Mayor reflects on a successful block partyBack in February, Mayor Randy Bolen, Councillor Dan Jones, Dunnigan’s owner Matt Davit and a few others started brainstorming an idea to have a day of music, fun, and food to share with the community.
By: Cathy Erickson, Lake County News Chronicle
Back in February, Mayor Randy Bolen, Councillor Dan Jones, Dunnigan’s owner Matt Davit and a few others started brainstorming an idea to have a day of music, fun, and food to share with the community.
Mayor Bolen has never been shy about sharing his love for his community, and with his passion for music, this combination seemed like a great fit. The idea grew, and a few more festivities would be added to the schedule. A display of classic cars would be downtown, and a Kidz Block Party at the band shell completed the idea of having something for everyone.
It didn’t take long to get the wheels in motion and to find more volunteers willing to help put a community day together for all ages. The Two Harbors Fire Department became a key player in setting up and organizing the Kidz Block Party, along with Seth McDonald, owner of the Dairy Queen. The city street crews set up traffic and parking signs, and the stage and sound systems were able to be rented through generous local business donations and a grant from the Two Harbors Chapter of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
Bands were lined up for the First Avenue Block Party, from acoustic sets to the Old Timer’s Band, to local favorites like Guilty Pleasures, the Hit Kickers, and Cervantes, to the reuniting of The Accidentals after 27 years. The first set would start at 2 p.m. and The Accidentals closed the show after the band Release at 10:45 p.m.
Before he knew it, Mayor Bolen was watching the stage go up on First Avenue on Saturday morning and he breathed a sigh of relief when the forecast called for blue skies and sunshine. There were contingency plans in case of rain, but they wouldn’t be needed.
The Mayor made his way over to the Kidz Block Party and he was happy to see so many kids having fun. He also didn’t realize how many great kids in town could sing. Some of the best feedback he received was how grateful families were that the Kidz Block Party was inexpensive and a great time.
The Two Harbors City Band also preformed to a great crowd.
The afternoon music included Mel Sando, Jeremy Neilitz, and Damion DiFranco playing some acoustic sets, and then The Old Timers Band and The Accidentals got the crowd going.
Mayor Bolen estimated that 500-600 people were watching when The Accidentals took the stage. “I mean, how special for them,” Bolen said. Receiving so much positive feedback about bringing back the local icons, Bolen said, “I want The Accidentals back next year too, so Bill, Skeeter, Bob, and Tom, consider this your official invitation.”
The evening bands brought out some of our best local musicians and the crowds were appreciative. A briskness in the air arrived after the sun went down, but it didn’t deter the crowd from enjoying classic rock and country favorites.
The next day, Mayor Bolen ran into Dale Moe, who told him, after playing on stage with his 91-year old father, “Thank you for letting me do this with my dad. It is a memory I will always treasure.”
Mayor Bolen and his block party committee have already set the date for next year’s celebration, so mark Aug. 21, 2010 on your calendars.