Have you Seen the World’s Largest Raspberry? (It’s here in MN)
Add this one to your list of wonderfully bizarre Minnesota roadside attractions!
I was chatting with a friend last night who was heading to Hopkins to meet friends for dinner. He was wondering what breweries were in the area for drinks afterwards, so I opened up Google Maps to help search. As I zoomed in and out of the Hopkins area, something caught my eye -- a landmark icon for The World's Largest Raspberry. "Wait, what?!" I wondered before clicking on the icon. Sure enough, photos of a giant statue of a raspberry popped up.
Hopkins, as it turns out, is the self-proclaimed raspberry capital of the United States. Since 1934, the town has celebrated an annual Raspberry Festival each July. It's said that the first festival was born out of the depression era as an effort to boost local business. The raspberry theme was chosen to coincide with peak raspberry season, and raspberry growers were assigned places along the curb downtown to sell their wares. The first festival was such a success that it has carried on as an annual tradition, despite the raspberry fields being long gone.
In 2018, a local business doctor Pete L'Allier suggested that the city of Hopkins install a statue of a giant raspberry to commemorate its rasberry reputation. Minneapolis sculptor Ben Janssens was commissioned, and the final sculpture was erected in front of Hopkins' wellness center downtown.
Today, the giant raspberry measures 11 feet tall, 10 feet wide, weighs 1,000 pounds and hangs from a 22 foot tall vine. It's located on 8th Avenue North in Hopkins right next to the Health & Wellness Center.