A Thomas Spence Video
Greetings from the North Shore, where winter made its first appearance suddenly, with little fanfare but lots of snow. Our winter wonderland extended for days as snow showers fine-tuned the land with new layers of white.
But it’s November, and Lake Superior’s tradition re-asserted itself with a vengeance as wind storms lashed the Big Lake.
But the snow stayed around, a fitting backdrop for the season’s celebrations.
First up is Thanksgiving, and restaurants in the region are offering a wide selection this year. To find out more, click here.
Grand Marais launches its holiday season on Friday, Nov. 25, with a Christmas parade, tree lighting, and fireworks.
The parade, which starts at 5:30 pm from the parking lot of the Hub or Senior Center, is a twice-around-the-block affair because, frankly, it is pretty small, but seeing everyone twice just adds to the fun.
The tree-lighting ceremony in Harbor Park follows and then holiday fireworks light up the sky.
Local artists and artisans have been working hard all fall to prepare for the holiday season, and festivals and art shows are scheduled to open at venues across the county over the next three weekends. Here is what we found:
The North Shore Artists League Pop-up Holiday Sale is at Waves of Superior Cafe Ballroom from 10 am to 3 pm on Friday, Nov. 25.
The event features local artists from the Lake Superior area. Fine art sales include pottery, weaving, glass, jewelry, paintings, and leather works. All invited.
The North Shore Winery’s annual Christmas Market will be held Friday, Nov. 25 from 12:30 to 5 pm.
The Holiday Market features work by Kari Vick, Nan Onkka, North Woven Goods, Anna Hess, and The Wilder Woodshop. The market will also offer a variety of gifts, food, and wines, as well as, pop-up shops from The Big Lake and The North Country and Ann Honer’s wreaths and garlands.
The Holiday Art Underground show at the Betsy Bowen Studio opens on Friday, Nov. 25.
The show offers plenty of good cheer and dozens of local and regional artists. Look for hand-made original art in pottery, jewelry, woodcuts and more. The opening reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 2. The exhibit runs through the month of December. The gallery is open from 11 am to 4 pm Thursday through Saturday.
Hovland Holiday Art Festival will be from 10 am to 4 pm at the Hovland Town Hall on Saturday, Nov. 26.
This is always such a great holiday festival featuring work by local artists and artisans. Look for paintings, fiber art, leather work, pottery, ceramics, glass, prints, candles, photography, and more. And the Bad Seed Food Truck will be there.
Also on Saturday, Nov. 26, author Marcie Rendon will read from her new book “Sinister Graves” and engage in a discussion about her writing process and books at Drury Lane Books from 6 to 8 pm.
Set in 1970s Minnesota on the White Earth Reservation, the Pinckley prize–winner gripping new mystery follows Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman, as she attempts to discover the truth about the disappearances of Native girls and their newborns. The public is invited. Free.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.” a production of the Grand Marais Playhouse, will be performed at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11. Performances are at 7 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm Sundays.
Based on the hit holiday classic song, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brings one of the most beloved characters of all time to stages everywhere. Rudolph wants nothing more than to be just like the other reindeer, but his bright red nose seems to always get in the way! With everyone at the North Pole picking on him for his differences, he feels like nothing but a misfit. Rudolph sets off on a journey to find a place where he belongs. Along the way, he meets other misfits who show Rudolph that he was always right where he belonged right at the North Pole. When Santa’s big night is at risk of being ruined by a storm, Rudolph is finally able to show everyone how his differences are what truly makes him special. Advance tickets are recommended, Click here for tickets.
There are two art openings/events on Saturday, Dec. 3: The annual Northwoods Fiber Guild Holiday Sale and the 2nd annual Pots for Presents sale featuring local potters and their work.
The Northwoods Fiber Guild will host its annual Holiday Sale & Open House on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Studio 21.
The sale is a well-known and loved tradition featuring quality one-of-a kind items including weaving, knitting, fiber art, and felting as well as unique holiday gifts. There will be tasty treats, fiber demos, and plenty of holiday spirit. The sale is from 9 am to 2 pm. Open to all.
Also on Saturday, the 2nd annual Pots for Presents sale will be held in the Founders Hall at the Grand Marais Art Colony from 11 am to 3 pm.
Celebrate the holiday season with potters Adrea Beres, Kari Carter, Joan Farnam, Ben Fiess and Natalie Sobanja. Look for mugs, covered jars, ramen bowls, vases, ornaments, rattle cups, and more. Holiday treats, too. Open to all.
