Honorary citizen of Red Wing Amanda Brinkman becomes 2017 Holiday Stroll grand marshal
In 2017, Amanda Brinkman became locally famous for showcasing Red Wing to the world. She and her team on the Small Business Revolution - Main Street television series made frequent stops to town as Red Wing rose through the ranks to become the runner-up for season 2.
Little known to many, though, is that Brinkman has had a connection to Red Wing for many years.
When her husband was searching for an engagement ring 15 years ago, the Lake City native found it at Howes Diamond Jewelers with the help of the store's former manager.
"Mary Trussoni helped him out and she still greets us by name and remembers us," Brinkman said. "What a great example of the personal touch a small business can offer!"
Today, Brinkman's signature haircut is styled and maintained in town by her sister-in-law Joelle Hoffman at Shears of Magik. Brother-in-law Kevin Hoffman works for Red Wing Shoe Co.
Holiday Stroll organizers, looking to honor someone who's made a big difference in Red Wing's downtown, said Brinkman was a natural choice for this year's parade marshal.
"She brought the Small Business Revolution to Red Wing, and Deluxe has continued to be a supporter of us by doing free marketing training for our businesses," said Megan Tsui, director of Red Wing Downtown Main Street.
Tsui added that since the Small Business Revolution contest ended in May 2017, hotel occupancy is up at least 10 percent and many downtown retailers and restaurants are reporting their best sales year ever.
"The community was made more aware of shopping local," Tsui said. "People think of downtown now more often."
Brinkman said she's excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the festivities. As a longtime lover of parades — and parade candy — this will mark the first time she's actually been in one.
Holiday Stroll will take place on Friday, Dec. 24, with many free events throughout downtown. The parade starts at 8 p.m. and fireworks will follow. Seasons 1 and 2 of the Small Business Revolution are currently streaming on Hulu and online at smallbusinessrevolution.org.