Finding Minnesota

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Finding Minnesota: BMX Riding Year-Round

Daredevils on bikes can now get their thrills year-round at a new arena about an hour north of the metro. The Rum River BMX track used to be outside and exposed to the elements, but the city of Isanti just finished a $2 million project to cover it.

03/22/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Bike For Beer

He might seem a bit young to be running a brewery, especially since he only reached legal drinking age seven years ago. But when it comes to beer, Ilan Klages-Mundt, 28, already has a world of experience.

03/15/2015

(credit: Dale Lewis)

Finding Minnesota: Hastings Sculptor Welds Whimsical Steel Artwork

Yes, that’s a stainless steel alligator on the roof of Dale Lewis’ Honda Civic and, yes, there’s a good story behind it.

It’s a symbol of how Lewis adapted when hard times hit.

03/08/2015

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Finding Minnesota: The Wooden Stools Of Jackson’s Hole

It may look like a ghost town to drivers passing through Aitkin County, but there are surprises waiting for those who step into Lawler’s one remaining business.

03/01/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Whimsical Stick Sculpture Nearing Its End

For more than two years, curious drivers in Stearns County have been pulling over to check out something that looks surreal: a dream-like sculpture made entirely of sticks.

02/22/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Bar Stool Races in Ironton

With all the extreme winter sports for serious athletes, a town in central Minnesota is offering an extreme competition for the less serious crowd. The Bar Stool Races in Ironton feature downhill events that are fueled in part by beer.

02/15/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Sexy Secrets At The Minn. Zoo

For Valentine’s Day, many will opt for flowers, candy or a nice dinner. But there’s a steamier option in a place not usually associated with romance. The Minnesota Zoo offers the annual Love Tour, which it describes as an “R-rated event.”

02/08/2015

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Wander Minnesota: Valentine’s Day Beyond the Usual

Valentine’s Day is a week from Saturday. Are you ready? There’s certainly nothing wrong with flowers and a lovely dinner out, but there are other options. Note: reservations are recommended for most of these, so call ahead. The Warner Nature Center has a family friendly Valentine’s planned with its Winter Blizzard Blast

02/04/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Fat Bikes Are Gaining Traction

Our January warm-up has not been good for cross-country skiers and snowshoe hikers. But more people are now getting into a different type of outdoor exercise — fat biking — which doesn’t need much snow at all.

02/01/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Downhill In Detroit Lakes

Ten years after they shut down, the slopes of Detroit Mountain are alive again. It’s the result of millions of dollars in donations from a community that missed having skiing, snowboarding and tubing close by.

01/25/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Twin Cities Ukulele Clubs

When the winter blues start to set in, some people turn to sun lamps or supplements to lift their spirits. Others, though, find simple joy in a simple instrument.

01/19/2015

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Finding Minnesota: From Special Ops To A Kids’ Bounce House

This time of year, kids often get stuck inside with all that energy to burn. That’s why parents appreciate indoor playgrounds with trampolines, jungle gyms or bounce houses.

01/11/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Music Mural Of Downtown Minneapolis

There’s a unique landmark in downtown Minneapolis that many people see, but few can fully appreciate. You especially like it, though, if you have a musical mind.

01/04/2015

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Finding Minnesota: Oprah’s Nod Means Big Business For Candy Company

In one of Minnesota’s smallest towns is a small company that’s suddenly getting huge amounts of attention — after a close encounter with one of the world’s most famous people. Annie B’s Candy Company in Kellogg, population 456, has been turning out small batches of buttery caramels for decades.Justin and Amanda Henke have owned the operation for about two years.

12/14/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Turning Molten Glass Into Art

No matter the weather, one place in Minnesota has furnaces holding steady at 2,300 degrees. Foci uses the intense heat to help people learn and practice glass arts. Eric Dahlberg is the studio manager. “It is a bit of a lost art,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of places that you can do this.”

12/07/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Pedaling & Caroling Around Stillwater

It seems like people don’t go Christmas caroling as much anymore. Whether they’re tired of the old traditions or don’t have the time anymore, there’s now a caroling option in Stillwater that’s newer and faster.

11/30/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Cruising Down Memory Lane At Spomer Classics

A former Minnesota auto dealer used to be in the business of selling cars. Now, he’s dealing in something a little more personal: memories.

11/23/2014

(credit: Michael Birawer)

Finding Minnesota: The Art Of Michael Birawer

We all have different perceptions of how a place looks and feels. Through the whimsical art of Michael Birawer, Minnesota has a decidedly fun look and feel. “Our eyes are more used to seeing things in 90-degree angles and straight lines,” Birawer said. “What I want to offer is just another perspective of that, another impression of how we look at things.”

11/16/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Milaca’s Vibrant Hydrants

Fire crews in Milaca get two or three calls a month to put out fires in and around their town of 3,000. It’s a lot of work for a volunteer force, but when the firefighters arrive on scene, they just might be greeted by a superhero.

11/09/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Faribault Woolen Mill — Providing Warmth Since 1800s

The story of Faribault Woolen Mill is nearly as old as the state itself. It’s a company that specializes in keeping people warm. Donnie Morrissey has been working at the mill since 1968.

11/02/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Rough Riders Of Cyclocross

Minnesota is home to many cyclists who compete in road bike or mountain bike races throughout the year. Now that fall is here, we’re in the heart of cyclocross season. It’s an intense off-road sport that combines high speeds and rugged terrain into one grueling event.

10/26/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Natural Adventure Park At Briggs Farm

Being next to an adventure park is a nice drawing card for one Minnesota innkeeper. That is, once people realize that the “adventure” is even there.

10/19/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Shooting The Breeze With The Windmill Man

If you want to go where the wind blows, head into the prairies of southwestern Minnesota where strong, steady gusts are common. It’s the perfect spot for one man’s unique collection, a spinning menagerie of windmills from as far away as China and Brazil.

10/12/2014

Honey & Bees At The Minnesota State Fair

Finding Minnesota: Getting Buzzed On Honey Wine

Winemaking has brought sweet success to one Minnesota family, but they’ve been stung many times in the process. WineHaven is an award-winning vineyard and winery, but its best-selling product doesn’t involve any grapes at all. It’s a wine made of honey.

10/05/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Traveling Garage Show

Minnesota is home to many legendary theaters like the Guthrie, the Orpheum, the Ordway and the Pantages. But how about Barb and Mario’s garage in Bloomington?

09/28/2014

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