St. Urho and Family Fun in Menahga
As you head to the heart of north central Minnesota, you will find the community of Menahga. Located about three hours north of the Twin Cities, the small town of Menahga (population 1,304) features some great family friendly amenities. From a beautiful beach and city park to an ancient legend that the locals celebrate every year, Menahga’s charm will entice you to visit and explore this lovely area of Minnesota.
Back in the 1950’s, the legend of St. Urho began in northern Minnesota. St. Urho is not a real saint, but a made-up one. According to legend, St. Urho saved grape crops in ancient Finland from an attack by a giant swarm of grasshoppers. St. Urho chanted “Grasshopper, grasshopper, GO AWAY!” and the grasshoppers departed. Designed in 1982 by chainsaw artist Jerry Ward, the Menahga sculpture measures 12 feet tall and is made out of fiberglass. In March, the residents of Menahga celebrate “St. Urho Days” to remember the legend and to celebrate their Finnish heritage. The sculpture is located just off Highway 71.
Museums and Historical Spots
Next to St. Urho stands the Menahga Area Historical Museum, which features local history and an art gallery. The museum is free, but appreciates donations and is open during the summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
As I’ve traveled across Minnesota, I’ve encountered small towns that have beautiful city parks with great family amenities. Menahga is set up perfectly for a small town family vacation. At Menahga’s City Beach Park, swim in the waters of Spirit Lake and play in the sands of its amazing beach. Enjoy the views of the lake while you fish off the Spirit Lake fishing pier. Spirit Lake is known for largemouth bass. After you swim on the beach and fish off the pier, climb aboard the playground area for more fun!
Just a mile down the road from City Beach Park, you will find the Memorial Forest Campground. This campground stood out to me because of the large pine and birch trees that cover the property. The campground features shaded campsites, a playground, and picnic shelters. Camping there will set you back just $15.00 for a non-electric site and $25.00 for a site with electricity and water.
Events in Menagha, Minnesota
- St. Urho Days– Held in mid-March. Activities include a medallion hunt, donkey basketball, St. Urho Day parade, bar stool races, live music, food and much more.
- Menahga Midsummer Celebration– Held in July. Events include and arts and crafts show, parade, fun run, live music, and food.
- Menahga Fishing Derby– Held in January. Over $10,000 in prizes!
- City of Menahga
- Menahga Civic and Commerce Association
- Menahga Area Historical Society & Museum
- St. Urho
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