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Revival of historic fountain brings splash to Land of the Loon Festival

VIRGINIA, MN — Thousands made their way to Virginia this weekend for the annual Land of the Loon Festival.

Known for its variety of food and ethnic arts and crafts, this year’s newest attraction brought a piece of history back to the forefront of the Iron Range.

“We had an added attraction with the fountain this year,” Virginia Resident Carolyn Tuttle said. “Everybody has a memory of the fountain.”

Out of operation since 2013, Carolyn and her husband Dave were a part of the group that spearheaded the push to bring the 82-year-old fountain back to life at Olcott Park.

“Our initial goal was $400,000,” Carolyn said. “Thanks to the people of the area and some businesses, we’ve done better than anticipated.”

A more than $1 million revival.

“Every dollar, every person contributed to this,” Carolyn said.

Where old memories will become new ones.

“Whether they kissed their first girl there or proposed there,” Dave said. “There’s already a couple weddings planned.”

A staple of the Land of the Loon Festival for years to come.

“It’s a great asset to our community to have that restored,” Virginia Fire Chief Allen Lewis said.

The fountain committee is still seeking $50,000 additional in funding to finish the project. That money would go towards landscaping, benches, and trash cans.

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Gamiel Hall

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