HIBBING— If you ask Hibbing Area Chamber President Vicki Hagberg, she’ll tell you the historic downtown is the place to be next month for reasons that can be summed up in two words: Hibbing Jubilee.
“Jubilee is one of the largest community summer festivals in northeastern Minnesota and one of the larger ones attended,” Hagberg told the Hibbing Daily Tribune in a phone interview earlier this week.
The Hibbing Jubilee festival has a longstanding tradition of bringing out locals and drawing in visitors with a variety of children's activities, shopping and entertainment. Hagberg shared that it’s not only a great time, it’s a fantastic economic boost for the area— and this year will be no exception. That said, there will be a few tweaks to the tried and true recipe to spice up this year’s celebration.
Jubilee is scheduled to take place July 11-13, beginning with a Business After Hours from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. that Thursday at Mr. Nick’s Corner Bar. The networking event will include a raffle drawing with substantial cash prizes of up to $3,000. Only 100 tickets will be sold and are available in advance at the bar and the Hibbing Area Chamber.
While she says Business After Hours is always a great opportunity to socialize, what Hagberg is most excited about is that Friday when a portion of Howard Street will be barricaded and transformed into a mini business festival, complete with games, activities, food vendors and big sales on local merchandize.
Traditionally Sidewalk Days has been focused on showcasing downtown storefronts, but this year they’re trying something a little different.
“After meeting with businesses in town, everyone agreed to open it up to any business and vendors in the area,” Hagberg shared. “We think it’s going to help boost the event in size and attendance, and it’ll give the people attending a much bigger variety and a great reason to visit our historic downtown.”
The decision, she said, was a result of a stakeholder meeting where the business owners involved— such as those from Moxie, Bender’s Shoes and Body and Soul— expressed excitement over the prospect of collaborating with other stores to make the day extra inviting.
“It was a really positive outlook and a great way to look at partnering together as businesses instead of just competing with each other,” Hagberg remarked. “I think it’s great.”
Sidewalk Sales is scheduled for 8 a.m to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 12, on Howard Street.
Next up will be the Festival on Fifth Vendor Show and the Kids’ Carnival, beginning at 10 a.m. the following morning. On Fifth Avenue near the Hibbing Public Library and City Hall, vendors from all around the area will be posted in tents and booths of all shapes and sizes selling everything from jewelry to handcrafted soaps and more. Meanwhile, the Kids’ Carnival, which is co-hosted by North Star Church of Hibbing, will be happening on the lawn of City Hall. In the past balloons, face-painting and a bouncy house have become hallmarks of the happening, along with ice cream and other crowd pleasing goodies.
“It’s really a family packed event,” Hagberg said. “Over 1,000 people attend each year.”
At 3 p.m., the “Sweetest” Grand Parade will head down Howard Street and First Avenue. Attendees will be treated to a show of colorful floats, costumes, music and much more. And, they don’t mean to brag, but most locals claim that the Hibbing parade earned its name of “Sweetest” by slinging the most candy of any event around. But you’ll just have to come and find out for yourself and stick around for the city-hosted street dance.
“From a chamber perspective, we’re excited about Jubilee as it’s one of the biggest tourist draws in Hibbing each year,” Hagberg insisted. “We're excited to have people from in and out of the area visit our businesses and support our community.”
Vendor and parade entries are still being accepted. To apply or find out more information about the Jubilee celebration can be found at www.hibbing.org/hibbing-jubilee, at the Hibbing Jubilee Community Festival Facebook page, or by calling the Chamber at 218-262-3895.