• Amanda Vanderbeek

    Amanda Vanderbeek

    Class of 2012
    Ely, MN
    Elementary education

    Amanda's Bio:
    I grew up in the Twin Cities, but now live up in Ely, MN near the BWCA, where my family has been for the last 7 years. I have three brothers, who I adore, and I enjoy fishing, playing basketball, and rough housing with them whenever I can. My mom has been a daycare provider since I was born, which served as inspiration for me to pursue a degree in Elementary education. I also love to paint, draw, and DANCE! I have been dancing for twenty years and am a dance instructor in Superior, WI....I can't imagine a life without it!

  • Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

  • Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

    Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

  • Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

    Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

  • Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

Tourism: For now, the boom

As many of you already know, I am from the town of Ely in the BWCA. We experience a certain type of living up here that many other places do not. In the winter, we are a small and comfortable population. There are approximately 3,000 individuals that make up the town and everyone knows one another, making it almost family-like. This lasts until about May or June, when everything is turned on its head. Ely is a center for summer tourism and seasonal occupants, thereby raising the population of the small city each summer. This summer is of course no exception. Despite the rising gas prices and poor economy, travelers have flocked to town and have filled our streets, anxiously checking out the local “Northern Minnesota” themed shops and booking canoe trips into the Boundary Waters. During the summer, the population of Ely rises to about 7,000-9,000 individuals (nearly triple the regular “local” population). We refer to this time as Ely’s “boom months,” when business is plentiful, town is unnavigable, and even getting a tank of gas turns into an hour wait in line.

This week will serve as one of Ely’s busiest weeks of the year, marked by the Fourth of July festivities.  Ely always features a fantastic world-renowned fireworks display, which is funded by various out-of-town donors who promote the Boundary Waters.  The show lasts over a half hour and draws groves of viewers.  Even better, earlier on in the day (around 1 in the afternoon), the town puts on a local parade featuring essentially every company in the area and draws an even larger crowd.  In past years, the count for parade-goers was approximately 100,000 individuals!  In a town that only stretches a couple miles in length, this is almost ridiculous! 

But as for me, I will be working this week, and catering to the needs of these Ely summer flockers.  I don’t mind entirely.  After all, how else would I pay for school this fall?!  I sure hope that everyone has fun up here and has a safe and exciting Fourth of July.

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