Talking Tourism: For the love of Autumn

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: September 2018

Talking Tourism: For the love of Autumn | by Kjersti Vick

As we roll from the crazy days of summer into the peak weekends for fall colors, we notice a shift in the air and it’s not just the temperature. Time slows down and so do our visitors. While the kids are back in school, the adults will play. From gallery hopping and romantic dinners to wine tasting and leaf looking – autumn is the most anticipated season of the year.

Along with the more relaxed visitor, we see an increase in cultural tourists and we market events to match their interests. The Art Along The Lake Fall Studio Tour, which kicks off September 28 and runs for 10-days, features over 20 different artists who open up their home studios to the public. It is truly inspiring to see the space in which they create. What could be better than local art inspired by a place you love and viewing the fall colors?!

Cook County lives in the hearts of many. As the marketing manager for Visit Cook County, I spend a lot of time engaging with our social media audience. Reading the comments from our followers is both very informative and fun. The stories really start pouring in when I post a photo from one of Cook County’s many iconic landmarks. Everything from “I remember going there with my parents” to “I proposed to my girlfriend here!” A common thread we see is couples posting about how they had their first vacation together as a couple here. I’m going out on a limb here but Cook County might be the best relationship test there is; if you love it here as much as I do, then we are meant to be together.

This August we hosted a contest “Weddings of the North” to find those who dared to take their love of Cook County to the next level by getting married in their favorite destination. We had dozens of submissions and the Top 9 images will be printed in our upcoming 2019 Visitor Guide, due out in mid-October. What was most interesting was seeing the different venues people chose. Some opted for lavish resort based weddings, while others had intimate dock side ceremonies. No matter the size of the wedding party, all emphasized the beauty of the area and the warm memories are what made them choose Cook County to be their third partner.

Whether you’re celebrating your anniversary, traveling with your family, embarking on a solo adventure – you are not alone in your love of fall travel. If you need ideas on how to make the most of fall, visit our website for fall color maps, must-see sites, and complete list of events at www.visitcookcounty.com/fall

Talking Tourism: Walk with me, talk with me

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: August 2018

Talking Tourism: Walk with me, talk with me | by Anna Klobuchar

Most often than not, a visitor comes through the door, and you can easily strike up interesting and engaging conversations with them.  Ralph Engel came into the Grand Marais visitor center on a deep cold winter’s day two years ago, and we chatted about all there is to see and do in Cook County.  Over an hour later, he left with a stack of printed materials in his hands, and three days later, he called and explained he is owner of RJ Tours and Travel, and asked if I would join the bus tour he would be bringing to our area that summer.  I did. And it was a blast.

This year, a group is again coming to visit, and we will spend one day on the Gunflint Trail, and one day in Grand Portage and also visit High Falls.  As the bus travels, we chat about the area, and I have the privilege of answering any questions they may have as we visit various locations.  One important skill I learned is to have the ability to change things up on the fly, and play off the energy of the group.  Conversely, your attendees will likely feed off your energy as well. And what’s great about accompanying a group is being able to share your own knowledge, experience, and personal anecdotes to the tour.  If you really love what you do, you easily pass that passion onto the guest and they feel it too.  Anyone can memorize and recite facts.  But when you hop on the bus with them, and you share your enthusiasm, that tour will feel particularly special for the guest who is looking for a genuine experience outside those of the typical tourist attractions. Drive by sightseeing is not standard with this group, as they want the time to experience the destination – the flavors, the cultures, and the sights.  And we cover the terrain! From Chik Wauk Museum, in our beautiful borderland, to hopping on the sunset gondola ride at Lutsen Mountains, they want to experience the history and beauty of the area.    On the last day, the group has the time to relax on their own, and enjoy Grand Marais at their leisure.

The tour directors have an entirely different level of responsibility. I gained respect for the level of planning that must go on behind the scenes. Directors would not be able to function if they were not extremely punctual, exceedingly detail oriented, and very, very organized.  From menus to mileage, secured reservations to site restrictions, contract obligations to head counts, the director is meticulous with the itinerary and mother hen to their guests.

Travel is an adventurous education that enriches our lives.  It is an honor – and a whole lot of fun – being able to enhance a visitor’s travel experience by joining them.  Last year, as we were leaving the Grand Portage National Monument, one of the park service employees, dressed in character, spontaneously serenaded us with her fiddle as she walked us to where we were gathering at the bus.  Special touches like that make this place unforgettable, and keep them coming back for more!

