As another year (and decade!) draws to a close, we reflect fondly on the moments that made 2019 so unforgettable. We had travelers from all over the US visit Greater St. Cloud, hike the trails at Quarry Park, paddle down the Mississippi River, eat at locally owned restaurants and shop many great local retailers. We saw amazing events, big moments, and much more happen throughout the year, and we are excited to continue this adventure with you into the new year!
Let’s take a look back at some of our big moments of 2019.
For the 6th year, St. Cloud Technical College hosted the State VEX Robotics Competition at the River’s Edge Convention Center in January. This celebration of young minds exploring their options in the STEM fields is an amazing event to behold. Kids from elementary to college ages participate in building, programming, and competing with robots. The tournament draws thousands of people to St. Cloud, and highlights an important area of study and innovation. We can’t wait to see them again in 2020!
Throwback to Earth Day Run weekend in Downtown St. Cloud! Were you there? What did you think of the downtown setup?!Video by Fines Aerial Imaging, LLC
Posted by Visit Greater St. Cloud on Friday, May 3, 2019
In April, the well-known Earth Day Half Marathon took place in a new location – downtown St. Cloud! This event, which includes a 5K on Friday evening and the half-marathon on Saturday, is a huge draw for runners, fitness enthusiasts, and their fans from all over the state and beyond. It is the unofficial kickoff to racing season in Minnesota, and with the downtown venue featuring the fitness expo at River’s Edge and an outdoor band and beer garden, it proved to be an extremely fun and successful year! Returning to downtown again in 2020, keep an eye out for updates and news about this amazing event here as it draws nearer – you won’t wan to miss it!
In August, St. Cloud hosted the Minnesota Senior Games, bringing in hundreds of the state’s top athletes ages 50+ to compete in 20+ different sporting events all across Greater St. Cloud. From cycling to pickleball and bowling to tennis, there was something for everyone of every skill-level to compete in. This inspiring display of perseverance and determination was only the beginning, too. In 2020, St. Cloud will host the MN Senior Games again, but this year it is a nationals qualifier – so this is when the real competition begins! Would you like to give it a try? Check out 2019’s event and register for 2020 here.
Thrive is the annual conference for Bridging the Gap, a statewide women’s ministry for Minnesota. Hosted in October at the River’s Edge Convention Center, it brought over 3,000 women to town for a weekend of empowerment and learning. A unique feature of this conference is the Thrive Project Fundraiser, where a local deserving cause is selected and Thrive attendees rally to raise funds to support their mission. This year, it was the Elevate Pregnancy & Family Resource Center and the Pregnancy Resource Center, with the mission of raising $100,000 to support construction and operation efforts in their centers. We can’t wait to see what they do next year!
Throughout the year, there were several sporting events that drew thousands of visitors to the Greater St. Cloud area, including:
- The 2019 American Legion State Baseball Tournament that brought over 3,000 people to town
- The Quarry Classic, a basketball tournament in February that sells out every single hotel room in St. Cloud, Waite Par and beyond
- Granite City Classic, a December basketball tournament with over 192 teams and their families coming to town to compete.
As a whole, our office booked 112 events and helped book over 36,907 hotel rooms in Greater St. Cloud for events alone in 2019! That is a whole lot of people coming to town to spend money and time in our greater area. We also sent out nearly 2,000 visitor guides from our office (not including those on display in travel information racks all over the Midwest) and we had nearly 1,000 people check out our visitor guide online!
Welcome St. Cloud Blizzard!
This year we welcomed the St. Cloud Blizzard, a Tier II junior ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League’s Central Division to their new home at the MAC. We can’t wait to cheer them on for the 2019/2020 season!
New Restaurants in 2019
We said hello to some awesome new restaurants and new/expanded locations of existing restaurants this year!
- Insomnia Cookies
- Wonders Ice Cream
- Bad Habit Brewing moved to a new taproom
- Christine’s Cheesecakes opened their first storefront
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
- Jupiter Moon
- Daydream Coffee
- Rockin’ Rolls
- Brick & Bourbon
- Giliberto’s opens second downtown location
- El Loro opens a second location in Sauk Rapids
Most Liveable Community
Based on standards of community participation and engagement, arts, heritage and culture, and enhancing the landscape and public places, St. Cloud has been named the Most Liveable City in the World in the 75,000-150.000 population size category. St. Cloud was recognized for its renewable energy initiatives, including a methane conversion program at the wastewater treatment plant, replacing downtown streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights and other green energy initiatives.
Our website s a huge hub of information for planning your stay in Greater St. Cloud. These were the pages you visited the most!
- 2019 Area City Garage Sales
- Top Kids Activities in Greater St. Cloud
- Top 10 Instagrammable Locations in Greater St. Cloud
Most Viewed Events
- Summertime by George
- Granite City Days
- Thrive Women’s Conference
Most Viewed Restaurants
Most Viewed Attractions
We love interacting with you on Facebook and Instagram, and especially love when you share moments with us! Here are some of our top posts from 2019, thank you for being a part of them!
Top Facebook Videos (by time watched)
From sunset to twinkling lights, from darkness to beautiful sunrise light, 5th Ave. looks great at all times!
Posted by Visit Greater St. Cloud on Monday, June 10, 2019
Did you know the granite staircase at Hester Park in St. Cloud was built as a WPA Project in 1935? Find this and more when you explore Hester Park on the Mississippi River!
Posted by Visit Greater St. Cloud on Monday, August 26, 2019
Happy National Gardening Day! Here's a little reminder of what green grass, bubbing fountains, and pretty blooms look like at Munsinger Gardens. Hang in there green thumbs, warmer days are coming!
Posted by Visit Greater St. Cloud on Thursday, April 11, 2019
Top Facebook Posts (by reach, not including contests)
Ice cream, burgers, and more ice cream – the key to your hearts on Facebook!
Today we celebrate the National Holiday called Mr. Twisty's OPENING DAY! Please celebrate responsibly.
If you weren't already craving Val's Rapid Service for lunch, you are now!
You can now experience the WONDER of rolled ice cream right here in Greater St. Cloud! Wonders Ice Cream is now open in Crossroads Center!
Top Instagram Posts (by likes)
This year, you guys really loved Val’s. Quarry Park, and the St. John’s Stella Maris Chapel in the fall!