Christmas City of the North Parade comes to your couch

Listen. You don’t have to pretend you’re cool with sitting on Superior Street while the wind whips through your thermal-wear and your nose hairs freeze into weapons. This year, you aren’t invited to watch the Christmas City of the North Parade live and in person.

Santa Claus waves during the Christmas City of the North Parade in 2015. (File / News Tribune)
Santa Claus waves during the Christmas City of the North Parade in 2015. (File / News Tribune)

You are invited, instead, to snuggle into your favorite piece of upholstery and watch the marching bands, veterinarian clinics, pageant winners and float-favorites from home. While waving at your friends won’t feel as satisfying, you won’t need to Nancy Drew the bathroom code at Starbucks, either. KBJR-TV’s decades-long intro to the holiday season has a new route this year — the backdrop is the William A. Irvin — and some of it has been pre-recorded to cut down on the amount of humans on site.

KBJR’s Christmas City of the North Parade is at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 on Ch. 6. Free.

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Bentleyville (2018 file / News Tribune)
Bentleyville (2018 file / News Tribune)

Bentleyville, no walking

Bentleyville, too, has adopted its set-up for the pandemic. The tour of lights, which was a walking tour, is now a driving tour that winds along the decked-out Bayfront Festival Park.

You will still get a glowing, larger-than-life centerpiece tree, localized imagery and favorite characters.

Admission is $10 this year, a first for the formerly free event.

Attendees are to stay in the vehicle — which must be smaller than 8 feet tall and cannot be a limo or bus or anything longer than 20 feet. Children 10 and younger will still get the signature hat.

Bentleyville’s gift shop is at Grandma’s Sports Garden. Masks are required for shopping.

Bentleyville opens at 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at Bayfront Festival Park. It runs through Dec. 27. $10 per car.

Low (2018 file / News Tribune)
Low (2018 file / News Tribune)

It's Friday, but every day

Early on in the pandemic, Low started coming to fans weekly live on Instagram. These quick-hit, four-song sets, billed as “It’s Friday I’m in Low,” are super casual and feel like a secret show filled with goodies. There are ongoing themes — like Alan and Mimi’s garden or interviews from “Vansplaining.”

For those who have missed a sesh — or loved one and wanted to revisit it — the entire collection is available at This includes a set list, topics covered, guests and links to YouTube and IGTV.

Rich Mattson & The North Stars (Ross Steinberg /
Rich Mattson & The North Stars (Ross Steinberg /

Catch cosmic folk in a tent

Rich Mattson & The Northstars, self-described as “nebulous rock and cosmic folk,” will play an outdoor show at Earth Rider Festival Grounds beneath the heated tent. The former Ol’ Yeller-ian is joined by Germaine Gemberling, who has roots in the Minneapolis punk scene.

This venue is among one of the last outdoor spots standing as the season shifts. And Mattson and company are among the local artists who have found ways to bring music to the people even in a time of pandemic — whether it’s online or outdoor shows.

Rich Mattson & The North Stars play at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Earth Rider Festival Grounds. Tickets start at $5.

Tischer Gallery (Photo courtesy of Ryan Tischer)
Tischer Gallery (Photo courtesy of Ryan Tischer)

More vistas on the bay

Ryan Tischer, a fine-art landscape photographer who spent years on the festival and fair circuit before opening his own downtown gallery, has moved to Canal Park — a spot previously held by Spirit Bay Trading Company, which closed in June.

The artist, known for his smoky-looking moving water, glowing skies and rock formations, was scheduled to officially open his doors this past week. Tischer has chronicled the gallery’s shift from an empty room with a concrete floor to hanging pictures and adding a fireplace.

Tischer said he was looking for more foot traffic and more space with this new location.

Tischer Gallery is at 395 S. Lake Ave. and online at