Best Bets: Bayfield Apple Festival and more

Find something to do this weekend in the Northland.

Young boy on apple-themed parade float hands an apple to a spectator as a woman, sitting behind him and dressed like an apple, holds the back of his shirt to secure him.
Riding on the Erickson Orchard Country Store float Layne LaPointe handed out apples with help from Jenna Hansen during the Bayfield Apple Festival Grand Parade on Rittenhouse Avenue in 2019.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

Bayfield Apple Festival

This weekend, Bayfield is hosting its 60th annual Apple Festival. There will be live music, craft vendors and of course a Sunday parade. In a step away from gender restrictions, this year for the first time an Apple Festival King will be crowned instead of the traditional Apple Festival Queen. Bayfield High junior Jake Hanson, of Erickson Orchard, "comes from a long line of Apple Festival Royalty," noted the event in a community email. "His sister Jamiee Hansen was the Apple Festival Queen in 2019, his cousin Emily Nourse held the crown in 2014 and the list continues with his aunts." Sounds like they're a bunch of happy apples. The festival will also have plenty of literal apples: baked in pies, peeled in a contest and just good old-fashioned handheld. For a complete schedule, see

Costume sale

Four people pose smiling in flamboyant vintage-style dresses in front of three racks of costume pieces on a stage, seen from side stage.
Lake Superior Community Theatre and William A. Kelley School are selling some of the costumes from a collection that's been decades in the making.
Contributed / Lake Superior Community Theatre

You can get a jump on your Halloween costume at what organizers describe as a "REALLY BIG COSTUME SALE" in Silver Bay this weekend. According to a news release, the sale marks the first time in over 60 years that the costume collection held by Lake Superior Community Theatre and the William A. Kelley School has been reduced. The sale, which will include "hundreds of pieces from their costume inventory, including hats, accessories, wigs and more," runs from Thursday through Saturday with proceeds going to benefit LSCT. Early birds pay $5 cover on Thursday but get the best selection; latecomers on Saturday pay only half price for whatever remains. For details, see

Winter gear giveaway

In 2021, Family Freedom Center executive director Kevin Anderson II posed with the sign marking the site of Freedom Farms.
Teri Cadeau / File / Duluth News Tribune

Several local organizations that provide community aid are joining forces for the second year to host a season kickoff event called "The Big Tent." There will be a festival atmosphere on Saturday afternoon at Freedom Farms Hillside, with live music and games as well as free food and winter gear to help Northland families prepare for cold weather. All are welcome from 12-4 p.m. For more information, see

The organization has taken over stewardship of the Hillside Public Orchard to provide more access to fresh food for people of color in the Duluth community.

Stories by Lantern Light

The Split Rock Lighthouse beacon glowed for a 2019 commemoration of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Among the lighthouses remaining on Lake Superior, Split Rock is Minnesota's best known, cutting an iconic profile high above the unsalted sea. To really appreciate its mystique, you have to visit the lighthouse at night — and the Minnesota Historical Society is providing a limited number of opportunities to do just that on Saturday. The second annual Stories by Lantern Light will feature tales from long-gone figures including a storm survivor and a lighthouse keeper. Tour slots are limited; check for details and to place reservations. BYOF: bring your own flashlight.


Earth Rider Oktoberfest

A glass of beer.
Earth Rider’s Royal Bohemian Pilsner.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

Duluth is still recovering from its raucous Oktoberfestival last month, but Soup Town's just getting started. Grab that dirndl from the dry cleaners, because during the Saturday and Sunday festivities there will be a traditional attire pageant along with activities like a stein holding contest and a keg relay. This will be a slightly more cosmopolitan event than Duluth's very German fest. For one thing, the beer won't be from Germany: it will be Festbier and other varieties produced by Earth Rider. Also, the games will include kubb, a stick-tossing game from Sweden. (In fairness, some believe kubb may be related to a similar game played for centuries in Germany.) Then there's the "authentic German faire," produced by the New Orleans cuisine specialists at Superior Roux. (Well, it was Germans who added the accordion to Cajun music, so it all comes together.) For details, see

Movies that mean something

Movie poster for "Beba," featuring young woman looking somberly into camera with her hands placed on her head and stylized script treatment of the title.
"Beba" theatrical release poster.
Contributed / NEON

On Monday and Tuesday, the Zeitgeist Zinema debuts screening series cosponsored with local nonprofits and the Minnesota International Film Festival. First, on Monday, "We Don't Need a Map" begins an Indigenous screening series presented with the American Indian Community Housing Organization. It's an "essay film" about the Southern Cross constellation and its meaning to Aboriginal communities in Australia. Then, on Tuesday, a series presented with the NAACP Duluth Branch features "Beba." It's described as "a coming-of-age documentary" and "cinematic memoir" by Rebeca Huntt, who explores her experiences and identity as an Afro-Latina American woman entering adulthood in the tumultuous 2010s. For details and tickets, see

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
What to read next
Members Only
Dozens of people packed the Zeitgeist Zinema on Sunday for a screening of the new holiday movie filmed in Duluth. Carmody Irish Pub hosted an afterparty in what's now advertised as the "home of 'Merry Kiss Cam.'"
Find something to do this week in the Northland.
Capsule reviews of Lena Dunham's new movie and a thriller starring Aubrey Plaza.
The historic mansion has been adorned inside and out for the holiday season, in the spirit of its founding family.