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Culture of Minnesota

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The culture of Minnesota is a subculture of the United States with influences from Scandinavian Americans, Finnish Americans, Irish Americans, German Americans, Native Americans, Czechoslovak Americans, among numerous other immigrant groups. They work in the context of the cold agricultural and mining state.


Stereotypical Minnesotan traits include manners known as Minnesota nice with very strong family ties and a sense of community exclusive to those with shared beliefs. Potlucks, usually with a variety of hotdishes, are popular at community functions, especially church activities. Movies such as Fargo, Grumpy Old Men, and Drop Dead Gorgeous, the TV series Fargo (loosely inspired by the film), the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, and the book How to Talk Minnesotan deliberately exaggerate and satirize Minnesota culture, speech, and mannerisms.


Some common wild Minnesota edibles include wild rice, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, chokecherry, and hazelnuts. A variety of fish, such as walleye, panfish, and trout are available in Minnesota's lakes, rivers, and streams. Many of these foods were long staples of Native communities before the Industrial Revolution and white settlement in the region. The Ojibwe, for example, consider wild rice not only an important foodstuff but an "object of veneration, and an important ingredient of social and ceremonial life."[1]

Various salads, including dessert salads, potato salads and pasta salads are popular in Minnesota
Various salads, including dessert salads, potato salads and pasta salads are popular in Minnesota

With an increased immigration from abroad, Minnesota's culture appropriated traditions from Scandinavian, German, and Slavic heritages. In areas settled by Scandinavian immigrants, such as the countryside around Northfield, Moorhead, and much of the state's northern part, traditional cuisine such as lefse, lutefisk, rosettes, gravlax, krumkake, kransekake, and lingonberries are popular.

Although Minnesotans are stereotyped as being of Scandinavian descent, German-Americans are by far the state's largest ethnic group. During early settlement, the state's German-Americans were divided between secular Forty-Eighters and religiously active Germans, who included Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Mennonites, and Amish. But like their compatriots throughout the United States, Minnesota's German-Americans overwhelmingly chose to assimilate in response to persecution during World War I and, later, horror and shame over Nazi war crimes. In historically German-speaking parts of the state such as the farming country surrounding St. Cloud and New Ulm, marzipan, lebkuchen, gingerbread, stollen, Shoofly pies, potato pancakes, Spätzle, bratwursts, and sauerkraut remain popular.

In the regions settled by Polish, Czech, Slovenian, Rusyn, and other Slavic immigrants, such as the farming country surrounding St. Stephen, Little Falls, Browerville, Holdingford, New Prague, and the Mesabi Iron Range, parties with smorgasbord-style tables filled with kolaches, potica, halušky and pierogis are still held.

In communities large enough to host even a small Greek-American population, gyros, baklava, and spanakopita are also popular.

In parts of the state with large Italian-American communities such as the Twin Cities and the Mesabi Iron Range, Italian cuisine is popular.

Due to the historically large Cornish-American community in the Mesabi Iron Range, the pasty remains popular there and has been adapted to the cuisine of other local ethnic groups.

In parts of Minnesota with a historically large Ashkenazi Jewish population such as the Twin Cities, Duluth, and the Mesabi Iron Range, traditional foods like latkes and hamantashen remain popular on the High Holy Days. After the passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park had a large influx of Soviet Jews, who brought their own culinary traditions to Minnesota. The 1979 overthrow of the Last Shah also brought a large influx of Iranian Jews to the Twin Cities.

Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many non-Jewish Iranian-Americans have also brought their culinary traditions to Minnesota.

The aftermath of the Vietnam War brought Vietnamese-American, Laotian-American, Hmong-American, and Cambodian-American refugees and their culinary traditions to Minnesota.

Minnesota is also known for what is known as "hotdish", a type of casserole, and "jello salads".

The relatively short growing season demanded agricultural innovation. The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station's Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota has developed three new apple varieties, the Haralson, Honeycrisp, and the Sweetango. These fare well in the harsh Minnesota climate and are popular fruit.

