Festival fun continues all summer long


July 29, 2022

Esko Fun Days file photo

Although August is just around the corner, the summer festival season is abuzz with activity, with Carlton Daze this weekend, followed by Esko Fun Days, the Honey Bee Festival, Wrenshall Brickyard Days, and Ma & Pa Kettle Days over the first two weeks of August.

Esko Fun Days runs Aug. 2-9 and will be combined with an all-school reunion in celebration of the school's 100th (actually 102nd, thanks to Covid) anniversary.

The fun kicks off Tuesday night with a National Night Out gathering 5:30-7:30 p.m Tuesday at Northridge Park. Enjoy free hot dogs and a bubble show.

Wednesday includes a senior lunch, also at Northridge Park, where the Davis Helberg Community Impact award will be presented. There will be bingo and root beer floats 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday. Friday highlights include teen night for Esko students or kids of alumni in grades 7-12 at the Esko High School sports complex and community building 7-10 p.m. Admission is free.

Saturday is the grand finale of all the fun, with the Kristin Burkholder 5K walk/run in the morning, the parade starting at 11:30 a.m. followed by games in the park, and a street dance that evening in the fire hall parking lot. Dine at food trucks all day, or head to Mike's Cafe and Pizzeria 3-5 p.m. to visit with past and present Esko staff members while Mike's brother, Mark, provides the music.

Ask about the ongoing History Mystery medallion hunt and the guided school tours and take a walk through history at the Esko Historical Museum, open 12-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more Esko Fun Days information, see Page 14 in this week's paper or read about the all-school reunion on Page 3.

Bee there

The Honey Bee Festival returns to the Oldenburg House in Carlton next Friday and Saturday, August 5-6. It's a celebration of all things pollinator, with the goal of building knowledge and appreciation of the vital role these insects play while also having a great time together.

The festival is outdoors, and includes a wide range of activities including bee-inspired arts and crafts, a mermaid in the pool, plein air painters and honey-infused food and drink. Guests can even help plant a pollinator garden.

Oldenburg House proprietors Glenn and Emily Swanson are extremely excited for the music, food and fun. They've arranged for a long list of musical acts, with jazz on the menu Friday, including the Randy Lee Ensemble and Andy Peterson Quartet (poolside, weather permitting) plus the return of Cookin' at the O that evening. Featuring a band they've named "The Return," that's when Glenn Swanson will pick up his drumsticks and take to the stage with other well-known musicians and friends including Billy and Ricky Peterson, Jason Peterson DeLaire and Andrew Walesch. Check out the website and prepare to be wowed by their collective résumé. A Friday VIP ticket to Cookin' at the O is $40.

Saturday starts with the Swarm Bike Ride, which will depart from three locations on the Munger Trail (TJ's in Mahtowa, Carlton Bike Rental and Repair in Moose Lake, and Wussow's Concert Cafe in Duluth) and converge on the festival. (Riders must register before Saturday.)

Jump into the Hive Jive with Terrance Smith and dance from 11:30 a.m. to noon, then get ready for more musical performances, including Boss Mama, Steve's "Overpopulated" One Man Band, fiddlers Anam Cara, the Langerstons, the Fish Heads, and more. Don't miss the SWCD pollinator presentation at 3 p.m.

A variety of vendors will be selling health and beauty supplies, art, and other bee-related goods both days, and there will be yummy food trucks.

The Oldenburg gates open at 2 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. A two-day pass is $30 or a day pass is $20. Find a complete schedule at oacc.us/programs/honey-bee-festival-2022.

Brickyard Days

Brickyard Days is a go. Briefly in danger of expiring, the annual Wrenshall celebration is set for Aug. 5-6. The fun begins Friday with a Raptors 5K walk/run at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Community Night Out picnic and an outdoor movie in the park, hosted by the city. What movie? "Horton Hears a Who!" based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name.

Saturday starts early with a pancake breakfast 7-10 a.m. at the high school and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament beginning at 9 a.m. The parade starts at 11 a.m., with lineup in the school parking lot a half-hour before.

After the parade, grab some ice cream at the fire hall and head to Hugh Line Park, aka the deer park, for bingo, carnival games, bake sale, face painting and crazy hair by the cheerleaders, exotic animals, and a 1 p.m. volleyball tournament.

Bricks Pub and Grub will hold a volley beach-ball tournament Friday at 7 p.m., with a live band from 8 p.m. to midnight. On Saturday, the cornhole tournament starts at 1 p.m. (register at noon), with live music 3-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. There's a hot dog eating contest at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Questions? Call Jolene at 218-390-3610 or Phyllis at 218-393-1507.

Ma & Pa Kettle Days

The annual Ma & Pa Kettle Days in Kettle River will be celebrated Saturday, Aug. 13, with the fun spilling over before and after.

So far, Saturday activities include a pie social at the senior center noon to 2 p.m., bingo 1-4 p.m. at the Veterans building, and information tables, exhibits and items for sale along the street. Tony Tracy and friends will perform 7 p.m. to midnight at the Tower Tap.

There will be karaoke Thursday at the Tower Tap and music under the Big Top Friday. The Tower Tap will host the Battle of the Bars on Sunday.

Contact Dan Reed at 218-273-6103 or Marcia Sarvela at 218-273-4045 to volunteer or be a vendor.

More to come

More fun activities continue through the end of August. The Carlton County fair runs Aug. 18-21. The 61st annual Lakehead Harvest Reunion will be celebrated Aug. 26-28 in rural Thomson Township. And the Cloquet Labor Day celebration is happening again Sept. 5, one of the oldest continual celebrations of workers in the state. Keep your eyes on the Pine Knot for more information.


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