HIBBING — For 33 years, Pete Hyduke has helped the City of Hibbing improve its tourism and safety, health, wellness and recreation and today the local chamber of commerce honored him with the title of the 2019 Grand Marshal for the Jubilee “Sweetest” Grand Parade.
The parade, which begins at 3 p.m., is set to start at Republic Bank on First Avenue heading north to Howard Street, then ending at Ninth Avenue East. And in the lead will be Hyduke.
Chamber president, Vicki Hagberg, told the Hibbing Daily Tribune this week that the grand marshal is chosen based on their contributions to the city and region.
“The grand marshal is someone who is an advocate for Hibbing and the Iron Range and makes a positive impact on our community,” Hagberg said. “Pete Hyduke has been an asset to the Hibbing area for decades. In addition to his tireless work on our city parks, and as the longtime coach of the Hibbing-Chisholm girl’s hockey team, Pete is a strong promoter of our city.”
She added, “He shares his positive attitude about our town with everyone he meets.”
Though Hyduke is reluctant to be in the spotlight, he humbly accepted the honor and sat down with the HDT earlier in the week to reflect on his career leading up to this moment.
“None of this would be possible unless you work with great people,” Hyduke said. “I’ve been so fortunate within my career to work with great staff, great coworkers and to have good leadership from the city.”
Hyduke’s career began when he was hired to work with the Hibbing’s Parks Department. From there he transferred to Public Works and for the past five years he’s been the director of City Services, overseeing the Parks and Recreation Department, the Memorial Building Arena, and buildings like City Hall, Public Library and the Greyhound Bus Museum.
Throughout the duration of his career, Hyduke completed more than 150 capital projects. Some of the notable projects included the Carey Lake lighted ski trail expansion, the design and construction of the Vic Power Soccer Fields, renovations to the locker room and rear entry at the Memorial Building, the Miracle Field and, more recently, the new Hull Rust Mine View, which he said had nearly 12,000 visitors from about 40 states and more than 20 countries since opening on Memorial Day.
“The mine view has been a very enjoyable project to work on,” he remarked. “It was exciting to see it come to from the beginning to where we are right now, seeing Andy [Lucia] and his wife Ito’s vision come into reality. It’s been so well received by the tourists that have come to town. And working with the support of the city and the senior tourist group led by Melissa Versich has been a pleasure.”
With every decision Hyduke said he was constantly on the lookout for projects that would have the biggest impact on the health of the residents here, young and old.
“I’ve truly enjoyed working the residents of this community and try to better what we have and give them more recreation and wellness opportunities.” he said. “I was raised in this community and got to stay here and work and have my family and grandchildren growing up on the Range, and I want them to have the same small town experience that I had growing up.”
Hyduke is the middle child in a tight knit family of nine. He said his parents raised them to take pride in everything they do and always leave things better than they found them. He believes it was those early teachings that instilled in him his commitment to community.
“The most rewarding part of my job is identifying the wants and needs of the community and finding a way to secure funding and finally provide that product to them,” Hyduke said. “I think Hibbing is fantastic community. It’s been a pleasure of mine all these years to give back in any capacity that I could to see it stay a community that people are proud to be part of.”
Hyduke is quick to credit others for his celebrated success — groups like the Owen’s Foundation, Hibbing Foundation and Rotary Club were a few that came to mind — and said that while he will be the person riding in the grand marshal seat, the honor is shared with everyone he’s worked with. On Monday morning, the city will see yet another of his long awaited projects come to fruition as the new Splash Pad in Bennett Park sprays for the first time. Hyduke said he looks forward to seeing childrens’ faces and for Hibbing to be the first in the area to have the attraction.
“As I come to the end of my career with the city, I want to make sure that what I leave in my wake is better than what I walked in to,” he said. “I want the people following me to have something to work with right away and be able to move forward for generations to come.”
As for Hagberg, the president at the Chamber, she believes Hyduke accomplished exactly that, telling the HDT, “His recent leadership has been critical in helping to bring the splash pad to Bennett Park, the opening of the new Hull Rust Mine View location, and the refurbishment of the Bennett Park basketball court through the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation.” Or, in a nutshell: “Pete Hyduke makes Hibbing a better place to live, work and play.”