Duluth in 2017: Exciting events to expect

Duluth—This year, events are set to make a big impact in Duluth.

Sure, 2016 was a signature year for the city. It hosted multiple crowd-pleasing, milestone occurrences, including:

10th annual Hockey Day Minnesota in February

Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday bash in May

The 40th anniversary of Grandma’s Marathon in June

The 50th anniversary of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) in August, featuring the Temptations and Beach Boys

The city may not have as many major milestones to celebrate in 2017, but it’s on track to be just as exciting for both businesses and the general public.

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon kicks off 2017. The race takes place on January 29 and there will be other related events leading up to, and following, the race. Bob Gustafson, the media communications manager for Visit Duluth said “the surroundings of the snow, hearing the dogs, and the excitement that surrounds that event,” draws people in from out of the area.

The Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth will be held July 15. | VISIT DULUTH

The weekend after Grandma’s Marathon, the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America is hosting its 90th annual conference. The 3-day event will attract more than 400 writers, photographers, bloggers, authors and media members to Duluth to connect with others in the industry and enhance their skills.

“It’s going to be a phenomenal chance for us to showcase Duluth,” said Gustafson. “That’s going to pay dividends for us, for years, from the standpoint of the materials they produce.”

It will be the third time that the writing conference has been hosted in Duluth. It’s first time was in 1969, and it’s most recent was in 1996.

There are many more events in store this year. In addition to the fan favorites such as Tribute Fest, North Shore Inline Marathon, Bentleyville Tour of Lights, AMSOIL National Snocross, and more, the Duluth Air Show is back for the second year in a row. Typically, the event is held every two years, but it’s making an exception, as the Blue Angels are coming on June 3-4.

In October, the Ice Breaker Tournament will be hosted at the AMSOIL Arena on October 6-7. This premier college hockey event features the University of Minnesota Duluth, New York’s Union College, Michigan Tech University and the University of Minnesota. It will be the first men’s college hockey tournament AMSOIL Arena has hosted.

“There are some events that are being planned, that haven’t been announced yet,” said Gustafson, building anticipation for events to come and dates to be announced.Kelsey Roseth


Thomas Rhett – Home Team Tour
March 4 | decc.org/event/thomas-rhett

RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles
March 9 | raintribute.com/shows/duluth

Harlem Globetrotters World Tour
April 13 | decc.org/event/harlem-globetrotters-2017-world-tour

Duluth Airshow
June 3-4 | duluthairshow.com

Outdoor Writer’s Association of America Conference
June 24-26 | owaa.org/2017conference

Grandma’s Marathon
June 17 | grandmasmarathon.com

Bayfront Reggae and World Music Festival
July 15 | Bayfront Festival Park | bayfrontworldmusic.com

29th Annual Bayfront Blues Festival
August 11-13 | Bayfront Festival Park | bayfrontblues.com

21st Annual NorthShore Inline Marathon
September 16 | northshoreinline.com

Ice Breaker Hockey Tournament
October 6-7 | AMSOIL Arena | umdbulldogs.com/icebreaker



By Kelsey Roseth