At the Minnesota State Fair dozens of foods are offered "on a stick", such as Pronto Pups and deep-fried candy bars. Though not typical Minnesota cuisine, these are archetypal fair foods. Minnesota is also home to several breweries, including Hamm's, Summit Brewing Company, Surly Brewing Company, and August Schell Brewing Company, which also produces Grain Belt.

Sports and recreation

Sports in Minnesota include professional teams in all major sports, Olympic Games contenders and medalists, especially in the Winter Olympics, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations, and active amateur teams and individual sports. The state has a team in all four major professional leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) and the University of Minnesota is one of the founding members of the Big Ten.

In the Twin Cities, which has always had a large Irish-American community, the Gaelic Athletic Association has a club named after Irish republican icon Robert Emmett. The club fields hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football teams.

Natives and tourists enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in Minnesota's warm summers, though it is mostly known for its winters. The state has produced curlers and skiers who have competed in the Winter Olympics, pioneers who invented the snowmobile, Rollerblades, water skiing and legions of ice fishing enthusiasts.[2] It is also known for enthusiastic ice hockey players, both at the amateur and professional levels. Eveleth, Minnesota, home to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, boasts of the city's and the rest of the Mesabi Range's contributions to the growth and development of hockey in the United States.[3] The abundant indoor and outdoor ice rinks provide ample opportunity to learn and practice several winter sports.

Minnesota's more than 10,000 lakes play an important role in the state's recreation patterns. It has the most per-capita boat registrations of any state.[4]



Since the early days of settlement, Minnesota has been home to poets who wrote in English and every other language spoken by the many immigrant groups who settled in the state. The best-known English-language poets from Minnesota are Oscar C. Eliason, Robert Bly, Gregory Corso, Siri Hustvedt, and Thomas M. Disch. The State Poet Laureate is Joyce Sutphen, who grew up in St. Joseph and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Although Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never visited Minnesota, his poem The Song of Hiawatha is set there and is based on Ojibwe and Ottawa legends collected and published by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, in Mary Henderson Eastman's 1849 book Dahcotah, or Life and Legends of the Sioux Around Fort Snelling, and by an 1855 photograph of Minnehaha Falls by Alexander Hessler. Some locations, such as Lake Nokomis, are named in honor of the poem. Although the Dakota people called the falls "Minnehaha", which means simply waterfall, long before the construction of Fort Snelling, Longfellow named Hiawatha's wife in honor of the falls and set romantic scenes between them there. For this reason, Minnehaha Falls remains a popular tourism site.[5]

German poetry written in Minnesota was often featured in the many German-language newspapers formerly published in the state. For example, on July 18, 1863, Die Minnesota-Staats-Zeitung, a newspaper published by and for German-speaking Forty-Eighters in the state, printed An die Helden des Ersten Minnesota Regiments ("To the Heroes of the First Minnesota Regiment"), a poetic tribute to the Union soldiers of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment and their iconic charge from Cemetery Ridge during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The poet was G. A. Erdman of Hastings, Minnesota.[6]

While serving as a Roman Catholic missionary to the Ojibwe and local Irish and German-American pioneers, Francis Xavier Pierz wrote many works of Slovenian poetry about his experiences.

Hieronim Derdowski, a major figure in Polish poetry, emigrated to the United States from Torun in Prussian Poland, and settled in Winona, Minnesota, where he died and was buried in 1902. Poems were written and published in both English and Polish by Victoria Janda, who was born in Nowy Targ, Austria-Hungary in 1888 and died in Minneapolis in 1961.

Among Blue Earth County's Welsh-American pioneers, the most highly regarded figures in local Welsh poetry were James D. Price, whose Bardic name was "Ap Dewi", Ellis E. Ellis, whose Bardic name was "Glan Dyfi", Edward Thomas, whose Bardic name was "Awenydd", and John I. Davis, whose Bardic name was "Ioan Idris".[7]:128

According to a memoir by D.M. Jones, Price (Ap Dewi) was so highly regarded by his compatriots in the state that he was urged to act as Prifardd, or "Chief Bard", of Minnesota.[7]:138 Also according to Jones, during the late 19th-century a group of Welsh-language Bards regularly met under Ellis's leadership at the Cheshire and Jones Shop in Mankato, where the packing paper in the shop was often used to write down englynion in Welsh.[8]

In 2016, award-winning memoirist Kao Kalia Yang, who was born in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand and grew up in St. Paul, published The Song Poet, a biography of her father, Bee Yang, a well-known poet in the Hmong language, cultural critic, and highly respected figure in the Hmong-American community in and around the Twin Cities.

