Love For Spirit Valley

 This year marks the 33rd annual Duluth neighborhood festival known as Spirit Valley Days. It’s a nearly weeklong celebration featuring the ever-popular pancake dinner, Miss West Duluth contest, family actvities, lots of food and music – and what festival would be complete without a parade?  

The Spirit Valley Days parade is the highlight of the hometown festival for many, including Anna Berg (below) who attended the 16th annual festival in 1992. At the time, she said she hadn’t missed a festival, which began in 1977, and that watching the parade made her feel young again. I’m sure a lot of festival-goers feel the same nostalgia.

1992 file / News Tribune

What would a parade be without a band? And you don’t often get the chance to see men playing clarinets outside the Rustic Bar.

Members of Swede Anderson’s German Band perform in the 1986 Spirit Valley Days parade.
(1986 file / News Tribune) 

The Spirit Valley Days festival gained some notoriety in 1990 when it was featured on a segment by "Today Show" weatherman Willard Scott. He plugged the event on the show after a festival organizer sent him a Spirit Valley Days T-shirt – extra-large.

What’s more iconic about a parade than clowns passing out candy? Answer: People driving tiny cars.

Mike Zigrich drives a small motorized car for Pabst Distributing during the 1985 Spirit Valley Days parade. (1985 file / News Tribune)