Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Once upon a time in Bloomington, a 25-foot-high, two-headed, fire-breathing dragon greeted visitors on the front lawn of the restaurant Howard Wong’s. The famous Chinese restaurant at 2701 Southtown Drive opened in 1966. Howard Wong’s, named after the restaurant owner, quickly became a Bloomington hot spot, and its dragon became a hometown landmark of some notoriety. Wong commissioned the dragon sculpture from Richfield artist Donald Danielson. The dragon breathed fire, propelled by gas, until the energy crisis of 1974. When Wong sold his restaurant in the 1980s, the dragon was donated and moved to Minnesota State University Moorhead, whose mascot is the Dragons. The dragon still breathes fire, and MSUM lights the dragon statue for special events.