Talking Tourism: Keeping Cool Up North

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: July 2018

Talking Tourism: Keeping Cool Up North | by Linda Jurek

The seagulls are making noise outside my window and the fan is blowing trying to cool the office. I’m a firm believer that we northern Minnesotans do not need air conditioning. Along with the warmth of late July, you will notice the leaves are turning from the spring filled luster of green to their mid-summer hue; a little less brilliant. We are celebrating harvest season and the biggest blueberry contest has become a local and visitor competition like no other. I’ve been told the berry season is one of the most abundant in decades. The contest runs until August 11th with multiple weigh stations along the Gunflint Trail and you don’t have to have the biggest berry to win a prize.

With the buzz of summer is at high throttle in Cook County, your marketing team at Visit Cook County is always looking for new opportunities. Many of our visitors travel here to enjoy the dark skies and a chance to view the auroras. In fact, it is one of the most visited pages on our website. We are looking forward to partnering with the University of Minnesota and welcoming the Dark Sky Caravan and their traveling planetarium. The planetarium is a mobile digital display. Imagine yourself traveling to the universe from the dome of an indoor planetarium. Telescopes will be available to experience the night skies. There are seven locations, five of which are in Cook County. Check out the details by visiting our website at visitcookcounty.com/dark-sky-caravan.

The Dark Sky Caravan has opened doorways for Visit Cook County to begin planning our first Dark Sky Festival to occur in December 2018. And although the summer celebrations continue, we have just completed our stakeholder winter marketing survey and are thinking “winter” in the middle of July. Mind over matter, and feet in a lake, is how we stay cool and comfortable in the middle of summer.

January is Dogsledding Month in Cook County, Minn

John Beargrease logo

Gunflint Mail Run Jan 5 – 6 and John Beargrease Jan. 27 – 29

 

Cook County, Minn. – Oct. 12, 2018 — January is a time for residents and visitors to celebrate modern-day mushers and their canine athlete companions at the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Saturday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 and the 35th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Sunday, Jan. 27 – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

 

“We encourage visitors to come and watch the dog sled races,” says, Linda Jurek, executive director for Visit Cook County.  “We are really excited to have both the Beargrease 120 and the Beargrease Marathon end in Cook County this year. The marathon will end at Grand Portage Casino, and the Beargrease 120 will end at Lutsen Mountains.

 

“Visitors who have a dog-sled race on their bucket list can also visit our local kennels, where they can learn about the dogs, the dog-sled racing sport, and even make a run on a dog sled themselves. Both dog-sled races are looking for volunteers, which is a great way to get an up-close look at this exciting winter sport.”

 

Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race

 

The Gunflint Mail Run kicks off the start of dogsledding season in Cook County, and features two races, the original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race that includes two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles). The race will start and finish at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).  See https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/gunflint-mail-run-sled-dog-race/ for more details.

 

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

 

The 35th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will run Sunday, Jan. 27 – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. It is scheduled to start at Billy’s Bar, 3502 Tischer Road, Duluth, Minn. and end at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, 70 Casino Drive, Grand Portage, Minn.

 

The John Beargrease has been shortened this year to 300 miles, but is still a qualifier for the famed “Iditarod” in Alaska and remains the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.  Two additional race legs are scheduled during the John Beargrease, the Beargrease 120, the most popular competitive mid-distance race in North America, and the Beargrease 40, a recreational class race.  The Beargrease 40 will end at Two Harbors, Minn. Gravel Pit on Sunday, Jan. 27, which will also the serve as an alternate marathon start location, if there are low levels of snow in Duluth, Minn.  The Beargrease 120 will end at Lutsen Mountains, 467 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, Minn. on Monday, Jan. 28

 

About the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Headquartered in Duluth, Minn., the mission of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is to conduct the best long-distance race in North America in a culturally sensitive manner, and to promote the sport of dog mushing.  To learn more about this nonprofit, please visit www.beargrease.com.

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

Linda Jurek | Executive Director Visit Cook County | linda@visitcookcounty.com | 218.387.2788

PR | The North Shore Has A New Fall Color Cam – Lutsen Mountains unveils its brand new mountaintop HD webcam

The North Shore Has A New Fall Color Cam

Lutsen Mountains unveils its brand new mountaintop HD webcam

Lutsen – Sept. 26, 2018 – Tracking the changes in fall foliage is an event in Minnesota as we move into peak fall.  With fall color on the North Shore a primary attraction, Lutsen Mountains recently installed a webcam at the summit of Eagle Mountain that captures  a high-resolution image every 10 minutes.  The images are archived to offer a time-lapse comparison day to day, week to week, and moving forward, year to year.  With its high vantage point and 360 degree view, the images show the maple canopy of the Sawtooth Mountain ridgeline, the birch and aspen in the Poplar River Valley, and 100 mile vistas over Lake Superior.

