IN MINNESOTA WE HAVE the comedic and musical actresses the Looney Lutherans, who showcase our ya, sure you betcha Scandinavian image. We decorate our Up North cabins with loon décor in honor of our state bird. Minnesota writer Gerald Anderson features the loon in Murder Under the Loon as part of his An Otter Tail County Mystery series. And if all that loon madness isn’t enough, the village of Vergas boasts the world’s largest loon sculpture.
Recently I sought out that roadside art while in Otter Tail County. I always appreciate kitschy art that defines a place. And Vergas, population 350, is all about embracing loons. Each August, the community celebrates Looney Daze. The Frazee-Vergas baseball team is named the Loons. And then there’s that 20-foot tall loon statue looming over Long Lake.
But finding that loon proved difficult, even after getting instructions from a local to follow that road (he pointed), turn right, cross the tracks… No loon. Eventually Randy and I found the loon sculpture dedicated in 1963 to Postmaster Ewald C. Krueger. The Vergas Fire Department sponsored the community project.
Now, if I actually spotted a real loon up close, I will have completed my loon fix. But I’ve only ever seen them from a distance, in the middle of a lake. You see, even though the loon is our state bird, it is primarily a central or northern Minnesota bird. Not necessarily representative of the entire state.
But the loon is representative of one small Minnesota town situated in the lake country of Otter Tail County.
© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Lovely fall countryside around your lake. ❤
These pix were taken about a month ago while we were vacationing in the Vergas area, a four-hour drive northwest from our home in southern Minnesota.
Interesting and funny 😊
If you ever have an opportunity to see The Looney Lutherans, do. They perform now at The Ames Center in Burnsville.
Sure will Audrey, thank you.
There is a giant Holstein statue named Salem Sue on a butte near New Salem ND off of Interstate 94. Recently I was in a local Shakopee store looking for a birthday card and on one of the cards was Salem Sue, it made me chuckle.
What a great story. There’s a giant Holstein statue outside the Bongards (cheese) store in Bongards, MN., which is in Carver County.
Well I guess you and Randy need to come back up to the cabin. We are always hanging with the loons on our boat. They come pretty close to our dock too….are you sure you didn’t see them when you were up?
I saw them in the far off distance in the lake when I was at your cabin. Yes, we would love to return for a cabin visit.
You always find the most interesting sculptures!
Thank you. I do have a bit of a photo collection of sculptures starting. I think those may be the subject of an essay for Southern Minn Scene magazine.
That is a great idea
What a fun discovery that seems like it should be up north somewhere. I love the thought you stated kitschy art that defines a place. Indeed it does!!. .
I remember communities with kitschy art. Like your town of Hackensack with Lucette.