In the Twin Cities and other communities such as St. Cloud that are home to large Somali-American communities, the composition of Somali poetry in traditional verse forms remains a large part of Somali culture in Minnesota.


After the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851, Welsh immigrants settled much of what is now Blue Earth County. The first Welsh literary society in Minnesota was founded, according to Price, at a meeting in South Bend Township in 1855.[7]:129 Price wrote, "The first eisteddfod in the state of Minnesota was held in Judson in the house of Wm. C. Williams in 1864. The second eisteddfod was held in Judson in the log chapel in 1866 with the Rev. John Roberts as Chairman. Ellis E. Ellis, Robert E. Hughes, H.H. Hughes, Rev. J. Jenkins, and William R. Jones took part in this eisteddfod. The third eisteddfod was held in Judson in the new chapel (Jerusalem) on January 2, 1871. The famous Llew Llwyfo (bardic name) was chairman and a splendid time was had."[9]

According to the Mankato Free Press, the custom of local Eisteddfodau went into abeyance during the 1950s. The Blue Earth County Historical Society and the League of Minnesota Poets made an effort to revive the tradition by in the early 21st century. During the 2006 Eisteddfod at the Morgan Creek Vineyards in New Ulm, adjudicator John Calvin Rezmerski awarded Brainerd poet Doris Stengel the Bardic Chair.[10] After Rezmerski's death in 2016, the custom of local Eisteddfodau again fell into abeyance.

League of Minnesota Poets

On February 10, 1934, 33 Minnesota poets met at the Lowry Hotel in St. Paul and became the charter members of the newly formed League of Minnesota Poets. Marie d’Autremont Gerry became the league's first president. Three meetings were held annually. By year’s end, there were 74 members.[11]

The first two books the League published that year are Maude Schilplin's Anthology of Minnesota Verse and Clara Clausen's Steps in Creative Poetry. These early members endeavored "to make Minnesota poetry conscious, and conscious to its own poets."[12]