As a primary source of visitor information, we thought you might be interested in this new opportunity to monitor fall color on the North Shore.  Feel free to share the link: lutsen.roundshot.com or with a right-click you can capture a screenshot of an image for posting. If you are posting an image from the livecam, please photo credit:  Lutsen Mountains.

About Lutsen Mountains: Lutsen Mountains Ski & Summer Resort is located in Lutsen, Minn., along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Lutsen is the largest ski & snowboard resort in the Midwest.  An Alpine Slide offers family fun May – October and the Summit Express Gondola offers sightseeing rides year around. For additional information, visit lutsen.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/LutsenMountains and on Twitter at twitter.com/lutsenmountains.

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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2018 Lutsen Mountains New Webcam

Keep tabs on the fall color status by checking the new Lutsen Mountains webcam. Photo credit: Lutsen Mountains.

Jim Vick, Marketing Director at Lutsen Mountains Phone# 218-406-1300 Email: jim@lutsen.com

PR | Grand Marais/Cook County Airport unveils new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Sept. 22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Grand Marais/Cook County Airport unveils new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Sept. 22

Cook County, Minn. – Sept. 12, 2018 – The Cook County Airport Commission will hold an open house at the Grand Marais/Cook County Airport to unveil a new airport facility and 5,000-foot runway on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.  

The new 5,000-foot runway can accommodate most large transport charter aircraft.  The new Arrival and Departure Building now boasts a large conference room, kitchen, two bathrooms and a large lounge/waiting area with TV and Broadband.

Airport Commission Chair John Barton says, “Through a long process and good work from many individuals we now have an updated airport facility that is capable of providing improved service to this community to promote tourism, assist in emergency transportation and wild fire suppression.  We’re very happy with the result of this effort and hope people will visit the airport and see the improvements.”

An annual fly-in/drive-in pancake breakfast on the morning of Sept. 22 will be provided by the Cook County, Minn. volunteer aviation group, The Arrowhead Eagles. (The Arrowhead Eagles is a not for profit volunteer organization which helps fund small airport projects and small scholarships for local students with aviation interest).  In addition, there will be many aircraft on display and discount airplane rides will be available to the public as well.

For more information, please visit | https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/grand-marais-cook-county-airport-fly-in-drive-in-breakfast/

About Grand Marais/Cook County Airport

The Grand Marais/Cook County Airport is located eight miles from downtown Grand Marais; it is a full-service facility, providing full aircraft servicing with fuel and maintenance, United States Customs check-in, a sea plane base, and rental car or lodge transportation for easy access to all the local sights and recreational activities available in Minnesota’s most beautiful county!

About Visit Cook County

 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Cook County Airport terminal building

Cook County Airport

Linda Jurek, Executive Director | phone# (218) 387-2788 | email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Sawtooth Mountain Challenge Gives Bike Riders of All abilities ‘Right-Sized’ Challenges

Sawtooth Challenge Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Oct. 20 ride benefits trail maintenance in Cook County

Sawtooth Mountain Challenge gives bike riders of all abilities ‘right-sized’ challenges

Grand Marais, Minn.  – Sept. 5, 2018 – The Sawtooth Mountain Bike Challenge, a 25 year old race that occurs on Pincushion Mountain overlooking Grand Marais, is the main fundraiser for the Superior Cycling Association’s (SCA) trail maintenance fund. Participants will experience a good riding challenge, have fun and raise money for a great cause. Distances include 22 miles, 15 miles, 8 miles, and children’s races.

“It was the first mountain bike race held in the region,” says Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux, mayor of Grand Marais and current owner of Fireweed Bike Coop. According to Arrowsmith-DeCoux, the event was founded by the previous bike shop owners, Mark and Melinda Spinler, to showcase the rugged terrain of Northeastern Minnesota.

 

“It’s a challenging event with a 650-foot climb in just a couple of miles, then around the single-track, which can be brutal but is ultimately rewarding. Simply put, it is the perfect season finale to a great summer of biking.”

 

The North Shore is renowned for its rugged terrain and challenging biking trails. Several newer bike events have been established in recent years like the Lutsen99er, Le Grand Du Nord and Norpine Fat Bike Class to meet the demand of participants.

