Northern Wilds Magazine

Download Northern Wild’s January 2020 colorful monthly event calendar here!
See below for a selection of upcoming events.

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November 2019

Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Beacon Lighting

November 10, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm CST
Split Rock Lighthouse Two Harbors, MN United States + Google Map

Held at Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, this annual event commemorates the sinking of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald and the loss of her 29 crew members on Nov. 10, 1975. It is also a time to reflect on the memory of all lives lost in Great Lakes shipwrecks. The lighthouse, fog signal building, and visitor center will be open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, visitors can view a film about the Fitzgerald in the visitor center. At…

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Empty Bowls Fundraiser

November 14, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 7:00 pm CST
St. John’s Catholic Church Grand Marais, MN United States + Google Map

Each year, the Empty Bowls fundraiser in Grand Marais works to raise awareness and provide funds for the Cook County Food Shelf and other community organizations, addressing Cook County’s critical hunger needs year-round. This year’s event will be held in the lower level of St. John’s Catholic Church, and will feature a simple meal of soup and bread, provided by local restaurants (cost is $6). There will also be a sale of handcrafted bowls made at the Grand Marais Art…

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Festival of Trees

November 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - November 17, 2019 @ 3:00 pm CST
Duluth DECC

The annual Junior League of Duluth’s Festival of Trees is Nov. 16-17 at the Duluth DECC. In the past, this event has included over 160 of the area’s top crafters and vendors showing off their wares. This year, Santa will arrive on his sleigh on Saturday for pictures. Other highlights include JLD toffee, live entertainment, and beautiful hand-decorated trees. Proceeds go to the Junior League of Duluth and community projects. Cost to attend is $6 on Saturday and $4 on…

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Art and Fine Craft Show

November 16, 2019 @ 10:00 am - November 17, 2019 @ 4:00 pm CST
Valhalla Inn Thunder Bay, Ontario + Google Map

The not-for-profit Artisans Northwest group in Thunder Bay will celebrate their 44th Annual Art and Fine Craft Show Nov. 16-17 at Valhalla Inn. This year’s juried show will feature a variety of media by multiple artists, from woodworking and jewelry, to photography and paintings. Held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.

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Winterer’s Gathering & Arctic Film Fest

November 22, 2019 - November 24, 2019
North House Folk School Grand Marais, MN United States + Google Map

Celebrate the crafts, customs, landscape, history and stories of winter travel and traditional life ways in the North. Featuring winter-centric coursework, a winter tent camp, gear swap, dancing, a film festival, a poetry slam, speakers and more, this is a classic event to welcome the season of white. Held at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Bill Hanlon is this year’s featured speaker. An avid backcountry hunter, Bill made an amazing discovery of mummified ancient hunter while in…

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Duluth Christmas City of the North Parade

November 22, 2019 @ 6:25 pm CST
Duluth, MN MN United States + Google Map

The annual downtown Duluth Christmas City of the North Parade will take place on Friday, Nov. 22 at 6:25 p.m. A holiday tradition since the 1950s, it features marching bands, dance performances, colorful floats, and an appearance by Santa. For the parade route and more information, find the Christmas City Parade on Facebook.

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Holidays in Schroeder

November 23, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm CST
Cross River Heritage Center & Schroeder Town Hall Schroeder, Minnesota + Google Map

Holidays in Schroeder will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit the Schroeder Town Hall for the North Country Creations Bazaar, featuring hand-made items, baked goods, tasty treats and coffee. Then, visit the Cross River Heritage Center for the “Eclectic Electric” quilt raffle drawing at 2 p.m. Other Cross River happenings include make and take cards, krumkake and lefse demos, and a gift shop sale.

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Bentleyville

November 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - December 28, 2019 @ 9:00 pm CST
Bentleyville Duluth, MN United States + Google Map

Located in Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” invites guests to stroll under the glow of over 5 million lights, while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and roasted marshmallows. Get your photo taken with reindeer and visit with Santa (kids 10 and under will receive a new knit hat). Mrs. Claus will also be at Bentleyville to tell stories and hand out candy canes. Bentleyville is free―though donations are appreciated―and opens at 5 p.m. daily.

