modest fee of $10." The event is part of Mountain Iron Merritt Days — and "old time" describes the style, not necessarily the players. Often, teens have won the championship. For more information, see mesabisymphonyorchestra.org.

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 jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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