  • Jeffrey Taylor's 1994 book The Pru-Bache Murder: The Fast Life and Grisly Death of a Millionaire Stockbroker recounts the 1991 murder and dismemberment of Michael Prozumenshikov, a wealthy Twin Cities securities trader and accomplished white collar criminal, by Zachary Persits, a defrauded client, former close friend, and fellow member of the Soviet Jewish community in St. Louis Park.
  • Since the 1995 publication of Paul Maccabee's John Dillinger Slept Here: A Crooks' Tour of Crime and Corruption in St. Paul, 1920-1936, which acts as a tour guide to the Twin Cities' criminal underworld of the 1920s and '30s, tour buses take customers to the sites described in the book, which begins with the 1928 car bombing murder of St. Paul Irish mob boss Danny Hogan and ends with the defeat of the Dillinger and Barker Gangs and the cleansing of the St. Paul Police Department in 1936. Maccabee's book is also notable for using declassified FBI files to expose the corruption of St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Archibald Brown. Maccabee conclusively implicated Brown for collusion with organized crime figures like Leon Gleckman, John Pilben, and Harry Sawyer. He also outed Brown for repeatedly hiring both the Dillinger and Barker Gangs to carry out multiple bank and post office robberies and kidnappings for ransom in and around the Twin Cities. Maccabee writes that despite the FBI's best efforts to get him prosecuted, Brown's fellow cops were too terrified of being murdered to testify against him and that all the FBI ever achieved was to cause Brown to lose his badge, after which he never worked in law enforcement again.
  • Bridget Connelly's 2003 memoir Forgetting Ireland: Uncovering a Family's Secret History relates her experiences growing up in an Irish-American farming family in Graceville, Minnesota, and how she learned in the 1980s that her great-grandparents were Irish-speaking famine refugees from the Connemara who had been brought to Minnesota and settled on their farm by Archbishop John Ireland, who in local lore "was worse than Jesse James".
  • Elaine Davis's book Minnesota 13 recounts the involvement of Central Minnesota German- and Polish-American farm families in making moonshine during Prohibition. Davis also describes the involvement in the liquor trade of local politicians, police departments, Roman Catholic priests, and even Benedictine monks at Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville. She further reveals how high-quality locally produced moonshine, "Minnesota-13", was sold to Chicago Outfit boss Al Capone, Kid Cann, and other organized crime figures from the Twin Cities. Davis's book caused a boom in Central Minnesota breweries and distilleries and inspired the town of Holdingford to begin openly celebrating this part of its past.
  • Kao Kalia Yang's 2008 memoir The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir tells the story of arriving in America from a refugee camp in Thailand and growing up in St. Paul's large Hmong-American community.
  • In his 2013 book Augie's Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip, journalist Neil Karlen, the great-grandnephew of mobbed-up Minneapolis burlesque club owner Augie Ratner, relates his family's oral history of organized crime in Minneapolis's Ashkenazi Jewish community.
  • Shawn Francis Peters's 2018 book The Infamous Harry Hayward: A True Account of Murder and Mesmerism in Gilded Age Minneapolis relates the story of Harry T. Hayward, the eldest son and heir to a wealthy and cultured White Anglo-Saxon Protestant family who were pillars of Twin Cities polite society during the Gilded Age. In 1894, Hayward was arrested and put on trial for masterminding the Victorian era's crime of the century: the murder for hire of Minneapolis dressmaker Catherine Ging. Due to his ability to dominate and manipulate others, the newspapers of the era dubbed Hayward "The Minneapolis Svengali," "the most cold-blooded murderer that ever walked God's footstool", and "the most bloodthirsty soul ever to usurp the human frame."[13] In the hours before his death by hanging at Hennepin County Jail, Hayward gave a detailed interview to his cousin Edward Goodsell and a court reporter. He confessed to numerous arsons, assaults, swindles, attempted murders, and three unsolved murders in New York City, California, and New Jersey. Historian and true crime writer Jack El-Hai has written that, if Hayward's admissions are true, then he predates Dr. H. H. Holmes as America's first documented male serial killer.[14]


Minnesota has been home to many great fiction writers.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's novel On the Banks of Plum Creek is based on her memories of living in a dugout as part of a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant pioneer family near Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

F. Scott Fitzgerald grew up in a wealthy, cultured "Lace Curtain Irish" family that lived on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. Fitzgerald graduated from Princeton University and became, during the Jazz Age, a major figure in 20th-century American literature. In several of his short stories, such as "The Ice Palace" and "Winter Dreams", he depicts his upbringing in the Twin Cities.

Although his award-winning novel Giants in the Earth takes place among Norwegian-American homesteaders in South Dakota, Ole Edvart Rølvaag wrote both it and its sequels while a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The Northfield house where the novel was written is now a museum.

American poet, novelist, and essayist Siri Hustvedt grew up in Northfield, where her father, Lloyd Hustvedt, was a professor at St. Olaf College. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sinclair Lewis was born and grew up in Sauk Centre, which he satirized as "Gopher's Prairie" in his novel Main Street. Although the people of Sauk Centre were reportedly deeply offended by the novel, Sauk Centre now celebrates it and uses it to attract tourism. The Stearns County Historical Society in St. Cloud has an extensive collection of materials relating to Lewis and his family, including many taped oral history interviews with Sauk Centre residents who knew him as a child.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area is the long-standing home of several fandom organizations such as SF Minnesota, MISFITS, and Mnstf, which annually hold Diversicon, CONvergence, and Minicon, respectively. These are large gatherings of fans interested in science, speculative, and fantasy fiction; panels are held where authors, publishers, and scientists interact with readers, viewers, and fans of filk music with the goal of increasing knowledge of the topics discussed.



heads of people cheering in front of Dylan acknowledging five band members for the most part in grey suits wearing black hats
Bob Dylan and his band in 2007

Music has played a significant role in Minnesota's historical and cultural development. The state's music scene centers on Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and most Minnesotan artists who have become nationally popular either came from that area or debuted there. Rural Minnesota has also produced a flourishing folk music scene, with a long tradition of traditional Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian music.[15]