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Amsoil Snocross National

November 29, 2019 - December 1, 2019
Spirit Mountain Duluth, MN United States + Google Map

The annual Amsoil Snocross National snowmobile races, presented by Kwik Trip, will be held at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Rider categories include Sport, Sport Lite, 200 Stock, Pro AM Plus 30, Pro AM Women, Amateur Snowbike, Jr. Girls 9-13, Jr. 14-15, Jr. 16-17, and more. There will be vendors, food and beverages, and autograph opportunities. Parking will be at the Proctor Fairgrounds and shuttle services will be provided.

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European Christmas Market

November 29, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm CST
North Shore Winery Lutsen, Minnesota + Google Map

North Shore Winery’s 2nd Annual European Christmas Market will take place from noon to 6 p.m. in Lutsen on Friday, Nov. 29, featuring a variety of art, gifts, food and wines. Vendors include H. Lill’s, The Big Lake, Wild Country Maple Syrup, Kari Vick, Mueller Studios, Jillian Kratt, Kathy Weinberg, Anna Hess, and more. There will also be live music from 1-4 p.m. and soup from noon until it’s gone.

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Light Up Lutsen

November 29, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm CST
Downtown Lutsen Lutsen, Minnesota + Google Map

The annual Light Up Lutsen celebration will take place Friday, Nov. 29, hosted by various downtown Lutsen merchants. Held from 2-5 p.m., there will be food and drinks, caroling, bonfires, sales and more. Head to Great Gifts for pictures with Santa Claus until 4 p.m. Lutsen Liquor will host North Shore Winery tastings. Lockport Marketplace will have cookie decorating. End the evening with a hot metal pour demonstration and a bonfire at Mueller Studio at 5 p.m.

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Ely’s Small Town Christmas Celebration & Parade

November 30, 2019
Whiteside Park Ely, Minnesota + Google Map

Find a wide variety of gifts for everyone on your shopping list during Ely’s Small Town Christmas Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 30. After a day of shopping, gather for the Christmas Parade at 5 p.m., followed by hot cocoa, cider and cookies, and a tree lighting ceremony in Whiteside Park. Santa will also be in attendance.

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December 2019

Craftland: A Winter’s Market

December 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm CST
Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada + Google Map

Craftland: A Winter’s Market will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, with vendors on all three floors and onstage. Shop for unique, handcrafted gifts for your loved ones, and maybe a treat for yourself. You’ll find everything from home décor, children’s toys, ornaments and clothing, to mosaics, original paintings, Indigenous artwork, photography, and more. Admission is free.  

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Julebyen

December 6, 2019 - December 8, 2019
Knife River

At the annual Julebyen Christmas Village festival in Knife River, you will find all things Scandinavian. There’s indoor and outdoor marketplaces with foods and handmade gifts by local juried artisans, a live nativity, outdoor winter activities, children’s games, a silent auction, a bakery, workshops, races, sleigh rides, and more. Visit Troll Village and meet regional authors and illustrators. Or head to the Gnome Dome for live entertainment. Children will enjoy scavenger hunts, craft workshops, outdoor sledding and skating, storytellers, animals,…

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Aboriginal Fine Arts & Crafts Gift Show

December 6, 2019 @ 9:00 am - December 8, 2019 @ 8:00 pm CST
Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada + Google Map

The 18th Annual Christmas Aboriginal Fine Arts and Crafts Gift Show, presented by the Aboriginal Artworks Group of Northern Ontario (AAGNO), will feature artwork of all kinds, including jewelry, sculptures, handmade clothing and paintings. This is the largest gathering of Aboriginal artisans in Northern Ontario. The show will be held from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Heritage building in Thunder Bay. Fore more info, find AAGNO on Facebook.  

