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The primary focus will be on the marathon and half marathon, but there will be plenty more to keep participants, volunteers, spectators, and the community busy during the upcoming Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

Many of the other events throughout the weekend have become traditional favorites of participants, who this year will be traveling from 74 different countries to take part in the race weekend festivities.

“It’s a large part of what makes Grandma’s Marathon as popular as it is,” said Zach Schneider, Grandma's Marathon Marketing & Public Relations Director. “For three days, the entire community is focused on one thing, and you have all these traditions that have grown and grown outside the race itself. For people coming to experience it for the first time, all these other events throughout the weekend only amplify the excitement.”

The Fitness Expo, now in its 28th year, will feature nearly 100 vendors from around the region presenting the latest and best in running apparel, services, and technology in the running and athletic industries.

This year’s expo will be highlighted by Olympian Dakotah Lindwurm, who will sign autographs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 21. She is a two-time Grandma’s Marathon champion and will run the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon this year.

Other guests on Friday will include Guinness world record holder Chris Nikic, who will speak at noon, and Minnesota running legends Dick Beardsley and Carrie Tollefson, who will host their annual pre-race talk show at 4 p.m.

The fitness expo will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 21.

A tradition since the start of the race in 1977, the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner is back as part of this year’s race weekend.

More than 8,000 plates are typically served each year at the all-day event, which offers a perfect pre-race meal for participants, volunteers, spectators, and the community.

The all-day meal will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 21. Tickets will be available at the door and are $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 & under.

Kids will again have their opportunity to participate in Grandma’s Marathon weekend festivities, with the Festival for Kids and Whipper Snapper Races scheduled for Friday, June 21 at Bayfront Festival Park.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring several interactive and engaging activities for kids, including:

. Balance Bikes

. Bounce House & Other Inflatables

. Climbing Wall

. Obstacle Course

. Turtle Trot & Other Live Animals (weather permitting)

The Festival for Kids will be highlighted by the Whipper Snapper Races, which will again begin with the famous mascot race that has now become a traditional kickoff to the Grandma’s Marathon weekend. The races are free and open to all kids ages 14 and under.

Live music returns to an iconic Duluth music venue for this year’s race weekend, with seven regional and local acts set to take the stage on Friday and Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park.

Admission to Bayfront Festival Park is free throughout the entire weekend, and the park and shows are open to all ages. Food and drinks will be available to purchase.

Friday, June 21

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – The Reckoning

Saturday, June 22
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Rock-a-Billy Revue

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Adam Herman & The Dynamite Club

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Boxcar

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Sydney Hansen

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Chris Kroeze

9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. – PopROCKS!