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                                                          EXCELSIOR

Excelsior city may be one of the smallest cities in Minnesota but it made its mark in the American history for two things.  First, it is known as the place where Liberty (not the idea but the golden retriever dog of President Gerald Ford) was sourced specifically from its owner Avis Friberg who was a resident of Excelsior sometime in 1974. Second, Jimmy Hutmaker, an Excelsior resident, was said to be the inspiration behind the song "You Can't Always get What You Want" by Rolling Stones.  People who want the quiet life of a small town but who, at the same time, yearn for the comforts offered by a modern city can very well adjust to life in Excelsior, which is only 20 minutes to Minneapolis.

Population Profile

As of the 2000 census, a total of only 2,393 people lived in all of Excelsior's 1.7 square kilometer which is not even all land (7.46% is water) . This dropped to 2,276 as of July, 2006 estimates.  There are 1,199 households occupying 1,254 housing units.  Majority or 94.07% of Excelsior's residents are Whites followed by Hispanics and Latinos (3.13%), Asians (2.21%) and the rest comprised of African Americans, Native Americans and those from other races.  The average population is quite young with a median age of 37 years.Excelsior's estimated average condo or home value of $318,100 in 2005 (almost a 100% increase from the average $185,800 value in 2000) is slightly higher to Minnesota's average condo or home value of $198,800.  Majority or around 716 of the total houses occupied are rented while 478 are occupied by the owners.

History

Excelsior used to be a vacation destination for people coming from the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  But this was way back in the 1850s.  Today, Excelsior is home to several business establishments catering to both residents and visitors. One of the Minnesota attractions is the Minnehaha Steamboat which used to be the main means of transportation in the areas connected by Lake Minnetonka during the turn of the century.  The steamboat has been raised and restored and now provides transportation straight from the Excelsior port to Wayzata especially during the summer season. 

Recreation

Excelsior may be a small town with a small population but its residents get to enjoy the tranquillity and safety offered by the Commons Park.  There is also an area for recreation including a playground, picnic grounds as well as tennis courts and baseball fields.  The Excelsior Chamber of Commerce traditionally sponsors community events like the Art in the Park, Apple Day Festivities and of course, the 4th of July Festivities.  These are news-worthy events that are witnessed by thousands of visitors every year.

Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

History is big in Excelsior and this is evident with the formation of the Excelsior-Minnetonka Historical Society in 1972.  The Society aims to document and preserve the history of Lake Minnetonka and the surrounding areas including Excelsior, Tonka Bay, Deephaven, Shorewood and Greenwood, so that everyone can share in the lake’s colourful history and be proud of their heritage.The Society’s museum boasts of the largest collection of documents and other historic artifacts about the area.  It also holds regular historical lectures which is open to the public for free.

Parking Rules     

While Excelsior is not so densely-populated, it however prides itself in following a set of rules when it comes to parking.  This is one relocation information that should be noted down by those who are planning to implement corporate relocation, residential relocation or employee relocation to Excelsior. Employees working downtown (which include even the store owners and their staff) are required to park offsite especially during summertime to provide additional spaces for visitors.  However, the municipal parking lots are open to everyone, visitors or residents, during festivals likes the 4th o July or the Art of the Lake.  Those unfamiliar with the sites should not worry because maps will be provided.Those with handicaps (who were issued Handicap Permits) are exempted from the said parking regulations and they can continue to park where they used to.  ON the other hand, employees or business owners who want to be exempted from specific parking rules during special seasons should get an Extended Parking Permit which is available for $100 each and which can be sued from Memorial to Labor Day. Charter buses should park offsite particularly along Beehrle Avenue.Residents occupying apartments in Excelsior are also required to follow certain parking rules to help lessen the parking crunch during summer.  While there is a 6-hour and 3-hour parking schedule for municipal lots from Memorial to Labor Day, tenants will be allowed to park in the 6-hour parking area for an extended period or up to 12 hours with no charge for a maximum of two permits for every apartment.  Additional permits are also available but subject to a $100 charge.  The extended parking permits are available for pick up at City Hall provided they show proof of their leases, driver’s license and vehicle identification.  On-street parking is allowed for tenants but only for two hours.

Excelsior may be a small town but it does not fall short of the ideals of a community that is peaceful and orderly.  If you want quality living as exemplified by a small town but with easy access to the big city amenities then choose Excelsior.

Here is the City of Excelsior website:  http://www.ci.excelsior.mn.us

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