Skip to main content

Sixth-grader wins ‘Mayor for a Day’ contest in BP

Mayor for a day, addison winzenburg, blooming prairie, curt esplan, 2024
Sixth-grader Addison Winzenburg was the winner of the local “Mayor for a Day” contest. She suggested speaking to business owners and holding citywide fundraisers to raise money for community projects. Blooming Prairie Mayor Curt Esplan presented her award, which came with $100 in BP Chamber Bucks. Staff photo by Kay Fate
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

Bill Newman summed it up best: “What I took away from this is that we are woefully underserving our fourth graders when it comes to the park and the pool.”

While mostly tongue-in-cheek, the comment came after members of the Blooming Prairie City Council had a chance to review the submissions in their “Mayor for a Day” contest.

They took a page from the League of Minnesota Cities’ book, offering their own version of the LMC’s annual competition that offers a $100 prize for the essay that best answers the question, “What would you do if you were mayor for a day?” The contest is open to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders across the state.

Good government starts at the local level, though, so in December, BP Mayor Curt Esplan made the rounds to those classrooms, talking a bit about the role – then inviting the students to submit an essay.

More than 50 answered the call.

Addison Winzenburg, one of just two Blooming Prairie sixth-graders to enter, was the winner. She received $100 in BP Chamber Bucks, which can be spent at several businesses in town.

“I wrote about ways we could raise money to get all the things in Blooming Prairie that we need,” Addison said, moments after learning she’d won.

In addition to the Chamber Bucks, she’ll have the gavel at the next city council meeting, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 12 – though she said she isn’t familiar with what happens within city government.

Addison seemed to recognize that it’s wise to know what you don’t know; she has no plans to make any changes with her one day of power.

Peyton Peterson, a fourth grader at BPES, took second place with his essay. He won $50 in Chamber Bucks.

“Build a coffee shop, build a bakery again,” he said of his suggestions. “I used to go all the time after school.”

Peyton said he misses those opportunities and would “maybe” consider opening a bakery himself.

The two winners were among the very few who chose to write about something other than the city parks and the city pool.

While some had some dramatic effect – “Once I saw a leech that was four feet long” – others were truly beneficial, said City Administrator Melanie Aeschliman.

A few students mentioned the diving platform being rough, and others wrote about unstable park equipment that had chipped paint, rust, and loose screws.

“These are things we should know, so that we can make repairs,” Aeschliman told the council.


BP Mayor for the Day


Addison’s essay:

If I was mayor for the day, first I would attend a meeting to share the ideas I have for our community. Next I would visit local businesses and ask the owners how they think their business is helping our community. After that, I would help to organize a fundraiser to help raise money for any projects the community is trying to do. One idea I had for a fundraiser was Christmas ornaments. Families in the community could buy a wooden ornament to decorate. Then they could hang the ornaments on a tree in the city park to decorate the town.

A mayor’s goal is to bring their community together. Because of this another idea I had was the “light up the park” project. Each business can get an area of the park to decorate. This will help decorate the town and the businesses will get free advertising.

That is what I would do if I was mayor.

Peyton’s essay:

First I would make a new bakery for the town and I would also add a coffee shop. I would make a bakery so people can have delicious treats again after school and on the weekends. It is good to have a place to hang out and taste treats and be happy. We don’t have places like that and it would (be) good to have it. I believe it would make Blooming Prairie a better place.



Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates