The King and Queen of Norway are coming to Duluth, and preparations are being finalized for the royal visit.
Their tour of the region begins next Thursday in Decorah Iowa. On Oct. 17 in Duluth, King Harald V and Queen Sonja will re-dedicate Enger Tower, an iconic stone building that offers commanding views of the city and Lake Superior.
The King's father originally dedicated the tower more than 70 years ago. Duluth has just completed a nearly $400,000 renovation of the structure.
That was the selling point to convince the King and Queen to visit, said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.
"To say, it was your father who dedicated the tower back in 1939, and now we've done the most extensive renovations since the tower was built," Ness said. "What a great opportunity for the king to come and have the rededication."
King Harald V and Queen Sonja will first eat at a royal luncheon, with 500 guests at $100 per plate.
They'll then visit the Duluth Sons of Norway, which has completed refurbishing its downtown Norway Hall. Finally the royal couple will re-dedicate Enger Tower, perched on a bluff high above the city overlooking Lake Superior.
"Folks have really rallied behind this effort and want to make it a historic day for the city of Duluth, and I think we're well poised to do that," Ness said.
Up to one thousand people are expected at the dedication in Enger Park. The royal couple will also stop in Northfield, Rochester and the Twin Cities on the trip, before continuing on to New York, where they'll visit Ground Zero.