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Olmsted County plans ear-of-corn water tower celebration

Sept. 25 event in Graham Park will highlight completed restoration efforts of county-owned landmark.

A view of the corn tower as a storm rolls into Rochester on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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A celebration of Rochester’s iconic ear-of-corn water tower is planned for Sept. 25.

Olmsted County residents are invited to join festivities scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in Graham Park.

RELATED: The ear-of-corn tower: Why does Rochester care so much about it?

“For many of us in Olmsted County, when we see the ear of corn water tower, we think of home. It is, in many ways, a symbol of both our past as well as our future,” Olmsted County Board Chairwoman Stephanie Podulke said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing our community members on Sept.25 and celebrating the future of the corn tower as it will remain a prized fixture at Graham Park, even as we look to enhance and transform that space over the next several years.”

The celebration will include cake, games and prizes, and Podulke will be joined by county commissioner Jim Bier and water tower historian Alan Whipple as featured speakers.


Live music and food will be available nearby in partnership with the Rochester Farmers Market.

The recent water tower restoration was part of a $2.2 million effort to prepare the former Seneca canning facility site for development.

Olmsted County purchased the 11-acre property, which included the water tower, for $5.6 million in 2019.

Olmsted County Director of Facilities and Building Operations Mat Miller has said restoring the tower became a priority as county commissioners continue to work on determining the future of the surrounding site.

“The ear of corn water tower was constructed in 1931 and has been a staple of the Rochester skyline,” he said. “Restoring the water tower helps to preserve this icon for generations to come.”

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