WABASHA, Minn. (KTTC)- The movie "Grumpy Old Men" is a classic on its own, but for the city of Wabasha, the movie provides the city an identity that is celebrated each year around this time.
It has now been 20 years since Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau brought John Gustafson and Max Goldman to life, neighbors in the city of Wabasha, Minnesota. The movie has increased tourist traffic in the city since 1993, so Wabasha holds a celebration each year as a toast to these grumpy old men.
"I came to play Texas Hold 'Em, but I had never seen polar jumping before," says Chris Castleberg, visiting from just across the border in Nelson, Wisconsin. "It's kind of fun to watch."
Some have come to the Grumpy Old Men Days for years, but others are seeing it for the first time, taking in events like the Grumpy Plunge into the ice-cold water.
"It's pretty neat," says Scott Johnson, also visiting from Nelson, Wisconsin. "My girlfriend jumped, she talked me into it."
It is a day full of jumping in the water, bingo, poker, fishing and a large assortment of other activities.
"It's fun, it's a lot of fun," shares Castleberg. "It makes winter shorter to come out and do something like this.
While many in Wabasha see the yearly event as a tribute to John, Max and the entire movie, others see Grumpy Old Men Days as simply a way to get themselves out of the house in the winter.
"Oh, I've seen them all, several times," says Johnson. "It's something to do on a winter day. There isn't much to do this time of year."
It is a party that pays tribute to a timeless classic, a celebration that can put a smile on even the grumpiest of men.
The Grumpy Old Men Festival wraps up with live music located throughout the city.
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