Welcome 2020! What are we jazzed about this year? Where do I begin? Here are our top ten Exciting Developments in Tourism (and in General) for the new year:
10. Mesabi Outdoor Adventures – What will they think of next?
This group of outdoor enthusiasts has started weekly bike rides, organized winter camping trips, purchased bikes and kayaks to loan out, searched out chaga troves and created a network of folks who want to meet new people, get outside, and practice their favorite or learn new ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Join them on a weekend or weeknight adventure!
9. The Return of the Fests: Brewfest, Honktoberfest and Pasty Fest – BrewFest, now in its third year at Olcott Park in Virginia has been a raging success, check it out in August! Honktoberfest, named for Biwabik’s famous moose, Honk, is another beer-themed event but in October. Looking forward to their second year. And Pasty Festival, well if you don’t know what a pasty is, you must stop and try one in October. And if you do know what they are, you know these are some of the best ever made.
8. Mesabi Trail – It’s SO CLOSE to being done, that is, paved from Grand Rapids to Ely. This year, work will be done by the Bruce Mine Headframe in Chisholm, Embarrass, and to our north. Make it your summer mission to walk or ride part of the trail!
7. Construction & RenovationProjects – Yes, construction. It’s going to happen, might as well embrace it! Hwy 53 in Virginia will be improved, and so will Hwy 37E in Gilbert, and 135 in Biwabik! Ground will be broken for the new Miner’s Memorial Building in Virginia, and improvements made at the historic Lyric Center for the Arts. Changes are likely at the Irongate Mall in Hibbing, and who knows what else is going to be built, modified or even torn down. Change is good!
6. Mines and Pines Revisited – back for a second year, this fine arts and music festival was a shining success in 2019, and looking forward to another great event for artists, art and music lovers, local musicians and beer tent enthusiasts. Trying new days of Friday and Saturday will be an interesting experiment. To apply as an artist or learn more about the event, visit hibbingminesandpines.org
6. Leonidas Overlook – This popular and peaceful viewpoint in Eveleth is going to get a nice makeover, including new interpretive signs to educate our neighbors and guests alike about mining and our amazing, ever-changing landscape.
5. The re-opening of Rustic Pig and new exhibit, We Are Water, at Minnesota Discovery Center – very excited to see chef Mitch Kerfeld back at MDC running the restaurant. They will also offer a food truck they’ve tentatively dubbed the Piglet. We Are Water is a traveling Minnesota Humanities Center exhibit, with a local spin. Looking forward to water-themed events and activities around this!
4. ATV Trails – The QC ATV Club continues to plan punching north to connect with the Voyageur ATV Trails up north, and east to hook up with the Ranger Trails in Biwabik, while Northern Traxx is working on a trail between Hibbing and Chisholm. Exciting stuff for motorized riders!
3. All the Arts – Our population of around 45,000 supports the arts in so many ways! Join us in taking pride in all that the area offers, including Mesabi Musical Theater, Northern Stage Works and Small Parts Players, the exhibits and programs at the Lyric Center for the Arts, Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead and Mesaba Concert Associations, many local choral groups, the awesome musicians doing covers and original music, and the annual Northern Lights Music Festival to name a few. Take note, and take in a performance or two this year.
2. Hull Rust Mine View – The new site overlooks Hibbing Taconite and the city of Hibbing from a stunning viewpoint. We’re hoping they receive legislative bonding money to finish putting permanent buildings. New this year is a 240-ton production truck. A must-see!
1.Redhead Bike Trails – This is big, people. If you want to know how recreation can bring about positive change, talk to someone from Crosby, MN. Or read this story. These trails at Minnesota Discovery Center (15 miles built to date with a spring opening on the horizon) are not just cool or amazing. They’re epic. Keep your eye on this, and be sure to welcome the influx of mountain bikers who will be clamoring for this park, along with the very different trails at Giants Ridge. Want updates on Redhead’s progress? Sign up here.
Bonus: IronRange.org new website this may be only a big deal to, well, us. But the new site will better showcase all the great things we have to see and do on the Mesabi, and that’s a great thing for everyone!