Winona has been (mostly) ironically referring to itself as the “Miami of Minnesota” for as long as most who live there can remember. Visit Winona recently decided to share this inside joke with the world via an online advertising campaign and a fun new booth that it debuted at a few Minneapolis travel expositions this fall.
The tongue in cheek campaign caught the attention of one Post Bulletin reader who wrote in to the paper’s ‘Answer Man’ column to find out why Winona, a city of roughly 30,000 in Southeastern Minnesota, has claimed this moniker.
The column begins with the question, “Dear Answer Man: A family member recently returned from a trade show of sorts on the topic of travel. Among the information they came back with was a button featuring a flamingo and a slogan proclaiming Winona as the “Miami of Minnesota.” What’s that about? — Minnesotan, not Floridian”
Answer Man jokes, “It’s not that Winona is known for its bikini clad residents and delectable Cuban food. So what is it then?”
That’s where Visit Winona’s Marketing Specialist Cynthya Porter is brought into the discussion. She says, “Winona is the warmest place in Minnesota, according to Weather Almanac, so we like to think that our extra three degrees (on average) make us a little extra balmy here… When it’s zero degrees, we’ll take anything, right?” She goes on to explain that Winona and Miami are located in the same position in the Southeast corners of their respective states of Minnesota and Florida.
Answer Man also explains that Winona’s impressive arts and culture scene helps it justify its nickname, writing, “Add in Winona’s entertainment offerings and it makes the city of approximately 27,000 people ‘surprisingly cosmopolitan for a small city.'”
You can read the full column here