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Minnesota's 150th birthday party plans in the works

Minnesota's 150th birthday party is taking shape.

It was 150 years ago last week that Congress took the first step to admitting Minnesota into the union. The state became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858.

The Sesquicentennial Commission is planning activities to last through May 11, 2008.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced there will be grants to help build local sesquicentennial projects and events. He included $2 million for that in his budget proposal.

"Our goal is for every one of Minnesota's 87 counties to be involved in the sesquicentennial," Sesquicentennial Commission Executive Director Jane Leonard said. "We hope every citizen in Minnesota can become engaged, as well, through the local and statewide events and projects."

Among those on the Sesquicentennial Commission are Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead; former Sen. Cal Larson, R-Fergus Falls. Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington; Dallas Ross, director of environmental programs for the Upper Sioux and Lower Sioux Indian Communities; and Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.