ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud Area is adding to the storied tradition of the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener.

On the eve of the opener nearly 8,000 people including Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Lt  Gov Tina Smith showed up for the picnic at Lake George.

Smith says this weekend is a great chance for people around the state to see what St. Cloud has to offer.

"Well today all of Minnesota and really even more are going to be able to see what an incredible resource the Mississippi River is in this exquisitely wonderful community."

Free food and drink were provided as well as entertainment by G.B. Leighton.

100's of volunteers and a lot of hours went into planning this weekend full of events. Governor Dayton says organizers have done a great job getting the city ready for the 70th Governors Fishing Opener.

"This has just been so phenomenally done. Your going to have so much fun, there is so much to enjoy here. Have a great time fishing tomorrow, and thank you very much for hosting us here in St. Cloud."

The fishing send-off ceremony will be at 8:00 a.m. at Wilson Park Saturday morning.

Justin LaBounty WJON