Prince, 1958-2016

Chanhassen mourns their very own ledgend along with the rest of the world.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres lighting designer Sue Berger and Fabulous Armadillos member Pamela McNeil point to the purple star that marks where Prince made a surprise appearance in March.

If everyone in Minnesota has their own Prince story, most residents of Chanhassen have a handful. Whether they danced at Paisley Park or happened upon him during a late night grocery run at Cub Foods, Prince was around.

We just didn’t make a fuss about it.

It’s not like we weren’t star struck, but we also appreciated a man’s right to privacy on a bike ride or while strolling through the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Prince felt comfortable,” says Mayor Denny Laufenburger. “He felt he could live the private life he wanted to in Chanhassen.”

As landmarks throughout the world went purple in the days following his death, we watched the memorial at Paisley Park grow and we made our own contributions. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum delivered 500 purple carnations to Paisley Park. The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres painted a purple star on its stage where Prince made a surprise appearance in March. Chanhassen Elementary School encouraged its students to wear purple during a “Purple for Prince” day.

When Laufenburger went to pay his respects to Prince’s family at Paisley Park, he asked Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson if there was anything she wanted people to know, and she told him: “Prince loved Chanhassen, and there isn’t anything else to say.”