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Shakopee, Minnesota
Downtown Shakopee
Downtown Shakopee
Official seal of Shakopee, Minnesota
Official logo of Shakopee, Minnesota
Location of the city of Shakopeewithin Scott County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Shakopee
within Scott County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Scott
Incorporated 1857
 • City 29.74 sq mi (77.04 km2)
 • Land 28.44 sq mi (73.67 km2)
 • Water 1.30 sq mi (3.37 km2)  4.47%
770 ft (234 m)
 • City 43,698
 • Density 1,536.49/sq mi (593.24/km2)
 • Metro
3,524,583 (US: 16th)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (Central)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 952
FIPS code 27-59350
GNIS feature ID 0651898

Shakopee ( SHAH-kə-pee) is a city in and the county seat of Scott County, Minnesota, United States. It is located southwest of Minneapolis. Sited on the south bank bend of the Minnesota River, Shakopee and nearby suburbs comprise the southwest portion of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the sixteenth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with 3.6 million people. The population of Shakopee was 43,698 at the 2020 census.

The river bank's Shakopee Historic District contains burial mounds built by prehistoric cultures. In the 18th century, Chief Shakopee of the Mdewakanton Dakota established his village on the east end of this area near the water. Trading led to the city's establishment in the 19th century. Shakopee boomed as a commerce exchange site between river and rail at Murphy's Landing.

Once an isolated city in the Minnesota River Valley, by the 1960s the economy of Shakopee was tied to that of the expanding metropolitan area. Significant growth as a bedroom community occurred after U.S. Highway 169 was realigned in 1996 toward the new Bloomington Ferry Bridge.

The city is known for the Valleyfair amusement park and the Canterbury Park racetrack.


View of a group of Indians with Europeans in the yard of "Col. Murphy's near Shakopee", by Whitney's Gallery
The yard of "Col. Murphy's near Shakopee"

Burial mounds along the Minnesota River bluff, located within the present-day Veterans Memorial Park, have been dated between 500 and 2,000 years old.

Following the Dakota migration from Mille Lacs Lake in the 17th century, several bands of Mdewakanton Dakota settled along the Minnesota River. They continued the mound building tradition. One of these bands was led in the 18th century by the first Chief Shakopee. The original Shakopee acquired his name when his wife, White Buffalo Woman, gave birth to sextuplet boys. Shakopee means "the six." The Ojibwa nation began pushing into Dakota territory and reportedly Shakopee's band skirmished in 1768 and 1775. Shakopee died in 1827 at Fort Snelling.

The second man to be given the name Chief Shakopee was his adopted Ojibwa son, Eaglehead (b. 1794-1857), a twin son born to Ozaawindib, or "Yellowhead." Ozaawindib gave this son to the Dakota, as he had another to take the hereditary chief's role. Explorer Joseph Nicollet recorded that Eaglehead had been chosen in 1838 to lead the band and assume his father's name.

By this time, Nicollet referred to the "Village of the Six," a permanent Dakota village south of the river, as acting as a boundary to the Ojibwa. (Historians have situated it east of the present downtown.) He noted the village and locality was commonly called the "village of the prairie" (published as tinta ottonwe). The Shakopee band lived in summer bark lodges and winter tipis. They followed the changes of the season when they planted their cornfields.

By the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, the Skogey Tribe ceded land in 1851 and many relocated to Chief Shakopee II's village. The latter people had moved south to what was later assigned to them as the current Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation in nearby Prior Lake. The band swelled to 400 people. Its leadership passed to Shakopee II's son Eatoka (b. 1811-1865). He was called Shakpedan (Little Shakopee/Little Six) at the death of his father.

After the Dakota War of 1862, when his warriors killed about 800 European-American settlers in an effort to regain their lands, Shakpedan was among nearly 40 men hanged at Fort Snelling in 1865 in the largest mass execution known by the US military.

Descendants of the Mdewakanton Dakota placed 572 acres (2.31 km2) of Shakopee land into tribal land trust with the Department of Interior in 2003.

Meanwhile, in 1851, Thomas A. Holmes established a trading post west of the Dakota and platted Shakopee Village in 1854, named after Chief Shakopee II. The city quickly grew, incorporating in 1857. It surrendered its charter in 1861 due to conflicts in the Dakota War. As tensions lifted, the city incorporated again in 1870. The western end was left in township status and was renamed as Jackson Township, Minnesota in 1861, likely after President Andrew Jackson.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.32 square miles (75.94 km2); 28.01 square miles (72.55 km2) is land and 1.31 square miles (3.39 km2) is water.

