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Our View: Welcome back, normal Duluth summer weekend

From the editorial: "Events such as this weekend’s surely will eventually become routine again. ... For now, though, we can feel giddy about their return."

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How long has it been since Duluth has had a weekend like this one? More than a year, for sure. Sixteen months or so? Been a long road back to something that feels like normal.

The weekend on tap is filled with events, actual events, with people gathering and everything, without social distancing requirements. It promises to be so much of what had become an almost nostalgic part of the past during the pandemic shutdowns, guidelines, and cancellations, all of it necessary, mind you.

After way too long, Duluthians and visitors alike are able to enjoy not only themselves again, outside of their homes, but others, even if there’s a struggle to recapture how or what it’s like.

On the heels of the return of Grandma’s Marathon, the big event this weekend is the Duluth Airshow, canceled last year, back Saturday and Sunday at Duluth International Airport. Expect a big turnout, too, perhaps rivaling its usual 50,000 spectators. According to organizers, flightline and chalet VIP area tickets are already sold out both days, as the News Tribune reported.

And why not? The U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerial acrobatics team is in town for the first time since 2019. There’s also a U.S. Air Force F-22, U.S. Air Force C-17, acrobatic and air race pilot Kirby Chambliss, the Red Bull Air Force (with aerial jump demonstrations and jumpers in wingsuits performing tricks), the Red Bull Helicopter (known for its loops and flying upside down), a B-52, the B-25 Miss Mitchell flown by the Commemorative Air Force, and more, the newspaper reported.

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Also this weekend, grilled meats galore guarantee groups will gather again at Bayfront Festival Park, the site of much of last weekend’s Grandma’s Marathon hoopla. Lake Superior Ribfest is 4-8 p.m. tonight with music, free admission, and $3 samples benefiting the Bluebird Foundation. Bratfest is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Saturday with more music, meat sampling, and regional breweries and cideries, as the News Tribune also has reported.

Ahead of Grandma’s Marathon — and with the Lakewalk and library reopening, Huskies baseball back at the Wade, Fourth Fest and fireworks cued up for Independence Day, and so much more, all thanks to vaccinations now available to nearly anyone eager to protect themselves and others — the News Tribune opined that, “We’re definitely full force right now into welcome-back season.”

Events such as this weekend’s surely will eventually become routine again, even normal again. For now, though, we can feel giddy about their return, even if we’re also a little apprehensive, like bears emerging from hibernation, after so many months of social distancing and stress over the threat of sickness.

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Related Topics: OUR VIEWBAYFRONT FESTIVAL PARKCORONAVIRUSGRANDMA'S MARATHON
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