Since 1991, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s (aka Robert Zimmerman) hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota has been celebrating its native son with a weekend full of festivities dubbed “Dylan Days,” to be held May 24-27. Also the childhood home of University of Minnesota and Boston Celtics great Kevin McHale, this northern, iron-range city of little more than 16,000 throws a great birthday party each year for Dylan, with this year being his 71st on May 24th. An easy three-and-a-half-hour drive north of the heart of the Twin Cities, this is one party that you won’t want to miss.
Zimmy’s Bar & Restaurant
531 E Howard St
Hibbing, MN 55746
The center of Dylan Days, Zimmy’s (a modified version of Zimmerman’s) started this annual celebration in 1991. It’s a Dylan-themed venue with lots of memorabilia, and of course, great food. Celebrated in-house for a decade, the City of Hibbing and local chamber of commerce jumped on the bandwagon in 2001, making for a bigger and more entertaining celebration. Today, Dylan Days includes singer/songwriter and writing contests, a visual arts competition and the all-encompassing Bobby Zimmerman bus tour. The party attracts professional and amateur musicians, poets, writers, artists and other performers.
Thursday, May 24 – 5 p.m. reception at Zimmy’s
Friday, May 25 – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., open symposium writing contest at Hibbing Public Library
8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., singer and songwriter competition 1st division at Zimmy’s
Saturday, May 26 – 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bobby Zimmerman bus tour (visits Zimmerman Furniture & Electric Company, his local hangouts, grade school, synagogue and childhood home)3 p.m. to 6 p.m., singer and songwriter contest 2nd division at Zimmy’s, followed by live music for all to enjoy
Sunday, May 27 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., farewell brunch at Zimmy’s
Complete information: www.dylandays.org
If planning on making a trip out for the festival for the weekend, consider these local accommodations for your visit.
2125 4th Ave E
Hibbing, MN 55746
Room rates: Range from $75-$100 nightly, plus taxes. Peak-time rates may be higher. Call the innkeepers at the number above for Dylan Days’ pricing.
This 1897 Victorian bed-and-breakfast home offers five rooms and is listed on the National Historic Register. Originally situated about two miles away, this three-story home, and about 200 others, was moved back in 1919 to its present location after determining that the best iron ore being mined in the area was located underneath the town. This gives explanation as to why Hibbing is dubbed as “the town that moved.”
Hibbing Park Hotel
1402 E Howard St
Hibbing, MN 55746
Room rates: Vary by accommodation type. Contact the hotel directly for rate information.
Hibbing Park Hotel is the area’s finest hotel and it features comfortable rooms and conference facilities. Each of the 120 rooms and suites includes cable television, free wireless and ethernet internet access, in-room coffee and a hair dryer. The hotel also offers an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tub and exercise room.
The approximately three-and-a-half-hour drive between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Hibbing offers some convenient and fun stops to get out and stretch your legs. Check out some of the best along the way.
Tobie’s Restaurant & Bakery
404 Fire Monument Road
Hinckley, MN 55037
Location: Southeast corner just off of exit 183 from I-35, about 80 miles north of the Twin Cities
The most common route up I-35 from the Twin Cities to Hibbing will almost certainly have you making the obligatory stop at Tobie’s Restaurant & Bakery in Hinckley. Known state-wide and beyond for its delicious caramel rolls, this all-purpose complex offers a bakery, coffee shop, main dining room, pizza, lounge, gift shop, convenience store, gas station and car wash. Grand Casino Hinckley, with its 24-hour non-stop casino action, is just to the east of Tobie’s.
Black Bear Casino Resort
1785 Highway 210
Carlton, MN 55718
Location: Highway 210 exit off of I-35, about two hours north of the Twin Cities, and an hour and a half from Hibbing
How about combining a visit to Dylan Days with a casino getaway? Black Bear Casino Resort makes it easy to do. An easy drive of just under 90 minutes from Hibbing, you can easily spend a full day exploring Robert Zimmerman’s hometown and hit the casino later that night. Spend one night in Hibbing and one at Black Bear for a fun weekend escape from the big city. Owned and operated by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, this very complete gaming facility offers slots, bingo, blackjack and poker to try your luck. Also on property are 250 first-class tower hotel rooms, multiple dining options and great entertainment.