Robbinsdale Celebrates New Cootie Sculpture
Robbinsdale celebrates the children’s game Cootie and much more in its 125th anniversary celebration this month.
The game was created in Robbinsdale by Herb Schaper in 1949. The game is now made by Hasbro and is still sold today. When city and community volunteers teamed up to plan several events for Robbinsdale’s 125th anniversary or Quasquicentennial, they focused a few activities around the game. Residents hunted for a Cootie medallion and they are invited to a “Build Your Own Cootie” contest April 28.
The Biggest Cootie
The city also commissioned a local artist to create a coffee-table sized Cootie that will be on display throughout April and then be installed in a local park.
“At first I didn’t know what a Cootie was,” says artist Noah Kolkman. “I never played the game and didn’t understand it, but I have a feeling there will be some explanations of the Cootie.”
Kolkman says one of the reasons he wanted to create the sculpture was to promote peace in the community following the 2016 demolition of the Terrace Theatre.
“When that went down, it split the city. There were people who wanted it and people who didn’t want it,” says Kolkman. “I was neutral, but I thought maybe this is something that can bring the community back together.”
The sculpture is sponsored by Travail.
Other Anniversary Events Planned
But it’s not all cooties for the Quasiquicentennial. From “best beard” contests to a fiddle jamboree, there are several activities planned by the city and community members.
“One-hundred twenty-five years only comes around every 125 years,” says John Tingley, assistant to the city manager. “Robbinsdale has a lot of history and it’s a way to show off that history as well as bring the community together.”