Entertainment Briefs - Dec. 16

A roundup of area virtual events to include a film festival and ones to celebrate the winter solstice.

Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes virtually

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, a collection of films speaking to the environmental concerns and celebrations of Earth is coming virtually to Brainerd.

The Northland Arboretum is hosting the virtual film festival Jan. 9, 2021. The festival is a fundraiser for the Arboretum. Virtual lobby doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be reserved at .

The festival will consist of a series of 10 films which were chosen from the annual festival hosted in Nevada City, California. The festival is a natural extension of the Northland Arboretum’s mission of education, recreation and conservation work to inspire people to act on behalf of the environment, a news release stated The event is sponsored by Lakeland Public Television, Hubbard Radio, R&J Broadcasting and the Brainerd Dispatch.

Viewers will be invited to look inward and rediscover their connection with and responsibility to the natural world. Viewers will be taken to the Arctic Coast, Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, Acadia National Park in Maine and the Oregon Coast. Viewers will hike with an autistic person through 900 miles of the Great Smoky Mountains and see the Sacramento River as a place of surprising beauty, home to otter, eagle and osprey and endangered salmon. Viewers also will see the efforts of East Detroit urban beekeepers, follow a man with a traumatic brain injury making Lake Tahoe a better place and see parents adventuring with a 2-year-old hoping to inspire the next generation to care about wild places.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba Citizens League in 2003. The five-day event features more than 150 award-winning films and welcomes over 100 guest speakers, celebrities and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The home festival kicks off the international tour to communities around the globe.


Winter solstice events set

NEW YORK MILLS — The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will host two adapted events Dec. 21 to celebrate the winter solstice, which includes an outdoor and a virtual event to celebrate the longest night of the year.

The outdoor event is planned from 5-6:30 p.m. at the New York Mills Sculpture Park and Barn. Community members are invited to enjoy a self-paced luminary walk around the sculpture park. There will be hot cocoa and music playing. New York Mills students are invited to decorate luminary bags that will be lit and placed throughout the Sculpture Park. Bags are available at the Cultural Center and the school and must be returned by Friday, Dec. 18.

Families are encouraged to come and find their child’s luminary during the walk Dec. 21.

While this is an outdoor, non-structured event, COVID-19 safety guidelines will be observed by staff and encouraged by attendees, including distant spacing and masks. If a person is not well, they are asked not to attend.

The virtual concert will begin at 7 p.m. featuring regional musicians, including Corey Medina & Brothers, Survivor Girl Ukulele Band, Ben Ranson, Dave Virnala, Kevin Mastel, Crystal Clear Resonation, Day Gun and Good Morning Bedlam. More details on the virtual concert can be found on the Cultural Center’s Facebook page at or its website at .

Both events are free and open to anyone to participate.

Annually the center hosts a Longest Night Music Festival during the darkest night of the year with intimate performances from local musicians. Due to COVID-19, the annual in-person event has been canceled for 2020.

MPR hosts winter solstice virtual event

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Public Radio will host a social media and song statewide event titled “Bring the Sing on the Solstice.”


The MPR event is scheduled Dec. 21 — the day that marks the winter solstice.

Minnesotans were invited to record a 10-second video of their favorite light-filled solstice activity and share it with the hashtag #mprsolstice. A compilation of these submissions will be shared at and on MPR social media Dec. 21, demonstrating all the ways Minnesotans experience and celebrate light, a news release stated.

Minnesotans are invited on the solstice at 5 p.m. to tune in to Classical MPR, MPR News or The Current for a statewide singalong of “This Little Light of Mine.”

Following “Bring the Sing on the Solstice,” Classical MPR and The Current will each broadcast two hours of solstice-themed programming.

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