Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
Wow! The 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener was a rousing success due to an impressive showing of community support.
I had the pleasure of representing my agency on the event committee. Over the many months of planning, I experienced a firsthand glimpse of the countless hours of hard work performed by committee members, business leaders, volunteers and the community. Your efforts paid off in many ways. You attracted more media than to any prior Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener (48 reporters). Your banquet was the largest in the 8-year history of the event, pushing nearly 500 people.
But perhaps best of all, you made people feel welcomed.
The billboard on I-90, signs in storefronts throughout town, electronic displays of the Opener’s logo, and the town’s trademark nutcrackers wearing blaze orange all said “hello” to visitors. What a fun way to unite everyone for a weekend! Add the giant wooden pheasants along U.S. Highway 75, the massive American flag hanging from the fire department’s ladder truck, and the corn shocks tethered to utility poles around town … it was obvious the community was unified in welcoming all who attended. And none of us will soon forget the performance by the marching band Friday evening.
More than a hundred media and invited guests found plenty of other things to love about Luverne, too. For some, it was their first trip to Blue Mounds State Park and riding the Prairie and Bison Tour vehicle. Others had their first opportunity to see the Brandenburg Photo Gallery, or maybe it’s the only time they’ve encountered so many nutcrackers in one place! All of us got to experience the depth and breadth of what this southwestern Minnesota community has to offer.
Media coverage for the event has reached across the Midwest and beyond. More stories are yet to come. These lasting impressions are sure to pay dividends for years to come in the form of tourists, visitors and hunters making the trip to Rock County.
While the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, Fishing Opener, and Deer Hunting Opener promote outdoor recreation, they also shine a beacon on all that the host city and area has to offer for visitors coming to the area. Luverne's beacon was bright. To quote committee chair Rick Peterson, you “knocked it out of the park.”
Congratulations on a job well done, Luverne. Thanks for the memorable weekend.
Scott W. Roemhildt, Regional Director,
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources