Lac Qui Parle County Rural innovation in Western Minnesota

Looking for art, the outdoors, history, and fun all rolled into one stunning area? Find it in Lac Qui Parle County!

Lac Qui Parle translates from French to "lake which speaks" and one visit during goose and duck season, and it will be clear why. The county is full of natural resources, creativity, innovation, and excitement. There is something for everyone in Lac Qui Parle County.

Found it! History and Art:

The County History Museum, Tokheim Stoneware, the Milan Village Arts School, and so much more!

The Lac Qui Parle County History Center is located in Madison, Minnesota. Inside it contains breathtaking exhibits about the county, and there is even a section that covers the county decade by decade. It's easy to get lost inside the museum, but you have to head out back!

top left: an indoor exhibit; top right: view from the back door. Click to enlarge photos.

Behind the main building of the Lac Qui Parle County History Center, is a treasure trove of historical buildings, including an old school house, and even the study which belonged to famous Western Minnesotan poet, Robert Bly.

The Prairie Arts Center was once a Lutheran church, but now serves as a community theater in Madison. The center not only hosts events, but produces plays and other performances for people of all ages. It is rich in history with over 30 years productions and performances, and continues to create new memories and histories.

Tokheim Stoneware is the combined effort of Lucy and Gene Tokheim who produces beautiful, durable, and exuberant pieces of Scandinavian folk art. Though they work together, Lucy and Gene Tokheim are impressive artists individually as well. They do their work in restored farm outbuildings, with additions of Scandinavian folk art, which often inspires their pottery designs.

examples of not only Tokheim stoneware, but of their studios -- restored farm outbuildings

Found it! The Great Outdoors!

Lac Qui Parle Lake and State Park, and the Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Management Area

The beautiful Lac Qui Parle Lake stretches for just under 7,000 acres along a large portion of the northeastern edge of the county. It's 15 feet deep at its deepest point, and is great for boating and fishing. It is particularly good for catching Bluegill, Lake Sturgeon, Northern Pike, and Walleye and Crappies. Marsh Lake is upstream from the Lac Qui Parle Lake and is also not one to miss!

Lac Qui Parle State Park is 925 acres of wonderfully preserved wildlife and history. It contains not only river floodplain and prairie hillsides, but history of the U.S. - Dakota War. There are seven miles in the upper and lower units of the park for hiking on foot, and 5 miles of horse trails in the lower unit.

In the lower park, horseback riding is allowed, and often enjoyed by visitors!

Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Management Area runs along the lake and has over 60 water access locations. It's perfect for watching bird migrations, enjoying the water and the large stretches of prairie and wetland.

Found it! Even More Fun!

Block Parties, Dragon Fest, River Fest, the County Fair!

The summer Madison Block Party is always a blast. There is live music, food from the Kiwanis Club (last year it was a fundraiser for playground equipment), and the new Little Miss Madison, and Miss Madison were elected. It was a wonderful community event!

top: Madison Block Party. bottom: Dragonfest/Stinker Day.

Dragonfest is a great summer festival in Madison, and Friday is it's own special day - Stinker Day (named after the time the event coincided with a new road getting laid down that smelled like tar). There's a coin scramble, a free movie at the beautiful Madison movie theater, a baseball game, even a 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and the Lutefisk Run/ Uff Da Walk. There's also a beer garden and several community meals.

Riverfest is a huge event in Dawson. It takes place near the end of June, and celebrates not only the community of Dawson, but the Lac Qui Parle River, that flows through the center of town. It is always an action-packed weekend with canoe races, a street dance, parades, baseball, disc golf, and so much more!

Riverfest Activities

The Lac Qui Parle County Fair, or "The Little Minnesota State Fair," happens every September in Madison since 1873! There is so much to do at the fair for people of all ages: rides, entertainers, exhibits, and more. There's even a demo derby!

Want to find out more about Lac Qui Parle County? Want to join the community?

Call today for more info: 866.866.5432

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