Mostly dark since 1975, Minneapolis' iconic Grain Belt sign will soon glow again.
August Schell Brewing Co., which purchased the beer brand in 2002, announced last week that it's "finally flipping the switch" on December 30. (Semi-related: My New Year's resolution is also to stay lit AF.)
Wanna be a part of it? The historic New Ulm-based brewery is selling 1,007 packages that include: a certificate of bulb ownership, a T-shirt, and a porcelain sign featuring the local landmark. You can buy 'em here for $100.
"The Grain Belt Beer sign both reflects and contributes to the downtown Minneapolis character as a historic industrial and commercial city," August Schell President Ted Marti said in a 2016 press release announcing his brewery's purchase of the sign. "As a historic Minnesota brewery, we’re committed to preserving our history and the history of our state."
Here's new Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey talking to the Star Tribune last year, when he was merely a sign-championing City Council member:
"The Grain Belt sign is the Yellow Brick Road to the Northeast. Literally highlighting it brings much-deserved attention to our central riverfront and to a section of the city that deserves a major entrance."
Originally built in 1941, the Grain Belt sign moved to its current home atop the Mississippi River's Nicollet Island in 1950. It went dark in 1975, but was ceremonially re-lit in the late '80s and early '90s.
Here's sign-championing Edina native Craig Finn referencing "the Grain Belt bridge" in 2006: