BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Mall of America sent out the invite and an estimated 135,000 of its best friends showed up for its big 20th birthday party celebration on Saturday.
Some of those attending share its birthday, like Angela Powell who drove all of the way from Chicago. She said, "When I was younger, much younger, I remember the Mall of America opening. It was just a big to do. It was on the news."
When she heard there was going to be a party today, on her birthday, she decided she had to and she brought her daughter for some school clothes shopping. She laughed and said she was going to, "Spend as much money as I can!"
Of course some birthday cake was on her list too. The Mall provided that by ordering one from Carlo's Bakery, home of the Cake Boss. There was enough for 2,000 people, some who had lined up for a couple hours for a taste.
There were also party favors, 20 different ones and 500 of each. The popped up in different corners of the mall, at various times and included free samples of Cinnabons, lottery tickets and gift certificates to Mall of America restaurants like Twin City Grill.
There was music from the 80's cover band, Pop Rocks, in the rotunda.
The Theatres at Mall of America were showing free movies from 1992 as well.
Dan Jasper with Mall of America said, "Over the past 20 years, we've welcomed over 800 million people into this building. We generate more than two billion a year in economic impact for Minnesota and we employ more than 13,000 people so it's amazing the impact the Mall has had on Minnesota and it continues to get stronger."
Jasper said, "Even though our name is Mall of America, we truly are Minnesota's mall so we invite every single Minnesotan to come down to celebrate with us today and in the coming weeks because this is a part of you as well."
Mall of America has been part of eight-year-old Emma Aune's birthday party for two years.
Her mom, Rochelle Aune said, "I didn't know it would be a party for the Mall of America. I forgot it coincided with my daughter's birthday."
Emma said, "I like to go on all the rides."
As many Minnesota families have done, the Aune's will celebrate at Nickelodeon Universe, this time alongside thousands of others wishing a very happy 20th birthday to the Mall.
Rochelle said, "It's like the red, white and blue of America. There's just so much to do, so much to see."
The party wrapped up with Beer Fest in the parking lot across the street from the mall. For an entry fee, ticket holders were able to sample 500 different kinds of beer.
Over the years there have been more than 7,000 events held at the Mall of America, today's birthday party, one of them.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)