The Stage is Set for Spirit Valley Days

Posted at: 07/31/2013 6:51 PM | Updated at: 07/31/2013 6:59 PM
By: Travis Dill

Spirit Valley Days kicked off on Wednesday and continued over 30 years of tradition that includes live music and a lot of options for food lovers.

Spirit Valley Days takes over Bristol and Ramsey Streets every summer in West Duluth. The event is a community celebration that lets everyone kick back in the sunshine according to organizer Angelo Simone.

“It's almost like a family reunion. Everyone gets to come out and enjoy the sunshine and just see people they haven't seen in a long time. And patronize some of the businesses around here to kind of let them know, 'We're glad you're still here and keeping West Duluth thriving,'” Simone said.

Simone said live music is what started the tradition over 3 decades ago, and he tried to keep that going by connecting local youth with local music veterans like Mike Levings.

Levings led some teenagers from the Valley Youth Center in a live act on Wednesday, and was surprised by their music selections.

“I'm the old one. These kids could be my grandkids, but they picked out some older ones that I've been doing in bands for years and years. It's older stuff that you'll really like,” Levings said.

And guests did not have to be neighbors to appreciate it. Families from across town were dancing on the street. Crystal Phillips from East End brought her children to check out the event.

“I've heard the music is a lot of fun, and my mom actually lives over in West End and she really enjoys this kind of stuff. And the people are just so friendly and so it's really nice to get out and see that,” Phillips said.

There were plenty of food vendors grilling up everything from kabobs to Italian sausages. Those that prefer food deep fried didn't miss out as cheese curds and mini donuts were being dunked all day.

Kristin Booker owns the Winky Dinky Donuts stand that has grown right along with the Spirit Valley Days.

“So it's been in the family for like 28 years and we've been at the event since it started and it's grown every year,” Booker said. “It's a lot of fun you get a lot of smiley faces and everybody's happy.”

The event runs into the weekend with the annual parade scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday.

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