“Over 2,000 visitors travel to Cook County annually from great distances to participate in these sought-after biking events,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “They come for the challenge and stay for the scenery, local hospitality and superb volunteers.”

The event typically raises between $3,000-$5,000 for area bike trail maintenance. This year, there will be a raffle for a Specialized Mountain Bike of an estimated value of $3,600. Tickets are $10 and will be available for purchase at the event. “We’re proud to sponsor this event and raise money to maintain the trails up here, since recreational and serious biking in the area has grown more popular during the past five years.” Most recently, funds raised in prior years have helped to build a new section of trail between the Britton Peak trail system in Tofte to Lutsen Mountains.

 

The event takes place during the family based Moose Madness Festival in Grand Marais offering additional appeal to bikers wanting to travel with their families. Participants can register before the race at Voyageur Brewery where adult registrants will receive beer tokens to be redeemed at the after-party.

 

For more information, please visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/sawtooth-mountain-bike-challenge/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218. 387. 2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Moose Madness Gets a Makeover with Headliner Kid Band, The Bazillions!

Moose Madness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

During MEA Weekend-Oct 19-21, 2018

Moose Madness Gets a Makeover with Headliner Kid Band, The Bazillions!

 

Grand Marais, Minn. – Aug. 28, 2018 – Families can head north for MEA weekend to un-plug and play moose themed activities, Friday, Oct. 19 – Sunday, 21 at the Moose Madness Family Festival. The long running festival gets a makeover with the addition of kid rock-n-roll band The Bazillions on Saturday, Oct. 20. Festival-goers can spend the weekend earning and spending “moose bucks” by participating in scavenger hunts, a race, arts, and much more.

 

Big changes to Moose Madness this year starting with the move of Moose Headquarters to Grandma Ray’s restaurant and bar, which features a stage to host Minneapolis based kid rock-n-roll band The Bazillions on Saturday from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm. Visitors will be able to spend the rest of the weekend hunting for the Moose Medallion.  Clues will lead visitors around town until the medallion is found. Saturday afternoon, families can compete in the annual Moose Mosey, a short, kid-friendly “race” along the Grand Marais Harbor.  While roaming around town, keep an eye out for the festival’s mascot, Murray the Moose.  He’s happy to pose for photos. Earn a moose buck by posting your mug shot with Murray online!

 

Don’t just stick to the festival activities in town, venture out on a moose-adventure.  Visitors can bike, drive or hike on the Gunflint Trail, where there is a chance they will catch a glimpse of one of the elusive 3,500 local moose in the Boreal Forest. For more information and a full schedule of all of the weekend’s events and activities: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/moose-madness/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218.387.2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere October 26- 27

Sivertson Gallery interior

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere October 26 – 27

Featuring Inuit Sculptor Bill Nasagaluak and Canadian Throat-Singers

 

Grand Marais, Minn. – Sept. 5, 2018An extraordinary showcase of Inuit print art and sculpture, along with carving demonstrations and throat singing performances happening all weekend at the 18th annual Sivertson Gallery Inuit Premiere. All events are free and open to the public through the weekend of Friday Oct 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

 

Every fall since 1959 Dorset Fine Arts, marketing arm of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, has released an annual limited-run print collection. The collection is released via approved galleries around the world, and for the past 18 years, Sivertson Gallery of Grand Marais, MN, has had the privilege of being counted among one of them. “We are the only authorized Cape Dorset Fine Arts gallery in Minnesota” says owner Jan Sivertson. People are encouraged to head to Sivertson Gallery on October 26th and 27th to view the print collection in person, for a weekend celebrating “art of the north”.

 

Also featured during the event is a specially curated collection of hand-picked, hand carved stone sculptures. The story of these pieces comes from the stones they are carved from. Stones are hauled to villages in the artic on snowmobiles from distant rock quarries, sometimes over 200 miles away. Featured Guest, Inuit sculptor and stone carver, Bill Nasogaluak will be giving a demonstration at North House Folk School at 2 pm on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. He will also present as a part of a larger artist’s panel at 6 pm on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

 

Ongoing throughout the weekend will be live Throat Singing performances by Nina Segalowitz and Taqralik Partridge. Throat Singing is a vocal form in which a single voice produces more than one tone at the same time, usually as harmonics of a main tone or drone, traditionally practiced by peoples in central Asia, the Inuit, and Tibetan Buddhist monks.

