Last edited: January 27, 2005

Minnesota Group Denounces ‘Whorehouse Days’

The Associated Press, January 27, 2005

GILBERT, Minn.—Promoting this town’s proud history is one thing. Naming the town’s festival Gilbert Whorehouse Days is another thing entirely.

A group of angry citizens showed up at a City Council meeting Tuesday to protest the event. The festival’s name refers to a time when Gilbert was known for its bars, gambling and “working girls” during Prohibition.

“The damage has been done,” resident Fran Marolt said. “This is not a family-oriented activity.”

The event doesn’t include any of the activities that gave the festival its name, but City Council members still don’t approve.

“It would give us a black eye,” City Council member Dan Berry said.

Organizers say the festival—and its name—are meant to bring back a part of history. The festival is planned for two days in July and includes a car show, antique fair and bank robbery reenactment.

“We feel it’s got some power to it,” said organizer Lynn Sausman, who’s lived in Gilbert for 35 years. “Gilbert has been widely documented to be the biggest red light district on the Iron Range.”

[Home] [News] [Minnesota]