by Joan on December 11, 2013

Travis Novitsky took this shot at Hollow Rock in sub-sero temps.

Travis Novitsky took this shot at Hollow Rock in sub-sero temps.


Granted, as Minnesotans, we’re supposedly accustomed to this kind of weather, but -15 F in early December is, shall we say, a little intimidating?

Nevertheless, there’s still lots to do this weekend, and it might even warm up!

Tonight, Thursday, Dec. 12, there’s a great opportunity to warm up with East Coast Swing dancing at the 4-H Log Building at the Community Center with both lessons and open dancing with Veronica & Bob. A beginning/refresher dance lesson will be from 7-8 p.m. with more complicated dance moves from 8-8:30 p.m. There is open dancing from 8:30-9 p.m. Everyone is invited. Wear fun holiday attire if you feel like it!

Also, on Thursday night, you can warm up with neighborhood comaraderie and great music with Locals Music Night at Cascade Lodge Pub from 7-10 p.m. There’s an open mic and all musicians and music lovers are invited to come, sit in or listen to your neighbors play.

On Thursday afternoon, head out to the Grand Portage Community Center to see a Children’s Art Show f rom 3:15-5 p.m.

The exhibit is a result  of a summer scholarship program in which three Grand Portage children, Angel Burnett, Niimin LeGarde, and Rhonnie Poyirier, worked with local art therapist Belle Janicek. In addition to the this program, Janicek also worked this past summer with children participating in the Grand Portage Summer Youth Program to create a mural that reflects the children’s vision of the beauty of Grand Portage. The mural is hanging at the center as an ongoing display and can also been seen at the exhibit. All invited.

And, please note: the outdoor skating rink and warming house at the Community Center is now open. There is no charge to skate and skates can be rented for $1. Call Diane Booth at 387-3101 for more info. (Temps are expected to get steadily warmer — 13F on Saturday, 20F by Monday.)

And many cross country ski trails are have been groomed and are open now, too. To see the ski trail conditions for Cook County, click here. Lutsen Mountains is open as well, with good snow conditions.

Julefest, a traditional holiday tradition at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, will be from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday featuring an incredible array of Scandinavian holiday treats, from Krumkake to Sandbakkels, Christmas music and more. The highlight of the event is the arrival of St. Lucia, crowned with lights.

And next Wednesday, Dec. 18, is Poetry Night at the Grand Marais Library from 7-8 p.m. Bring a favorite poem to share to just listen. All welcome.

"Chick Magnets" by Aaron Kloss.
“Chick Magnets” by Aaron Kloss.

In art news, Sivertson Gallery has just received new paintings by Duluth painter Aaron Kloss.

The gallery is holding a 12-day count down to the Solstice Party on Dec. 21 by highlighting some of the wonderful art one can find at the gallery each day.

To find out more, click here.

The Holiday Art Underground show continues at Betsy Bowen’s Studio Gallery

The show continues through December with the studio gallery open Thursday through Saturday, from 11-4 p.m.

The Blue Moose is open for holiday shopping from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Mondays through Dec. 16.

Birchbark Books & Gifts is open through December. They have a variety of popular titles and children’s books as well as quite a collection of stuffed toys.

Great Gifts of Lutsen features lots of wool clothing, including scarves and coats, as well as variety of handmade jewelry.

Drury Lane Books has a great selection of 2014 calendars as well as the latest bestsellers and northwoods “coffee-table” books, to name a few. The shop is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

In other art news, Grand Marais photographer David Johnson had his photograph of the northern lights posted on recently. The site posts a favorite photo each day, and North Shore photographers are invited to submit to the site. For more information, click here.

Bryan Hansel is holding two winter photography workshops in February, Feb. 7-9 and Feb. 21-23. For more info, click here.

The Grand Marais Art Colony‘s gift shop is open daily, and includes gifts baskets featuring locally roasted Fika coffee.

Here’s the music this week:


Thursday, Dec. 12:

Friday, Dec. 13;

  • The Portage Band, American Legion, 6 p.m.
  • Al Oikari & Rod Dockan, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 14:

  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7-10 p.m.
  • Cook County’s Most Wanted, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Belfast Cowboys, a Van Morrison Tribute Band, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
  • Rock-a-Billy Revue, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 15:

  • Diet Folk Duo, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

The photos we found this week are wintery, to say the least.

The first one is an unusual visitor to Grand Marais — a Northern Hawk Owl. David Johnson took this great shot at Devil Track River by Highway 61 the other day. It was seen in Grand Marais, too, and the crows were dive bombing it.

Northern Hawk Owl by David Johnson.

Northern Hawk Owl by David Johnson.

We’re also going to include this cute shot of a chickadee enjoying a post Thanksgiving treat. Thomas Spence took this photo. By the way, Spence is currently exhibiting his work at the Coho Cafe in Tofte.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Photo by Thomas Spence.


Back to the chills– here’s a photo by Stephan Hoglund taken at Harley Tofte’s dock behind Dockside. Brrrrrrrr.

Photo by Stephan Hoglund.

Photo by Stephan Hoglund.


Here’s another chilly scene — this time by Kathy Gray-Anderson, taken at Devil’s Track Lake.

Photo by Kathy Gray-Anderson.

Photo by Kathy Gray-Anderson.


Bryan Hansel got this incredible shot while he was photographing these wintery rocks. Suddenly, a big wave broke over the rocks, creating a wintery waterfall.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.


Winter can be cold, but it can also be beautiful. Sue Weber took this shot on the Gunflint Trail after our recent snows.

sue weber Trail in winter

Photo by Sue Weber.

And sub-freezing conditions mean pancake ice on the harbor! This photo was taken by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.


Heidi Pinkerton was out shooting the northern lights recently, and took this incredible shot over Babbitt as an icy fog reflected light pillars into the sky.

heidi pinkerton

Photo by Heidi Pinkerton.


Thomas Spence took this peaceful shot of the northern lights over Tofte.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Photo by Thomas Spence.


And last, sadly,  Kristi Downing, a beloved, energetic, joyful and generous woman who drew hundreds to her clay studio on Hut Point to learn about raku pottery and see her beautiful work, died Dec. 5.

A celebration of her life will be held at her studio on her birthday, Aug. 23.

Memorials should be directed to North House Folk School, where the family plans to establish a KKD mentorship scholarship to encourage and support promising artists.

 Layne Kennedy, who took this portrait of her on her beloved beach on Lake Superior wrote, simply: “We all lost a great soul and wonderful artist last week.”

Rest in peace, Kristi.


Kristi Downing. Photo by Layne Kennedy.

Kristi Downing. Photo by Layne Kennedy.








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