Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

We spent a good part of last weekend in Babbitt for Peter Mitchell days and there’s one thing that kept coming back to me: How can we do this in Ely?
It’s amazing what Babbitt is able to pull off each year. Even without a carnival, this was one of their best years.
The list of events is impressive, starting with the Walleye Whamma fishing contest and continuing the next weekend with the main events.
They had kids races, a 5K run, a classic car show, live bands both nights, a rover radar run, free watermelon feed, sawdust pile giveaways and a whole bunch of tournaments (kickball, volleyball, bocce ball, holey boards, etc.).
The holey board thing cracks me up. It’s similar to the popular cornhole or bags game but you toss large washers instead. Must be the impact of the taconite mine not too far away.
There were plenty of people who made the trip from Ely and everyone appeared to be having a good time. Maybe in this post-pandemic world people were just excited to get out and visit with folks again. There wasn’t a mask to be found.
The beer garden was rocking both nights and the two bands did a nice job of keeping the crowd entertained.
Some will say Ely has a similar event in the Fourth of July and you’d be right to a point. Babbitt is a smaller town yet they do more with less.
After working on the parade last year when many said it couldn’t be done, I volunteered to join the committee for next Sunday’s event.
We’ve been meeting and coming up with plans for Ely’s world famous July 4 parade but there’s also been discussion about doing more.
YoungLife does a bang up job in the park that day but like most organizations, they’re counting on a core group of folks to pull it all off.
Could Ely copy some of the Peter Mitchell Day events and have a longer than one day celebration? It was done in the past and called Roaring Stoney Days for at least the first 70 years of Ely being a city.
If you’re interested in helping out, the committee meets next on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Ely.