Northern Wilds Magazine

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See below for a selection of upcoming events.

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November 2019

Oh Ole Night Christmas Parade

November 29, 2019 @ 5:30 pm CST
Downtown Grand Marais Minnesota + Google Map

On Friday, Nov. 29, Grand Marais will host the quirky small-town Oh Ole Night Christmas Parade at 5:30 p.m. downtown. This is a parade throwdown challenge to all those of Nordic descent to have the most Christmas spirit and win the travelling Gnome trophy and bragging rights for a year. Following the parade is a tree lighting ceremony in Harbor Park, culminating with fireworks over the harbor.

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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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HoliDAI Market

November 30, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm CST
Duluth Depot Duluth, Minnesota + Google Map

Saturday, Nov. 30 is the Duluth Art Institute’s HoliDAI Market, held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Duluth Depot. There will be outdoor bonfires for roasting s’mores, Grambsch Family candy making, hot cocoa and cider with sweet-treats for sale, live music, fine art for sale, and more. Admission is free.

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Hovland Artisan’s Pre-Christmas Sale

November 30, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm CST
Hovland Town Hall Hovland, MN United States + Google Map

The annual Hovland Artisan’s Pre-Christmas Sale will take place Nov. 30 at the Hovland Town Hall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will art and craft vendors of all kinds, as well as food and plenty of parking. This year’s artist’s include Linda Newman, Rachel Klesser, Jamie Rex, Meadow Adams, Hella Buchheim, Gary Arands, Joan Farnam, Dianne Anderson, Bob Tamanaha, Kim Knutsen, Marcie MacIntire, Terry Lewis, and Sandra Virginia.  

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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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Mall of AmericInn

December 5, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST
AmericInn Lodge & Suites Silver Bay, + Google Map

Local businesses will set up mini-stores at the AmericInn of Silver Bay. This is your chance to get all your Christmas shopping done at one location. There will be a variety of businesses, crafters and artisans selling a variety of goods, including: jewelry, candles, maple syrup, wreaths, Lularoe clothing, baked goods, teddy bears, kitchenware, essential oils, beeswax wraps, handmade mittens, and more. There will also be door prizes. Held from 3-8 p.m. Plan ahead and bring cash and/or checks only.…

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Snowball

December 6, 2019 - December 7, 2019
Papa Charlie’s Lutsen, + Google Map

Lutsen Mountains’ most anticipated music event of the year returns, featuring two nights of music, a special afternoon set at the mountain Summit Chalet, aprés ski live music and jam sessions, plus the camaraderie of skiing, snowboarding, and sharing this bliss with your fellow festival-goers. This year’s music lineup includes Wookiefoot, Heatbox, Frogleg, The Limns, Smokin’ Joe, and Pat Forsyth and the Diggy Trio. Concerts start at 9 p.m. at Papa Charlie’s each night. A two-day concert ticket pass can…

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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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Holiday Craft Fair

December 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm CST
Grand Portage Event Center Grand Portage, Minnesota + Google Map

Visit the Grand Portage Event Center for a Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 7. There will be Ojibwe art, clothing, jewelry, graphic prints, baked goods and more. Held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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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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It’s a Wunderbar Life Holiday Market

December 12, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST
Wunderbar Eatery Grand Marais, + Google Map

The Third Annual It’s a Wunderbar Life Holiday Market will be held Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground in Grand Marais. Enjoy a stress-free holiday shopping experience with over 20 local artists and businesses present, offering everything from jewelry and photography to fiber arts, sweet treats and pottery. This year’s vendors include Kari Carter, Hannah Palma Ceramics, Natalie Sobanja, Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, Hana Crosby, Katie Mumm, Lutzen Reflections, The Big Lake, and more. Held from 4-8 p.m.…

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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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New Year’s Eve Family Frolic

December 31, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm CST
Fort William Historical Park Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada + Google Map

Enjoy a family-friendly evening filled with indoor and outdoor activities, games and live entertainment at the New Year’s Eve Family Frolic at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay. Enjoy snowshoeing, skating and tubing. Watch Indigenous artisan demonstrations. Share your 2020 goals on the Resolution Wall. Have fun at the science station, games gallery and scavenger hunt. Make New Year’s crafts, and more. There will also be various contests in log sawing, moose skis, and a New Year’s Eve trivia…

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January 2020

50th Anniversary Community Celebration

January 1 @ 10:30 am - 3:00 pm CST
Fort William Gardens Thunder Bay, + Google Map

Celebrate 50 years since amalgamation of the cities of Fort William and Port Arthur to become one city: Thunder Bay. Start off the celebrations with the free Lieutenant Governor’s New Year’s Levee and Community Pancake Breakfast, held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at O’Kelly, VC Armoury. Then, visit Fort William Gardens from 1-3 p.m. for a free skating party. Activities include skating, Persians, kids crafts and the first 150 people in the door will receive free 50th branded scarves. Helmets…

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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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Cantus: One Giant Leap

January 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm CST
Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais Grand Marais, MN 55604 United States + Google Map

The North Shore Music Association in Grand Marais will kick off the 2020 season with a concert by Minnesota’s acclaimed choral group Cantus. Hailed as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” (Fanfare), Cantus is known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming, and riveting performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Cantus celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a new program inspired by the celestial skies, titled One Giant Leap. From…

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Sawmill Lake Classic Tour

January 18 @ 9:30 am - 3:30 pm CST
Quetico Provincial Park Atikokan, Ontario Canada + Google Map

Hosted by The Beaten Path Nordic Trails and Quetico Park staff, the Sawmill Lake Classic Tour is an old time traditional ski tour within Quetico Provincial Park. The narrow twisty trails will have skiers meandering through mixed forests along side the Pickerel River, over creeks and through lowland bogs to Sawmill Lake. This tour is not a race, and if you carry your lunch and drinks on your back you can enjoy them around an open fire before the last…

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