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Northwoods Fiber Guild Holiday Sale and Open House

December 7, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm CST
Grand Marais Art Colony Grand Marais, MN 55604 United States + Google Map

The annual Northwoods Fiber Guild Holiday Sale and Open House will take place at the Grand Marais Art Colony, featuring high quality, handmade clothing and gifts. Held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., there will be tasty treats and refreshments, as well as knitting, spinning and weaving demonstrations. You can also learn a new fiber craft at the hands-on table. Find more info on Facebook under the Northwoods Fiber Guild.  

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Santa Shuffle

December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am CST
Current River Recreation Centre Thunder Bay, + Google Map

The Salvation Army’s Santa Shuffle will be held at 10 a.m. at the Current River Recreation Centre in Thunder Bay. This fun, family-friendly event includes a 1k Elf Walk and a 5k Santa Shuffle Fun Run/Walk. Many participants come dressed in festive attire in everything from Santa hats to Santa and his sleigh. All participants receive a medal and prizes will be awarded for a number of categories, including Top Fundraiser and Best Festive Costume, as well as wrapped door…

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Christmas Bizarre Bazaar

December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am - December 8, 2019 @ 4:00 pm CST
Baggage Building Arts Centre Thunder Bay, + Google Map

The Sixth Annual Christmas Bizarre Bazaar in Thunder Bay will feature over two dozen artists, crafters and creators. Held at the Baggage Building Arts Centre, this event showcases unique, bizarre creations, expanding your Christmas buying possibilities. Find everything from books, clothing and pottery, to jewelry, fabric art, food and more. There will also be door prizes and daily prizes through the Facebook event page. And be sure to get your picture with Metal Santa and support charity. The Christmas Bizarre…

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Duluth Winter Village

December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am - December 8, 2019 @ 5:00 pm CST
Glensheen Mansion Duluth, + Google Map

Organized by Duluth Loves Local, Duluth Winter Village will take place on the grounds of Glensheen Estate. This outdoor market brings more than 40 local businesses together to sell holiday gifts out of wooden cabins. Along with the shopping, visitors can enjoy local food and beverages, carol singers, bonfires with s’mores, wreaths and holiday greenery, animals, face painting, an outdoor lounge and more. Admission is free and parking is available off-site; free shuttle service provided.  

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Ignite the Fort

December 7, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - December 8, 2019 @ 9:00 pm CST
Fort William Historical Park Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada + Google Map

Held from 1-6 p.m. at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay, Ignite the Fort is a fun, family event celebrating the holiday season. Activities include scenic wagon rides, holiday crafts, historical re-enactments, Indigenous artisan demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, cookie decorating, storytelling, various contests, bannock, fudge and candy making, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to decorate the giant holiday tree; for $1 you can purchase a bulb for the tree. Then, watch the Ignite the Fort tree lighting…

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Borealis Chorale & Orchestra Christmas Concert

December 8, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - December 9, 2019 @ 9:00 pm CST
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Grand Marais, + Google Map

Featuring the talent of more than 100 Cook County residents, the Borealis Chorale and Orchestra Christmas Concert is an annual North Shore tradition nearly 70 years old. This year’s concert features seasonal favorites along with the exciting world premiere of “The Lingering Light of Day,” by composer Craig Carnahan and poet Julia Klatt Singer. The commission of this new choral and orchestral work, created by Carnahan and Singer for the BCO, was funded in part by an Artist Initiative Grant…

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Light Up a Life

December 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm CST
Johnson Heritage Post Grand Marais, + Google Map

Sponsored by Care Partners, the 11th Annual Light Up a Life event offers Cook County community members the opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one during the holiday season, while supporting end of life care. Each $5 donation lights one bulb in memory of one person on the memory tree, located in front of Johnson Heritage Post in Grand Marais. Donation forms are available online and at area businesses. The tree lighting ceremony, held at 5:30 p.m., will…