 

More about the annual print collection and Dorset Fine Arts:

http://www.dorsetfinearts.com/

Link to some of Mr. Nasogaluak’s work:

http://www.artnet.com/artists/bill-nasogaluak/

 

Friday, Oct. 26

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Bill Nasogaluak, sculptor and stone carver from Tuktuyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada will give a carving demonstration at North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Patron’s reception, Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais – Presenting the 2018 Cape Dorset Print Collection, short throat singing demonstration.

 

Saturday, Oct. 27

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Live Canadian Throat-Singing performance by Taqralik Partridge and Nina Segalowitz

6 p.m. | Guest panel talking about living in the north

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218.387.2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | 2018 Grand Portage Rendezvous Days & Celebration Pow Wow Aug. 10-12

Pow Wow Rendezvous Days

2018 Grand Portage Rendezvous Days & Celebration Pow Wow Aug. 10-12

Biggest and Most Grand Celebration of the Year!

   What |        The annual Rendezvous is celebrated every year during the second weekend of August. The event is held in conjunction with the Rendezvous Days Pow Wow, sponsored by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe). The annual gathering is the community’s biggest and most grand celebration of the year, a time when Grand Portage comes alive and reflects on its rich heritage.

Re-enactors from across the country and Canada to gather, camp and challenge each other to games and skills from our historic past.

Visitors can expect a weekend packed with cultural events from the 1800s to 1900s, including: an authentic Native American Pow Wow, with Stonebridge singers and drumming, as well as chances to try blacksmithing, arts and crafts, Native American cuisine, and recreational activities.

For additional information, visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/grand-portage-rendezvous-days-celebration-pow-wow/

Where |        Grand Portage Monument Heritage Center

170 Mile Creek Rd.

Grand Portage, Minn. 55605

When |         Friday, Aug. 10 – Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018

                   Friday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  Cost |          FREE admission

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County, MN | Phone: 218.387.2788 | Email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | WTIP Announces Lineup for 11th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 to 9

Radiowaves Music Festival Grand Marais

WTIP Announces Lineup for 11th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 to 9

Grand Marais, Minn., July 27, 2018 –WTIP Community Radio has announced the lineup for the Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 7 to 9, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 11th year of the family-friendly festival, which features a diverse mix of local and regional artists. Three days of live music, just a stone’s throw away from Lake Superior!

Twenty-five acts will take the stage at this year’s festival, including seven acts new to the festival, and a return of the Carpenter Ants, who bring their old-style rhythm and blues, gospel soul and country funk to the North Shore, all the way from Charleston, West Virginia. The weekend will also feature performances by local and regional favorites, including: Pete Kavanaugh (singer-songwriter), Rich Mattson and the North Stars (alt-rock-and-roll), Plucked Up String Band (Astroturf), SplinterTones (eclectic dance music), Lake Effect (folk) and Cook County’s Most Wanted (alt-country).

The full music lineup is online at www.wtip.org – just look for “Radio Waves Music Festival” under the EVENTS drop-down menu. Festival hours are Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A favorite of both visitors and area residents as well as performing musicians, Radio Waves is held rain or shine – with two stages housed under a large tent – and includes on-site food as well as children’s activities for a portion of Saturday and Sunday. Admission – available at the gate – is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend, and free to children 12 and under.

The Radio Waves Music Festival is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and is also supported by the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association and Visit Cook County.

About WTIP:

WTIP is an independent, nonprofit radio station broadcasting from the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais since 1998. This community radio station features local news, weather and events as well as eclectic music and programming highlighting the arts, culture and history of the region. Listeners can tune in at 90.7 FM Grand Marais/North Shore, 90.1 FM Grand Portage, and 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail, or stream online – via computer, tablet or phone – at www.wtip.org.

 

Staci Drouillard | Development Director WTIP North Shore Community Radio | Phone: 218.387.1070 | Email: staci@wtip.org

PR | Get outside and paint! Painters and Art Enthusiasts at Plein Air Grand Marais Sept. 7 – 14

Plein Air 2018

Get outside and paint!  Painters and Art Enthusiasts at Plein Air Grand Marais Sept. 7 – 14

Minnesota’s Premier Plein Air event features interactive painting activities for all

Grand Marais, Minn. – July 24, 2018Plein Air Grand Marais has been a tradition on the north shore for the past 15 years and Minnesota’s premier plein air event.  Starting this year, Outdoor Painters of Minnesota (OPM) and Johnson Heritage Port Art Gallery and Museum are collaborating to expand the week-long event across Grand Marais on Friday, Sept. 7 – Friday, Sept. 14 for painters and art enthusiasts of every level of interest and ability.

