Edit ModuleShow Tags

Minnesota Legends Come to Life


Published:

Did you know that Paul Bunyan created the Grand Canyon while dragging his enormous axe? That he and his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, were lost in a blizzard and their heavy footprints tracked throughout the state, producing Minnesota's 10,000 lakes? Or that Mount Hood came about because Paul piled rocks on his campfire to put it out?

Yes, with the flip of a wrist, Paul the giant cut down entire trees and cleared acres in no time, eventually tapping down stumps with a quick step or push of the finger.

It's the stuff of legends and late-night stories (and a controversially great advertising campaign to promote the logging industry), shared around a campfire or while tucked into bed—the epitome of "tall tales" originating in the 1900s, when the United States was expanding west and land was cleared for farming. This larger-than-life hero represents strength and hard work, determination and loyalty; things Minnesotans know well, and happily claim, especially in the Iron Range.

The man and his myths have become so popular over the years that they've invaded popular culture, making appearances in Fargo, The Simpsons, and That '70s Show. Now there's a musical rendition of his gigantic feats coming to Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank Campus Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8 p.m. Don Shelby will be the voice of Paul Bunyan in an opera by Benjamin Britten, recreated by Vern Sutton in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Britten's birth. The operetta will feature ballad singer Pop Wagner, the VocalEssence chorus and ensemble singers, plus a 41-piece orchestra conducted by Philip Brunelle. Ted Mann Concert Hall: 2128 Fourth Street South, Mpls., 612-371-5656

For a good picture or inspiration to create your own epic tale, try these Bunyan stops throughout the state:

  • Bemidji is home to one of the most famous statues of Paul & Babe, which is part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
  • Hackensack, Minnesota is the home of Lucette, Paul Bunyan's sweetheart, and boasts a statue of Lucette and her son (Paul Jr.) in the park downtown.
  • Paul Bunyan Land just east of Brainerd re-opens on Memorial weekend (through Labor Day) and showcases Pioneer Village, Paul's Petting Barn, and amusement rides.

In the end, no one explains Paul Bunyan and Babe better than Disney, circa 1958:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too

A Day Trip to Hudson

St. Croix River views, hiking trails at Willow River State Park, and quaint downtown eats await in Hudson

Stone Arch Bridge, Saved for the Summer

We don't have to worry about our favorite bridge anymore—at least for the summer
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags