We invite you to enjoy

The Best of Bemidji

First City on The Mississippi
Birthplace of Paul & Babe
First City of Arts & Culture
The True Northwoods

What’s Happening in Bemidji

Not-To-Be-Missed Events!
Hockey, Curling, Skiing & More
Studio Cruise & Fall Color Tours

Fishing, Snow Conditions & More

The Legend of Paul & Babe

First City on the Mississippi

Bemidji… The First City on the Mississippi – where this historic river begins its 2,552 mile journey to rendezvous with the famed city of New Orleans. Legend promises those who step across the Mississippi River at its source will live a long and fruitful life, and that great riches will come to them. With twenty-five percent of Minnesota’s recreational lakes found here, the mighty Mississippi is just one of many, famous sky blue waters to be enjoyed in Bemidji,

More about Itasca State Park
More about Bemidji Waters

Explore Minnesota Tourism

The Legend of Paul & Babe

Birthplace of Paul and Babe

In the winter of 1937, it took 737 man-hours to construct Paul Bunyan.  Babe, his Blue Ox, joined him a year later, after retiring as a parade float. Proudly standing along the shore of Lake Bemidji at the Tourist Information Center, the statues are recognized as the second most photographed icon in the nation, and Bemidji is honored as the birthplace of this famous lumberjack and his pal. Evidence of this honored distinction is woven throughout Bemidji’s history and still found in Bemidji’s lifestyle.

More Information

The Legend of Paul & Babe

First City of Arts & Culture

From pow wows to Sankta Lucia Festivals, Scandinavian and Native American cultures are woven together into a fine tapestry throughout Bemidji’s history, and continue to flourish in the area’s art community.  It is here that cultures are celebrated through age-old techniques and traditions. As the cultural center of northern Minnesota, Bemidji offers unmatched opportunities for both participants and spectators of the visual and performing arts.

More about Bemidji’s Art & Entertainment

The Legend of Paul & Babe

The True Northwoods

The forests surrounding Bemidji form the pristine heart of the northwoods. Add the over 2,400 sparkling waterways and a Continental Divide, and you have beautiful, breathtaking vistas to be viewed around every corner. Visit the oldest national forest, the Chippewa National Forest with 1.5 million acres and 78 miles of non-motorized recreational trails. The Lost Forty offers a rare glimpse of an untouched area of northwoods forest. The hiking paths found at Itasca State Park (Minnesota’s oldest and most popular state park) and Lake Bemidji State Park (located minutes from downtown Bemidji), each have some of the most breathtaking vistas to be found anywhere.

Explore Minnesota Tourism


Mary Poppins, The Musical
November 11 thru the 20th, 2016

Bemidji Community Theater presents the classic musical theater production of “Mary Poppins.” A family comedy about a magical nanny that comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. Performed at the historic Chief Theatre, home of the nationally recognized Paul Bunyan Playhouse, the oldest professional summer stock company in Minnesota.

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Bemidji Symphony Orchestra Concerts

MIDIots and More!
Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Classical, funk, fusion and fun! The MIDIots, a Bemidji ensemble, perform their new composition for electronic music and orchestra.

Lights & Lore
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM
This annual holiday concert is guaranteed to light up your season with festive favorites! Guest tenor soloist Luke Barnard, with music from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, and more!

Cinematic Legends
Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM
It’s movie time! With music from Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, Phantom of the Opera, and more.

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Sanford Center Upcoming Events

Saturday November 05, 2016 at 7:00 PM
The Newsboys “Love Riot Tour” coming to the Sanford Center Arena with special guests The Afters and Ryan Stevenson. The Newsboys have defined Christian music for more than two decades, only to blow up expectations as they’ve recreated themselves again and again.

GigaZone Gaming Championship: League of Legends
Saturday November 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM
Watch northern Minnesota’s best League of Legends teams compete for $4,500 in cash and prizes in the first ever GigaZone Gaming Championship.

Ole & Lena’s Vow Renewal
Sunday November 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM
With the small Southeastern Minnesota town of Potsdam as Ole & Lena’s home town, the lovable, dim-witted Scandinavian couple comes to life in the comedic theme that explores the joys of life, love, family and growing old together.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour
Wednesday November 23, 2016 at 7:30 PM
This year marks the 32nd Anniversary of the Christmas Tour and release of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the Holiday Season music category. This show features classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller with dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting.

Celtic Thunder LEGACY
Sunday December 04, 2016 at 7:00 PM
International megastars Celtic Thunder comes to Bemidji with a brand new show Legacy, which celebrates the influence of Irish and Celtic music around the world.

Comedian Brian Regan
Thursday January 26, 2017 at 7:30 PM
A regular on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Regan has been called “The funniest stand-up alive,” by Vanity Fair. Regan made history on September 26, 2015 with the live Comedy Central broadcast of Brian Regan: Live from Radio City Music Hall, the first-ever live broadcast of a stand-up special in Comedy Central’s history.

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BSU Mens & Womens Hockey
Weekend Play at the Sanford Center thru February. Check the Calendar for specific dates.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region, located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

Youth Hockey Tournament
Events run from November 25th thru February and include the George Pelawa Memorial for Bantam AA/A players, plus tournaments for Bantam B, Squirt A, Squirt B, Squirt C and Girls 10UA, as well as the Paul Bunyan Bunyan PeeWee Tournament play.

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Nationally recognized as “The Curling Capital of the USA,” Bemidji’s distinction comes from the Bemidji Curling Club’s long line of champions, including local men and women representing the United States in World Curling Championship and the Winter Olympics. Visitors are welcome to stop by the Club to watch all the action, with bonspiels and tournament play often held on weekends, and club play during the week. The Club features a general viewing area on the first floor and another viewing area upstairs with a bar.

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Buena Vista Village Opening
Thanksgiving Weekend! (Weather permitting)

The area’s premier winter recreation center where visitors can enjoy both downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, as well as an authentic sleigh ride – all overlooking the breathtaking scenery of the Continental Divide.

More about Buena Vista Village
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X-Country Ski Events

Snowjourn at Buena Vista
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
Bemidji’s oldest ski event, the 37th annual Buena Vista Snowjourn features a 12km classical and skate race, and a variable distance tour of up to 12km.

MN Finlandia
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
The “Finlandia” is one of America’s premier cross-country skiing events, and it was an original member and part of the USSA’s Great American Ski Chase for nineteen years. Finlandia is also part of the Minnesota Skinnyski Series and has been voted “BEST COURSE”and ”BEST OVERALL EVENT” by skiers of the series.

Candlelit Ski Tours
Saturday, February 25th, 2017
Tour trails by the glow of candlelight with up to 5 km of easy and intermediate groomed ski trails lit for a magical night of skiing at Lake Bemidji State Park.

More about Cross-Country Skiing
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1st City of Arts Studio Cruise
October 21-23, 2016

A unique drive yourself tour takes you to the studio of more than 25 artisans, all within a 20 mile radius. See demonstrations while learning each artists’ creative process. Opportunities to purchase some one-of-a-kind pieces. This annual event is free.

Studio Cruise Brochure PDF
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Explore Minnesota Tourism


Fall Color Tours

As Minnesota’s true northwoods, “spectacular” is the only way to describe the fall color in Bemidji! Here you can choose from five self-guided tours that will take you along three scenic Byways and through five state forests. Along the way you can step across the start of the Mississippi, or stop to hike or bike enchanted color trails, with unique dining and shopping to also be enjoyed. Bemidji has routes to make your color touring a 2 hour trip or a weekend adventure!

Fall Color Tour Map PDF
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