The North Shore summer is here, two or three months of sunshine and fun. It’s time for festivals. You know you’re ready for it: some freshly popped kettle corn, a new piece of handmade pottery, your favorite band playing outdoors, an ice-cold, fresh-squeezed lemonade in your hand. If you can’t find something appealing in this list we’ve compiled for the Best North Shore region, well…then you don’t know how to have fun.
Sat & Sun | June 24 & 25, 2017
PARK POINT ART FAIR, Duluth
Whether you’re chatting with artists, listening to live music or making your own creation, there’s always plenty of festival to experience at the Park Point Art Fair. Open 10am-5pm both days. More information on the Park Point Art Fair website.
Sat & Sun | July 1 & 2, 2017
HOVLAND ARTS FESTIVAL, Hovland
Get hooked on art at this homespun art fair in the classic fishing village of Hovland, 18 miles east of Grand Marais. Featuring local artists. Open 10am-3pm both days. Full artist listing and details hovlandartsfestival.com.
Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun | July 6-9, 2017
HERITAGE DAYS, Two Harbors
Classic car cruise, parades, ice cream social, golf, live music, a lutefisk toss and more. Download the full weekend schedule in PDF format.
Sat & Sun | July 8 & 9, 2017
GRAND MARAIS ARTS FESTIVAL
Over 70 local and regional artists set up by the shores of Lake Superior to showcase their unique handcrafted work and provide insight into their artistic process through demonstration and dialogue. Check out the Community Paint by Number mural project down by the harbor. Festival Hours: Saturday, July 8 from 9am-5pm & Sunday, July 9 from 10am-4pm. View the schedule of events on the Grand Marais Art Colony website.
Sat | July 15, 2017
REGGAE AND WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL, Duluth Bayfront Festival Park
Spreading the message of love, hope, and equality for all people worldwide, artists perform outdoors at Bayfront Festival Park. See the lineup at bayfrontworldmusic.com.
Wed | July 19, 2017
GUNFLINT TRAIL CANOE RACES, Gunflint Lodge
Family fun-filled fundraiser for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. This year the event celebrates the 40th running of the races! Schedule available at visitcookcounty.com.
Fri, Sat & Sun | July 28-30, 2017
BLUEBERRY ARTS FESTIVAL, Ely’s Whiteside Park
270 artists, crafters, food vendors and local musicians come together in lovely Whiteside Park for Ely’s signature summer event. Learn more at ely.org.
Sat | July 29, 2017
6th Annual ALL PINTS NORTH SUMMER BREW FEST, Duluth Bayfront Festival Park
Join up by the lake to meet 120 brewers and enjoy unlimited craft beer samples, local food vendors, beer-centered activities and educational components, live music and much more! Open 3pm-7pm. Tickets are limited. More event info at mncraftbrew.org.
Sat & Sun | July 29 & 30, 2017
TWO HARBORS KAYAK FESTIVAL
20th annual festival features the John Abraham 18-mile Marathon, the Ellen Anderson 10-mile Race, and the Betty’s Pies 5-mile Race for kayaks and SUPs, plus local exhibitors, kayak demos, instruction, food and more at kayakfestival.org.
Wed-Sun | August 2-6, 2017
FISHERMAN’S PICNIC, Grand Marais Harbor Park
The Fisherman’s Picnic schedule includes crazy days sales, craft shows, contests, prizes, live music, kids’ activities, fireworks on Saturday and parade on Sunday. Saturday events include a 5-mile train run, 3-mile trail walk, and kids’ run on the Pincushion Mountain Trails overlooking Grand Marais.
Fri, Sat & Sun | August 11-13, 2017
BAYFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL, Duluth Bayfront Festival Park
One of the largest annual outdoor music events in the upper Midwest, with 20,000 fans and 30 different acts on two stages in a beautiful open-air venue. Showcases a who’s who in the blues and blues/rock music genre. Complete list of bands at bayfrontblues.com.
Fri, Sat & Sun | August 11-13, 2017
RENDEZVOUS DAYS AND POW-WOW, Grand Portage National Monument
This annual National Park Service experience comes alive with a rich remembrance of the historic Voyageur trade route when furs were delivered from Canada to Grand Portage. Over 300 volunteers and re-enactors from across the country and Canada gather to camp and challenge each other to games and skills from the past. Music, dancing, craft demonstrations and hands-on workshops provide a living history lesson in full color. The Grand Portage Band of Minnesota Chippewa holds a traditional Pow-Wow adjacent to the National Monument.
Sat & Sun | August 19 & 20, 2017
ART IN BAYFRONT PARK, Duluth Bayfront Festival Park
A two-day art fair located on the beautiful Duluth lakefront. Art lovers will find quality work from local and regional artists. Work includes jewelry, painting, photography, ceramics, metalwork, glass and more. Full schedule and list of artists at artinbayfrontpark.com.
Fri & Sat | August 25 & 26, 2017
LAKE SUPERIOR DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL, Barker’s Island, Superior Wisconsin
Watch the races, feast on food, listen to music, visit the craft fair and celebrate the dragon boats. Lakesuperiordragons.com.
Fri, Sat & Sun | September 8-10, 2017
HARVEST MOON FESTIVAL, Ely Whiteside Park
Say farewell to summer and celebrate autumn with 125 artists, crafters, food vendors and local musicians in Ely. Read more at ely.org.
What’s your favorite summer festival or event? Please share below!
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