In Avon, Minnesota, Cy Pfannenstein Music Service both records and distributes, among other things, traditional music by local German-, Polish-, and Slovenian-American folk musicians.[16]

In 1893, during his stay in the Czech-American farming community of Spillville, Iowa, composer Antonín Dvořák read a translation into Czech of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha and decided to visit Minnehaha Falls. Dvořák's visit on September 5, 1893 inspired him to compose a tune he wrote down on his shirt cuff that later became the second movement of his Sonatina in G Major. Fritz Kreisler dubbed the tune the "Minnehaha Melody".[17]

Minnesota's modern local music scene is home to thousands of bands, many of which perform with some regularity.[18] Some performers from nearby regions of neighboring states, such as western Wisconsin and Fargo, North Dakota, are often considered part of the Minnesota music scene.

Minneapolis has produced a number of famous performers, such as Bob Dylan, who, though born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing, began his musical career in the Minneapolis area, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who eventually formed The Time and produced for Gladys Knight and Janet Jackson. Minneapolis's most influential contributions to American popular music began in the 1970s and 1980s, when its music scene expanded the state's cultural identity and launched the careers of acclaimed performers like the multi-platinum soul singer Prince and cult favorites The Replacements and Hüsker Dü. More recently, the Twin Cities have played a role in the national hip-hop scene with record labels Rhymesayers Entertainment and Kamorra Entertainment and artists such as Atmosphere, Brother Ali, P.O.S and Manny Phesto.[19] Musicians of various other genres have been popular, including harmony singers The Andrews Sisters, the alternative rock group Semisonic, Owl City, and the cult favorites Motion City Soundtrack.[20]

Fine arts

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area is considered the arts capital of the Upper Midwest. Its major fine art museums include the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. The Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra are prominent full-time professional orchestras that perform concerts and offer educational programs. Attendance at theatrical, musical, and comedy events in the area is high, which may be attributed to the cold winters, the large population of post-secondary students, and a generally vibrant economy. In 2006 the nationally renowned Guthrie Theater moved into a new building overlooking the Mississippi River with three stages. The number of theater seats per capita in Minneapolis-Saint Paul ranks behind only New York among U.S. cities; in 2000, 2.3 million theater tickets were sold.[21] The Minnesota Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of theater, dance, improvisation, puppetry, kids' shows, visual art, and musicals. It consists of over 800 performances in 11 days, and is the nation's largest non-juried performing arts festival.[22] Minneapolis's Children's Theatre Company, and St. Paul's SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development are leading youth theaters.

The public radio program A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Minnesota native Garrison Keillor, aired live for many years from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul. The show ended its run in 2016, with its successor Live from Here also airing from the same venue.


Minnesota's climate has done much to shape the state's image and culture. Minnesotans boast of their "theater of seasons", with a late but intense spring, a summer of watersports, a fall of brilliantly colored leaves in the state's parks and hardwood forests, and a long winter made bearable by outdoor sports and recreation.

"Summer at the lake" is a Minnesota tradition. Water skiing was invented in Minnesota by Ralph Samuelson, and the Minneapolis Aquatennial features a milk carton boat race. Contestants build boats from milk cartons and float them on Minneapolis-area lakes, with recognition based more on colorful and imaginative designs than on actual racing performance.[23]

To many outsiders, Minnesota's winters seem cold and inhospitable. Even among Minnesotans, a common expression is that there are only two seasons, winter and road construction. (The long winters damage road surfaces, and the annual frenzy of repair work causes traffic congestion.[24]) A World War II newscaster, describing the brutally cold conditions of the Russian front, stated that at least Minnesotans could understand it.[2] A New York journalist visited St. Paul and declared the city "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation." In response, the city built a huge ice palace in 1886, similar to one that Montreal had built in 1885. It hired the architects of the Canadian ice palace to design one for St. Paul, and built a palace 106 feet (32.3 m) high with ice blocks cut from a nearby lake.[23] This began the tradition of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which spawned a legend with the King Boreas. Each winter, Boreas declares a ten-day celebration with feasting, fun, and frolic, along with the Queen of the Snows and singer Klondike Kate. Ice sculptures are featured, and periodically ice palaces are built; one was the setting of Fitzgerald's story "The Ice Palace", published in Flappers and Philosophers. On the tenth day of the festival, Vulcanus Rex, the king of fire, storms the castle with his Vulcan Krewe, compelling Boreas to relinquish winter's hold on the land until he returns again.[25]


