It has been good to see so many people out enjoying county fairs, parades and other recent events in our area. It is hard to believe the new school year is just around the corner and in a future update I will highlight some of this year’s changes as students return to class.
But, for now, let’s take advantage of what remains of this summer. I encourage area residents to attend a celebration which will take place this weekend in St. Paul to mark the conclusion of a four-year, $310 million restoration of our state Capitol. Festivities will take place on the Capitol grounds this Friday through Sunday to officially celebrate the grand re-opening of the 112-year-old Minnesota icon.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will kick things off at 9 a.m. Friday. Events will start early in the morning last well into the night all three days. There are offerings planned for citizens of all ages, including everything from a Kids Zone to cocktails on the Capitol’s newly reopened balcony. Tours will be available and a number of musical performances are scheduled. The Capitol chandelier will be raised each day at 8 p.m. and a fireworks show will take place at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
The work that has been done on our Capitol is nothing short of amazing. It was pretty sad to see how worn out the building had become, but the refurbishing has brought the building back to all its glory and it now should stand proud for another hundred years or more. Everything from the chandelier to the paintings on the wall shine brighter and it is interesting to see the public spaces that have been reclaimed after having been off limits for years.
The restoration project itself included repairing a deteriorating marble exterior, addressing life safety concerns, increasing access for the disabled, updating mechanical systems and generally making the building more user-friendly to the public.
A complete itinerary and more regarding the August weekend of grand opening events is available at this link. Organizers say 100,000 people could attend the weekend festivities, so please plan ahead.
On a final note, members of the House Capital Investment Committee (aka, Bonding) are scheduled to be in our district next week to talk with officials about redevelopment of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center and a possible project in Perham.