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Bentleyville is back after closing due to 'extensive' wind damage

Brutally cold temps also kept the attraction out of commission.

If you're going to try to keep a Minnesota Christmas tradition down, it'll take a lot more than a punishing snowstorm to do it.

Case in point, the Bentleyville "Tour of Lights," a yearly Duluth attraction that holds the distinction of being America's largest free walk-through lighting display.

On Wednesday, Bentleyville's grounds — located on the city's Bayfront Festival Park — suffered "heartbreaking damage" from the brutal snowstorm that slammed the state:

"All of the barricades, the signage, just about anything that could be blown over (was blown over)," event founder Nathan Bentley told the Duluth News Tribune. 

On Bentleyville's Facebook page, organizers put out a call for volunteers to help put things back together. Unfortunately, the next day, the weather dealt the event another blow. 

Organizers were forced to cancel Christmas Eve festivities due to the conditions, saying on social media that "we will not ask anyone to work outside in the winds and temperatures at Bayfront Park tonight."

Friday brought a well-timed turnaround, however, with Bentleyville announcing it would be open again to Christmas Night visitors:

The popular attraction started in 2001 at Bentley's home in Esko, where his Christmas light displays drew thousands of visitors. Over time, the event's popularity became more than his property or the surrounding area could handle, and it eventually moved to its current home on the shores of Lake Superior. It's been there over a decade now. 

The 2020 edition of Bentleyville runs through New Year's Eve. You can read more about the attraction right here. 

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