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2017-08-11 / Features

Bridge Daze activities move forward despite dedication ceremony delay

Railing was being installed on the new Hwy. 53 relocation project bridge across the Rouchleau Mine Pit in Virginia last week. Photo by Cindy Kujala. Railing was being installed on the new Hwy. 53 relocation project bridge across the Rouchleau Mine Pit in Virginia last week. Photo by Cindy Kujala. QUAD CITIES – The Bridge Daze committee was disappointed—as were many others—that they had to postpone their Community Walk across the soon-to-be-named Hwy. 53 bridge that had been scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20. So they started working with Cliffs Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the bridge project general contractor Kiewit, to offer a different event on the same day the walk was originally scheduled.

Since it IS Bridge Daze, several community events will be held although there has been a delay in the anticipated completion of the bridge.


Enjoy BBQ in the Park, hosted by the Mesabi Humane Society, from 3 – 6:30 p.m. This event, held in Olcott Park, includes music, raffles, games for kids, and more. Admission is free and pets are welcome if leashed. The BBQ supper is $10 – kids eight and under eat free.

Held in conjunction with the BBQ in the Park, there will be a K9 Demonstration by St. Louis County Sherrifs and Virginia PD at 4 p.m. All proceeds help support the services of the Mesabi Humane Society, an animal shelter and outreach organization serving the region.

The Bridge Daze Art Crawl takes place downtown Virginia from 4:30-7:30 p.m. along Chestnut Street. The 218 Tap House hosts a live performance on 3rd Ave in the evening.

A Silent Film Fest with Beer Tasting will be held at the Lyric Center for the Arts from 7 – 9 p.m. The Lyric Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Lake Superior Silent Film Society, is hosting this event. Showing will be the classic silent film, Steamboat Bill, Jr. and taste Castle Danger beer, which is brewed in Minnesota.

Proceeds from this event will and help the Lyric in their fundraising efforts for their storefront reconstruction project. Admission is $25 for a single, or $40 for two. Tickets can be purchased online at For more information, call the Lyric Center at 218-741- 5577.


The Pre-Race Rampage at the Ridge takes place from 6 – 10:30 p.m. in Biwabik. Stop by Biwabik’s Sliding Hill Park on Friday evening for a fun community event with food, drink and music. This event is open to the public and Rampage at the Ridge participant race packets will be available for pickup.

The event features food vendors, beverages and two live bands: Christopher David Hanson from 6 – 8 p.m., and the Mallrats from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. There is no cover charge but you will need to bring a lawn chair.

This pre-race event

helps bring the community together as Rampage at the Ridge will hold their 4th annual obstacle course, a fundraiser hosted by United Way of Northeastern Minnesota that supports local veterans’ initiatives.

The Dream

Machines Motor Club 25th Annual Fuzzy Dice Cruise runs from 6 – 10 p.m. on Chestnut Street in downtown Virginia. For more information on the cruise contact either Ralph Maki at 218-780-5456 or Milt Sundeen at 218-750-7414.


The Rampage at the Ridge runs from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Held in Biwabik, it is an extreme obstacle course set at Giants Ridge, where participants rely on their own stamina, plus teamwork. The event, sponsored by the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, benefits area veterans and made a big splash last year with nearly 800 competitors.

This year, the obstacles and course will be bigger and more challenging, plus there is a kids’ course so the whole family can dig into it together. Competitive waves start at 8 a.m. with non-competitive waves starting at 9:15 a.m. Concessions open at 11 a.m. along with music. The award ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. For more information visit

Divers from around the state explore the 400 plus foot waters of Lake Ore Be Gone during the Scuba Palooza in Gilbert. Held from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., this annual weekend event is organized by Aquadventure Dive and Photo. For more information call 763- 424- 8717.

The 25th Annual Dream Machines Motor Club Summer Celebration Car Show and Swap Meet will be held on Chestnut Street from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Registration is free and trophies will be awarded in all classes by local merchants. For Information on the swap meet contact Brad Carlson at 218- 750-5981.

Enjoy the 1st Annual Olcott Fountain Brew Fest at Olcott Park in Virginia from 4 – 10 p.m. Music and beer fans unite for a fundraising event for the Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Fund. Nine confirmed breweries from Minnesota to Michigan, with more to be determined, will be on site from 4 – 8 p.m. (See article on p. 12.)

Live music performers from 4 – 10 p.m. include:

Paul Metsa and Tim O’Keefe

The Schwartz Brothers Band

The Conformist Party

Hobo Revival

Headliner: Tim Mahoney

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. They can be purchased at Ink’d Graphix Plus, 218 Taphouse, and Silver Creek Liquor in Virginia. For more information contact Paul Monacelli at 218-741-6341 or Rudy Harvey at 218-749-8239.


In lieu of the Community Walk on the bridge that was originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20, you can instead take a free bus tour of United Taconite and the new bridge. These tours are approximately 90 minutes long and will include visiting United Taconite’s mine and crossing the new bridge, as well as going onto the causeway beneath the bridge. Tours run from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Tour guides from MnDOT, Cliffs Natural Resources, and the project’s general contractor Kiewit, will talk about United Taconite’s mine plan after the highway is moved, and participants will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the bridge before it is open to traffic.

A lunch of a porketta sandwich or polish delight, chips and pop, provided for only $2 by Eveleth Country Foods IGA will be available to purchase. Bridge Daze t-shirts in adult sizes M, L and XL will be available for purchase for $10 or to pick up if you received a free t-shirt from the Community Walk registration. The US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum will offer reduced admission of $3 per person.

You must be five years or older to take the bus tour and are required to wear closed-toed, flat shoes for safety purposes. There are a limited number of seats on the four school buses and two tours being offered. Seats can be reserved by visiting bridge-tours/. There will be a limited number of walk-in seats available .for those who do not have access to the internet. Tour times are 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and depart from the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum and Range Recreation Civic Center in Eveleth.

If you have questions, call 218-749-8161. Leave a message if there is no answer.

Stay tuned for a rescheduled date of the Community Walk.

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