TOWER, Minn. — The dress talked as Abbi Zapata bumped her feet across the floor. It was a gentle sound, as rhythmic as ice shards moving against a thawing shoreline. It's a century-old sound that originated in the American Indian tribes of northern Minnesota. Abbi's ancestors heard the sounds of jingle dresses, and Abbi's mother, Adrienne Whiteman, has heard them, too.
Shrimp, wine and hemp. Minnesota farmers are more likely to grow commodity crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat, but some people aren't satisfied with traditional farming. They want to branch out, grow something new, see what it's like to raise a quirky crop. Like shrimp or prawns, wine grapes or industrial hemp, all in Northeastern Minnesota.
PALO, Minn. — Start with a tub of snow. Add water and stir until nice and slushy. Pack, pack, pack. Repeat. That's the recipe for a solid ice slide, like the ones revelers will enjoy at the 80th annual Laskiainen Finnish sliding festival this weekend in Palo, about 50 miles north of Duluth. The festival is "one of the oldest ongoing ethnic festivals in the United States," Vivian Williams said. She has helped organize the festival for more than two decades. And, at age 85, she has been part of most of them.