Our favorite photos of 2013


1 Sophia Zaccardi, 2, waits for her father Tony Zaccardi to vote at Model Cities in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. 
2 Ernie Lamson salutes during the Pledge of Allegiance at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial on the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 11, 2013. The 91-year-old served in WWII with the 82nd Airborne Division. 
3 Nine majestic sailing ships evoking the nation's nautical past sailed into the Duluth harbor July 25, 2013, during the Grand Parade of Sail that signals the start of the city's five-day Tall Ships Festival. Above, Pride of Baltimore II crewmembers -- including Melissa Brauner, of New Orleans, left, and Chad Lossing, of Big Rapids, Mich. -- work on the ship's sails as it enters the harbor. 
4 Steve Houdek, a USGS biological science technician, releases an adult loon captured near South Turtle Lake in Otter Tail County, Minn. in the early hours of July 11, 2013. 
5 Paul Mendez, left, and Ross Aalgaard wait on the lawn of the State Capitol for Gov. Mark Dayton to sign the same-sex marriage bill May 14, 2013 in St. Paul. 
6 A rare May snowstorm left the landscape blanketed near Woodbury, Minn., on May 2, 2013. 
7 MPR News has spent the year checking in with Bruce Kramer, who is sharing his journey with ALS. Here, Kramer, with help from his son John Kramer, works on a pose during an adaptive yoga class March 11, 2013 at the Courage Center. 
8 Cookbook author Beth Dooley's cranberry ginger salsa includes fresh cranberries with orange and ginger, Nov. 29, 2013. It can be served on crackers or with chips. 
9 Minnesota Lynx fans line Nicollet Mall for the WNBA championship parade Oct. 14, 2013 in downtown Minneapolis. The Lynx defeated the Atlanta Dream to win their second championship in three years. 
10 The "Fighting for an American Countryside" project highlighted people in rural Minnesota battling small-town decline with determination, resourceful thinking, and unwavering belief. Above, a visit to the Minnesota High School Rodeo in Brainerd, Minn., on May 12, 2013. 
11 Tired firefighters gather on the sidewalk as others fight to extinguish a fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., on Sept. 13, 2013. 
12 Horizon Middle School principal Lori Lockhart welcomes sixth-grader Najib Mohamed to school on Sept. 3, 2013. It is a tradition at Horizon for teachers and staff to greet students outside the building and also hand each one a pencil. 
13 University of Minnesota senior Yuan Zhuang waits backstage during the Chinese Students and Scholars Association New Year Gala at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 17, 2013. The university admitted its first Chinese student in 1914 and today there are more than 8,000 Chinese alumni that have worked or studied at there. 
14 Water damage is plainly visible in the gymnasium at the old Central School in Pipestone in this June 18, 2013, photograph. Ask owner Dick Haase about the building and he says simply, "It's a mess." Haase, who purchased the school for $1 back in 2004, originally envisioned an assisted living facility with 76 units and planned for it to employ 50 people, according to local newspaper reports. 
15 A path through the woods leads Eric Wilkie of Webster, Wis. to his entry point at Stony Point into Lake Superior Feb. 11, 2013 near Duluth, Minn. 
16 Contempo Physical Dance hit the Cowles Center stage in Minneapolis Feb. 1-3 with the world premiere of "Batuque." The company blends contemporary movements with Afro-Brazilian dance and capoeira martial arts. At the rehearsal before opening night, Orlando Hunter, 22, said "dance is an emotional and spiritual release." 
17 Mel Dickie, 92, works at Wild Goose Sports in Rochester, Minn. and has taught hundreds of kids how to make custom fishing rods in community education classes. And two years ago, at age 90, he became a substitute teacher. 
18 A girl who was a victim of child sex trafficking hugs her horse Jan. 29, 2013 at Heartland Girls' Ranch in Benson, Minn. Each of the 19 girls staying at the ranch is assigned her own horse to care for and ride as part of her therapy. 
19 Maria Genne, second from left, dances with a group of veterans Jan. 17, 2013 at the VA Medical Center's Adult Day Health Care program in Richfield. Genne and a small group of other teaching artists from the Kairos dancing heart program visit and dance with the vets every week. 
20 Siblings nurse in the barn at Northcroft Farm near Pelican Rapids the morning of April 5, 2013. By April 7, the barn had welcomed 33 lambs. 
21 Racers drop onto the Crashed Ice course in the quarterfinals of the team competition on Jan. 25, 2013, in downtown St. Paul. 
22 St. Paul's West Side hosts an annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. A dreary day didn't stop the annual parade and festival on May 5, 2013, with its traditional dancers, food and other attractions. 
23 Two of six new gorillas at Como Park Zoo get used to their new space in St. Paul, Minn. June 4, 2013. The $11 million Gorilla Forest exhibit, which includes the largest mesh gorilla enclosure in North America, opened to the public June 6, 2013. 
24 Bryant Brunz, 12, attempts to a get a helmet signed during the Vikings' first day of training camp in Mankato, Minn., July 26, 2013. 
25 Margaret Miles, left, and Cathy ten Broeke, right, with their 5-year-old son Louie between them, celebrate as Mayor R.T. Rybak annouces the couple legally wed in Minnesota just after midnight Aug. 1, 2013 at Minneapolis City Hall. 
26 The ingredients to make Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Fast Japanese Pickles recipe include marinating vegetables in rice vinegar seasoned with ground chile, lemon zest, sugar and salt. 
27 Fighting for an American Countryside: A woman stands outside her home in Akeley, Minn., on Feb. 16, 2013. 
28 Sea smoke rises from Lake Superior over the North Breakwater Lighthouse during sunrise Dec. 6, 2013 near Canal Park in Duluth, Minn. 
29 Aki Shibata, left, shares a meal with Rachel Hammer at the Rochester Art Center on Nov. 24, 2013, in Rochester, Minn. Shibata is a behavioral artist. As part of her current exhibit "First Dates," she prepares lunch and shares it with a stranger in the art gallery. 
30 Young participants in the Santa Lucia celebration at the American Swedish Institute play different roles associated with a Swedish Christmas. Anders Ekstrom (center), 6, is dressed as a Star Boy on Dec. 13, 2013. 
31 Second-graders Kelsey Aguilar, Jazzlyn Bynum and Shekinah Ross-Cunningham, left to right, practice playing cello and violin Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School in Minneapolis. They're learning from Minnesota Orchestra musician Pam Arnstein. 
32 Event goers head home from the Cinco de Mayo celebration in St. Paul on May 5, 2013, passing one of the many murals in the District del Sol, a neighborhood located on the city's West Side.