U.S. Highway 169 and County Highway 101 are two of the main routes in Shakopee. Highway 169 and nearby State Highway 13 connect Shakopee to the rest of the Minneapolis – Saint Paul region. County Highway 101 serves as a major east–west connector route of historic downtown Shakopee.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,138
1870 1,349 18.5%
1880 2,011 49.1%
1890 1,757 −12.6%
1900 2,047 16.5%
1910 2,302 12.5%
1920 1,988 −13.6%
1930 2,023 1.8%
1940 2,418 19.5%
1950 3,185 31.7%
1960 5,201 63.3%
1970 6,876 32.2%
1980 9,941 44.6%
1990 11,739 18.1%
2000 20,568 75.2%
2010 37,076 80.3%
2020 43,698 17.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,076 people, 12,772 households, and 9,275 families living in the city. The population density was 1,323.7 inhabitants per square mile (511.1/km2). There were 13,339 housing units at an average density of 476.2 per square mile (183.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.0% White, 4.3% African American, 1.2% Native American, 10.3% Asian, 4.5% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.8% of the population.

There were 12,772 households, of which 45.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.4% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.31.

The median age in the city was 32.2 years. 30.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 37.2% were from 25 to 44; 19.2% were from 45 to 64; and 6.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

Places of worship

  • Brookwood Community Church [1]
  • Cross of Peace Lutheran Church [2]
  • Friendship Church [3]
  • Hosanna! Lutheran Church [4]
  • Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church [5]
  • Slavic Baptist Church [6]
  • Saints Joachim & Anne [7]
  • ValleyView Baptist Church [8]
  • Living Hope Lutheran Church [9]
  • River Valley Church [10]


Located in Shakopee is a relatively new soccer complex that has a growing program. There are also several regional attractions (see below).


Shakopee is the location of several attractions that are well-recognized throughout the state and even nationally.

  • Valleyfair is a family amusement park located just outside the Shakopee downtown on County Highway 101.
  • Canterbury Park is a horse racetrack and card club located at the intersection of Canterbury Road and U.S. Highway 169.
  • Minnesota Renaissance Festival attracts visitors from all over the world and is located south of Shakopee on U.S. Highway 169.
  • Mystic Lake Casino is located nearby on the Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation.
  • Historic downtown Shakopee features numerous small town boutiques and restaurants, an old fashioned bakery, Turtle's 1890 Social Center, riverside concerts, and summertime bi-weekly classic car shows.

In popular culture

  • Shakopee was mentioned in the 2006 film Cars when the character Minny said she once went to Shakopee for "Crazy Days". The voice actress, Edie McClurg, ad-libbed the city's name into the script. Shakopee does celebrate "Derby Days" named for the horse racing tradition of the city's history, and there may have been a predecessor to it called "Crazy Days". Most likely, however, this is a reference to a sidewalk sale, which are common in the Midwest and often have names that include the term "Crazy Days".
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart reported on the woman's prison in Shakopee. The story was about the controversy of the fence-less prison and the arguments between citizens wanting a fence and not wanting a fence.
  • The theme park Valleyfair appeared in the film Little Big League.
  • On March 3, 2012, the Lindsay Lohan episode of Saturday Night Live featured a skit on a radio station based out of Shakopee, with Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan and Lindsay Lohan as the DJ's, and Vanessa Bayer as the news correspondent. Bayer refers to Eagle Creek and Red Oak Elementary Schools, as well as the Shakopee Middle School. The skit was done again, this time on the January 20, 2013 episode, starring Jennifer Lawrence as an intern.
  • In Big Time Rush, Kendall was supposedly born in Shakopee


Top employers

According to the city's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Valley Fair 1,584
2 Amazon 1,500
3 Emerson 1,225
4 School District No. 720 1,139
5 St. Francis RMC 928
6 Canterbury Park 867
7 Entrust Datacard 809
8 Imagine Print Solutions 740
9 Seagate 680
10 Scott County 662


Shakopee Public Schools (ISD 720) include five elementary schools, two middle schools and one senior high school, as well as a couple learning centers. The schools are:

  • Red Oak Elementary
  • Sun Path Elementary
  • Sweeney Elementary
  • Eagle Creek Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Shakopee West Middle School
  • Shakopee East Middle School
  • Shakopee High School
  • Tokata Learning Center
  • Pearson Early Learning Center
  • Central Family Center (closed for 2020-2021 School year for renovations)

Shakopee is also the location of the Shakopee Area Catholic Schools.

Living Hope Lutheran School is a Christian Pre-K-8 school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Shakopee.

Shakopee has a campus of the Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, a private career college.

Notable people

  • Jamal Abu-Shamala, Jordanian-American basketball player for the Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • Jack Bergman, congressman and retired Marine lieutenant general
  • Anthony Bonsante, professional boxer and competitor on the reality TV show The Contender.
  • Scott Ferrozzo, mixed martial artist who held a 4–2 record.
  • Eleanor Gates, playwright
  • Amy Menke, professional ice hockey player
  • Erik Mortensen, member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Andrew Reiner, executive editor of Game Informer and guitarist in The Rapture Twins
  • Maurice Stans, 19th United States secretary of commerce
  • Christopher Straub, fashion designer and contestant on Project Runway
  • Brad Tabke, former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Jason Perkins, Filipino-American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
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