Bentleyville Opens for the Season

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: November 17, 2018 11:06 PM

Saturday marked opening day of Bentleyville. The 15th anniversary of the "Tour of Lights" went through checkups to make sure everything was perfect for opening night.

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With an expected 15,000 people making it out to Bentleyville’s opening night, staff members were rushing to get final details fixed.

"A lot of it is last minute signs. Three days ago we were doing final testing making sure the lights came on. We also checked a sound issue we had last Wednesday," Nathan Bentley, the founder of Bentleyville, said.

“Final preparations were getting the lights on Railroad Street fixed. The storm kind of came through after we set them up this summer so we are trying to get as many of them working as we can,” Sean Stevenson, an employee for Bentleyville, said.

The newest addition of the lights on Railroad Street had staff members up high on a lift touching up as many lights as they could before opening season.

"I’m really proud of all the lights we have on Railroad Street. They look great and I think people are going to like them,” Stevenson said.

"Bentleyville is loved by the volunteers, loved by the community, and they come out and make it all happen and that's what made it grow," Bentley said. 

Although it's no easy task setting up Bentleyville, staff members and volunteers put time, effort, and dedication to make it better than ever every year.

"We always invest about $150,000 into brand new displays. A part of that is always trying to put in displays that have representation of Duluth," Bentley said.

One of those representations is a display celebrating the UMD men's hockey team championship and the USA curling team.

"We’re always trying to come up with new ideas and make it fresh and unique for everybody down here,” Bentley said.

Another new addition to the 2018 Bentleyville season is the romantic lane display. It’s a picture perfect opportunity for couples to take a picture under a heart shaped lit up arch with the backdrop of the Aerial Lift Bridge.

"Every year it’s great to see everybody's faces as they come in and everybody’s happy and having a good time,” Stevenson said.

It takes a village to get Duluth’s biggest winter attraction up and running.

Bentleyville is being nominated for a national award.  

"We just checked again, we're still in first place with the USA Today national lighting contest," Bentley said. 

A reminder to bring nonperishable food items and toy donations for the local Salvation Army while visiting and enjoying Bentleyville to help less fortunate families during the holiday season.


Alejandra Palacios

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