Dylan talks hunting, fishing and Northern Minnesota in new interview

Like most who grew up on the Iron Range, Bob Dylan reminisces about hunting and fishing. He also insists there’s a profound difference between Northern and Southern Minnesota. Dylan, born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing, doesn’t give many interviews. When he does, they become their own art form. His answers, rarely direct, ebb and flow around some ambiguous concept,… Read More →

‘The Ballad of Newton Badger’ and the spark of community potential

Every semester I ask my Iron Range college students to identify a “community problem” and then argue for a solution to that problem. In recent years, without fail, the most common problem identified is “nothing for young people to do on the Iron Range.” The solutions, of course, all include some variant on “here’s something… Read More →

Art project to brighten Bob Dylan’s Iron Range hometown

After Bob Dylan received his Nobel Prize in Literature, something clicked in Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. A group of community members formed the Hibbing Dylan Project, with the goal of celebrating the legacy of the folk troubadour’s Iron Range roots. As I’ve written, I was active in Dylan Days, which enjoyed a 14-year run in Hibbing…. Read More →

‘Flowetry in Motion’ for 2017 MN State All Hockey Hair Team

Northern Minnesota continues to celebrate the exciting conclusion to the Minnesota State High School Boys Hockey Tournament. For the first time since 1998, two northern teams won the Class A and Class AA championships, respectively. But the real fun is only getting started. After the tournament, Game On! Minnesota released its 2017 Minnesota State High… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show this Saturday in Bemidji

I’m excited to report that my Great Northern Radio Show returns to the airwaves and the stage of the Historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji this Saturday at 5 p.m. They tell me tickets are selling fast so get yours now (audience should be seated by 4:30). For everyone else, the live event airs from 5-7 p.m. on… Read More →

Eelpout fever in Northern Minnesota

Last week we experienced a winter thaw in Northern Minnesota. This week the weather cooled off. The southern part of the state faces a blizzard today, while the rest of the state wonders what time of year it really is. The answer is simple. Eelpout. It’s eelpout season. The annual Eelpout Festival is happening now… Read More →

Author to share novel about 1916 Mesabi strike at MDC

Author Megan Marsnik will read from her novel “Under Ground” and discuss its setting amid the Mesabi Range Strike of 1916 Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. The Discovery Center currently features the exhibit “Enough! The 1916 Mesabi Range Strike.” This is an absolutely necessary viewing for anyone… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show back March 4 in Bemidji

Barring some big news, the blog will go dark the rest of this week. I’ll be finishing the script for my next Great Northern Radio Show, live from the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 4. This will be a good one. We’ll be celebrating the vibrant music scene in Bemidji with a… Read More →

80th Laskiainen Finnish sliding festival this weekend

This weekend the Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival celebrates its 80th year in Palo, Minnesota. Laskiainen is an old Finnish tradition that made the leap to Northern Minnesota during the immigration of the early 20th Century. It’s a celebration of the fact that the days are getting longer, allowing people in northern climates to have more fun…. Read More →

100 years of Finnish independence marked in MN

This year, Finland marks 100 years of independence from Russia, Sweden and any other European powers that at one time held its Nordic territory. And as Jenna Ross from the Star Tribune reports, Minnesota will play a role in the Finnish celebration. An American tour of Finnish cultural performances (including a traveling sauna) will begin and end… Read More →