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Boot to take a hike

Red Wing Shoe Co. will parade the world's largest boot through Red Wing on Tuesday.

If Paul Bunyan ever needed a new pair of boots, Red Wing Shoe Co. would already have the job half done.

The Shoe will parade the world's largest boot through downtown Red Wing Tuesday in an effort to promote the opening of its new flagship store.

After the tour, the boot will be displayed in the new store, 315 Main St., promising to be its largest attraction.

"Since 1905, Main Street has been home to the Red Wing Shoe Co.," Shoe President and COO David Murphy said. "The new store will generate a lot of visitors and hopefully a lot of business for the Red Wing community."

The Shoe spent $1.25 million on the new store, set to open Aug. 3. City agencies contributed $300,000 to the project for an elevator.

In addition to the new store, the company is also spending several million dollars renovating some other local properties.

The store will serve as a museum with displays outlining the company's history. Shoe officials say the boot and the new store will be a boon for the local economy -- it is expected to attract 48,000 visitors a year.

The boot stands 16 feet tall and would fit a person standing 12 stories tall, according to a company release. More than 60 people spent 13 months constructing the boot, according to the release.

The boot's run through Red Wing will start on Potter Street before traveling south to West Fourth Street, then onto Bush Street and over to Main Street, before arriving at its new home.

If there's poor weather Tuesday, the event will be pushed back to Wednesday.

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