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Olmsted County hosts Ear of Corn Tower celebration

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's a tower so iconic, members of the community are willing to celebrate it.

"It needed repainting. It's an icon for our county and our city. And we wanted to keep that as part of this landscape forever," said Stephanie Podulke, Olmsted County board of commissioners chair.

"Right now, it's gleaming, it's beautiful and it's shining like a beacon here," said Gretchen Williamson, the communications manager for Olmsted County.

On Saturday, across the street from Rochester's farmers market, Olmsted County representatives and others gathered to celebrate the ear of corn tower's updated look.

Some enjoyed cake, while others even got dressed up in full corn costumes.

"This suit is just a representation of the corn tower in human form," said Kay Erwin, a project specialist for Olmsted County.

When asked about what the tower meant to them, community and history were two things that came to mind.

"I think the corn tower is a historical marker for Olmsted County. It's an important representation of Rochester," said Erwin.

"For people who live here, especially people who lived here their whole lives, it's a symbol of being home," said Williamson.

The ear of corn tower was not the only agenda item at Saturday's celebration. Olmsted County also unveiled big plans to add many features to Graham Park.

"What we want to do is turn this into a regional destination, really expand the draw and expand the number of activities that we can do at Graham Park here year round," said Williamson.

Some ideas for Graham park include building a pavilion over the farmer's market and an amphitheater.

"We hope that it will become a real destination for activities," said Podulke.

All of it will have the tower in its background.

"It just needed to stay, and it needed to be repainted so it's all its corny glory," said Podulke.

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Noah Caplan

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