Best places to visit in Minnesota in the fall

By: Addison Strack

There are many beautiful places to visit in Minnesota during the fall, and in this article I will be talking about a couple of the many places to visit.

The first destination I will be talking about is Minneopa State Park. This park is located in Mankato, Minnesota, and while it is beautiful year round, it is especially stunning in the fall.

The park contains a double waterfall that leads into a 39-foot drop over a gorgeous cliff. There are also 4.5 miles of trails within the park that are surrounded by trees that turn beautiful and vibrant colors during the fall. It is a great place to visit to take a hike and get some fresh air.

Another popular destination to visit in Minnesota during the fall is Taylors Falls. Taylors falls is a small town northeast of the Twin Cities. It is surrounded by bluffs and cliffs, and has many fun activities to offer.

You can head to Interstate Park in Taylors Falls to canoe, kayak, hike, and enjoy amazing views. The Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour is another great option to experience the beautiful scenery.

There are also many restaurants in Taylors Falls that serve delicious and high rated food. The Drive In serves classic American food like burgers, fries, shakes, and root beer floats. It is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a delicious meal.

If you’re looking for more beautiful views, you should check out Split Rock Lighthouse, in the small town of Two Harbors. The lighthouse is located on a rocky cliff over a lake. Behind the lighthouse is a forest that turns bright yellow, orange, and red in the fall to add to the beautiful landscape.

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A fourth, and final place that I’m going to be talking about is Cuyuna, which is about 2 hours northwest of the Twin Cities. Cuyuna is a city that has a ton of fun activities to offer.

There are beautiful and charming cabins that were built in Cuyuna Cove that offer a great place to stay during your visit. These cabins are close to the Main Street in Crosby, which has many restaurants and shops.

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area is also near Cuyuna Cove. Here you can swim, kayak, paddle board, canoe, snorkel, and more in the gorgeous clear lakes. You can also explore the beautiful mountain biking trails near Cuyuna Cove as well. Overall, it is a great place to visit to enjoy the outdoors, and explore the city.

Clearly, there are many beautiful places to visit in Minnesota in the fall, and I have only named a few. If you would like to read about more places to visit, feel free to check out the websites below.

Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks face off in the first NHL game in Milwaukee in 29 years

By: Ann McMullen

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On October 2nd, Minnesota and Chicago’s NHL teams faced off at the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.

Although this was a preseason game, it was still of great importance to the teams, the fans, and the league as a whole. According to the Blackhawks’ president of business operations, over 80% of ticket sales were to Wisconsin residents, despite Milwaukee’s close proximity to Chicago.

Some fans are hopeful that a Milwaukee arena hosting a game could be the first step towards a professional hockey team there, while others are just happy to see the sport successfully spreading to other major cities.

Either way, considering this was the first NHL game in Wisconsin’s biggest city, in nearly 30 years, Milwaukee citizens and travelers alike enjoyed lots of festivities surrounding the game. These included exclusive merchandise, tailgating, and discounts on lots of local food and drinks.

The game itself was spectacular as well — from a Wild fan’s standpoint, at least. Minnesota scored 3 goals, beginning with two short handed ones in the second period of play. The final goal was scored midway through the third period, with both teams at full power.

Fans from both sides enjoyed watching Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury play the entire game, as the highly acclaimed athlete actually played for Chicago the previous season. Fleury was able to block all 12 shots from his former team, leading the Minnesota Wild to a shutout and their fourth consecutive win of the preseason.

Despite disappointment regarding the score from some Blackhawks fans, this “home-away-from-home” game was a great success. Whether or not a professional hockey team is ever implemented in Wisconsin, I hope the National Hockey League will continue to host games in other major cities in North America, and beyond, and further expand the sport’s fan base.

Halloween and other autumn festivals: Origins and customs

By: Julia Sikorski Roehsner

Halloween. Also known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, this popular holiday is celebrated annually on October 31st. Festivities include dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, hosting parties, and carving pumpkins.

Most people know what it is. But does everyone know its roots?

Halloween originates from the Celtic Samhain festival. The festival was a way for the Celts to celebrate a new year, marking the beginning of the winter season. They believed that the souls of the dead returned to visit the living.

The Celts would build large bonfires to sacrifice animals and harvest to their deities, and to ward off evil spirits. Sometimes they would don costumes or masks – both often made of animal components – to avoid recognition by ghosts. Prophecy was also an important event.

After the Romans conquered the Celts, they wove into Samhain their own festival of Feralia. This was meant to commemorate those who had passed away, as well as honor the Roman goddess of harvest and fruit trees, Pomona.

All Saints’ Day was introduced into the mix by Pope Boniface IV, and was a festival to honor Christian saints and martyrs. It was originally established on May 13, but was later moved to November 1st. The day before was made All Hallows’ Eve, and the day after made All Souls’ Day (a celebration similar to Samhain).

All Hallows’ Eve eventually evolved to become today’s Halloween.

Due to strict, colonial Protestant beliefs in New England, Halloween might not have gained traction in the United States if it weren’t for immigration. In the mid 1800s, large numbers of immigrants journeyed to America, including those from Ireland seeking refuge from the Irish Potato Famine. With them came their Halloween traditions.

By the 20th century, Halloween was a popular national holiday in the US.

Today, hearing “Trick or treat!” on the night of October 31st is common in countries such as Ireland and Canada, and of course the United States. However, Halloween isn’t a central autumnal holiday all across the world.

Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico, and is celebrated there and across Latin America. Translated as the Day of the Dead, this annual holiday also begins on October 31st, but lasts until November 2nd. It has ties to pre-Columbian Mesoamerican rituals, where food and supplies were provided by family members to help the dead reach their final resting place, Mictlán.

Similarly, today’s Día de los Muertos is meant to honor the dead, who are believed to return to the world of the living during the holiday. Common activities include building ofrendas (decorated altars for the dead), tidying and visiting gravesites, and dancing.

Another mid-autumn holiday is Guy Fawkes Day, primarily celebrated in Great Britain. Other names include Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. It occurs every year on November 5th. The day is meant to commemorate Guy Fawkes’ failed assasination attempt on King James I in 1605. Fawkes was caught and executed for high treason, and the English lit bonfires to celebrate the survival of their king.

The modern holiday involves setting off fireworks, lighting bonfires, burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, and attending parades.

The celebrations of Halloween, Día de los Muertos, and Guy Fawkes Day help people around the world say goodbye to the dying days of October, and welcome in the last months of the year.

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