It's festival season in Carlton County


July 14, 2023

With July Fourth behind them, many Carlton County communities now turn toward their own unique celebrations of summer.

Those festivals launch this weekend with Moose Lake celebrating Agate Days Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16, plus three days of Wrong Days in Wright kicking off today.

Agate Days

Saturday is the big day in Moose Lake, and the Clark-Olsen Agate Stampede at 3 p.m. is always a treat. People of all ages line up on both sides of Elm Avenue and wait for two dump trucks to drive two blocks while dropping all kinds of rocks and gravel, plus 400 pounds of agates and hundreds of dollars in change. Once the trucks have passed, the crowds hustle into the street, many armed with spray bottles to uncover dusty agates.

There’s a lot to do, especially on Saturday. Eat pancakes at the park 7:30-10 a.m. Saturday or enjoy a steak fry at the firehall starting at 4 p.m. Stroll through Art in the Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Moose Lake City Park. Find a farmers market and crafts at Our New Adventures, 732 North Arrowhead Lane. Catch a free shuttle Saturday from various church and school parking lots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Other Agate Days highlights include the gem and mineral show at Riverside Arena Saturday and Sunday, and free entry to the Agate and Geological Interpretive Center at Moose Lake State Park on Sunday. Kids dig for free outside Riverside Arena all weekend.

Wrong Days in Wright

Tiny Wright wakes up for this annual celebration, with softball and volleyball tournaments all weekend, a medallion hunt, live music, a parade and pie. What more could a person want?

Today there’s a steak fry and pie social, a youth bean bag tourney at 5 p.m. and a teen dance in the Big Top 7-10 p.m. with fireworks to follow. Play OGNIB (“bingo” spelled backwards) at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Church.

Saturday starts off with a 10:30 a.m. parade (line up by Groth Lumber). Enjoy music, crafters and a flea market in the park, plus a cribbage tourney where you play to lose, 2-5 p.m. at the Senior Center. Sign up for the bean bag tourney at 6 p.m. by the horseshoe pits. Pine County Line will perform in the Big Top starting at 8 p.m.

There are volleyball and softball tournaments all weekend, plus a rummage sale Friday and Saturday at St. John’s. Raffle tickets will be drawn at 6 p.m. Sunday at Kalli’s Place.

Carlton Daze

What isn’t there to do during Carlton Daze? The annual event returns July 28-30 and features a huge parade, a thriving car show downtown, live music, horseshoes, bean bags, bingo, poker, crafters galore, a spaghetti feed, book sale, myriad food and drink vendors and even polka worship services. The parade on Sunday is one of the highlights of the busy weekend and is followed by an open house at the Carlton fire department where revelers can enjoy free hot dogs and root beer floats as well as kids’ activities.

Events surrounding the annual Carlton festivities also cover a lot of ground. In addition to a 5K race in town Friday evening, the celebration also encompasses the Minnesota Voyageur ultramarathon, a 50-mile race that starts and ends in Carlton Saturday. Paddlemania, featuring exciting and daring whitewater kayak runs on the St. Louis River, is also set for Saturday afternoon.

Find more detailed information in next week’s Pine Knot News or visit for more information or to sign up for the weekend’s golf, softball, volleyball or other tournaments.

Future fun

The festivities continue in August, with Esko Fun Days Aug. 1-5. If you can participate only one day, make it Saturday, Aug. 5, when they hold the Burkholder 5K, the Fun Days parade, games in Northridge Park and a street dance.

For those who want to plan ahead a little further, Ma & Pa Kettle Days events are held the second weekend in August. The Carlton County Fair is set for Aug. 17-20, with entries Aug. 15-16. Find out more at

The Cloquet Labor Day parade brings one more large community event to mark the end of summer, but it’s not the final outdoor event. Brickyard Days in Wrenshall will move to Sept. 8-9 and Cloquet’s West End Flourish will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16. There’s a balloon festival that same weekend at Black Bear Casino.

Look for more detailed

information in the Pine Knot News the week before each celebration.


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