The fifth-annual Bowfest is set for Thursday-Sunday, July 22-25, at Mont du Lac recreation area just south of Duluth.
Bowfest is billed as the largest outdoor 3D archery shoot in the region, aimed at bow hunters who want to test their skills in conditions that mimic real-life hunting situations.
The event is also a celebration of the outdoors and country music, with big-name concerts, camping and a weekend of archery experts, manufacturers and cable TV outdoor show celebrities. Music headliners this year include Travis Tritt, Buckwild, Leather & Lace, and Michael Waddell and Friends.
Four-day passes are $139.99 per person if purchased before the event starts, and $149.99 during the event. Tickets for concerts only, not including any archery events, are $49.99.
Mont du Lac is a ski and snowboarding hill in winter that's transformed into more than 400 acres of archery fun with four courses with 60 realistic archery shots available at life-like Rinehart targets. Archers can walk through the steep hills and valleys at Mont du Lac and shoot from either beginner, hunter or pro stakes — like tees on a golf course — at each target. Be prepared to walk through and shoot from challenging terrain, including in deep woods, down and up steep slopes and across ravines. Each course takes between two and three hours to complete.
The event also includes hosts from several bowhunting television shows, including Levi Morgan of "Bow Life TV," Tim Wells of "Relentless Pursuit," Pat & Nicole Reeve of "Driven TV," Melissa Bachman of "Winchester Deadly Passion," Brent & Nicole Larson of "Field of Dreams TV," Michael Waddell, Nate Hosie and Randy Birdsong.
Bowfest started in 2017, the idea of Larry Pulkrabek, who owns Mont du Lac and whose bowhunting businesses have marketed popular archery products such as the Ravin crossbow and Field Logic targets. He has since sold those companies but remains active in the industry. The first Bowfest event attracted about 300 people. Organizers say they are hoping for 10,000 people over four days this year.
Fireworks are scheduled Friday and Saturday night. Food and merchandise vendors will be on site. Lodging and camping also are available on-site. Limited VIP (paid) parking is available on site. All other parking will be off-site. All off-site parking is $5. Complimentary shuttle service will be available to/from off-site parking.
Children 12 and younger are free. For more information, camping reservations or to buy tickets online, go to bowfest.com or call 888-258-0013.
Mont du Lac is located along Highway 23 just south of Duluth's Fond du Lac neighborhood but on the Wisconsin side of the St. Louis River.