Answer Man: Big wheel at State Fair will be a big deal | Answer Man

Dear Answer Man, I’ve heard that St. Paul is going to get a big Ferris wheel like the London Eye. It’s about time, and since St. Paul used to be called Pig’s Eye, will the new attraction be called the “Pig’s Eye”?

In a pig’s eye. Yes, there’s a big Ferris wheel coming to St. Paul, but it’s only visiting. It’s called the Great Big Wheel and it will be a very big attraction at the State Fair, which runs Aug. 24 to Sept. 4.

The wheel is 156 feet tall, which is fairly puny compared with the London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, which rises to 443 feet. Even that one is puny now by Las Vegas standards — they have one that’s 550 feet tall. But thrill seekers will get a kick out of the State Fair’s wheel, which will have a commanding view of the fairgrounds and Minneapolis-St. Paul. For comparison, the Space Tower at the fairgrounds goes up to 340 feet tall.

How much will it cost? Five bucks a ride.

In case you didn’t know, the letter writer is correct that Pig’s Eye was an early monicker for what’s now known as the “Saintly City” of St. Paul. The Dakota name for the settlement in that area was Imnizaska, a reference to the light-colored chalky bluffs near Indian Mounds Park, and when white settlers arrived in the 1830s, it was called Pig’s Eye, the nickname for a one-eyed French rascal named Pierre Parrent.

When Father Lucien Galtier arrived and built the first Catholic chapel in about 1841, he forever saved the city from being known as Pig’s Eye.

Dear Answer Man, I got my new phone book on the doorstep yesterday, but there are no white pages. What happened to the rest of it? — Michael P.

You’re correct, this year’s Dex phone book from CenturyLink doesn’t include residential phone numbers for Rochester and area. You can call to get a free copy of the white pages: 1-877-2-GET-DEX.

In any case, I noticed last week that there’s a…

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