Duluth Winter Frolic, February 15-16, 1927

On Tuesday night, Feb. 15, 1927, the Winter Frolic parade, with 7,000 marchers, floats, bands, and drum corps, entertained an estimated 70,000 spectators. The City of Duluth float was a miniature model of the new city hall. Wednesday was West Duluth Day, with numerous activities planned including another parade through the West Duluth business district.

Program from the 2/15/1927 Duluth Herald

From the 2/16/1927 Duluth Herald

Second Annual Duluth Winter Frolic February 14-19, 1927

The first Duluth Winter Frolic was so popular that planning for the 1927 Frolic began in April of 1926. E.P. Kreimer was named chairman of the executive committee. The 1927 Frolic actually kicked off on Sunday, Feb. 13, with a ski-jumping tournament and Olympic trials at the Chester Park ski slide. A crowd of 5,000 watched Duluthian Tommy Clark make a jump of 154 feet, the longest of the tournament. The main event on Monday was the coronation of Winter Frolic Queen Helia Nauha, which took place in the ice palace which had been constructed in Lake Shore Park (now Leif Erikson Park), followed by the Coronation Ball at the Armory. On Tuesday night, the biggest event of the week took place. A parade including 6,000 people, more than 140 floats and decorated cars, 125 horses, and ten bands assembled at Superior Street and Second Avenue West and marched to Fifteenth Avenue East and London Road. An estimated 70,000 people lined the parade route. Additional parades took place on Wednesday (West Duluth Day) and Thursday (West End Day). Altogether, five parades were held during the week, in addition to numerous luncheons, dinners, hockey games, skating and skiing races, a baseball game on ice at Wheeler Field, Frolic balls, and a costume contest. Speed Day races scheduled for Friday afternoon on the ice off Lake Shore Park were postponed until Saturday because of cold temperatures. On Saturday afternoon, a crowd estimated at 15,000 watched various racing events held on a half-mile track on the lake ice from Fifth Avenue East to Eleventh Avenue East. Harness-horse, skating, and motorcycle ski-joring races were held throughout the afternoon. The Frolic ended Saturday night with the Carnival Ball at the Armory.

Lyceum Theater

Lyceum Theater, 423-431 West Superior Street.

The Lyceum Theater was called “the finest place of amusement in the Northwest.” Traphagen and Fitzpatrick designed the brick and brownstone structure with four massive corner towers and arched windows. The triple arched entrance had bronze doors and was surrounded by carved brownstone with theatrical masques, lions, and floral motifs. A.M. Miller, a Duluth lumberman, financed the Lyceum which opened in 1892, and operas, plays, and vaudeville performed here until 1921, when it became a movie house. It was demolished in 1966, but the theatrical masques were saved to grace the entrance to the Depot Theatre, and the stone lions stand guard at the Duluth Zoo.

From Images of America: Duluth Minnesota
by Sheldon T. Aubut and Maryanne C. Norton

Masonic Temple Opera


Photograph from the Duluth Public Library collection.

Originally a six story building housing a theater, Masonic Lodge and offices, this Richardsonian Romanesque Revival brownstone building was designed by Charles McMillen and E.S. Stebbins in 1889. The top three stories were removed in the early 1940’s when G.G. Hartley realized that they blocked the view of the new 3,000 light tower on the remodeled Norshor Theater. He owned both buildings. Ornately carved faces and scrollwork in brownstone can be found on the first story. Duluth’s first public library opened on the second floor in 1889.

Past Christmas weather in Duluth

The climatological term of a “White-Christmas” is defined as having one inch of snow on the ground, or snow depth,  on Christmas Day. Here are some records of past Christmas weather.

Duluth All-Time Records 

Least snowiest Christmas (measured snow depth on Christmas Day)

0 inch…1979, 1939, 1923
1 inch…1999, 1997, 1984, 1967
2 inches…2002

Information provided by the National Weather Service.

More Duluth Christmas weather records here.

Duluth History

Arco Coffee Building  

The Andresen Ryan Coffee Company started in Duluth in 1916. It was founded by G.A. Andresen and W.J. Ryan. The ARCO name comes from the company’s original name, the Andresen and Ryan Co. The company produced coffee for many years in the ARCO Building at 14 E Michigan Street in Duluth. When Lake Avenue was realigned in the early 1980s, the company relocated to Superior, Wisconsin, where it still operates today. The old ARCO building was torn down in 1981.