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July 13, 2001

McCallum, Ventura Invited to Ride the Rails

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum have been invited to attend "Cruisinı The Rails," a celebration sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance. The Alliance commemorates its founding each year with a Governorsı Invitational Cruise. Founded in 1993, the organization will celebrate on Aug. 2 with a train excursion on the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway from Osceola, Wis., to Marine on St. Croix, Minn.

The only organization of its kind in the nation, the founding goal of the Alliance is to promote the tourism and hospitality industries in the St. Croix Valley region. The organizationıs success is due in part to the support of government officials at the local, regional and state levels as well as the involvement and support from the member communities served by the Alliance.

At the forming of the Alliance, former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson praised such bi-state alliances between Wisconsin and Minnesota, and said, "The St. Croix Valley is a bond, not a barrier," a sentiment which continues today.

"Cruisinı the Rails" begins at noon with a reception featuring a "Taste of the St. Croix Valley," with locally produced foods and beverages.

The celebration continues with a "Dignitaries Platform Address," allowing each governor to express views on tourism in the region, and the importance of bi-state alliances like this one. Also attending are Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Moose Speros and Minnesota Office of Tourism Executive Director John Erdman.

The historic St. Croix Valley and Osceola Railway train departs at 2 p.m. with the Governors and guests for a 90-minute round trip train ride. The breathtaking views of the St. Croix River Valley from Osceola, Wis. to Marine on St. Croix, Minn. are one of the many reasons tourists are attracted to the region.

Reservations to attend "Cruisinı the Rails" can be can be made by calling the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce at 715/246-2900. Tickets are $25 for Alliance members, $30 for non-members and $50 the day of the event.

The St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance serves 20 communities in the scenic St. Croix Valley. Its member communities include Prescott, River Falls, Hudson, Somerset, New Richmond, Osecola, Dresser and St. Croix Falls in Wisconsin. The Minnesota member communities include Hastings, Afton, Lakeland, Bayport, Oak Park Heights, Lake Elmo, Stillwater, Marine on St. Croix, Scandia, Copas, Center City and Taylors Falls.

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