The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 12, 2012

Our View: Gustavus greets royalty royally

Thumbs up: Dignity. Humility. Friendliness. These are the qualities we like in our royalty, and it was all on display last week at Gustavus Adolphus College. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were welcomed at the college with pomp and ceremony, and in return they revealed more than a little warmth.

The visit was in honor of the GAC sesquicentennial and it was all wonderfully orchestrated with just the right amount of stately ceremony mixed in with some elbow-rubbing with the regular people among us. In the best of circumstances, Americans prefer that royals exude the expected class and grace but also know how to relate to us commoners.

His Majesty and the queen were wonderfully up to the task, displaying a genuine warmth and humility along with the requisite royal style.

Here’s to McGowan’s sarsaparilla saloon

Thumbs up: To Jack McGowan and his endless amount of energy to improve offerings for children and families at McGowan’s Farm. Today at History Fest, thirsty festival-goers can belly up to the new Sarsaparilla Saloon for a cold 1919 Root Beer.

The farm is not only McGowan’s home, but an escape for kids and families who want a piece of rural adventure. From riding a zip line to sawing logs, there are activities that some parents have nightmares about. But McGowan has been hosting groups at the farm for years and keeps adding amenities that keep people coming back.

Today’s History Fest is the crowning achievement for the farm. Re-enactors and activities with a historic theme — from cannon shooting to sheep shearing — are on the docket from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

McGowan has created a unique playground for the area. Checking out History Fest and paying $5 admission is a small way of thanking him for his hard work and dedication to the area’s youth.

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