Is that a monster in the lake?

Minneapolis residents know it’s summer when there’s a monster in the lake.

Yesterday, it arrived.

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(Minne, the Lake Monster, in Wirth Lake on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.)

Minne, the 13-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture/dinosaur surfaced in Wirth Lake, near Hwy 55 and Theodore Wirth Parkway.

The creature has been making appearances in Minneapolis lakes since 2009, as part of a public art project by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

Minne’s original name, chosen by her creator, Minneapolis artist Cameron Gainer, was the unpronounceable __].

Three years ago, the Parks Foundation held a contest for a new name. Minne, the Dakota word for water, was the winner. (It’s pronounced “Minnie.”)

Part of the monster’s charm is her unpredictable wanderlust. One day she might be in Lake Harriet. The next, she might be lounging in Lake of the Isles.

But this season, Minne is settling down. She’ll be at Wirth Lake all summer long. That’s bad news for monster hunters, but good news for Wirth Lake Beach, which was renovated after last year’s tornado in north Minneapolis.

You can celebrate the renovations and the monster’s arrival at the grand opening of Wirth Lake Beach on Saturday, June 9, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The beach party includes face painting, volleyball, food, and refreshments. A lifeguard will be on duty starting at 11 a.m.