Minneapolis earned the nickname “Mill City” in the late 1800s, when the flour mills set along the Mississippi River by St. Anthony Falls began to dominate the industry. In its heyday, the Washburn A Mill, the second largest of the mills, could produce more than 12 million loaves of bread a day. From its era as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World,” Minneapolis saw the creation of familiar companies such as Pillsbury and General Mills. Today, the glowing Gold Medal Flour sign left from those days leads to the Mill City Museum, which resides in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill. Inside the museum, visitors can follow the growth of the city as well as their favorite cereal brands. Visitors can also hear about the mill’s two big fires from costumed docents before taking the Flour Tower eight-story elevator tour of the old mill. The observation deck offers great views of the Mississippi River, Saint Anthony Falls, and the Stone Arch Bridge.
The Mill City Museum is a great place to visit any time of the year, but its annual Christmas play provides extra incentive. Come see history and the holidays intersect in “An ‘Eventually’ Christmas: Holidays at the Mill.” This unique play, staged in the museum’s flour tower elevator, gives its audience an intimate look at the 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party and the secret origins of its marketing slogan, “Eventually—Why Not Now?” Since the scenes were inspired by excerpts of the company’s newspaper, you’ll meet characters based on real life folks, like marketing guru Benjamin Bull and on-again-off-again couple Otto and Celia.
Info: December 14-15, three showings each day. Tickets for the show are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, and $10 for children ages 6-17 and Minnesota Historical Society members. Note for parents: Due to the appearance of “The Ghost of Mill City Past,” this play is not recommended for children under 8.