Hibbing's Dylan Days put on 'indefinite hiatus'

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The hometown of Bob Dylan is losing another major connection to the iconic folk musician. The annual DylanDays celebration in Hibbing has been put on hold indefinitely, after the three-member steering committee decided to disband, the Northland News Center reports.

The first blow came in March, when Zimmy's, a Hibbing restaurant known for its collection of memorabilia related to Bob Zimmerman — otherwise known as Bob Dylan – closed. The owners had financial troubles and weren't able to raise enough money to reopen.

Zimmy's (pictured at left) was a central gathering place for the Dylan Days crowd.

Zimmy's restaurant in Hibbing, Minn.

Zimmy's restaurant in Hibbing, Minn.

One of the committee members was a co-owner of Zimmy's. Iron Range writer Aaron Brown, another committee member, explains in a recent post on his Minnesota Brown blog that it became too hard for the three of them to continue planning the event.

The three of them decided to step down in May, hoping that other community members would take over. But nobody has volunteered, so the annual arts and literary event, which is held every year around Dylan's May 24 birthday, is on "indefinite hiatus," Brown wrote.

For more than a decade, musicians, writers and Dylan fans have converged on Hibbing every May for Dylan Days. We shared stories and experiences, forging lifelong friendships. It is our hope that the spirit of Dylan Days will live on with new volunteers and a successive organization.

Dylan Days began informally as a Bob Dylan birthday celebration at Zimmy's in 1991. In 2001, a citywide committee led by the Chamber of Commerce formed to coordinate Dylan Days activities, eventually becoming its own independent non-profit association.

'The Times They Are 'a Changin.'" This is normal. This is healthy. We offer our sincerest thanks to all who have attended, supported and enhanced Dylan Days in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Brown wrote that Hibbing's celebration collaborated for years with the Duluth Dylan Fest, and he encouraged people to volunteer and participate in the Duluth event, which will be held May 17-24, 2015.

Dylan was born in Duluth, and moved with his family to Hibbing when he was 6 years old. He spent the rest of his childhood in Hibbing, leaving after he graduated from high school.

"We are happy to continue carrying the torch to honor the Northland’s native son, Bob Dylan, and celebrate his influences on the vibrant art scene in this region and beyond," said Duluth Dylan Fest committee member Zane Bail.

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