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Historic St. Paul tower briefly opens to public in twice-a-year-event

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There are plenty of spectacular views of the Twin Cities around town – but this one's only accessible twice a year, and opportunity No. 1 has come and gone.

The historic Highland Park water tower in St. Paul was open to the public Saturday and Sunday, allowing hundreds of people to climb the structure's 151 steps to the top, WCCO reports.

The opening coincided with the neighborhood's annual Highland Fest, which boasts live entertainment, art and other attractions in celebration of Highland Village's community and businesses, according to the event's official website.

The water tower is not your typical tank-on-stilts affair – built in 1928 with Kasota and Bedford stone facings and topped by an observation deck, it looks more like a castle keep.

And though it's pushing 100 years old, the 127-foot tower is still in use as a water supply, the City of St. Paul notes.

An official announcement of this weekend's now-over "open house" highlights the observation deck's "stunning views," which allow a clear vantage point not only of the Highland area, but the Twin Cities and the Mississippi River.

But don't take our word for it – a city official told WCCO visitors are "usually pretty surprised about the views from this location. How far they can see, how clear it is, how close Minneapolis looks from this tower is one of the big things.”

If this has you kicking yourself for not making the Highland Fest, fear not: the tower will be open again on October 10 and 11 for a "viewing of the fall colors."

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