Duluth Mayor Don Ness is marking the end of two terms in office with his final public address and a free concert event featuring a mix of musicians with local ties - and everyone is invited.

The event, “Thank You Duluth,” will be held from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Symphony Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and will include music by Dave Simonett of Trampled By Turtles, Alan Sparhawk and Gaelynn Lea of The Murder of Crows, Sarah Lawrence of Lyric Opera of the North and singer-songwriters Sara Thomsen, Sarah Krueger, Jerree Small and Charlie Parr.

“The spirit of it is: Here’s a gathering of friends - whoever wants to be a part of it,” Ness said. “(It’s a way) to say ‘thank you’ to Duluth and highlight some of my favorite musicians in town.”

Ness said he knew he wanted to have some sort of celebration but that his last month in office snuck up on him. He began the planning process last week with a text message to Simonett.

“The music scene has been an important part of my life in Duluth and political career,” Ness said. “Bands have played as part of my campaign. I’ve tried to find ways to support the arts. They’re some of my favorite people in town and I want to showcase that and give folks a reason to come out.”

Ness said the idea took root with R.T. Rybak’s “Un-Augural,” the bash the former mayor of Minneapolis threw in December 2013 that featured a lineup of Twin Cities-based bands - including Simonett - who performed at First Avenue. Ness was in attendance.

“That was an open crowd and mingly. I thought, ‘I’d really like to do something similar,’ ” Ness said. “But with more of a quiet, listening crowd. More of an opportunity to have a crowd tuning into the artists as well as a chance to have a few speeches.”

Ness is paying for the event, but donations will be accepted to pay the artists and cover facility charges. There will be a reception that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Paulucci Hall, and Ness will have copies of his book “Hillsider: Snapshots of a Curious Political Journey” available for signing.


What: “Thank You Duluth”: Mayor Don Ness’ final mayoral address and concert celebration

When: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Symphony Hall, DECC

Tickets: Free, open to the public

Lineup: Dave Simonett, The Murder of Crows, Sarah Lawrence, Sara Thomsen, Sarah Krueger, Jerree Small and Charlie Parr

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5:30 p.m.: Reception and book signing at Paulucci Hall

7-9 p.m.: Concert

9 p.m. Final mayoral address

9 p.m.: After-party with the Boomchucks at Paulucci Hall

Kristy Marie and the Forget Me Nots CD release party at Red Herring Lounge