Best Bets: Thanksgiving Eve parties, Small Business Saturday specials

Find something to do this week in the Northland.

Five people, casually dressed and striking diverse poses, sit closely together in front of white wood-shingled wall.
Babie Eyes will play Earth Rider's Beers-giving event as part of their November residency at the Superior brewery.
Contributed / Earth Rider Brewing
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DULUTH — With the holiday season now officially upon us, there are lots of seasonal events taking place. Check out our holiday guide for information on Duluth events, and read on for more of this week's happenings.

The Zenith City's Christmas season kicks off this weekend with a parade and a lights display. Grab your calendar and peruse our guide to what's coming up.

Thanksgiving Eve revelry

Traditionally, the night before Thanksgiving Day has been one of the biggest bar nights of the year. COVID-19 scrambled that somewhat, but there's still plenty happening in the Twin Ports for people who don't plan to be up bright and early to watch the Macy's parade. Among the options:

Spirit Valley's Gopher Bar and Grill is hosting a "Gobble Til You Wobble" party with live music from Kings Named, Indecent Proposal and Splashback. (See

Up in Hermantown, South of Superior is playing the Beacon Sports Bar & Grill's Thanksgiving Eve Bash. (Find Beacon Sports Bar & Grill on Facebook.)


In Superior, Earth Rider's Beers-giving event has music from Babie Eyes and Brothers Burn Mountain — as well as the release of this year's batch of Cedar Sour Red beer. (See

Small Business Saturday

3592009+Bailey Builds.jpg
Anna and Nathanael Bailey, photographed at Bailey Builds around the time of their Spirit Valley shop's 2017 opening.
Samantha Erkkila / File / Duluth News Tribune

Now that Black Friday has become a monthlong discount cascade and Cyber Monday is just another Monday, Small Business Saturday is emerging as the most relevant shopping day over Thanksgiving weekend. Small businesses across the Northland are marking Nov. 26 with events and specials.

For starters, the AICHO Holiday Market was mentioned in our holiday guide. Also on Saturday, Hoops Brewing kicks off a Makers Market that will continue weekly through Christmas Eve. (See Moving west, several Lincoln Park businesses are offering deals (see and Bailey Builds is hosting over 15 local vendors for a special shopping event. (See

In Superior, the Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce are hosting an entire Shop Small Superior week with discounts beginning Saturday. (See Thirsty Pagan is hosting its first of three Winter Holiday Market events. (See Shopping small has rarely been so festive.

My Spirit Sings

A woman in denim overalls smiles and puts her hand to her head, where she's wearing a bucket hat.
Sequoia Hauck, "Minagi kin dowan" creative producer and director, said in a statement that "we just hope to celebrate Indigenous people and indigeneity from now until the end of time."
Contributed / Samuel Malm

"Minagi kin dowan: a Zitkala-Sa opera" is an "operatic film" written, composed and sung by an all-Indigenous creative team. The title is Dakota for "My Spirit Sings," and the film celebrates the legacy of Zitkala-Sa, a Dakota artist and activist whose life spanned the turn of the 20th century. The creators sought not only to make a distinctive work of art highlighting Zitkala-Sa, an opera writer herself, they set out to "decolonize the production process," according to a news release. You can learn much more about the project through documentary videos available at, and reserve pay-as-able tickets for Saturday and Sunday AICHO screenings at

Gobble Gallop

Lindsey Molstad, of Duluth, ran the Gobble Gallop 5K in 2021.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Instead of trying to put your Thanksgiving dinner calories to work after the fact, you can get your motor running first thing Thursday morning. Duluth Running Co. is hosting its annual Gobble Gallop along Superior Street. This isn't a marathon event — 5 kilometers is as long as this gallop gets, with a "Tough Turkey" 1-miler option and, for kids, a quarter-mile Gobble Giddy Up. For information and registration, see

Paws and Claus

An antlered dog riding the Bentleyville Tour of Lights float in the 2019 Christmas City of the North Parade recalled Max from the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

If you haven't ordered your holiday cards yet, and you're a dog owner, you might want to consider stopping by The Caddy Shack Indoor Golf & Pub on Sunday for the bar's annual "Paws & Claus" photo op. Santa will be on hand to pose for photos with your furry friend(s), requesting only a $25 donation to support the efforts of PJ's Rescue, a nonprofit dog rescue organization operating in the Twin Ports area. For details, see

Boozhoo Nanaboozhoo

A smiling man holds two puppets aloft.
Michael Lyons and friends, from "Boozhoo, Nanaboozhoo."
Contributed / Northern Community Radio

There's a lot going on this week at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids. On Friday, the center opens its doors for a preview of its annual holiday marketplace, with early-bird discounts. Then, on Tuesday, MacRostie hosts Anishinaabe artist Michael Lyons for an evening with the puppeteer, musician and host behind the Ojibwe language podcast and YouTube series "Boozhoo Nanaboozhoo." The event is free, with donations accepted. For more information, 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.
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