The free community concert hosted by the Duluth Fall Festival Committee on the Duluth Town Green Saturday (Sept. 22) created excitement about the 30th anniversary festival this coming weekend. It also gave volunteers a chance to have some fun prior to the festival.
Livin’ Large headlined the concert. The 10-piece party band’s renditions of popular dance tunes enticed concert-goers out of their lawn chairs and off their blankets onto the dance surface in front of the Duluth Festival Center Stage.
“Eddie Owen Presents” provided Roxie Watson as the opening act for concert. The bluegrass band, whose music was well received by the crowd, also will be performing at the Red Clay Theatre Oct. 13.
Emcees Brooks Coleman and Johnny Phelps introduced chairmen and representatives from previous festivals wearing T-shirts from their years. A tent near the stage was filled with past festival tabloid covers, T-shirts from different years, and other memorabilia.
The crowd clapped and cheered as Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris, 2012 Duluth Fall festival Chairman Kathryn Willis and 2013 Festival Chairman Jim Adkins appeared on stage wearing this year’s festival T-shirt. Mayor Harris is chairing the festival in 2014. The T-shirt color is kept a secret until the night of the concert. Willis described the new color as “cinnamon.”
Harris expressed appreciation for the festival’s focus on downtown Duluth for the past 30 years. Festival proceeds have funded many downtown improvements including the Duluth Festival Center, Taylor Park, and the Eastern Continental Divide Monument. This year, the Duluth Fall Festival Committee is contributing $25,000 toward repairs and improvements to the Red Clay Theatre.
“I appreciate all of you coming out tonight,” Willis told the crowd gathered for the concert on the Town Green. “I appreciate anytime you come to downtown Duluth. And, most important, come back next weekend for the festival.”
Attendees brought picnic suppers or purchased food and beverages from vendors. Complimentary desserts were set out on tables in the memorabilia tent.
The fireworks that were postponed due to rain July 3 concluded the concert. The crowd moved over to Main Street for a better view of the fireworks that were set off behind Duluth City Hall.
The 30th Anniversary Duluth Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 & 30, on the Duluth Town Green. The festival, which involves more than 400 volunteers, features a carnival, parade, arts and crafts booths, food vendors, live entertainment, and a 5K road race. The 2012 T-shirts and other souvenir items will be for sale in the General Store.