Our View: Reasons abound to be thankful in the Northland

From the editorial: "As has been encouraged on Thanksgiving Days past, this list can be treated as just a solid start."

Jeff Koterba / Cagle Cartoons
We are part of The Trust Project.

There are so many things Northland residents can be thankful for today that it's hard to whittle it down to just 10. But everyone does top-10 lists, right? So as you gather with family and friends today for the Thanksgiving holiday — whether at home, at Grandma's house, at someone else's house, at a community Thanksgiving Day buffet, or elsewhere — feel free to add to this list. As has been encouraged on Thanksgiving Days past, this list can be treated as just a solid start.

No. 1: Simple, everyday things like family, a traffic light being green when in a hurry, the smiles of strangers, the sun bursting out after an otherwise-gloomy day, the copious number of perfect hammocking trees Duluth has, even sleeping in.

No. 2: Our great neighbors and our ultra-engaged community. Everyone knows "Minnesota nice." How about our "Duluth nice" and "Northland nice?" How we all work together after a snowstorm. How we pitch in when someone needs a hand. How quick we are with directions or whatever else others need. And how we all come together to offer our input and insights on issues that determine our shared futures, ensuring that the path forward is a shared one.

No. 3: Traffic congestion that isn't often all that congested, especially with the Can of Worms and medical district projects pushing toward completion. There's a lot of roadwork in our future, including, likely, West Superior Street through the Lincoln Park Craft District, from about Garfield Avenue to about the ore docks. But with the result being safer, smoother streets, we can even be thankful for orange cones.

No. 4: The elections got a little heated, but nothing compared to what can be expected with the next presidential tilt. We can be grateful that political ugliness is still almost two years away.


No. 5: The $37 million being invested to increase housing and house-buying and renting options in Duluth at all income levels, especially more affordable housing.

No. 6: Spicy-food places and other secret spots tourists don’t know about. Shh!

No. 7: Our among-the-best-in-the-country outdoor recreation, even if a national magazine didn't say so this year like in past years. From fat-tire biking to surfing in November to ATV riding to simple hikes along the Superior Hiking Trail to the beauty of the North Shore, every time we're outside around here we certainly can be thankful. There’s so much nature here, it can feel like we’re in a Disney movie.

No. 8: Our four seasons during which to enjoy our great outdoors. Yes, even winter, as long and as dark as it may sometimes seem. We get it all here: open-water and ice fishing, lawn mowing and snow removal, gardening and raking, muggy dog days and frosty early mornings, spectacular sunrises over the big lake and powerful waves when the lake turns angry. Plus, parking is free again in Canal Park after the end of summer, and we can use our trunks as freezers all winter long.

No. 9: Our rich arts, including our own symphony; ballet company; and professional, community, college, and high school theater companies. There are so many opportunities here for creative people, including writing groups, bands, and acting groups. And all reopened following the pandemic shutdowns, allowing us to learn how to socialize again.

No. 10: Lake Superior, the recreational opportunities it gives us, the peace it instills within us, and even the great beer our craft brewers can produce with it.

No. 11: Grape salad on every Minnesotans' table today. OK, this one's a joke.

But this isn't: the wish that those you love are part of your Thanksgiving celebration today and that the mood remains joyful.


With so much for Northland residents to be thankful for today, and every day, it's no wonder this top-10 list stretched to 11.

our view.jpg

Related Topics: OUR VIEW
What to read next
Like all communities, ours regularly faces critical moments and important decisions. Helping to lead robust, healthy, and civil conversations about important issues — everything from mining to land use, preservation to economic development, and schools to tourism — is an important role the Editorial Board and the Opinion page play in our community.
From the editorial: "No matter how many mass-media messages make arguments to the contrary, you can't — cannot, no way no how, huh-uh — buy your way to the perfect Christmas morning."
From the editorial: "With boots and heavy coats and even bomber hats if necessary, let’s consider a new tradition this year: A long hike in a state park. ... In Minnesota, they’re free today."
From the editorial: "Reset the table. Shift the balance of power. Do it in this lame-duck Congress. Give local media a fighting chance."