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/plein-air-grand-marais/

Plein Air Grand Marais will feature:

Daily mini-workshops instructed by competing professional painters.  There are 13 mini-workshops throughout the week, and cost per session is $50.  Registration is required.

Yellow Bird Fine Art in Grand Marais will host daily paint-outs, an open category exhibit and a reception for up to 35 visiting painters who are not in the competition, and the 75 competition artists.

Thursday night Hootenanny at the municipal campground picnic shelter on the lake – sing, play music along with OPM’s ad-hoc band “The Plain Errors”

For additional details including the mini-workshop schedule, please follow this link | file:///C:/Users/Kristen%20Rebollo/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/9ZZ6RVJP/91922_OpenCupboards_PAGM_brochure.pdf

A culminating exhibit of work by competition artists will be hung at the Johnson Heritage Post Gallery following the Plein Air Grand Marais from Friday, Sept. 14 – Sunday, Oct. 7.

Radio Waves Sept. 7 – 9 and Unplugged Music Festival Sept. 14 – 16

In addition to the week-long Plein Air event, visitors can also attend two favorite local music festivals: Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 7 – 9 at Sweethearts Bluffs campground and the Unplugged Music Festival Sept. 14 – 16 at North House Folk School.  Performances include a variety of music genres with local and nationally recognized artists, on-site food and beverage for purchase, artisan markets, and hands-on activities for all ages. For more details:

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/10th-annual-radiowaves-music-festival/

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/unplugged/

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County, MN | email: linda@visitcookcounty.com | phone: 218.387.2788

PR | Road Trip to the Stars: U of M Dark Sky Caravan travels to Cook County, Minn. Aug 11-18

Photo: Dark Sky Caravan - inflatable planetarium

Road Trip to the Stars: U of M Dark Sky Caravan travels to Cook County, Minn. Aug 11-18

Grand Marais, Minn. – July 27, 2018 – The Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium is hitting the road from Duluth to the end of the Gunflint Trail Aug. 11-18. The traveling event will coincide with the annual Perseid Meteor shower where stargazers can expect to see 50-70 meteors or shooting stars per hour.

The mobile GeoDome Theater creates an immersive learning environment that is interactive and engaging. University of Minnesota Duluth staff and students will lead attendees through a dynamic digital space exploration experience. Accompanying the planetarium will be telescopes offering live sky viewing with consultation, thanks to volunteers from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society.

“It is the perfect time of year for stargazing. Each day we will be in a new location with the portable planetarium and telescopes to observe the sun, stars, planets and moon,” said Joel Halvorson, interim Planetarium Director of the University of Minnesota Duluth. “Our final two nights of the caravan take place at the end of the Gunflint Trail, which happens to be one of the best places in the entire country for observing the stars.”

All events are free, with daily programming that will run from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.*

Planetarium shows will be offered on the half hour. In the event of cloudy skies, programming will be limited to the planetarium.

Date                                        Location

Saturday, August 11                UMD Planetarium, Duluth

Sunday, August 12                   Tettegouche Visitor Center, Silver Bay

Monday, August 13                 Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte

Tuesday, August 14                 Voyageur Brewing Company, Grand Marais

Wednesday, August 15           Grand Portage Community Center, Grand Portage* (hours 5 p.m.- 8 p.m.)

Thursday, August 16               Seagull Lake Community Center, upper Gunflint Trail

Friday, August 17                    Seagull Lake Community Center, upper Gunflint Trail

The end of the tour wraps up with two nights at the end of the Gunflint Trail – known for its pure dark sky with a reading of a class 1 on the Bortle scale, which translates into an excellent dark sky with minimal light pollution.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with the University of Minnesota to offer the Dark Sky Caravan this August. Finally, we’re able to bring the universe to you!” said Linda Jurek, Executive Director of Visit Cook County.

The Dark Sky Caravan is the prequel to a new event, the Dark Sky Festival, slated for December 2018. The event will be centered around celebrating the night sky with a lineup of presenters, photographers, and star story tellers creating an immersive experience for longtime star gazers and novices.

More details can be found at https://www.visitcookcounty.com/dark-sky-caravan

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Photo: Dark Sky Caravan - inflatable planetarium

Dark Sky Caravan – inflatable planetarium

Kjersti Vick, Visit Cook County MN | phone# 218-387-2788 | email: kjersti@visitcookcounty.com