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Julebyen returns to Knife River this weekend

Anne-Lu Hovis (left) and Sharon Shelerud decorate a Christmas tree in the Knife River Recreation Center on Tuesday in preparation for this weekend’s Julebyen (Christmas village) celebration. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com1 / 3
Food items available at the Julebyen festival in Knife River this weekend will include several traditional Norwegian dishes. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com2 / 3
Dan Doucette of Doucette’s Special Events Rental drives a tent spike for one of the tents being erected for this weekend’s Julebyen celebration. In the background is part of the festival’s outdoor market. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com3 / 3

This year is bringing a bigger Julebyen to Knife River.

The annual Christmas village along the North Shore returns from Friday through Sunday, featuring a new "Troll Village" in the Knife River Campground that will feature more vendors, games and attractions for children as well as an author corner.

"We are more or less doubling the footprint of Julebyen," marketing and media relations coordinator Paul von Goertz said. "We have about a dozen authors and illustrators of books that are going to be there."

And keep an eye out: "There will also be trolls in the village walking around and being mischievous," von Goertz said.

Also new this year is a larger "Gnome Dome," a heated tent with lefse and krumkake demonstrations and sales.

Julebyen begins Friday evening and continues Saturday and Sunday; find a full schedule of events and more information at

Visitors to Julebyen can take the Julebyen Express train from the Duluth Depot to Knife River on Saturday. Tickets for the round-trip, which can be purchased Saturday at the Depot, are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for those younger than 3. The train departs Duluth at 9:30 a.m. and begins boarding in Knife River at 2:30 p.m. for the return trip back at about 3:30 p.m.

Julebyen is sponsored by the Knife River Recreation Council.

Duluth Winter Village

Julebyen won't be the only Christmas village in the Northland this weekend. The Duluth Winter Village returns for its second year Saturday and Sunday, bringing more than 40 local businesses to an outdoor market at Glensheen Mansion.

The free festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and features vendors in wood cabins, live animals, carolers, campfires, food, a beer tent and an outdoor lounge.

There will not be parking available at Glensheen; drivers can park at Lot B on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, with shuttles running throughout the event. Find more information at

Superior's eighth annual Christmas Market at the corner of Hammond Avenue and Broadway also will be open this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The News Tribune contributed to this report.

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the night general assignments reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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