Duluth Waterfront Expecting Thousands for Packed Weekend of Events

DULUTH, Minn. — The Inline Marathon celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend, while Oktoberfest returns to Bayfront Festival Park for its 2nd year. But combined, Duluth might see close to 10,000 people between events, and through the weekend.

The Inline Marathon kicks off on Friday with an expo starting at noon at the DECC where racers are able to receive their race packet, and the public is welcome to participate, while receiving roller blading tips and demonstrations, and enjoying different vendors. After a virtual race last year, staff is ready to enjoy the festivities face to face again.

“It’s a good event we’ve been doing it 25 years, and as the Executive Director, it’s interesting to see you plan all year for this weekend, and here we are,” Skeeter Moore, Executive Director of the Inline Marathon said.

This is not the only event making a return this weekend, the Duluth Oktoberfest comes to Bayfront Festival Park for its second year. After seeing over 5,000 people in 2019, they’re planning on making it bigger and better than before, anticipating around 8,000 attendees.

“Well we’re expecting a big turnout this year, especially after being off in 2020, and so there’s a lot of activities going on and were preparing for that this weekend,” Ryan Kern, President of Kern and Kompany said.

Something they are introducing this year is a replica beer hall, decorated with all German imported things like d├ęcor, benches and tables and of course, the beverages as well, but this event is still one for all ages.

“Oktoberfest and Germany are more like a county fair, and were really going after that segment, so this is an all-ages event, and so we want mom and dad to come, but we want mom and dad to bring the kids,” Kern said.

The Inline Marathon also is introducing a couple of new events to the lineup where staring Friday around 4 PM, skaters can race in a 500 meter sprint, and a 1000 meter roller ski sprint during the expo. But being able to have two fun events going on at the same time will add a lot to the waterfront this weekend.

“Its great to have these events all at once and it’s just exciting, it improves our quality of life and getting out and being what we’ve all gone through here in the last while is unfortunate and hopefully these events will give us good memories and good ability to be outside and enjoy Duluth,” Moore said.

“The beautiful thing about living in a community like we do is that when there are multiple events going on the same weekend, they’re symbiotic, so for example the North Shore Inline Marathon is this weekend and what we found is that a lot of those skaters when they’re done with the North Shore Inline Marathon, they come over and partake in the Oktoberfestival, they’re making a weekend out of it,” Kern said.

Neither event has COVID restrictions, and both events are still looking for volunteers to help out, but registration is still open for the Inline Marathon for Saturdays race at the expo,
And Oktoberfest tickets are still for sale online.

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