Taking a drive through Central Minnesota, you'll notice a few things: a lot of lakes, super green grass, adorable storybook farms, and yards with the Virgin Mary standing in a bathtub.

Growing up Catholic, my dad would always excitedly point out these weird yard decorations called a "Bathtub Mary." My sister and I felt like tourists on our family vacations in the Sauke Centre area because the concept of displaying the Virgin Mary in a bathtub in the yard was so foreign to us, and our dad's excitement was oddly contagious.

Fact of the matter is, the Bathtub Mary is not "weird," it's just different than anything you'd find here in Colorado. Perhaps they exist in our state, but not once in my life have I ever seen a Bathtub Mary in a Colorado yard (and I was born and raised here).

This is not to be confused with other Virgin Mary decorations in yards like a nativity set, etc. Here's Urban Dictionary's offensive definition of the Bathtub Mary:

A clawfoot bathtub painted skyblue inside and planted half-way down in the yard of low-life Catholics who place a Mary statue inside. Faded plastic flowers usually adorn the bare dirt at the base of Mary's feet. More than likely what would be the bottom of the tub hasn't been painted and is either rusty or whatever paint that was on it is peeling off.

Okay, so that was pretty offensive but being a Catholic myself, I giggled.

I found a wide variety of Bathtub Marys in Central Minnesota from simple to elaborate. Check out photos below of this "weird" American tradition.


    Another big part of Minnesota's identity is lake culture. This is MUCH different than the occasional water skiing session on Horsetooth Reservoir. Cabins line just about every lake in Minnesota and people LIVE on the lake every day/weekend. While on vacation, my family and I enjoyed a pontoon ride on Little Birch Lake near Grey Eagle, MN.

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