TV cameras, lights, on-air personalities, and Duluth boosters flooded the Duluth Town Green before dawn Friday (June 15) for a live broadcast of the 11Alive Morning Show.
Practically the entire cast of New Dawn Theater’s “The Sleeping Beauty” arrived in full costumes and posed next to the 11Alive W.I.Z-O-Meter as a backdrop for Meteorologist Chesley McNeil’s weather reports. Key members of the Duluth Fall Festival Committee donned matching T-shirts to promote the 30th annual festival the last weekend in October. The anniversary will be celebrated with a party on the green June 30.
Duluth Councilwoman Marsha Bomar, who owns Chocolate Perks across from the Town Green, had the forethought to bring coffee and muffins. Other city officials rising early and appearing on the green included Mayor Nancy Harris, Councilman Billy Jones, City Manager Tim Shearer, Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee, and City Clerk Teresa Lynn. Duluth’s Top Dog “Shiner” and his owner David Gentry also came. "Shiner" is mayor of the new Chattapoochee Dog Park in Duluth.
Duluth residents, merchants, organizations, performers, and others had been encouraged to show up for the live broadcast of the 11Alive Morning Show that started at 4:30 a.m. and lasted until 7 a.m. City staff including Public Information and Marketing Director Alisa Williams, Jayne Madigan and Crystal Huntzinger arrived at 3 a.m. to set up.
11Alive anchor Karen Greer and reporter Donna Lowry interviewed a succession of local folks, many of whom had erected displays promoting their businesses and organizations around the green.
Legendary music promoter Eddie Owen, who is presenting musicians in concert at the Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth, was interviewed about the “Live Music Matters” concerts occurring later this month. Announced as a series of six shows with 60 musicians, there are now seven concerts with 70 musicians paying tribute to Owen.
Norwood, Molly Parden, and B.O.B. entertained on the Duluth Festival Stage. The line-up for the "Live Music Matters" concerts includes Norwood and Molly Parden. The Peachtree Ridge Dance Company, Ballroom Club of Duluth dancers Mallory Hazen and Joshua Ingraham, and others also performed.
Jim Hall brought “Maximus,” the Gwinnett Gladiators mascot, to help promote Duluth Staycation Fun Fridays.
Howard Brothers representatives demonstrated grilling and smoking techniques and gave away samples. Briana Carson, who is opening Crave Pie Studio soon on Main Street, displayed her regular size and mini pies. Everyone who stopped by her table oohed and aahed over her “Red, White & Blue” pies.
Luv for Art owner Bobbie Flowers and art instructor Melissa Sellars created original paintings on site. Other exhibitors included the Duluth Historical Society, Miss Cindy’s Dance Studio, the Southeastern Railway Museum, the Schoolhouse, $10 (Chattahoochee) River Tubing, and Comcast. A display by the Gwinnett Public Library promoted the “Dream Big” Summer Reading Program.
Peace, Love & Decorating set up an actual bed displaying luxury linens and a tablescape featuring home accessories. The shop recently was opened by interior designers Jana Contardi and Jennifer Cook in downtown Duluth.
A sign on an exhibit by Mary Roberts, director of Hands of Christ – A Duluth Cooperative Ministry, proclaimed the upcoming opening of a thrift store in the basement of the food pantry.
A lot of effort was put into showing off Duluth and its community spirit.
Click here to see reports of Duluth coverage on 11Alive TV's website.