Olivia, Minn. recalls how ‘Grease’ star helped put town on map

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OLIVIA, Minn. – When Olivia Newtown-John died on Monday, tributes poured in from around the world for the singer and actress who brought pride to her home country of Australia, and became a Hollywood star thanks to the movie, “Grease.”

In the process, she also put the small town of Olivia, Minnesota on the map, thanks to a pretty special trip back in the late 70’s.

Dave Pedersen was so “hopelessly devoted” to the idea of making Olivia Newton-John the grand marshal of Olivia Minnesota’s Centennial Corn Capital Parade in 1978, that he wrote the star a letter.

To everyone’s surprise. She accepted the offer. That’s despite the fact they couldn’t even pay her. Instead, she agreed to make the appearance for some fresh-baked bread and two ears of corn.

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