Bemidji honored as Minn. state capital for a day

Downtown Bemidji
Bemidji is one of five cities that were selected to be Capital for a Day as part of Minnesota's sesquicentennial celebration. Bemidji gets the honor on May 12. The others are: Thief River Falls (May 13); Detroit Lakes (May 14); New Ulm (May 15); and Winona (May 16).
MPR photo/Tom Robertson

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will help celebrate the state's Sesquicentennial today in Bemidji. The northern Minnesota city is serving as state capital for a day.

As part of Minnesota's 150th birthday, five cities will get the honor this week.

The designation is ceremonial. The Legislature will be in session today, but they will stay in the real Capitol in St. Paul and not meet in Bemidji.

Still, Bemidji mayor Richard Lehmann said this is a great chance to soak up a little spotlight.

"Bemidji's been real involved in trying to garner more exposure for ourselves to show we're becoming a dominant regional center in Minnesota," said Lehmann.

Thief River Falls, Detroit Lakes, New Ulm, and Winona will also get their own days.

After a pancake breakfast in Bemidji this morning, residents are invited to a town meeting to talk about the future of their town and state.

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