Hats Off to Josh Montgomery, Shannon Draper and Tara Aiken

Starting with a Vision – Ending with a Giant Ladybug Josh and Shannon envisioned the giant ladybug intersection painting project, and artist Tara Aiken brought it to life. Josh Montgomery and Shannon Draper live in the small suburban town of Hopkins, Minnesota in a neighborhood called, “The Avenues”. The Avenues are noted for tree-lined sidewalks…

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GSR Fine Art Festival Mankato 2022

Dozens of artists, authors and musicians demonstrated their outstanding work at this annual fall event again this year, the weekend right after Thanksgiving. The festival is a juried show, meaning you have to show your work to earn the nod of approval to get in. It is a collection of the finest artwork in southern…

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National Coffee with A Cop Day, Lindstrom, MN

National Coffee with a Cop day is the day that cops go to local coffee shops to meet with the public. Hats Off America celebrated the event in Lindstrom, Minnesota with Northwoods Roasterie and Lakes Area PD which serves Lindstrom and Chisago City. Police Chief Bill Schlumbohm says “police officers are just citizens doing a…

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Hat’s Off to kidney Organ Donors!

Hat’s Off to those involved in the tremendously important field of kidney organ donations. 17 people die per day waiting for a life-saving kidney, and 100,000 Americans are on the waiting list!

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Hat’s Off to the Hopkins Royal Triathlon

Shady Oak Beach Triathlon

The race makes every effort to make triathlons accessible to everyone by offering a Mini-Sprint and Sprint levels. You can choose your own distance. For example, if you are more comfortable with the biking portion, you can do the longer segment, but do the shorter segment for the running portion.

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Braham Pie Day

Hat’s off to the Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota In 1990, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich declared the little city of Braham to be the “Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota”.  Braham Pie Day was born! Before Interstate 35 was built, Twin Cities residents drove through Braham, Minnesota, on their way to their lake homes. On the way, they would…

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Hat’s Off to the Hopkins Raspberry Festival!

The 2022 Raspberry Festival was the best one yet! The Hopkins Raspberry festival started in 1935, when growing raspberries was a key part of farming in the area. Even now, when you walk through the alleys of Hopkins you see many residents growing their own. The Raspberry Festival is held the third weekend of July,…

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Breakfast on the Farm

Hats Off, America, to the Wright Carver Breakfast on the Farm fun event on Saturday, June 11th. A tip of the hat also to BOB Country, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), Halquist Farms, Princess Kay of the Milky Way Anna Euerle and many others who made it all possible. Thank you, Minnesota farmers for all…

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Minnesota Ukrainians Help Their Homeland

Hats Off to the Ukrainian Church of Minneapolis, who held a highly successful fundraiser to raise money for Ukraine. People lined up at their church for the opportunity to purchase Ukrainian perogies, kabobs, chicken and sweet treats! Thousands of people attended the event. Who knows better than immigrants from Ukraine how to get donations to…

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Hats Off to Historic Hopkins, Minnesota!

Historic Hopkins Mainstreet sign

Hopkins Commercial Historic District is officially on the National Register of Historic Places The Hopkins Commercial Historic District has been placed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. The historic area includes Mainstreet between, 8th and 11th avenues. If you walk down Mainstreet, you will notice very old brick buildings. This section…

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Hat’s Off to Author Chris Norbury

Chris Norbury, Author

This Minnesota author recently published his latest book, Dangerous Straits Hats Off, America, interviewed Chris Norbury about his latest book at the GSR Fine Arts Festival. Chris talked less about himself and more about how new authors can write publish their first book. “If you have a story inside you, go ahead and write it…

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200 Miles on Foote

Doug Foote with his wife at the State Capitol

Hats off, America, to Doug Foote, who walked 200 miles to bring to light fire fighter health awareness Bob Metoxen from Hats Off, America, interviewed Doug Foote in Hopkins, Minnesota towards the end of his 200 mile walk the summer of 2021. Fire Fighter Doug Foote from Chanhassen, MN, started his walk on the Minnesota…

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GSR Fine Art Festival in Mankato

Silo paintings in Mankato

A small community with a stellar art show Tom Bliese, Co-Director of the GSR Fine Art Festival, talks about the thriving community of artists in the Mankato area. The GSR Fine Art Festival is an opportunity to feature the fine arts in southern Minnesota. The show for 2022 will be on November 26 and 27.…

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The Cynthia Wahlen Memorial Golf Tournament

Hats Off, America, to the family and friends of the late Cynthia Wahlen! They gathered to celebrate her life cut short by domestic violence. Leigh Wahlen, Cynthia’s daughter, was 13-years old when her mother was murdered. Leigh is now a Social Worker in Human Services at Polk County, Wisconsin. This video includes an interview with…

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Hats Off to Team Tucker!

