Bentleyville Finishing Up Last Touches Before Opening Night

Over 36,000 volunteer hours go into making Bentleyville the destination for hundreds of thousands of people each year.

DULUTH, Minn. – Bentleyville is officially opening and turning the lights on on Saturday evening. Friday, workers were busy putting the final touches on the display at Bayfront Festival Park.

“It doesn’t matter people job description or their income is or everything everyone is just the same down here for that hour of enjoyment and keeping thing simple forgetting about your problems for an hour and putting things at a simpler time in life,” Nathan Bentley, the executive director and creator of Bentleyville.

Over 36,000 volunteer hours go into making Bentleyville the destination for hundreds of thousands of people each year.

60 volunteers are required each night to work the grounds, cookie house, and three gift shops.

“The thing that surprises me the most is the amount of volunteers that shows up on a daily basis and people that just get so excited about Bentleyville,” Sarah Melhorn, a volunteer.

Looking over Bentleyville is Pier B Resort and Hotel.

50 rooms of the hotel have a close up view of what the light display has to offer.

“If we didn’t have Bentleyville our season wouldn’t be as long as it is it really for the community gives us a lot of extra room nights that we can sell and we are really thankful for it,” says Nikki Anderson, the director of operations for Pier B Resort and Hotel.

Bentleyville always encourages people to bring toys and food to drop off for the Salvation Army.

“If we didn’t have Bentleyville our season wouldn’t be as long as it is it really for the community gives us a lot of extra room nights that we can sell and we are really thankful for it,” says Bentley.

Bentleyville has grown from a small display outside creator Nathan Bentley’s house to the 38 day extravaganza.

“The biggest thing I”m excited about is that when we open that means everything should be operational and working and it’s going to take a whole lot of stress off the last minute details,” said Bentley.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be jumping out of a helicopter and skydiving in to mark the start of Bentleyvill on Saturday evening at 4:55.

 

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