Outside a Dairy Queen in a small Minnesota town, you'll find a unique experience and some fun bird watching.

My aunt lives in Brainerd and growing up, I would always spend a week there in the winter and a week in the summer. My parents and her would always meet in McGregor since it was the halfway point between there and Duluth. I would personally love it because of the unique experience they have at the Dairy Queen in McGregor.

Outside the Dairy Queen in McGregor located at 259 MN-65, you'll find a large fenced-in area where you'll see three large emus. Emus are the second-tallest living birds after the ostrich. I've always wondered why in the world are their emus in McGregor. It's just such a random thing to have in a town of under 500 people.

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Ian - TSM Duluth
Ian - TSM Duluth

So I did some digging into why the emus are there. I couldn't find much, other than the DQ posting on their Facebook page whenever the emus are back. I also found a tweet about the large birds:

After further digging, I found some useful information in the obituary of Kenneth “Kenny” Boyd who passed away in 2018 at the age of 83. In 1966, Boyd partnered with Red Rasley and John Woodrow to build the DQ. Besides being an entrepreneur, Boyd also raised exotic animals. So what made the treat stop unique, was they built a pen on the same site that includes many exotic animals over the years.

I only knew about the emus, but according to the obit, there were also:

  • Japanese Sikas
  • Mule
  • Deer
  • Fox
  • Timberwolves
  • Coyotes
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Scottish Highland cattle
  • Horses
  • Llamas
  • Exotic sheep and goats
  • Two bears that apparently escaped one year by climbing over the fence.
Ian - TSM Duluth
Ian - TSM Duluth

I absolutely love that there are emus there too. I stopped there over the weekend and my kids were in awe of the large birds. I even had my dogs with and they had no idea what to do as they just stared at the emus with the emus staring back. The DQ is still family owned and operated.

So if you want a fun unique DQ experience, drive out to McGregor and see the emus. McGregor is a little over an hour away from Duluth.

Ian - TSM Duluth
Ian - TSM Duluth

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