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Bemidji Mayor Dave Larson uses a giant pencil Friday to sign a proclamation stating 2012 as the "Year of the Legend" in honor of Paul Bunyan's 75th birthday.

Paul Bunyan: Big year for a big legend

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BEMIDJI - It was only fitting that Bemidji Mayor Dave Larson used Paul Bunyan's giant pencil to sign a proclamation making 2012 "The Year of the Legend" in honor of the famed Bemidji statue's 75th birthday.

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Larson, who also read a brief history of the statue and some tall tales about Paul Bunyan, made the proclamation at a kick-off event Friday afternoon at the Tourist Information Center, where colorful Paul Bunyan-sized birthday cards from school classrooms were hard to miss.

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