ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — There are amazing communities across Minnesota's landscape, but only one can top the list of towns that best embody the spirit of the state. 

That one, according to Minnesota Monthly Magazine, is Alexandria. The lakeside city was selected from among a laundry list of entries as the 2019 Best MN Town. Candidates were asked to present a case for why they should be named Minnesota Monthly’s Best MN Town. The selection process used wide-ranging criteria including responses from the towns to questions about their traits and engagement, qualitative and quantitative research. There was also an online public vote.

"I’m excited to announce Alexandria as Minnesota Monthly’s 2019 Best Minnesota Town as it truly embodies the spirit of our state,” explained Reed Fischer, senior editor of Minnesota Monthly. “It’s a beautiful year-round destination with a rich history and a bright future.”

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Among things highlighted in Alexandria's application:

  • The city made a commitment to education and the future by building a state-of-the-art, 280,000-square-foot high school, which opened in 2014. The school reinvented the classroom experience with flexible learning spaces, natural light, and modular walls and furniture while implementing innovative learning programs and personalized learning to help students prepare for a specific career area.
  • In 2011, Emersyn Harris started Cards for Kids in Alexandria and decided to make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer. Since its inception, Cards for Kids in Alexandria has brought smiles to 60,000+ children.
  • Have you ever swallowed a minnow? Alexandria’s Corral Saloon and Eatery provides an experience with its “shoot a minnow” in addition to its 50+ years of providing delicious food and attentive service.

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Alexandria will receive a number of benefits from being named Minnesota Monthly’s 2019 Best MN Town, including an editorial feature in the upcoming March/April edition of the magazine (valued at over $50,000).

For more on the Best Town competition, check out the Minnesota Monthly website.