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Dark Sky Festival

December 13, 2019 - December 14, 2019
Grand Marais

Organized by Visit Cook County, the Dark Sky Festival in Grand Marais returns for the second year. The festival kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m. in Harbor Park: watch as Grand Marais goes dark for a few minutes to enjoy a dark(er) sky over the iconic harbor. Then, take a journey to the stars with astronomers and galaxy experts in UMD’s traveling planetarium. Outside telescopes will be set up at Voyageur Brewing and astronomy students will help guide participants…

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Minnesota Ballet’s The Nutcracker

December 13, 2019 - December 15, 2019
Duluth DECC

Enjoy an evening of holiday magic, whimsical music and elegant dancing with The Nutcracker, performed by the Minnesota Ballet in Duluth. This magical family favorite by Allen Fields captivates as a holiday treat. Experience a young girl’s enchanting dream as her beloved Nutcracker doll comes to life on Christmas Eve. The duo fights a fierce battle against mice, waltzes in a dreamy winter wonderland, and journeys to exotic lands ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy; all performed to Tchaikovsky music…

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January 2020

Banff Mountain Film Festival

January 4 - January 5

The Banff Mountain Film Festival (BMFF) returns to Duluth Jan. 4-5, Saturday and Sunday, at the DECC Symphony Hall in Duluth, hosted by the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club (DXC). The BMFF is a compilation of high-energy outdoor films and documentaries with environmental messages. The film competition is held in Banff Alberta every fall, followed by a world tour featuring the winning films. Different films will be shown each night of the festival and there will be a raffle for outdoor…

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GNDWIRE Records Ski Party & Music Festival

January 10 - January 11
Papa Charlie’s Lutsen, + Google Map

The annual Ski Party returns to Lutsen Mountains with performances by Dead Man Winter, Black Eyed Snakes, Portal III, Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, and Humbird. This is a weekend ski, snowboard and music festival curated by the folks at GNDWIRE Records. Concerts will be held at Papa Charlie’s. Performances begin at 9 p.m. each night, starting with Portal III on Friday and Humbird on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased in advance, or at the door (if available). Must be 21…

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Veterans Appreciation Snowmobile Ride

January 11
Two Harbors

The Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association and Minnesota Snowmobile Education and Advancement Fund will hold their 12th Annual Veterans Appreciation Snowmobile Ride on Jan. 11 in Two Harbors. The ride is provided as a token of appreciation to veterans who have given part of their lives to serve all of us. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and one-night lodging are provided to the attendees, and a limited number of snowmobiles, helmets and clothing will be available to those who need it. Others are…

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Gunflint Mail Run

January 11 - January 12
Trail Center Lodge Gunflint Trail, + Google Map

The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover. There are two classes in the race: a 12-dog, 100-mile race, and an 8-dog, 65-mile race. Races will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Trail Center Lodge, and an awards banquet will be held at the lodge at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Spectators can find great viewing spots at Trail Center Lodge, Big Bear Lodge, and…

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Norpine Fat Bike Classic

January 11 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm CST
Norpine cross-country ski trails Lutsen, + Google Map

Cycling fanatics will brave the cold at the annual Norpine Fat Bike Classic in Lutsen. The 26-mile long course and 15-mile short course will run predominately on the Norpine cross-country ski trails. This year, Cascade Lodge will be the new start/finish location, along with hosting the Friday check-in and Saturday post-race party. The races start at 10 a.m. and the post-race runs from 1:30-5 p.m., featuring Voyageur Brewing and live music. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. and given…

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Sleigh & Cutter Rally

January 11 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm CST
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center Ashland, Wisconsin + Google Map

Northwoods Harness Club presents the 34th Annual Sleigh and Cutter Rally at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisc. The past and present will meet with an array of horse-drawn vehicles and costumed passengers, taking you back to the 1800s. Hookup time is 11 a.m. and the narrated and judged exhibition starts at 1 p.m. There will be free sleigh rides from 11 a.m. to noon. There will also be food served on the grounds, a bonfire, cultural…

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