Carlton County

Festive Minnesota towns

I love driving through small-town Minnesota in December, seeing all the vintage Christmas lights. One Saturday in 2014 we drove up Old 61 to Duluth, stopping in every town along the way. Out-of-order, here’s what we saw.

Rudolph in Hinckley.

white outline of a reindeer with a red nose

Dala horse in Cloquet.

Dala horse covered in net Christmas lights

Festive dinosaur on the playground in Mahtowa.

green apatosaurus with a wreath around its neck, in front of a snow-covered slide

A stocking in Rutledge.

red stocking with a candy cane and toys coming out the top

A couple candles in Sandstone.

two red candles with different flames

A bell in Sturgeon Lake.

green bell with a red bow

Curb-to-curb garland in Pine City.

garland with a wreath in the middle and old-style lights on both sides, and tree and wreath decorations on the other light posts down the street

Starburst in Barnum.

three white stars with wavy streaks

Light poles wrapped in garland in Carlton.

lighted garland

Wreaths are a popular choice on Minnesota main streets. Finlayson, North Branch, and Pine City have the same style.

three wreaths, each with three candles and a big red bow

Harris, Rush City, and Moose Lake have other styles of wreaths.

tinsel, artificial greenery, and a green wire

We finished the adventure at Bentleyville in Duluth.

Bentleyville 2014 main entrance, with the giant lighted tree in the background

The Lift Bridge in lights:

S.S. Bentleyville ship sailing under the lift bridge

Paul and Babe:

Paul Bunyan chopping down a tree with Babe the Blue Ox's help

And, perhaps in a nod to Mahtowa, dinosaurs:

apatosauruses and pterodactyls near palm trees

A couple other favorites from the season, though not from this trip:

Folsom House in Taylors Falls, with each room decorated for Christmas by a local business.

front entrance to a big white house, with the pillars wrapped in red ribbon and a wreath with garland above the door

A wreath again in Scandia.

artificial greenery with four sets of three red ornaments, and a now-pink bow on top

Rice Park in downtown St. Paul.

the tall, skinny blue tree with white lights in the foreground

These photos were retroactively posted on Dec. 1, 2015. I don’t know why I didn’t create this post in 2014; perhaps it’s because I recorded it all on Instagram instead.

Other small-town Christmas trips

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Categories: Carlton County, Chisago County, Pine County, Ramsey County, St. Louis County, Washington County | Leave a comment

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