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Fundraiser aims to ring ring ring up Red Wing Trolley

red wing trolley.jpg
red wing trolley.jpg

RED WING — The Red Wing Trolley will ride again.

At least that's the hope of Karen Renshaw, board chairman and trolley manager for Red Wing Trolley Company, a nonprofit formed to own and operate the trolley. Renshaw hopes to bring back the trolley, which has not clanged around town since it ran for half a season in 2014. Renshaw created a nonprofit organization designed to own and operate the trolley.

A fundraiser today will help the nonprofit organization raise money to purchase and run the trolley for three months. Tickets, available at several downtown locations including the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, Fair Trade Books, Sorensen Financial and Marie's Underground Grill and Tap House, run $25 apiece.

The fundraiser, a 1920s-style speakeasy event, will include specialty drinks, gambling, cigars, and food. "All the smoking and gambling, we get all of that," Renshaw said. In the spirit of the 1920s and the ingenuity of distilling alcohol, there will also be a raffle for a bathtub full of alcohol. Well, bottles of alcohol. Winners of games will get entered to win a miniature version of the bathtub of booze, complete with the airline-type bottles in a small tub.

Renshaw said she hopes to run the trolley differently than the previous owners, who also own and operate Red Wing Mobility and put the trolley on hold while they focused on the other business.


"They had a 15-minute tour," Renshaw said. "A person spoke the entire time. Every time they stopped, the riders could get off."

The riders could then get back on when the trolley came back around.

"We may do that at some point," she said. Instead, she hopes to have themed nights such as pub crawls, progressive dinners where riders enjoy a bit from several restaurants, or scenic or arts tours.

The nonprofit has also partnered with Red Wing High School to work with the students and give them a real-world experience of how to run a small business, Renshaw said.

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