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Celebrating summer downtown

The Downtown Farmers Market opens in July. (Budgeteer file photo)

This past week, we were pleased so many of our member businesses teamed up to help promote “Get Downtown Week.” It was an enticing way to get customers to support their local businesses in downtown Duluth. And now, when I look at the summer ahead, there are so many additional reasons that residents and visitors should be making downtown Duluth their destination every week.

In June, we’ll be looking for volunteers to help plant flowers for the 15th annual Dig in for the Downtown Waterfront. This is a great way to lend a hand to help beautify our central business district. Just an hour of volunteer time will pay off all summer long as our planters adorn the sidewalks of the district. We’ll meet 10 a.m. June 7 at Wheeler Field. Yes, please note this location is outside of our district as the planters were being refurbished out at Wheeler. Meet us in the upper parking lot on the west side of the ballfields.

Of course, many of our beautification projects are planned so that we are ready to welcome in the thousands of runners and fans for Grandma’s Marathon. It’s truly the kick-off to our summer season in Duluth and we are proud to showcase our downtown waterfront district during this event. It provides an economic boost to Duluth and continues to put us on the map.

July marks the start of many of the Greater Downtown Council’s events. It will be a wild summer at Movies in the Park at Leif Erikson Park this year as the movie line-up embraces an animal theme. Presented by National Bank of Commerce, this popular outdoor event kicks off on Friday, July 7. For the full season schedule of movies, please check out

Mark your calendars now for the Sidewalk Days Festival July 12-14. There will be great deals and tasty treats daily. Plus, we’re excited to have a new feature this year: The Duluth Children’s Museum will have a Discovery Zone each day to provide fun activities for kids.

The celebration continues into the evenings. Don’t miss the Kolar Chevrolet Buick GMC Classic Car Show starting 5 p.m. on July 12. Hundreds of classic cars will be lining eight blocks of Superior Street and we’ll feature a band on each block. The music continues with a Street Dance on First Street Friday night and a Street Dance on Superior Street Saturday night. Sidewalk Days is truly a tradition.

Our Downtown Farmer’s Market will provide a sneak peek during Sidewalk Days as vendors will be out on July 12. But then, expect our regular season of the market to officially get underway on July 18 at the Lake Superior Plaza on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street. This outdoor market will be open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday through Sept. 26. It’s our way of bringing local growers and vendors right into the heart of our community.

We’re pleased the downtown waterfront is a destination for so many other events as well, from Fourth Fest and Blues Fest to concerts and races. It is the gathering place for our community and we’re proud to be strong and vibrant.

Kristi Stokes

Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549.