Today, the bargain-hunters will graze one last time through the offerings of Duluth’s Sidewalk Days, featuring three days of deals, music and food all along Superior Street.
I’m not sure when the event got its start, but according to our archives, vendors have been setting up shop since at least since 1982. A look at some of the old photos reveals that Superior Street has changed significantly since then. And I’m not just talking about the storefronts.
Below is a photo from Sidwalk Days in 1984. Notice the bricks that are absent from the surface of Superior Street; it was just plain old asphalt then.
Sidewalk Days in downtown Duluth in 1984. In the foreground,
a German band provides entertainment.
The Greater Downtown Council was formed in 1984 to help breathe life into the downtown area. The group’s plan included repaving the streets with brick to make the area more welcoming to pedestrians.
In this photo from July 24, 1985, Sidewalk Days was nearly rained out, the problem made worse by the construction going on along Superior Street. I’m guessing this is when the brick-paving project began.
By July 1989, Sidewalk Days shoppers hungry for deals strolled along a brick-laden street.
In 1982, Little Nicholas Lombardi gets into the spirit of scrounging for bargains and dives into a 10-cent box of books. He chooses a romance novel.
A possible conversation that may have transpired between this couple while shopping during Sidewalk Days in 1986:
"What do you think of this shirt here, Marge?"
"Oh, I don’t know, Henry. Vertical stripes don’t suit you and it might be tough to iron out them wrinkles."
I invite you to comment and come up with your own dialogue.