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The new exhibit ‘Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s” will be featured at the Minnesota History Center at the time that the Becker County Museum and Detroit Lakes Library are hosting a free trip to the History Center on Saturday, May 31. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Free trip to MN History Center offered May 31

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Who doesn’t remember Gumby, Barbie, the Slinky, Hot Wheels and Mr. Potato Head? Either you played with them, your kids did or your grandkids.

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Now, they are a part of history (even though they still line the shelves in most toy departments), and the Minnesota History Center is telling the history behind the toys of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

The Detroit Lakes Library is offering those 18 years of age and older the opportunity to view the display for free on May 31. The library is pairing with the Becker County Museum to host the trip.

“They are having a neat exhibit down there at the time, ‘Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s,’ so I thought that would be a great time,” Deb Wahl said.

Wahl, who serves as the public service supervisor at the Detroit Lakes Library, applied for a grant through Legacy Amendment funding. The trip is free except for food and incidentals, because of the funding.

The library hosted a bus trip like this two years ago, where participants attended the Minnesota History Center and the Capitol. She said it got to be too long of a day for some going to both locations, so this year it will be just to the History Center.

Two Anderson Coach busses will transport 100 people to the Cities for the event.

“We did this before in 2012, and decided we had such a positive response that we would try to do it again,” Museum Director Amy Degerstrom said.

Focusing on the History Center, people will have more time to visit the exhibits, and the research center will also be open for anyone to use if they so choose.

There will be guided tours throughout the day for people to participate in when they wish. The group will be at the History Center from about 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The bus will leave at 6 a.m., and there will be stops along the way.

“We don’t just drive straight down. We make it kind of a little excursion,” Wahl said. “We stop for coffee and leg stretch in Little Falls at a Burger King on the way down. Then on the way back, stopping at Nelson Brothers’ in Clearwater.”

The bus will return to Detroit Lakes around 8 p.m.

“It’s just an opportunity for people who don’t want to drive down to the Cities,” Wahl said.

She said last year there were people of all ages 18 and up. Two years ago the trip was earlier in the year, too, and the weather didn’t cooperate, so this year they pushed it back to May for more conducive traveling weather.

If this trip is successful, Wahl said she plans to organize a couple smaller bus “jaunts” for later this year to various locations.

“It’s a really fun day,” Degerstrom said of the trip to the History Center. “It’s an opportunity to go and see history on a state level without having to drive there and park and deal with the hassle of all that.”

Call 847-2168 or stop by the library to reserve your spot on the bus.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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