Minnesota is the land of sparkling water, blue sky, mosquitoes and lots of snow and cold. But there’s so much more to this beautiful state! For instance, we’re the international headquarters for Dairy Queen and General Mills, and the original home of Totino’s Pizza. We make gadgets (Medtronic, 3M and Boston Scientific are here), we elect governors who can beat up other governors (well, we had one anyway), and, of course, we have the Mall of America.
We’re also the land of art and music. The Twin Cities is known for its thriving artscommunity. We have the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis (the largest regional playhouse in the country), the Old Log Theater (the oldest continuously running theater), the Ordway in St. Paul, the Chanhassen Dinner Theater (the largest dinner theater), two world-renown orchestras, and music venues too numerous to name.
Famous singers? We have our share. Bob Dylan hails from Minnesota, as did Judy Garland, The Andrew Sisters, Prince, and the 2012 The Voice 3rd place finisher – Nicholas David Mrozinski. The Okee Dokee Brothers just won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album of the Year.
We also love writing. Probably because we’re the coldest metropolitan area in the United States. (Remember, it’s North Dakota’s fault for not having enough trees!) Even hardy Minnesotans need to stay in where it’s warm sometimes, and writing is a good indoor activity.
Minnesota-born writers include Louise Erdrich, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jon Hassler, Vince Flynn, Thomas Friedman, LaVryle Spencer, Julie Klassen, Erica Vetsch, Susan May Warren, and Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I guess that cold weather fuels our creativity!
We have an exploring nature here as well. Adventurers from Minnesota include Ann Bancroft (first woman to reach the north and south poles – not simultaneously, of course!), Dan Buettner, Will Steger, Charles Lindbergh, and George “Pinky” Nelson (an astronaut who flew on three space shuttle flights).
There have been television shows based in or on Minnesota including Little House on the Prairie, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, A Prairie Home Companion, and of course, Rocky and Bullwinkle. And films such as Mighty Ducks, Fargo, Grumpy Old Men, and Purple Rain.
This is a wonderful place, with amazingly creative, adventurous, talented people. In the coming months, I’ll look more closely at the people, places and events that make Minnesota a fabulous place to live, work, and play.
So what famous people, places or things did I miss? (and there are tons)