Discover MN: September 2017
What’s new around the state
Giants Ridge in Biwabik
photo by peter wong
The Traveling Art Pub places local artists in social venues across the state to teach groups of aspiring or recreational creatives. For example: an artist guiding attendees at Jack Pine Brewery’s taproom in Baxter as they paint replicas of a jack-pine forest scene. With a new permanent studio location in Walker, TAP now hosts its own private painting parties, along with other creative events exploring pottery and woodworking.
Climbing wall at Giants Ridge
photo courtesy of giants ridge
Known as a downhill ski and golf destination, Biwabik now appeals to grapplers, with upscale resort Giants Ridge introducing a new climbing wall. Molded around real rock, the four-sided concrete tower offers more than 30 vertical feet of naturally formed fissures and pockets.
Vinyl is back in vogue at Uff-Da Records, where a surprising spike in demand driven by central Minnesota’s aficionados of the old-school sound has inspired the store’s recent move to a new, larger location after less than a year in its original space. The expanded digs offer a browser’s paradise of records, turntables, and local band tees, plus a small stage for in-store performances.
Oak Park Heights
After more than 20 years of talk, an act of Congress, a bill signed by the president, and multiple construction seasons, the St. Croix Crossing Bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin opened last month. The dramatic new four-lane, mile-long bridge encountered various environmental and construction issues along the way but should improve the notorious delays inherent to the charming but less-efficient 80-year-old historic Lift Bridge in nearby Stillwater.
Tilt-A-Whirl car in downtown Faribault
photo courtesy of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
Some 90 years ago, Herbert Sellner put Faribault on the map by inventing the classic Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride, which made its debut at the Minnesota State Fair. While many are familiar with the exhilarating-yet-stomach-churning ride made of multiple spinning cars, few know its local connection. Faribault recently worked to remedy that by restoring one of Sellner’s first Tilt-A-Whirl cars and displaying it downtown in front of Burkhartzmeyer Shoes. Former Sellner employees just refurbished a second car, sitting outside the State Bank of Faribault as of this summer.