Christmas turns Biwabik into ‘trademark movie town’ – Duluth News Tribune

BIWABIK – Ever wanted to gather with a large group of people to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate in a park just before the fireworks start, like it’s the end of a Hallmark Christmas movie?

Biwabik is here for you.

This year’s Christmas celebration is back in full force after several years of format adjustments due to the pandemic. The German-named Christmas celebration takes place on December 3 primarily in and around Carl Schuster Memorial Park downtown. Organizer Sarah Stachovich said that’s how most biwabik people start their holiday season.

A disguised woman stands in front of a small labeled structure "candy house."
A volunteer at the Christmas Festival prepares to work at the Candy House booth at Christmas Festival in a past year

Post / Sarah Stachovich

“It’s kind of a time for all the Biwabik people and their family members to come together and celebrate the start of Christmas,” Stachovich said. “There’s pretty much everything from craft vendors to ethnic food to Christmas music playing from speakers across the city.”

The festival kicks off at 10am with craft vendors across the city. There is food ranging from Swedish meatballs to sauerkraut and bratwurst to porketta and of course Christmas treats.

There will be entertainment and music in the park’s pavilion well into the late afternoon, as well as activities for children in the Children’s Festival area, including arts and crafts and possibly a visit to Santa Claus.

“And make sure you visit Honk the Moose and see his Christmas wreath,” Stachovich said. “I just ordered a 48 inch wreath to go around his neck.”

Honk is a life-size moose statue inspired by the 1935 children’s book Honk the Moose, which is based on true events in the city at the turn of the century.

“We also put a big bow on him to make him look fancy,” Stachovich said.

As dusk approaches, festival-goers gather around the pavilion in Shuster Park to sing carols together and light up the displays in the park. The city used to drape its several large trees in lights, but found that squirrels would often bite through the wires and ruin the displays.

“Now we have Peter, the genius behind our LED pixel lighting display,” Stachovich said. “I heard that this year’s exhibition will even have some music, so it will be fun to see.”

Holiday lights line the outside of a gazebo.
Christmas lights line the outside of the pavilion at Carl Schuster Memorial Park in Biwabik during a past Christmas.

Post / Sarah Stachovich

After the illuminations and carols, it’s time for the fireworks, which can be viewed from the park.

“I know this is going to sound cheesy, but it really is like having your own little Hallmark movie town,” Stachovich said. “That’s how it feels because everything is decorated and people are out and about, it just feels like a movie.”

For more information about Christmas, visit

Santa Claus is rummaging in his bag for a present for two little boys.
Santa Claus stops to give presents to two boys on the streets of Biwabik during a Christmas celebration.

Post / Sarah Stachovich


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