It's not even Thanksgiving but many holiday light festivals are either underway or will be soon.  Alyssa Hayes from Explore Minnesota joined me on WJON this week.

  • Bentleyville, Duluth, Nov. 20 - Dec. 27: Every winter, Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park transforms into “America's Largest Free Walk-Through Lighting Display," shining bright with 4 million lights at Bentleyville Tour of Lights. Visitors can enjoy hot cocoa, popcorn and roasted marshmallows while marveling at the brilliant displays. Bentleyville is open daily Nov. 20 - Dec. 27. Admission is free, but monetary donations as well as unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items are appreciated.
    • Christmas City of the North Parade, Duluth, Nov. 19: A Northern Minnesota tradition to signal the beginning of the holiday season. Santa makes his first appearance along with colorful lighted floats, marching bands and pageantry. The parade features nearly 70 groups, 20 bands, a dozen dance groups and more. The parade route begins at Fitger's, travels along Superior Street.
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photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota
photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota

The Winter Lights celebration at the Minnesota Arboretum, Nov. 18 – Jan. 2 and will enhance the beauty of the natural landscape with 16 outdoor light displays featuring flowers, nature and winter fun on an accessible and stroller-friendly walk that spans over a half-mile.

  • Glow Holiday Festival, State Fairgrounds, Nov. 18 – Jan. 2: GLOW Holiday Festival is an annual friends and family light experience at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. “The Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together” has a focus on our community including a donation from every ticket to benefit a different charity each night.
  • Kiwanis Holiday Lights, Mankato: Open Nov. 26 - Dec. 31Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato has over 1.5 million LED lights, animated displays, a skating rink and warming house, horse-drawn wagon rides, Santa Claus, live reindeer, ice sculptures and more. Event goers can walk or drive through the dazzling display. The event is free, but guests are encouraged to bring monetary donations, non-perishable food and personal care items for the local food shelter.
  • Northern Lights Festival, Dec. 2 to 19: One of the newest holiday celebrations in southern Minnesota, Rochester’s Northern Lights Festival promises to bring holiday cheer to all at a 25,000-square-foot light park with thousands of twinkling lights. Walk through an inflatable igloo lit up with the colors of the northern lights and take a stroll through the immersive Lantern Lake that gives the illusion of walking on a frozen lake under a starry sky.
  • Visit to find more holiday happenings now through the end of the year. Its also a popular time for holiday markets throughout the state.



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