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

Brutally cold temps also kept the attraction out of commission.
Publish date:

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. 

Next Up

Image from iOS (1)

Victim killed in multi-vehicle crash that closed Hwy. 62 ID'd as woman, 23

The four-vehicle crash closed the eastbound highway for several hours.

protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

Photographer reports being maced and punched by police, other journalists detained

It came just hours after a court order prevented law enforcement from using force against the news media.


Police move in swiftly to make arrests on 6th night of Daunte Wright protests

What started out peaceful took a turn as the night drew in.

Michelle missing outing

Man pleads guilty in 2019 murder of Outing woman

Joshua Emil Karjala's sentencing is set for June.

Screen Shot 2020-12-06 at 7.25.01 AM

Sven Sundgaard is suing former employer KARE 11

The meteorologist, who now works with Bring Me The News, was fired in May 2020.


Bentleyville tree

Bentleyville transforms into drive-through for 2020

Roadways made from hardwood will allow visitors to drive through the light experience

mike's western cafe-duluth

After 38 years, Duluth diner closes for good due to COVID-19

Mike's Western Cafe announced the closure with "heavy hearts."

Mall of America

What's open and what's closed on Christmas Eve in MN?

Most stores and services will be running as normal, though many will close early.

American flag, Minnesota flag, and POW flag

What's opened, what's closed on Veterans Day

Check before you head out to run errands on Monday.