Christmas in the Northland

BY LAURA GRUHLKE | The Statesman Despite our abnormally warm weather so far this year, holiday season is just right around the corner. It’s almost time to bundle up and keep warm inside and some UMD students can’t wait.

“I can’t wait to start watching Christmas movies again,” UMD Junior, Madi Barr said. Although watching Christmas movies isn’t the only thing that students have to look forward to.

For most of the folks up here in the Northland, we stay for the amazing summers and then the festive holiday season. There are attractions that are now staples of the season here in the Northland; two of them include Bentleyville and the Christmas City of the North Parade.

Started by Nathan Bentley at his home in Esko, MN back in 2001, “America’s Largest Free Walk-Through Light Display,” Bentleyville, now resides in Bayfront Park in Duluth. Bentleyville brings in many attractions and activities to the Northland with free hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and s’mores to make the walk along the path well worth it.

“I love going to Bentleyville, it really helps bring out the holiday cheer,” UMD Junior, Kelsey Hedquist said.

Bentleyville opens for the season on Nov. 21 and is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on weeknights and 5 to 10 p.m. on weekends.

The Christmas City of the North Parade has been a tradition since 1958. Starting off as a small gathering brought together by KBJR General Manager Bob Rich, it is now one of the biggest gatherings in the Northland.

On Friday, Nov. 20 the parade will begin at 6:20 p.m. on Superior Street in front of the Fitger’s complex and continue down to Fourth Avenue West.

Those wishing to catch the parade are allowed to stop and watch from anywhere on that route. The parade will also be streamed live online at

Holiday festivities aren’t the only winter activities available in the Northland, with all the snow we plan to get it can create many other options. UMD Junior, Sam Gravelle says that he can’t wait for the snow to be able to go snowboarding at Spirit Mountain, and then sledding of course.

No matter what holiday festivities you participate in here in the Northland, make sure you bundle up and stay warm.


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