Minne the Lake Creature is going on vacation

Paddleboarders visited Minne the Lake Creature in Lake Calhoun. File photo

For the first summer since 2009 there won’t be a monster living in Minneapolis lakes this year.

That’s because Minne the Lake Creature — a 13-foot-tall floating sculpture resembling the Loch Ness Monster — is taking this summer off. Each year the Minneapolis Parks Foundation typically installs the sculpture on a lake determined by a fan vote.

The foundation, an independent nonprofit that philanthropically supports the city’s park system, is repairing the land-locked sea creature this season. The aluminum and fiberglass sculpture has suffered fading and cracking — not to mention last year’s fans who climbed Minne, prompting an early exit from Lake Calhoun.

Instead of finding the creature out in a lake, the foundation is inviting park goers to go on “Minne vacations” and to take photos with free printable lake creatures, which are available at mplsparksfoundation.org.

Minne-Vacation-PrintableThe foundation is consulting with an artist to recondition the sculpture for an anticipated 2017 re-launch, according to a news release. Minne has garnered a sizable fan base since first appearing in 2009, with a nearly 7,000 followers combined across Twitter and Facebook.

“The ‘Minne vacation’ idea means that her fans can continue to fly the Lake Creature flag as we work to make her ship-shape again,” said Tom Evers, the foundation’s executive director, in a statement. “We’re proud that the Lake Creature is such a delight to young and old. With Minne vacation, we hope to sustain her whimsical inspiration, while expanding Minne’s horizons and encouraging families to explore the wonders of nature, near and far.”