Tourism has become an important industry, especially in the northern lakes region. In the North Country, what had been an industrial area focused on mining and logging has largely been transformed into a vacation destination. Popular interest in the environment and environmentalism, added to traditional interests in hunting and fishing, has attracted a large urban audience within driving range.[26] The memory of the great logging industry is exemplified by local folklore.[27]

The headwaters of the Mississippi River are at Itasca State Park, where archaeologists have found artifacts showing that the lakeshore was inhabited more than 2,000 years ago and that, at that time, American bison were routinely driven into the swampy ground along Lake Itasca to be speared to death at close range.

Pipestone National Monument, where the Dakota people used to quarry pipestone long before European settlement, remains a popular tourist attraction.

In 1732, when Minnesota was still part of New France, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, built Fort St. Charles on Lake of the Woods as part of his many expeditions to the far west of Lake Superior and into the Great Plains in search of the Northwest Passage. It was found in 1908, based on the oral tradition of Natives, excavated, and rebuilt in the 1950s by the Knights of Columbus.

Grand Portage National Monument is on Lake Superior's north shore and preserves a vital center of fur trade activity and Anishinaabeg Ojibwe heritage. Until the end of the American Revolution, Grand Portage was one of the British Empire's four main fur trading centers in North America, along with Fort Niagara, Fort Detroit, and Fort Michilimackinac.

Fort Snelling, built by the United States Army during the 1820s at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, remains a popular tourism site and sometimes hosts historical reenactments.

Sites related to the Dakota War of 1862 are also popular tourist sites. These include the battlefields at Fort Ridgely, Birch Coulee, and Wood Lake. In Hutchinson, Minnesota, a statue of Dakota Chief Little Crow stands where a settler shot him in the back while picking raspberries.

The American flags Minnesota's Union Army regiments carried during the American Civil War are displayed under the rotunda of the State Capitol. During the repulse of Pickett's Charge on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Private Marshall Sherman of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment captured a Confederate flag, the former regimental colors of the 28th Virginia Infantry,[28] that now belongs to Minnesota as a war trophy. Sherman was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Despite the State of Virginia's repeated requests, demands, and threats of lawsuits for the flag's return, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton once explained, "It was taken in a battle with the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans. It would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It's something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor of the men who gave their lives and risked their lives to obtain it... ...As far as I'm concerned it is a closed subject." Some years earlier, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura had been more succinct: "We won... We took it. That makes it our heritage."[29]

Minnesota is not usually considered part of the Wild West, but the James-Younger Gang's 1876 failed bank robbery and gun battle with local townspeople is celebrated annually with a festival and historical reenactment in Northfield.

The childhood home of aviator and best-selling memoirist Charles Lindbergh is preserved as a tourist attraction in Little Falls.

The Minnesota State Fair, advertised as The Great Minnesota Get-Together, is an icon of state culture. More than two million people attended the fair in 2018.[30] The fair covers the variety of Minnesota life, including fine art, science, agriculture, food preparation, 4-H displays, music, the midway, and corporate merchandising. It is known for its displays of seed art, butter sculptures of dairy princesses, and the birthing barn. On a smaller scale, these attractions are also offered at the state's many county fairs.

Other large annual festivals include the Minneapolis Aquatennial, Lakes Jam, the Mill City Music Festival, Detroit Lakes's 10,000 Lakes Festival and WE Fest, and Moondance Jam & Jammin' Country, both held every summer in Walker.

In St. Paul, which has a large Irish-American community, there is an annual parade on St. Patrick's Day.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival takes place every year in Chaska.

