Winona locals have mixed reactions to portrayal in Super Bowl commercial

Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 5:13 PM CST
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"It's wonderful that a little town, an old town in Minnesota, got this publicity," said Pat Mutter, executive director for Visit Winona.

That publicity is a Super Bowl commercial.

Squarespace posted its ad early and it stars Winona Ryder exploring the town that gave her her name-- Winona, Minnesota.

In the extended version, Ryder goes through the town on a journey of self discovery.

"I think it's really cool that Winona, Minnesota will have a little shining spotlight in the Super Bowl," said Timmy Turner, a Winona puppeteer.

Turner and his puppets were featured in the commercial and describes filming as "quite the production."

Those who view the commercial and want to visit some of the locations might be disappointed to learn they're not all in Winona.

The big welcome sign has already been taken down and the diner is actually in St. Paul.

There are places in Winona like Yarnology and Winona Bowl, however, locals say the commercial itself didn't entirely paint the town accurately.

"People have mixed feelings about the commercial," Mutter said. "It's a very much more gritty, artistic version of Winona."

"Some folks feel like we've been over-characterized and turned into just this sort of 'Fargo' feel," said Ingrid Ogren, a Winona resident.

"I'm excited that Winona got a little blip of exposure and I'm hoping that people continue to look into Winona once they see [the commercial]," Turner said.

With that idea in mind, Visit Winona decided to add to the excitement of the commercial in a way that shares more of the town.

"We made our own '' on Squarespace," Mutter said.

Visit Winona hopes people will check out both sites to get the full picture of the city.

The town of about 27,000 say overall they appreciate the commercial and hope others learn more about the art, history, and people that make their town so special.

To watch the extended version of the commercial,