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Mark Morrison

At your service: Mark Morrison

Before starting at the City, Recreation Supervisor Mark Morrison had been on archeological digs, worked at a museum in Hawaii and led a couple historical societies back here on the mainland. Then 16 years ago, he found a job where he could use his variety of experience in one place. 

Morrison is in charge of planning many of Bloomington’s best-known, most fun-filled events. One example is Summer Fete—the biggest fireworks display in the state—that attracts about 40,000 people a year. The 2019 event had a record number of food vendors at 23. The Arts in the Parks series is another large production with daily events spanning the summer. 

But it’s not all fireworks and food trucks. He also has a hand in restoring local native prairie lands to what they were 150 years ago and has led many invasive species removal events, such as busting buckthorn, in Bloomington. 

History is also a big part of the job. Morrison oversees the Pond House’s activities, serves as the City’s liaison to the Bloomington Historical Society and leads one of the largest living history festivals in Minnesota—River Rendezvous. The event shows what life in the area would have been like in the 1800s and draws more than 8,000 students from as far as Northfield. 

“One of the things I enjoy most is seeing people coming out to our events and having a good time,” Morrison said. “We work to keep it fresh—we’ve always designed our events with creative concepts in mind.”