Tucker Helstrom died after a heroic battle with osteosarcoma 5-years ago, but his impact on the City of Hopkins lives on. During his weeks in the hospital, Tucker noticed that some children didn’t have any visitors, and the organization in his memory, PlayLaughLove.org, wants to change that. To honor Tucker’s wish that all sick children…

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Cape Cod

Hats Off, America traveled to Cape Cod in the Summer of 2021. We flew to Rhode Island, rented a car, and drove to the cape. We took the ferry from Woods Hole out to Martha’s Vineyard for a day trip.

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Hats off to 50 Years of the ICA Food Shelf!

ICA Your Local Foodshelf

The ICA Food Shelf is celebrating 50 years of distributing food to those in need in the Hopkins/Minnetonka community. “ICA” stands for Intercongregation Communities Association. The food shelf was incorporated fifty years ago by a coalition of churches in Hopkins and Minnetonka. It started at a house in downtown Hopkins, then for many years it…

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Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Trail

Hotshots Memorial Trail

On June 30, 2013, the Yarnell Hill Fire  killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was one of the deadliest U.S. wildfires. To memorialize the horrific events of that day, the Arizona Public Service Foundation invested in the Hotshot Memorial Trail as a place to remember and heal. As you walk up the trail, there…

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The Terry Bison Ranch Resort

Looking Out the Train Window at Buffalo

The Terry Bison Ranch Resort in Cheyenne, WY is a great bargain adventure with the kids. The train tour of the buffalo is $15 for adults and $7.50 for children. Check the Price List at their website since they can vary seasonally. The Train Ride in Winter We have done the train tour twice in…

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Hats off to the Saint Croix Band of Chippewa for their Food Giveaway

The Volunteers in the snow

Feeding the Hungry in a Pandemic The dauntless Jennifer Bearheart coordinates efforts for the weekly food giveaway program. As the Aging Unit Director for the Saint Croix Band of Chippewa, she and her colleagues jumped at the chance to coordinate food giveaway for the area. Every Thursday morning, trucks roll in with dairy products, meat,…

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Making the World Less Scary for Kids

Hats off to Kevin Kunkel, author of the children’s book, The World We Choose. How do you explain to children that all of the bad things they see or hear about on the news are not likely to happen to them? How can we make the world less scary? Watching the news can give viewers…

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Sedona Chimney Rock Trail

chimney rock in sedona

Hats off to Chimney Rock Trail We were looking for an early evening hike close to our hotel in Sedona. We simply turned left of off Highway 89 and drove towards the mountain. This short excursion brought us to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead and the Chimney Rock Trail. Arriving at 4:45PM, we knew that sunset…

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International Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota

Artwork of owls submitted by children

Hat’s off to the International Owl Center! International Owl Center The International Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota is a lovely day trip from the Twin Cities. The Houston area is surrounded by beautiful river bluffs. It is in the scenic Root River Valley, and is a great place for hiking as well as learning about…

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Michael Lanning

Hat’s off to Michael Lanning! Michael Lanning fell off of a ladder while putting up holiday lights and sustained spinal cord injuries in 1997. He and his family have faced those injuries with courage as well as ingenuity. In his workshop, Michael enjoys problem solving and creating unique furniture solutions.

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Reach and Restore

Hat’s off to Reach and Restore based in Hopkins, Minnesota! Reach and Restore (R&R) provides needy families with resources to provide a sense of hope and be a support to get back on their feet. This may include physical needs such as household items, furniture, locating housing or transportation and personal needs such as moral…

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The Twin Cities Marathon Wheelers

Hat’s off to the wheelers at the Twin Cities Marathon! Date: October 1, 2017 Thousands of people ran in this year’s Twin Cities In Motion Marathon, aided by volunteers, law enforcement and medical personnel. Here’s a Hat’s Off salute to the wheelers!? We spoke with some of them including Matthew Porterfield, Chad Johnson, Tyler Byers…

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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Island Caves

Sea caves, island retreats, lighthouses on beautiful Lake Superior Visited date: August 26, 2017 Location: 415 Washington Ave, Bayfield, WI Hats Off, America, to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore! We visited the lakeshore on Saturday, August 26 and spoke with Park Ranger Tam Hofman at the Visitor Center. Then we went on a tour of the…

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Eclipse 2017 in Cameron, Missouri

Hat’s off to Frank Eisenbraun and Cameron, Missouri Visited date: August 21, 2017 Location: McCorkle Park, West 3rd Street, Cameron, MO For the eclipse we headed down Interstate 35 from the Minneapolis-St. Paul to the closest place in the path of totality Cameron, Missouri! Once there, we joined a group in McCorkle Park to share…

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Hats Off to Indiana Dunes National Park!

An American treasure adjacent to major cities Visited date: August 14, 2017 Location: 1215 State Highway 49, Porter, IN The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a national treasure within an hour of the Chicago metropolitan area. We visited with Bruce Rowe, Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information Officer. Because of its accessibility to urban areas,…

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