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Mankato And North Mankato

History and General Information:
Mankato, is a Dakota Indian word meaning "blue earth". The city is located on the great bend in the Minnesota River where it joins the Blue Earth River. The name refers to the blue clay that lines the river banks. When settlers arrived in 1852, they chose this valley because of the river and the fertile soil. The location, at the bend of the river made it a popular stopping place for steamboat passenger and freight traffic.

The heart of Mankato is located in the river valley, it is primarily a residental area surrounding the downtown business district which is made up of various locally owned businesses and is also where Mankato's roots were started.

The 32 park areas available throughout Mankato feature a wide variety of recreational and leisure facilities, including neighborhood park play fields, playground equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts, walking and hiking trails, softball and baseball diamonds, fishing areas, nature areas, swimming areas, and picnic areas.

Mankato is one of the fastest growing cities in southern Minnesota, both commercially and residentially. The city offers, a wide variety of entertainment, including the newly added Civic Center, shopping malls, a variety of restraunts, and much much more!

Local Events in Mankato And North Mankato

Mdewakanton Mah-Kato Powwow in Mankato.
The third weekend in September,This is a traditional wacipi, drawing Dakota from many states to honor the memory of 38 Dakota men hanged nearby in 1862. Native Americans and others return to the ancient Dakota ceremonial grounds at Land of Memories Park in Mankato.  Witness the Grand Enrty, when dancers in colorful regalia perform -- traditional, fancy, and grass dances. Food booths dispense fry bread and buffalo burgers; in the Educational Tent, elders and others dispense wisdom and the tribes' history.The park comes alive with colorful tribal regalia, ceremonial dancing, traditional foods, and crafts.

Minnesota Viking's Summer Training Camp
From late July to early August, the Minnesota Vikings professional football team trains on Blakeslee Field at the University of Minnesota, Mankato.  Practice sessions are held two times a day, six days a week.  Fans come from all over the state to watch the Vikes gear up for the season. Everybody loves to gather autographs from the players, and have a chance to talk with them. The team hosts two scrimages during training camp that are always a blast. Come and watch.

North Mankato Fun Days
In early July, North Mankato hosts a big celebration, that lasts four fun filled days. Some events that take place throughout the weekend include; a large parade followed by a carnival with rides and games for the kids. Also food stands, bingo, beer garden, dancing and a kiddy parade. The celebration ends with a great fireworks display. Fun for the whole family.

Saint Peter

History & General Information
The beauty and refuge of the Minnesota River Valley has always drawn people to Saint Peter Minnesota. Today the heart of the valley is still a gathering place...from bluff to river bottom. The natural ford of the St. Peter River, now called the Minnesota River, was used by the Dakota to cross this waterway.  The crossing was named by French explorers as the Traverse des Sioux (Crossing of the Sioux) which became a popular trading post.  It was here that the historic Traverse des Sioux Treaty was signed in 1851. Saint Peter was founded by Captain William B. Dodd in 1853, the city has retained it's historic community flavor. There are 12 sites listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is one of the oldest cities in the State. Saint Peter is a community of 10,000 people.It is located in some of the richest farm land in the world. Each year, farms produce significant crops, and the town serves as an agri-business center. The central business area provides the usual and the unusual for shoppers. There are a number of antique shops in the area and well known specialty shops. Saint Peter is the home of Gustavus Adolphus College, a four year liberal arts college with international recognition.

Local Events in Saint Peter

Minnesota Square Festival
Each September, St. Peter hosts an annual two day celebration in historic Minnesota Square Park. The celebration features the talents of local artists and musicians.  A variety of nonstop music can be heard throughout the free festival including bluegrass, folk, jazz, acoustical and vocal music.  In addition, arts and crafts exhibitors and food vendors are also expected.

Traverse des Sioux Encampment
In early September relive the signing of the 1851 Treaty of Traversedes Sioux. The treaty ceded 24 million acres of land from the Dakota Indians to the United States government.  Three fun filled days are used to educate people about early life-style in the area, and American Indian culture and heritage.  The Treaty Site History Center is covered with teepees and tents as Native Americans and buckskinners demonstrate different skills such as blacksmithing, beadworking, flint knapping, tomahawk throwing and much more. Truly a fun educational experience.

Waseca

History & General Information
The Santee branch of the Dakota Indians inhabited the land of Waseca County before the first white settlers located there. Settlers first laid claim in the county of Wilton in 1857, most of the areas in the county were established, except a portion where the Winnebago Indian Reservation existed until 1863. When the Winnebago tribe was moved the land was opened for settlement. Settlers arrived, established homes and rural communities were founded. Some of the early communities were deserted and vanished into the landscape. Others have remained and flourished. The success of many of the communities can be attributed to these important influences in local history. The location of the railroad, changes in technical agriculture, accessibility due to improved roads, bridges, and automobiles. Also industrial development, the advent of utilities, cooperatives and the determination of people to make Waseca County a good place to live. Today, Waseca has grown from a crossroads village of farming, trade and county governments to a community of 8,500 with an economy based on technology, manufacturing, industry support and specialty retail.

Local Events in Waseca

Fall Fair
The fair is held on the grounds of Farmamerica, a variety of farming eras are recreated.   Special activities include threshing, grain binding, blacksmithing, cornshelling, butter churning, horse demonstrations and needlework.

Sleigh and Cutter Parade and Festivities
A tradition that began over 40 years ago. Waseca hosts an annual winter parade of sleighs pulled by prancing Morgan and wagons drawn by Belgian horses delight all ages.

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