At first, the Capitol visitors looked like returned “snowbirds” who had come back for the summer from winter homes in Florida, Texas or Arizona.
But, it turns out, they were just on vacation and had nothing to do.
A group of about 50 tourists from across the nation showed up on the Capitol steps Tuesday morning to protest Minnesota’s government shutdown.
Not your average way to spend some relaxing time, but they were frustrated:
• They wanted to tour the Capitol. Closed.
• They wanted to tour the Mill City Museum. Shuttered.
• They wanted to visit the Minnesota History Center. Bolted.
So, instead, they grabbed signs with slogans ranging from, “We came to tour, they shut the door!” to “We’re too old to be left out in the cold!”
The group is about halfway through a two-week tour of Minnesota, and they’re not happy.
“We’re on tour, and we’re locked out,” said Cynthia Loewy, who drove in from New York with a friend. “We came to see the beautiful [Capitol] and we’re not able to do that.”
“It looks inviting, she said, “but if the doors are closed, that’s not welcoming people in.”
Loewy said that when she enters a state, the first thing she does is stop at a visitors’ center. But that didn’t happen this time because rest stops and other state tourist information centers remain closed on the 12th day of Minnesota’s government shutdown.
So, Loewy will be moving on to Missouri or another, more inviting state. It’s Minnesota’s loss.