The North Shore summer is here—two or three months of sunshine and fun…and 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 23 & 24, 2018
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. 120 artists. Open 10am-5pm both days. More information on the Park Point Art Fair website.
Sat & Sun | July 7 & 8, 2018
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.
Fri, Sat & Sun | July 6-8, 2018
HERITAGE DAYS, Two Harbors
The fun starts on the Fourth and just keeps going. 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 14 & 15, 2018
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 14 from 9am-5pm & Sunday, July 15 from 10am-4pm. View the schedule of events on the Grand Marais Art Colony website.
Sat | July 21, 2018
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 18, 2018
GUNFLINT TRAIL CANOE RACES, Gunflint Lodge
Family fun-filled fundraiser for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. 15 different races for all skill levels. Schedule available at visitcookcounty.com.
Fri, Sat & Sun | July 27-29, 2018
BLUEBERRY ARTS FESTIVAL, Ely’s Whiteside Park
260 artists, crafters, plus food vendors and local musicians come together in lovely Whiteside Park for Ely’s signature summer event. Learn more at ely.org.
Sat | July 28, 2018
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.
Wed-Sun | August 2-5, 2018
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 10-12, 2018
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 10-12, 2018
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 18 & 19, 2019
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 24 & 25, 2018
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 7-9, 2018
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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