ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — City officials in Minnesota are making plans for a rush of marriages on Aug. 1, when the new state law legalizing same-sex unions takes effect.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is promoting the city’s wedding venues, including Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Como Park has three wedding venues and plans to rent brief blocks of time to interested couples on Aug. 1.

The event will include giveaways for couples, including free permits for wedding ceremonies and free locales for wedding photos at Rice Park and Mears Park.

Reservations are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.  To reserve for Como Park, call 651-487-8250 or for Irvine Park, call 651-632-5111. A website is also set up to help those wishing to register.

Coleman has dubbed this week “Freedom to Marry” week. The Visit St. Paul Foundation contributed $1,700 to decorate the Wabasha Street bridge with rainbow-colored gay-pride flags.

“We are delighted to welcome all couples wishing to marry in our great city,” Coleman said. “St. Paul has always valued the beauty of our spaces, and that is why we are home to so many phenomenal places for a wedding.”

Minnesota on Tuesday became the 12th state in the nation to legalize same-gender marriage.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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