Governor will tour excursion sites
From staff reports
Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be in southeastern Minnesota next week touring some of the communities planning celebrations as part of next year's Grand Excursion.
The Grand Excursion is a collaborative effort of more than 50 Upper Mississippi River cities and regional organizations celebrating the renaissance of the region by recreating the 1854 steamboat expedition that brought worldwide attention to the area.
A grand flotilla, a 10-day event, begins June 25 in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. It culminates with a finale in the Twin Cities for the July 4th weekend. The steamboat flotilla will retrace the original journey, with communities along the 400-mile stretch of river hosting celebrations and special events.
Pawlenty, along with state commissioners and community officials, will tour Winona, Wabasha and Red Wing on Tuesday, where special events are being planned as part of the excursion.
The group will be at Winona Watkins, Inc. from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday; the National Eagle Center in Wabasha from 9:45 to 11 a.m. and Levee Park in Red Wing from 11:45 to 12:45 p.m. before heading to Harriet Island in St. Paul in the afternoon. Pawlenty also will issue a nautical challenge to Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin to take place during the flotilla event next summer.