– Two of Sleepy Eye’s main employers are the two school systems: public and Catholic. Sleepy Eye Public Schools call themselves the Indians and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s is the Knights.
– Sleepy Eye is home to several large employers. These include: Del Monte, a large vegetable-canning facility; BIC/APP, formerly Norwood Promotional Products – makers of calendars and bulletins; Stimpert Enterprises, makers of manufactured homes; Anderson Custom Processing, makers of dry food products; Mathiowetz Construction; River Region Farmer’s Co-Op; Christensen Family Farms; Haala Industries; and Miller Sellner Implement. There is also the Divine Providence and Sleepy Eye Care Center nursing homes.
Festivals & Events
– Sleepy Eye’s annual Corn Days celebration takes place every August. The 2-day celebration is packed with numerous events, with the main attraction being the free all-you-can-eat buttered sweet corn at Allison Park. Rides for the kids and live music also take place throughout the day. The following day consists of a 5K run for all ages and the celebration concludes with an evening parade.
– Every March the Miss Sleepy Eye Pageant takes place. Numerous young women vie for the coveted title. This year’s Miss Sleepy Eye is Jordan Morotz. Attendants are Becca Schmitz and Laura Pelzel.During the following summer, Miss Sleepy Eye competes for the Queen of the Lakes title during the Minneapolis Aquatennial. She also appears in numerous parades and town celebrations throughout the year.
– The population for the City of Sleepy Eye is approximately 3,500 people. The Mayor is Jim Broich.
– The Sleepy Eye Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards presented in January of 20163 included: the Shining Star Award went Community Service award went to Shari Hittesdorf. The Big Chief award from the Ambassadors went to Kurk Kramer and the first ever Friends of Sleepy Eye award went to the late Judy Beech. Keynote speaker for the event was Sleepy Eye native Deb Hadley.
–Crowned the Brown County Dairy Princesses during a January coronation were Bethany Seifert, Rebecca Rosenhammer and Sabrina Portner, all of Sleepy Eye. Brown County Dairy Ambassadors from Sleepy Eye are Natalie Sellner, Crystal and Isabella Portner and Courtney Dittbenner.
–Three Sleepy Eye men were featured on KARE 11s Land of 10,000 Stories February 8th produced by Boyd Huppert. They were featured for their passion of baseball and Babe Ruth who visited the community on October 16th, 1922. They were recently introduced to a 104-year-old man from Cloquet, Len Youngmen who attended the Babe Ruth game in Sleepy Eye as an 11-year-old boy and still has one of the homerun balls Babe Ruth hit that day.
– A man from Sleepy Eye whose old friend Charles Schultz borrowed his first name for Charlie Brown’s sidekick in his Peanuts comic strip died January 29th at the age of 90. Linus Maurer and Schultz worked together in Minneapolis 65 years ago. A Linus statute stands in front of the Dyckman (DIKE-MAN) Free Library in Sleepy Eye as an honor to Maurer.
– Sleepy Eye Ag Instructors Mary Hoffmann and Kelsey Brandt were recently nominated for the Region 6 outstanding Agriculture Education Program for 2016 at the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators conference. The teachers were nominated by their peers for this award.
–This year’s Triple A Nominees for Sleepy Eye Public Schools is Lauren Laffen, Emily Reinarts and Ryan Heinrichs. Nominations are sent to the regional level of competition.
– The City of Sleepy Eye was founded in the year 1872 by the railroad company.
– Sleepy Eye is in Brown County at the crossroads of Highways 4 and 14, on the shores of Sleepy Eye Lake.
– Like many frontier communities, Sleepy Eye’s founding centered around the development of the railroad. Rochester railroad lawyer Walter Brackenridge is credited with platting the original streets of Sleepy Eye on September 18th, 1872. The plats were officially registered at the Brown County Courthouse the next day.
– One of the early settlers of the area is also credited with the formation of Sleepy Eye. Thomas Allison wanted the railroad to come to “his” lake, so he visited railroad lawyer Walter Brackenridge and got the railroad to come to Sleepy Eye.
– The City of Sleepy Eye was named after the lake which borders its northwest side. The lake was named after a Chief of the Sisseton Sioux Indians, Ish-Tak-Ha-Ba, which translates to Sleepy Eyes. Chief Sleepy Eyes was born in 1780 near Swan Lake in Nicollet County. His jurisdiction covered the Sisseton from Carver to Lac-Qui-Parle. He signed the treaties of Prairie Du Chien, Mendota, and Traverse Des Sioux.
– Chief Sleepy Eyes died in 1860 in South Dakota. In 1964, the City of Sleepy Eye recovered his remains and buried him in a small park dedicated to his memory. A tall, narrow monument marks his grave. The City also erected an 8-foot-tall bronze statue, created by Native American artist Joanne Bird, as a salute to the Indian leader. That statute stands in Woldrick Park next to the post office.