Lake Superior Storm Festival

Shipwrecks, storm talks, and the lighting of Split Rock Lighthouse all take place during festival weekend

Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior. Photo courtesy Scottie/Fotolia.
Courtesy Scottie/Fotolia

Lake Superior is known for its shipwrecks, its cold waters, and its storms. The Lake Superior Storm Festival, Nov. 9-10, celebrates all three things. Started in 2013 and taking place over the weekend that the SS Edmund Fitzgerald famously sunk (Nov. 10, 1975), this community festival takes place in Cook County across Lutsen and Grand Marais, and this year it coincides perfectly with the annual lighting of the Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors.

Gear up for the festival (well, really, for the impending winter season) with the Storm into Winter Showcase, which features the latest clothing and outdoor gear for winter recreation. After all, if you do the Lake Superior Wave Dash the next day (similar to a Polar Plunge), you’ll want to be able to warm up fast. Also on Saturday is a talk by geologist Liz Minor, who will focus on how the different matter that storm plumes bring in affect local aquatic plants and animals, and shipwreck enthusiast Jim Shinners and shipwreck expert Stephen B. Daniel will speak about the lake’s shipwrecking history. The last official event of the weekend is a “Spirits of Superior” dinner and local spirits tasting. However, on Sunday, Shinners is holding a Lakeside Poem and Remembrance Ceremony in Grand Marais for any who would like to pay tribute to those lost to the storms.

To see the lighting of Split Rock Lighthouse, make your way down to Two Harbors on Saturday, Nov. 10. At 4:30 p.m., the light house will close while the names of the 29 lost crew members are read aloud with the Naval Hymn and ship’s bell resounding in the background. At the end of the recitation, the beacon is lit, and visitors are offered their only chance during the year to go inside the lantern room while the light is on.

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