2008 Aquatennial skipper pin has traditional look

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2008 - 2:25 PM

Pins celebrate Minneapolis' 150th birthday and the best days of summer

It's back to a boat wheel design for this year' Aquatennial skipper pins which also feature a tribute to Minneapolis' Sesquicentennial

Festival organizers today revealed the design for the metal and plastic pins that have been a staple of the water-themed fete since it began 69 years ago.

They also showed off a modified slogan and logo for the celebration, which officially runs July 18-27.

For the past seven years, the pins which are sold as commemorative keepsakes and to raise money featured designs highlighting events such as the Target Fireworks and Kemps Milk Carton Boat Races. This year the pins sport the traditional boat wheel, which had been the primary design for most of the festival's 69 years

"We're excited to bring the traditional boat wheel back as we celebrate the history of the Aquatennial," said Leah Wong, vice president of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council, which put on the summer gala. "And we're celebrating the city's 150th birthday

The red, white and blue pins prominently display the phrase "Celebrating Our City's 150th" and the words "Skipper" and "1940-2008"

Traditional metal and plastic lapel pins with blinking lights retail for $5 each. The first of the 12,000 pins available starting today at www.aquatennial.org or at 612-338-3807 sold with 15 minutes of going on sale.

For years, the Aquatennial has dubbed itself as the "10 Best Days of Summer," but this year festival organizers have dropped the "10" from the slogan, and brought back a sunburst to appear with its logo. The sunburst first appeared in 1979.

"The festival never really was 10 days; sometimes it was nine, other times it was 11," Wong said. "And there are always events that fall outside the date range. We just want to be honest."

This year the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon takes place July 12, a week before the traditional opening event, the Labor Neighborhood Block Party on Nicollet Mall. Other highlights include the Star Tribune Beach Bash on July 20, CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade on July 23 and the Target Fireworks on July 26.

A full schedule of events is available www.aquatennial.org.

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