Brainerd Offers History Tours Amid 150th Anniversary Celebration
Visit Brainerd has been hosting Downtown Brainerd History Tours all summer long. These tours have happened in the past, but with the 150th anniversary celebration in September, they’re more frequent.
“We have been doing this all summer. It just so happens that saturday, we’re running two of them,” said Holly Holm, Visit Brainerd’s Visitor Services Specialist.
The Downtown Brainerd History Tours showcase the Brainerd of the past – what buildings used to be for, where the most popular place in town was back in the 1930s. These tours have been held before, but with the anniversary coming up, they’re being done more often.
“It’s been done in the past with History Week. This year, with [it] being [the] sesquicentennial we amped it up a little bit and decided to have the tours a little more often,” said Holm. “And of course with Sesquicentennial Week coming up on September 18 on that day, we will be doing four tours that week and then that’s gonna be it for the rest of the summer.”
The tour guides try to make it a fun experience for all, joking and laughing while also giving people a great opportunity to learn all about the city on the 90-minute tour.
“They go basically through a four-block radius through downtown and they look up and down and look all around and find all sorts of things that they probably hadn’t noticed before, and it’s pretty cool,” said Holm.
Because Brainerd is “a city for all seasons”, per the Downtown Brainerd sign, it’s no secret that this is a hot destination for tourists. But even people who have lived here forever still enjoy learning more about their home.
“We actually get a really good mix, it’s about half-and-half,” claimed Holm. “Of course, we are in tourism land right now and we certainly have our share of visitors that come in that are just generally interested. There’s a lot of people out there who find it interesting to go to a new town or a new city and want to learn about that area, so we have our share of visitors that want to partake in the tour but we also have a lot of locals that have a general interest too.”
Holm loves history because it shows the city where it once was compared to where it is now.
“I also think that there is a misconception that history is boring, and that is certainly not the case with these downtown history tours,” said Holm. “I can guarantee you that you will learn something, you will probably laugh, and you will be able to share your knowledge with people in your family.”