Skip to main content

Holiday 'Tour of Lights' in Duluth wraps up record-breaking season

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Red, white, and blue over bentleyville on the closing night! #duluth #fireworks #bentleyville #redwhiteandblue #capturemn #minnstagramers #minnesotaphotographer

A photo posted by Jacob Keller (@jacobkeller60) on Dec 27, 2015 at 5:39pm PST

The Bentleyville USA Tour of Lights is officially over for the year.

Sunday was the final day of this winter season for the relatively new Duluth attraction, which bills itself as the largest free walk-through lighting display in the United States.

The show had record attendance this year – about 267,000 people in all, KBJR 6 reports.

Officials with Bentleyville gave a hat-tip to the warm weather for that number, which is about 30,000 more than last year (the previous record-holder), the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Celebrations included a 6:30 p.m. fireworks show. Here's the final countdown for the year.

The FINAL countdown! Thank you to all the visitors that came for our final countdown of the 2015 season.

Posted by Bentleyville USA on Sunday, December 27, 2015

The origins of the show go back to 2001, when creator Nathan Bentley started to set up a large Christmas lights show at his home in Esko. According to Bentleyville history, it quickly got bigger from there – it took over the family's new home in Cloquet in 2004, and led to traffic problems on the roads getting there.

But in 2008, Duluth Mayor Don Ness invited him to give it a try at Bayfront Festival Park. Since then it's only grown, and Bentley formed a nonprofit group to help run it.

So what's it like? Well here are a few social media posts that give you an idea.

first time at bentleyville ✨⛄️ #allofthelights

A photo posted by Sara Gardner (@gardnersnacks) on Dec 25, 2015 at 6:06pm PST

Beautiful night! #merrychristmas #duluth #bentleyville #sparkly #lights #christmas2015

A photo posted by Sara (@sarmccar11) on Dec 25, 2015 at 9:07pm PST

#bentleyville #bentleyvilleusa #Christmas #christmaslights

A video posted by Danielle (@dbielanski07) on Dec 26, 2015 at 6:43pm PST

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.