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Imagine Canal Park launch party Friday afternoon

By Pakou Ly
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, city officials and community partners are hosting an official Launch Party for Imagine Canal Park at 3 p.m. Friday in the Lighthouse Parking Lot, next to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.

As part of the short-term demonstration project, the city has created pedestrian oriented spaces to increase public engagement and activate unique locations.

Visitors to Canal Park have already experienced the new way finding signs, sidewalk decals and pedestrian plaza on Buchanan Street with seating (constructed by Lake Superior College), a Farmer’s market and musical performers. This week will be the opening of the Lighthouse Park. The Lighthouse Park will run from September 4-17 and will host a kid friendly play space and programmed activities, astro turf, music, seating and food (for purchase) provided by nearby Lakewalk Galley and Grandma’s Ice Cream Box Car.

The Launch Party will feature music, a bouncy house and 3 Owls Nature Play program. The Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior Zoo and Duluth Children’s Museum will run programs on Saturday between 1 and 6 pm. These events are free and open to the public.

To learn more about Imagine Canal Park initiative and see the schedule of events, go to

Imagine Canal Park initiatives have been made possible through significant stakeholder participation. Since the project’s launch in September 2017, the City has worked closely with the 8 80 Cities and local partners including the Canal Park Business Association, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community, Visit Duluth, the Greater Downtown Council, and the Dewitt-Seitz Merchants Group.

Imagine Canal Park’s mission is to determine the best activities, programming, and common pedestrian oriented gathering spaces that bring residents together from different backgrounds and socioeconomic levels, creating opportunities that grow social capital and build connections to our Lake and each other. Imagine Canal Park is funded through the Knight Cities Challenge.

The Knight Cities Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, seeks ideas that help make cities more vibrant places to live and work, focusing on three drivers of city success: keeping and attracting talent, expanding opportunity, and creating a culture of civic engagement.