ELK RIVER -- This week in our Home Town Spotlight series we roll down Highway 10 to Elk River, where you're first greeted by a prehistoric creature.

Ralphie the dinosaur stands outside of Ralphie's Minnoco gas station. Owner Brian Brehmer says he inherited his mascot after buying the business back in 2013.

"When I'm out talking to people where I bought this station, I'll say the west side of Elk River or by the YMCA and I'll get blank stares. But when I say it's the red dinosaur then they know," says Brehmer.

Brehmer says Ralphie was originally painted green but because he wanted to distinguish his business from Sinclair, decided to paint him red.

Besides being a roadside attraction the dinosaur is also a geocashe destination. Brehmer says he sees handfuls of spectators stop by every day for a picture.

"It's amazing how many people take a picture with Ralphie. We see kids sitting on top of him and all kids of things," says Brehmer.

While Ralphie may not have been his idea, Brehmer says he's happy to call the dinosaur his own.

"It's been a great thing for us. He brings us attention and when you're in the convenience store business you're trying to distinguish yourself from everyone else," says Brehmer.

Also keep a close eye on Ralphie as he may be changing colors in the near future.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

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