Bentleyville Tour Of Lights Will Look Different This year

The event is the country's largest walk-through lighting display.

DULUTH, Minn. – Thousands of people make the Bentleyville Tour of Lights part of their holiday season each year, but this year is going to be unlike any other with the pandemic still causing concern.

“We made the decision as the board of the Bentleyville to offer something rather than nothing at all,” said Nathan Bentley, executive director for Bentleyville.

This time around, guests will have to enjoy the Christmas experience from their cars.

After extensive planning, the Bentleyville board has decided to convert the popular attraction into a drive-thru event.

“Bentleyville has been a tradition for some people for the last 17 years,” said Bentley. “They were there when they were teenagers, they’ve been married and have children. Its their traditions.”

Bentleyville typically brings in over $20 million for tourism.

Visit Duluth anticipates this year may not live up to that same economic income, but there is still optimism the drive-thru format will draw crowds.

“It is generating activity within our local community and getting residents out as well as bringing people in who probably otherwise didn’t have a reason to come here. For us to say that its going to bolster our economy is a pretty safe bet,” said Anna Tanski, president and CEO of Visit Duluth.

Some of the major changes include installing a temporary roadway in Bayfront Park.

Instead of charging five dollars for parking, each car will have to pay $10 to ride through.

Also the gift shop will no longer be stationed at the park to prevent giving people a reason to leave their cars.

The shop will now take over Grandma’s Sports Garden and will offer more space for social distancing.

Other things that will remain the same are the 128 foot Christmas tree and the 5 million lights being put up.

The Bentleyville Tour of Lights is slated to begin on November 21st and run through December 27th.

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