On Tuesday, Dec.6, the Cook County Historical Society is launching a series of Trivia Nights focused on historic Cook County. The first one will be held at the Gunflint Tavern from 6-8 pm. Join the fun and test your historical knowledge at this bar-style trivia presented by the Cook County Historical Society. Compete solo or with a team to win prizes.
The Dark Sky Festival will be held Dec. 8-10 featuring a wide variety of events and presentations about the night sky.
Cook County is home to one of the darkest skies in the world. Every year, explorers, adventurers, artists, and photographers from around the world travel to Cook County to experience the northern lights. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has been named as one of only 15 certified International Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world. At more than one million acres, it is the largest.
The event features guest speakers from NASA, presentations, a book signing,, dinners at Justine’s at the Gunflint Lodge, and an opportunity to view the night sky through a telescope, as well as hosted dinners. To learn more, click here. And stay tuned.
On Friday, Dec. 9, a new exhibit opens at the Johnson Heritage Post entitled, “But Does It Pour?” featuring pottery by 11 Cook County artists. The potters will be exhibiting a variety of new work, including mugs, bowls, casseroles, platters, vases and more, and they all have been asked to make a few things that pour. Think teapots and pitchers, creamers and batter bowls, for example.
At the opening reception, the vessels will be tested. Do they pour? And how well do they pour? The opening reception is from 5-7 pm with the pouring contest at 6 pm. Who will win? Potters in the show include: Maggie Anderson, Adrea Beres, Joan Farnam, John Franz, Kathleen Gabrielsen, Robert LaMettry, Terry Lewis, Hannah Palma, Kathy Reeves, Natalie Sobanja, and Jason Trebs.
Art & Ice Cream, a holiday sale featuring the work of six women artists will be held at the Superior Creamery from 10 am to 4 pm Dec. 11.
This one-day event features six local women artists including Ebenezer Stone, Hannah Palma Ceramics, Nan Onkka Prints, North Woven Goods, The Wilder Woodshop, and Up North Leather Craft.
Three years after their last concert, the Borealis Chorale & Orchestra (BCO) has reconvened and is excited to perform for the community! Concerts will be on Dec. 11 and 12 at 7 pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Featuring more than 75 talented Cook County singers and musicians, and led by new director Karina Roth, “A Gift of Music – Compositions of Beckstrand & Muus” is a tribute to the talents of previous directors William Beckstrand and B.J. Muus.
The program includes Beckstrand’s “The Mystical Rose,” “People Look East,” “What Greeting This,” and “Lord Our God (Herre Gud).” Pieces by Muus are “Come Thou Savior of Our Race” and “Come Unto Him.” Many other beautiful seasonal selections round out the program.
There is no charge for the concerts, but donations to the Borealis Chorale & Orchestra are greatly appreciated! Masks are encouraged at this event.
Living with Craft, a group exhibition presented by North House Folk School and curated by Tib Shaw continues at the Johnson Heritage Post.
Living with Craft features the work of 9 fellows in North House Folk School’s Artisan Development Program, an intensive residency during which artists are literally ‘living with craft’ for two years.
The exhibition runs through Dec. 4. Gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10-4, Sunday 1-4, and is closed Monday and Tuesday.
Sivertson Gallery has a number of framed prints of local and regional artists designed especially as holiday gifts, including this print by Marian Lansky.
The Duluth Art Institute is featuring a number of new exhibits, including work by contemporary artist Robert Patrick.
The Grand Marais Art Colony has just launched a new website and added new classes.
The new classes are listed on the new website which can be viewed at grandmaraisartcolony.org
WTIP Community Radio is selling a tin full of coaster coupons good for discounts from venues on the North Shore. All proceeds go to WTIP.
Centered on the harbor town of Grand Marais, CityTins North Shore Edition gives you a local’s perspective on the to-dos and to-eats sandwiched in between state parks, waterfalls and breathtaking views of the Big Lake. Celebrate North Shore living with just over 20 coasters offering $10 off dining and additional offers at retail, adventure and relaxation destinations throughout St Louis, Lake and Cook counties. Valid thru 2023. Stop at the station and pick up your tin, or CityTins can be found at WTIP.org as well as the Hovland Art Festival and at the Northwoods Fiber Guild’s sale.
Artists at Work:
Friday, Nov. 25:
- The New Standards Holiday Show, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30-10 pm
Thursday, Dec. 1:
- Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 7-9 pm
Thursday, Dec. 8:
- North Shore Swing Band – Holiday Concert, North House Folk School, 6-8 pm
- Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 7-9 pm
Here is a selection of what we found this week:
Landscapes, Waterscapes and Riverscapes:
And last, but not least:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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