Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota kids promote winter preparedness in hit Super Bowl LII music video January 31, 2018

Minnesota kids (and adults) need warm hats and mittens during these cold and snowy Minnesota winters. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


IF YOU GREW UP IN MINNESOTA or any similar cold climate place, you likely heard this directive from your mom whenever you left the house in winter: Remember your hat and mittens. And wear your boots.” I did.


The snow boots I wear today are warm, practical and fashionable. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


When I became a pre-teen, though, I thought I knew better and often didn’t listen. I couldn’t muss my hair by wearing, God forbid, a stocking hat or appear unfashionable in clunky, practical boots.


Our southwestern Minnesota farmyard is buried in snowdrifts in this March 1965 image. My mom is holding my youngest sister as she stands by the car parked next to the house. My other sister and two brothers and I race down the snowdrifts. My home farm is located near Vesta in Redwood County.


But Mom’s warning imprinted upon me enough that I eventually recognized the wisdom of her words and passed the same advice along to my three children. Living on the windswept Minnesota prairie, Mom understood that brutal winter cold could cause frostbite and worse. Best keep safe and warm.


I grabbed this quick shot of the students and their teacher, right, on GMA.


So when I heard about the music video, “Coats, Hats & Gloves,” created by students at Franklin Middle School in Minneapolis, I thought of all those Minnesota moms (and dads) who have delivered the same message of preparedness through the generations. Except their words were more often than not dismissed.

But now kids from The Futureboys and Futuregirls program at Franklin have made keeping warm decidedly cool in their video gone viral. Tuesday morning the kids and their teacher appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the song that welcomes Super Bowl visitors to Minnesota. Temps here on game day are predicted to be around zero, if that, and even feels-like lower if wind factors in.

Their basic message—when you come to Minnesota, you better be ready…never leave your house without your coats, hats and gloves—is the same my mom delivered. Except they present it in a way that’s decidedly hip, decidedly cool and decidedly memorable. Well done, kids of the Bold North.


Click here to watch the video.

Note: The Super Bowl LII Host Committee has branded Minnesota as Bold North in promoting our state. That applies to our climate and beyond.


24 Responses to “Minnesota kids promote winter preparedness in hit Super Bowl LII music video”

  1. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    Oh, lackaday! How I wish I could wear a warm hat – any kind – and be able to take it off after usage and still look decent. My hair is like straw and sticks out every which way like a scarecrow. But maternal wisdom still decrees and overrules. Thanks, Audrey, another great photo-story to chill me in this heatwave!

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    I saw this video a couple of days ago and thought it was brilliant. Fun way to let folks know what to expect, right?

  3. Surly Brewing Company on their FB page put together a great Primer on MN for all those attending the Super Bowl. One is “Flannel, blaze orange, and camo are not seasonal fashions so much as foundational lifestyle choices.” It keeps you WARM! This post made my day and made me smile 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  4. Colleen Gengler Says:

    When first married, we lived on a windswept, mostly treeless farm site right next to a township road. It was on the south side so of course, the north winter winds came and deposited huge amounts of snow especially in the winters of 1979 and 1984. Your photo looked very familiar! We eventually moved just two miles away on a county road with a wonderful, protective grove of trees. Much better! Enjoyed the video now up to nearly 21,000 views in part due to you.

    • Winters back in our day seemed much worse with way more snow. When I was in junior high, we had a terrible winter. School buses couldn’t even make their routes. If we could get to Vesta, we could catch the bus that would then take students the 20 miles along Minnesota State Highway 19 to Redwood Falls. Dad drove my brother and I the mile to Vesta on an open-cab John Deere tractor to catch the bus to Redwood. Snow cuts along the highway were sometimes above bus rooftop level.

  5. Jena Says:

    Good for the kids of the Bold North! Loved your photo from1965, too. My mom made us put plastic bread bags on our feet before we put on our boots. Great way to be popular at school!

  6. I loved the video! My transplanted Mayo friends from Rochester, MN, to Jacksonville, FL, loved it, too! What a creative (and practical) welcome to the Bold North!

  7. Valerie Says:

    Fun video! My favorite was your photo from 1965!

  8. That was pretty cute! I just shared this with my son; I think Franklin Middle School was one of the places he went to observe in the fall (Shawn’s in grad school getting a master’s in art education). Maybe he’ll recognize some of those great kids.

  9. Don Says:

    Great video thanks for the link! I believe that it should be mandatory at the schools here especially after seeing a couple of teens in short pants. It was 22 below the day I saw that and I wondered what their parents were thinking!!!! But then I remember hearing of students wearing the appropriate cloths when leaving their homes and parents but after leaving the house changed into what they believed were more fashionable clothes. Years ago I read a story in the newspaper about a teen doing this at 30 below and when she got home after school there was no one there and the door was locked. Because of her fashion statement she got severe frost bite and had to have multiple toes amputated. Sad…………..

    • I see it all the time here, too, in Faribault, Don. Just the other day a young man walked past my home wearing just a light hooded sweatshirt. I don’t know if he was dressed that way due to fashion issues or not having money for proper warm winter attire.

  10. Don Says:

    I think that living in a cold climate Flannel is a great fashion statement! There are so many variations, colors and choices that it is fashionable, comfortable and practical!

  11. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard or used those words. I have to admit going through a phase where I didn’t want to wear hats or mittens. I take that advice much better these days. The cold doesn’t help my headaches or sinus issues.

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