Vote for the Minnesota Community Pride winners; Celebrate all Minnesota communities, September 6 at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota Community Pride? You decide!  Vote for the finalists in the 25th Anniversary Minnesota Community Pride competition via the online ballot at between August 19 to 26, with winners announced at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. The contest is co-sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair, MinnPost, The Blandin Foundation, and Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc.

“The Community Pride contest attracted community entries from across Minnesota, representing cities and neighborhoods, large and small, all generously sharing their stories of connecting, creating, and thriving through the current economic challenges,” said Jane Leonard, president of Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc, one of the competition organizers. Online voting offers a chance for all Minnesotans to help determine top entries in several community improvement categories. 

“Connecting, creating, thriving” is the tagline of Reinventing Minnesota, the initiative behind the contest. “It’s a way to think and act, to turn the current economic challenges into opportunities that encourage people to connect and share good ideas and resources to move us into a thriving future for all,” said Leonard. “It builds on Minnesota’s history of inventiveness, innovation and compassion to recognize the goodwill and good actions that communities, neighborhoods and organizations across our state are doing right now to help one another.”

The Community Pride competition lifts up and publicly recognizes the energy and ingenuity of Minnesota’s communities in both overall community and economic development achievement, and innovations in specific disciplines, such as education, broadband deployment and application, health care, entrepreneurship support, arts & culture, community design, housing and natural resources/environment.

Finalist communities were determined by a panel of judges reviewing the entries received earlier this summer. Winners will be selected by the public vote online via All communities will be recognized and winners announced at the Minnesota Community Pride Showcase, September 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Fair’s Carousel Park stage and exhibit tent. 

To help celebrate this first-time event at the Fair, singer-songwriter Charlie McGuire will share his special brand of grassroots music. Minnpost will be conducting Minnesota Trivia contests and public affairs interviews with Minnesota newsmakers to highlight both our affection for and ideas and concerns across the state. Community participants will showcase their projects in the exhibit tent.

The Minnesota State Fair is providing cash awards, recognition plaques, and ribbons to winners and participants. The awards ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. on the Carousel Park stage.

“The State Fair has always been a place and time for Minnesotans to gather together to showcase, recognize and share creative ideas and innovations. It’s the perfect venue to spotlight communities that are helping our state be the best we can be,” explained Leonard.

You can learn more about the finalist projects and vote for your favorites at Check out this and other State Fair events at And join us at the Great Minnesota Get-Together on September 6!

Finalists for Minnesota Community Pride online voting:
▪            Baudette (Lake of the Woods County)
▪            Caledonia (Houston County)
▪            Detroit Lakes (Becker County)
▪            East Grand Forks (Polk County)
▪            Glencoe (McLeod County)
▪            Hoffman (Grant County)
▪            Lake City (Wabasha and Goodhue Counties)
▪            Lanesboro ( Fillmore County)
▪            Madelia (Watonwan County)
▪            Mankato (Blue Earth County)
▪            Maynard (Chippewa County)
▪            Minneapolis’ Neighborhood Revitalization Program (Hennepin County)
▪            Sebeka (Wadena County)
▪            St. Louis Park (Hennepin County)
▪            Staples (Todd County)
▪            Willmar Design Center (Kandiyohi County)