Weather Forecast


Duluth summer festivals that might have been

So we're smack dab in the middle of summer festival season and if you've ever had your dab smacked, you know just how painful that can be. But wear a long coat and nobody'll notice the ice pack used to reduce swelling. Now where was I?

Oh, yes. Summer festivals.

Despite the tall ships, the reggae, the tributes and the blues, there are even more festivals that Duluth could be presenting. In fact, several major celebrations get turned away every year. You might think there'd be nothing left to be festive about, but you'd be wronger than using the word "wronger" in a sentence.

What's that? You'd like me to back up the Fact Truck and unload some fresh, steaming piles of proof? Can do, Mister Doubty Pants. (I actually love those new doubty pants you're sporting, by the way. I had no idea they came in Packer green and gold.) OK, hope you aren't too attached to those Adidas cuz they're about to buried under an avalanche of information!

Celebrity Toupee Festival: This event would have been held annually at Bayfront Park but strong northeasterly winds caused embarrassment to the participants, particularly Darren Danielson. I was looking forward to once again seeing the traveling Denny Anderson Collection. That dramatic Adding-of-Follicles Phase through the late 1960s gave me chills, but the '80's Tall Mohawk Denny was just plain silly.

Graduates Don't Go: Hoping to cash in on the phenomenon of "Pokemon Go," the Duluth City Council planned on filling Canal Park with recent University of Minnesota Duluth graduates by promising them jobs. Citizens could then move in and capture the young professionals before they moved away. The idea ultimately failed because the city council couldn't figure out how to find jobs.

Tribute Tributefest: A double celebration of rock and roll, this concert would have featured tribute bands that were paying tribute to the best tribute bands around. Additionally, they were going to be even louder, even later! Former mayor Don Ness pulled the plug on this one because he's still in the phone book.

Easy Punchline Festival: This was going to be my first attempt at being a promoter. I sent out personal invitations to Proctor, the Mariner Mall, Pure Pleasure in Hermantown, the Duluth School Board and Jay Fosle's goatee, but only one of them could make it. (Brad Bennett did leave me a voicemail, but the only words I could make out were "spork," "jihadist" and something that sounded like "Gary Doty's tater-tots.")

Tall Shi*s Festival: Too similar to the one we already have. In so many ways.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at He still thinks Brianfest would have been a smashing success, but the only ones available were Boitano and Dennehy, and he had a bad experience with both of them in the Ice Capades.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at