What is the significance of this strange item on the pedestrian footbridge in downtown Northfield?

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There is something significant about this item attached to the railing on the pedestrian footbridge over the Cannon River.

If you can guess or even come up with a plausible explanation, there could be something good that will happen to you, according to those with whom I’m authorized to speak.

Update Mar. 16, 7 am: Here are the details of today’s Celebration, courtesy of Jim O’Bonhnhoff:

St. Patricks Celebration 2013


  1. Tim Madigan said:

    Easy, it is a Leprechaun sticking his tongue out from a Tuatha de Danann underworld portal, as a St Patrick’s Day greeting to Northfield! Playful little guys.

    March 14, 2013
  2. Jim Pokorney said:

    While Tim has a terrific imagination well suited for a city manager who has to sit through many a long meeting, let me set the historical record straight.

    I’m pretty sure the stone came to the Cannon River Valley centuries ago with Irish nobleman Cormac McCarthy (builder of Blarney Castle). McCarthy was on a covert mission into Minnesota circa 1354 with Norwegian explorer Paul Knutson.

    Historical references suggest McCarthy brought this piece of the original Blarney Stone with him to provide a bit of “Irish Luck” as he and Paul traversed through the new world. For reasons unknown, Irish scholars believe Cormac left the magical stone for safe keeping with his fellow Irish companion Malton O’Meal who settled near the current site of Northfield. Leaving a stone was not an uncommon occurrence for these early explorers. It is equally well known that later in their journey, Knutson left the Kensington Runestone in central Minnesota. What O’Meal did with the blarneystone is an unknown part of the story, suffice it to say it most assuredly brought good luck to all who touched it until somehow it was lost or misplaced.

    Fast forward 678 years. In a stroke of Irish luck, last year about this time the stone was discovered in Kevin O’Connell’s backyard by his Irish dog Finnegan. The eerily effervescent green stone mysteriously disappeared the following evening only to reappear on the pedestrian bridge the morning of March 17, 2012 – like it had been there for centuries providing luck to all who believe.

    Lore has it that if you rub the Northfield Blarneystone during the St. Patrick’s Day Walking Parade this Saturday (starts at 2 pm / Basil’s parking lot), you will have good luck for the entire year until next year’s parade.

    Historical Source

    March 14, 2013
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve added a poster with the details of today’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, courtesy of Jim O’Bonhnhoff.

    March 16, 2013

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