Parks and Recreation: Only 27 days until the Bentleyville Tour of Lights beginsBayfront Festival Park is being transformed. Once completed, this magical Christmas lighting display is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors over the 37 days it will be open.
By: Duluth Parks and Recreation, Budgeteer News
Bayfront Festival Park is being transformed. Once completed, this magical Christmas lighting display is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors over the 37 days it will be open. Since Oct. 3, volunteers have been gathering at Bayfront to unpack the thousands and thousands of lights which are being installed in the trees, on poles and along the walkways, creating the biggest lighting display ever seen in the history of Duluth.
But the work is far from complete. Volunteers are needed every weekend until Nov. 21, rain or shine. All that is required is a willingness to help out and perhaps an interest in holiday lights. The park has been divided into work sections where volunteers will be able to work on lit arches, or in another section the “Twelve Days of Christmas” display. Volunteers are asked to report to the Volunteer Tent at 8:30 a.m. each day.
Setting up lights is not the only thing that needs to get done before the gate opens at 5 p.m. Nov. 27. Bentleyville volunteers have been working for months finalizing other details, such as securing sponsorships, making enough hats to pass out to nearly the 7,500 kids who will visit Santa, building the Polar Popcorn Hut and cutting wood to supply the 15 fire pits that will roast marshmallows while people listen to outside holiday music.
If that is not enough, finishing touches are being applied to the newly created light displays at Enger Tower, the Aerial Lift Bridge, and the 1,000-foot ore ship.
The final lighting plan has been completed and it aims to deliver a dazzling, eye-catching experience from the moment you enter Bentleyville.
Visitors will not have to worry about where to park because a complete and extensive traffic plan has been worked on by the Duluth Police Department, Greater Downtown Council, DECC, Great Lakes Aquarium and Fitger’s.
Ample parking will be available in Canal Park, downtown Duluth, the DECC, Bayfront Park Lots B, C and D and the Great Lakes Aquarium with “Jingle Buses” available to bring you to the entrance of Bentleyville.
If driving is not how you want to get to Bentleyville, then you have another option: Come by train. Fitgers and the Railroad Museum will partner to supply a train that will travel from Fitgers to the Depot for a truly unique experience.
Make your plans to volunteer and become part of this great holiday event, or mark your calendar and gather the family between Nov. 27 and Jan. 2 and visit Bentleyville Tour of Lights.
For more information, visit the city of Duluth Web site at www.duluthmn.gov, or visit the official Bentleyville Tour of Lights web site at www.bentleyvilleusa.org.
To find out more about and Parks and Recreation department programs, go online to www.duluthmn.gov/parks/ or call 730-4300. This column by the Parks and Recreation department appears monthly in the Budgeteer as part of the Community Extra rotation.