Popular culture


  1. ^ "A Fight to Save the Tradition of Wild Rice - Culture". Retrieved 2004-10-13.
  2. ^ a b Lass, William E. (1998) [1977]. Minnesota: A History (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04628-1.
  3. ^ "U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2007-02-04.
  4. ^ "Boat & Water Safety: Minnesota DNR". Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  5. ^ LONGFELLOW HOUSE HISTORY, Minnesota School of Botanical Art
  6. ^ A German Poem About the First Minnesota
  7. ^ a b c History of the Welsh in Minnesota (1895) Foreston and Lime Springs, Iowa. Translated by Davies, Martha A. The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project / Wentworth Press. 2016. ISBN 978-1363189397.
    Translated from: Hughes, Thomas E.; Edwards, Davis; Roberts, Hugh; Hughes, Thomas (1895). Hanes Cymry Minnesota, Foreston a Lime Springs, Ia (in Welsh). OCLC 1045928425.
  8. ^ Translated by Martha A. Davies (2015), History of the Welsh Minnesota, Firestone, and Lime Springs, Iowa, Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project. Wymore, Nebraska. Pages 142-143.
  9. ^ History of the Welsh in Minnesota (1895) Foreston and Lime Springs, Iowa. Translated by Davies, Martha A. The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project / Wentworth Press. 2016. p. 131. ISBN 978-1363189397.
    Translated from: Hughes, Thomas E.; Edwards, Davis; Roberts, Hugh; Hughes, Thomas (1895). Hanes Cymry Minnesota, Foreston a Lime Springs, Ia (in Welsh). OCLC 1045928425.
  10. ^ A Tradition Revived Mankato Free Press, June 26, 2006.
  11. ^ The History of the League of Minnesota Poets
  12. ^ The History of the League of Minnesota Poets
  13. ^ Schechter (2012), Psycho USA, page 240.
  14. ^ "The Killer who Haunts Me," by Jack El-Hai, Minnesota Monthly, February 2010.
  15. ^ Garland, pp. 866–881
  16. ^ Cy Pfannenstein Music Service
  17. ^ Dvorak and the Minnehaha Melody Written by Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins
  18. ^ Music An incomplete listing of local bands at has 2,241 entries as of February 2005, while a concert calendar compiled by the University of Minnesota's radio station usually lists dozens of performances each week in the Twin Cities
  19. ^ Minneapolis Music Collection In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the creative explosion in Minnesota's thriving black and white rock music scenes expanded the state's cultural identity far beyond the shores of Lake Wobegon.
  20. ^ Breining, Greg (December 2005). Compass American Guides: Minnesota, 3rd Edition (3rd ed.). Compass American Guides. ISBN 1-4000-1484-0.
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  22. ^ "How to fringe". Fresh Art Delivered Daily. Minnesota Fringe Festival. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2006-11-22.
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  24. ^ "News for Minnesota Department of Transportation Employees: Variety". Minnesota Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  25. ^ "Winter Carnival: History". St. Paul Winter Carnival. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
  26. ^ Aaron Shapiro, The Lure of the North Woods: Cultivating Tourism in the Upper Midwest (University of Minnesota Press, 2015).
  27. ^ John Patrick Harty, Legendary Landscapes: A Cultural Geography of the Paul Bunyan and Blue Ox Phenomena of the Northwoods (ProQuest, 2007)
  28. ^ research file (MOLLUS at Gettysburg Discussion Group website)
  29. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (August 20, 2017). "Minnesota has a Confederate symbol — and it is going to keep it". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  30. ^ "Minnesota State Fair". Minnesota State Fair. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  31. ^ Meet Minneapolis (2007). "Mary Tyler Moore statue". Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-03-21.and Internet Movie Database (2007). "Awards for "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970)". Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  32. ^ Sparling, David A., Internet Movie Database (n.d.). "Plot summary for "Beverly Hills, 90210"". Retrieved 2007-03-14.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "Filming Locations for Grumpy Old Men". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
  34. ^ "Filming Locations for Grumpier Old Men". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
  35. ^ "Review of Fargo". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
  36. ^ "NBC's "Last Comic Standing" Live Tour". North Shore Music Theatre. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
  37. ^ Campbell, Tim (2007-09-28). "Coen brothers to get 'Serious' in Minnesota". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN. Archived from the original on 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
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