Head to Carlton Daze this weekend


July 28, 2023

Longtime Carlton resident Gordon "Gordy" Davis was unanimously selected to serve as the 2023 Grand Marshal of the Carlton Daze parade starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Look for Davis in Sunday's parade down Chestnut Avenue, a huge part of the annual community celebration, which spans three days and offers a wide range of fun activities, starting today (Friday) with a 5K and kids' races, bingo, crafters and live music.

Highlights Saturday are the car show 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Chestnut Avenue and Paddlemania on the St. Louis River (best viewing is from the swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park).

On Sunday, come for the parade and stay for root beer floats at the firehall and a bubble dance party at the nearby DNR Park.

But let's get back to this year's Grand Marshal.

"Gordy and his beloved late wife, Lillian, made Carlton their home back in 1957 and raised their five children here. Through his longtime residency in Carlton and being a staple within the community, Gordy has made significant contributions to our city [both civic and social], and Carlton is no doubt a better place because of it," the Carlton Area Chamber wrote in its announcement of his selection.

The list of ways that Gordy Davis has served his community and his country is long, starting with his service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean Conflict. In Carlton, he gave 20 years of volunteer service to the fire department, ending with two years as fire chief, and he worked for 24 years as a school bus driver for the district.

He was also a dedicated volunteer of Volunteer Services of Carlton County, where he provided transportation to homebound seniors needing assistance getting to and from their medical appointments, and delivered Meals on Wheels for six years, until turning 91 (he just celebrated his 95th birthday on July 24).

"Through this, he did more than bring a warm meal. He brought a smile. He brought compassion. He brought friendship. And sometimes, he brought the only human interaction they may have had all day or even all week," the news release read.

Carlton Daze covers a lot of ground ranging from downtown events, to sports tournaments at Third Base and Chub Lake Park, to Paddlemania at Jay Cooke State Park, and even the 50-mile Voyageur ultramarathon that starts at Carlton High School Saturday morning and winds its way to the Duluth Zoo and back, all in the same day.

Enjoy live music every day, bingo, bean bags, craft sales, games and many other activities. There will be food trucks galore, book sales at the library, and lots of activities and sales at local businesses and churches, along with a full slate of events at the Carlton VFW.

It's also a great time to catch up with former classmates, especially the Class of 1983, which will hold its 40th reunion at Streetcar Kitchen and Pub at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Additionally, Class of 1981 grad John Metz will headline the Saturday night stage at the VFW with Vinyl Recliner, a Minneapolis-based band performing rock, country, and alternative live music. The talented musician, data scientist, engineer, electronics guru, custom amp builder, and owner of Metz Amplification is looking forward to performing in his hometown.

Metz has performed with acts supporting major rock stars such as Ted Nugent, and has been an emergency fill-in for other national acts. Metz is the son of the late Kenny and Doris Metz, former owners of the Iverson Inn, and brother of Doreen (Peterson).

And that's not all.



12 p.m.-5 p.m. Carlton Public Library Book Sale at the Carlton City Hall and Library, 310 Chestnut Avenue.

4 p.m.-6:45 p.m. 5K registration and preregistered packet pick-up at the Four Seasons Sports Complex. 5K registration at

https://carltonchamber.com/carlton-daze/ or


4 p.m.-8 p.m. Bingo at the VFW, and Carlton VFW Auxiliary party wagon & VFW gun raffle ticket sales.

6 p.m. Kids’ Fun Races for ages 2 to 5 years and 6 to 8 years. Sign up at Four Seasons, 4 to 5:45 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Softball Tournament – contact Third Base, 218-384-4515. Fee: $200 per team.

7 p.m. 29th Annual Carlton Daze 5K Run/Walk starts at Four Seasons Sports Complex.

8 p.m.-12 p.m. Live Music with Stranded at the Carlton VFW.

9 p.m.-1 a.m. Live Music with The Northwood’s Band at Third Base Bar.


There will be NO PARKING on Chestnut Avenue (Carlton main street) beginning at 7 a.m.

5 a.m.-6 a.m. Check-in/packet pick-up/race start for Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra 50 Mile Ultramarathon at Carlton High School.

Information available at voyageur50.com.

8 a.m. Volleyball tournament at the Third Base, 218-384-4515. Fee: $150 per team.

9 a.m. Carlton Daze golf tournament, Rugged Spruce Golf Course, Mahtowa, MN. Contact Stephanie, 218-393-7416, for more information and registration or sign up at the Third Base ($25/per golfer). Limited to 50 golfers aged 21 and over. More at facebook.com/dazedgolfer. Proceeds benefit the Jim Erickson Memorial Scholarship.

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Car Show registration begins at 8 a.m. in front of the Carlton VFW. $10 entry fee. Hot Rods for Hot Wheels Cruisers will be coming between noon and 1 p.m. Contact Shawn at 218-393-5622 for info.

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Kids’ coloring activity at

CreativEdge in downtown Carlton. Kids can create a masterpiece and have it printed on a shirt or other printables. (Free to color, $10 for a printed item.)

9 a.m.–3 p.m. Crafters and vendors at the Carlton Bike Shop yard. Contact Sarah at


9 a.m.–3 p.m. Pet photo booth at Carlton

Bike Shop yard, $30 mini session, proceeds to benefit Carlton County Animal Rescue.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Carlton Public Library Book Sale at the Carlton City Hall/Library on

Chestnut Avenue.

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Bingo at the VFW.

12 p.m. Poker Tournament – Carlton VFW.

Signup at 11 a.m.

12:30-4:30 p.m. Paddlemania whitewater

kayak runs on the St. Louis River. Spectators are welcome to all events. For more

information go to http://www.paddle-mania.com.

1:30 p.m. Paddlemania kayak race start.

Best viewing experience at Jay Cooke State Park (swinging bridge).

4 p.m. Mass at St. Francis Church,

509 Sunrise Drive, Carlton.

Grand Marshal Gordy Davis

4:30 p.m. Paddlemania Slot Machine

Showcase Showdown. Spectators welcome to all events.

5 p.m. Gun raffle drawing at Carlton VFW.

6 p.m. Class of 1983 40th Reunion at

Streetcar Kitchen & Pub. All classes are

welcome to attend!

8 p.m.-12 a.m. Live Music with Vinyl Recliner

at the Carlton VFW.

9 p.m.-close Live music with STONE at the Third Base Bar.

Find more at Carltonchamber.com/carlton-daze.


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