Grand Marais

Tourist community invites you to get cozy

The Danish call a cozy feeling of happiness “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah). It’s sipping hot chocolate with family, watching the snowfall. It’s lifting a pint of beer by a fire with friends.

The city of Grand Marais and surrounding communities in Cook County are embracing that concept with a festival: The annual Hygge Week is set for Feb. 9-15.

“Hygge is the ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, community and fire,” the Cook County Visitors Bureau says on its website.

The festival will include lighted trails for nighttime cross-country skiing at Pincushion Mountain, a northern lights display at Sivertson Gallery, snowshoe tours from Lake Superior Trading Post and a special reading at Drury Lane Books. Pincushion will also host races for skiing, skijoring and fat-tire biking on Feb. 12.

For more information go to

Pam Louwagie


Photo exhibit explores Minnesota’s major rivers

A photo exhibit opening Jan. 3 at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona explores the historical, economic and social importance of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. It is also intended as a call to observe, preserve and protect watersheds.

“Confluence: Geography, History, and Culture at the Intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers” features work by Minneapolis photographer Luke Erickson and will run through April 16.

The photographs explore the interplay between natural features and man-made objects such as bridges, locks, dams, gates, fences, gutters and drains.

Erickson will be leading a free gallery walk and talk on Jan. 29 from 2-3 p.m. Register at 507-474-6626. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is at 800 Riverview Drive, Winona. Gallery and store hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information is available at

Mark Brunswick


Sixth-graders win design competition for memorial

Two Owatonna sixth-graders produced the winning design for the new Capitol Builders’ Memorial plaque, the Minnesota Department of Administration announced.

Riley Kalbach’s and Kalina Boubin’s designs will be featured in a permanent marker in the Minnesota State Capitol building. They are dedicated to the memory of six construction workers who died during the original construction of the Capitol, and to the contributions of all construction crews who have worked on the building since its 1896 groundbreaking, including those working on the current restoration project.

The design competition was open to sixth-graders from across the state. A total of 58 design concepts were submitted. The winning designs will be unveiled during the Minnesota State Capitol grand opening celebration Aug. 11-13.

Mark Brunswick