Archive for September 2007

So you think you’re a Minnesotan? Top 150 things to do in Minnesota, 51-60

September 25, 2007

Its time to face reality, I don’t think we will be experiencing any more warm sunny days until next year! Fortunately, Minnesota has fun activities for the cooler days we will experience.


60. Take the family out for a day of pumpkin picking

59. Curl up on the couch on a rainy day and watch one of your favorite movies

58. Take advantage of the green lawn, by having a picnic with friends

57. Catch one of the Vikings football games at the Metrodome

56. If the Metrodome if too much of a hike, watch a local high school football game

55. Check out the Guthrie Theatre

54. Enjoy music from a local band at one of your local coffee shops

53. Invite the neighbors over for tater tot hot dish

52. Take a horse and buggy ride in downtown St. Paul, before it really gets cold!

51. Enjoy a meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp, or one of the many other restaurants in the Mall of America


Posted by: Laura Baratto, Minnesota Sesquicentennial fellow


Stillwater unveiling

September 21, 2007

Minnesota’s territorial birthplace will play role model for the rest of the state once again as it becomes the first downtown dressed for the state’s Sesquicentennial in 2008.

Tuesday, September 18th the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission unveiled the Sesquicentennial Community Spirit program and Spirit Kit, a simple, fun way for towns and cities across Minnesota to commemorate the 150th anniversary of statehood. The spirit kits consist of pole banners, street graphics and window treatments with the official State Sesquicentennial logo and room for customization.

As the territorial birthplace of Minnesota the town of Stillwater seemed a natural choice to host the event. Stillwater’s downtown became the first in the state to be donned with sesquicentennial spirit and now serves as a prototype for other communities as 2008 approaches.

The morning began at the Water Street Inn where 58 local school children lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. State Senator Kathy Saltzman spoke, along with school superintendent Keith Ryskoski. The Sesquicentennial Commission executive director, Jane Leonard, used this opportunity to announce the winners of the first round of Sesquicentennial micro-grants. Over sixty grants were awarded and the enthusiasm is still strong for the next round. Mike Cofrin, of Visual Impact, spoke of his excitement in seeing the flags and banners throughout Stillwater and that he looks forward to working with other communities across the state.

Though rain may have pushed the events indoors the excitement was still there. Stillwater wore its Sesquicentennial garb with pride and we can only hope to see communities across the state continue with that enthusiasm.

Stillwater 4th graders

Downtown Stillwater

Downtown Stillwater

County of the week-Douglas County

September 12, 2007


Douglas County, Minnesota: 

Founded: It was founded it the year 1858-The first year Minnesota became a state
• Named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who aided in the county’s establishment
• Alexandria and Osakis Township were established at the very first meeting
• All the county’s land was claimed by 1869, mainly by European immigrants
• The County is well known for the Kensington Runestone, man believe that it’s a record of Viking explorer visits in the 14th century
• The Runestone if on display at the Runestone museum in Alexandria

Population: There are about 35,500 people who call Douglas County their home

• Alexandria
• Brandon
• Carlos
• Evansville
• Forada
• Garfield
• Kensington
• Millerville
• Milton
• Nelson
• Osakis

Area: 720 sq. miles

Thank to for providing the information

Information gathered by Laura Baratto, Sesquicentennial Fellow

County of the Week – Dakota

September 6, 2007

Dakota County

Founded: It was founded it the year 1849
• Prior to the European settlement, Dakota county was a part of an expansive territory of the Dakota tribe
• Lands west of the Mississippi river became annexed from France to the Unite States in 1805 because of the Louisiana Purchase
• Dakota county became one of the nine original counties created by the Minnesota territory legislature in 1849
• Dakota county holds3 of the 4 major rivers draining from the State of Minnesota
• The development of the county has had tremendous influence from the proximity to the rivers

Population: There are approximately 400,000 people residing in Dakota county. It grew by about 30% between the year 1990 and 2000

Apple Valley
Inver Grove Heights
Mendota Heights
South St. Paul
Sunfish Lake
West St. Paul

Area: 593 sq. miles

Recreational opportunities:

County Fair
 Lebanon Hills regional park
 Spring Lake Park
 Big Rivers Regional Trail
Dakota woods dog park
 Crystal Lake beach

Thank to for providing the information

Information gathered by Laura Baratto, Sesquicentennial Fellow

So you think you’re a Minnesotan?

September 2, 2007

As the State fair comes to an end, we hope you had a chance to get over there and experience the great Minnesota get together! Not only is the fair ending, but summer is wrapping up as well. Here are some activities to check out as we enter the fall season!


70. Sneak in a day on the lake one last time before the fall jackets come out
69. Check out one of the many local apple orchards, and see who can eat the most apples
68. Experience the Renaissance festival
67. Go shopping at the HUGE Mall of America on a rainy afternoon….make sure you set aside enough time to walk around
66. While at the Mall of America check out underwater world
65. Take a day trip to Stillwater, MN the first city in Minnesota
64. Warm up with a bonfire and smores on a cool night
63. Pack a lunch and have a picnic at one of the many local parks
62. Catch a new flick at one of the many movie theaters around Minnesota
61. Take a tour of the beautiful State Capitol in St. Paul