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Grandma’s Marathon brings back post-race celebrations plans, spectators for June event

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DULUTH, MN -- Grandma's Marathon officials plan to allow spectators again and bring back post-race entertainment after Minnesota's Governor announced loosened COVID-19 restrictions last week.

Race officials had previously discouraged spectators from watching and canceled plans for weekend concerts due to COVID-19 precautions.

However, in the announcement Tuesday, race organizers said the post-race celebration will be in a new location this year, moving from near the finish line in Canal Park to Bayfront Festival Park.

Live music acts will be featured throughout race day, and admission will be free for all ages in celebration of the 45th anniversary of Grandma’s Marathon.

“The move to Bayfront is an exciting change for this year’s Grandma’s Marathon,” Finance and Operations Director Linda Hanson said. “It’s a great Duluth venue built for the very thing we want to do – come together and celebrate with our participants, our many partners, and our community that supports us year-round. To be given the opportunity to bring this event back into our planning means so much because it’s not only a tradition, it’s how we say thank you to everyone for a job well done.”

Organizers are reminding anyone planning on participating, volunteering, or attending Grandma’s Marathon that personal responsibility will still play a major role in the weekend’s overall success.

“This is still a large event that involves people from all over the country, from all different walks of life, and potentially with many different comfort levels,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “We want everyone involved to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible, so we encourage everyone to take proper precautions in terms of masks and distancing even in areas it’s not technically required by the guidance.”

Masks or face coverings, according to the expected guidelines, will be required in all race-controlled areas with more than 500 people in attendance.

Organizers expect that to include the start and finish areas, Bayfront Festival Park, the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, and the Essentia Health Fitness Expo.

Runners will not be required to wear a mask or face covering while actively participating in their race.

The 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon weekend will be held June 17 to 19, 2021.

Briggs LeSavage

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