Photos of the Year2023

A look back at some of the moments captured by Star Tribune photojournalists in 2023.

Throughout 2023, Star Tribune photographers were there to document moments of loss, tragedy, resilience and triumph. Some stories were tough, like our series "In Harm's Way," which examined how Minnesota's child protection system failed to save some of the state's most vulnerable residents. Others were uplifting, like our story chronicling the brotherhood at the heart of the Maple Grove hockey team's state tournament run. And, some were examples of the everyday extraordinary, like the bloom of a flower in spring. It is our honor to have been a part of the lives of so many Minnesotans this year, and we look forward to telling more stories that matter across the state in 2024. The Star Tribune is delighted to present the year in photos.

Amanda Anderson, Star Tribune
Video: Star Tribune photographers recount top projects from the past year and reflect on what's to come in 2024.

The Great Outdoors

Richard Pelletier gave thanks before coming out of the water after his afternoon swim in Lake Harriet. Richard Pelletier is coming up on his 1000th consecutive day of open water swimming next week. He took dip No. 992 in the 41 degree water of Lake Harriet Thursday afternoon, November 30, 2023 in Minneapolis. ] JEFF WHEELER •
With an additional foot of snow in some areas of the state, the beauty in undeniable, but deer will begin to struggle getting through the deep snow. This doe crossed a trail in Bunker Hills Regional Park Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 in Andover, Minn. ] Brian Peterson ¥
As part of the Yoga in the Gardens series, instructor Jenn Holm, front, of Yoga 4 You, led participants in Snowga at the Lilac Walk in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Chaska, Minn. The next opportunity for Snowga at the is Feb. 26. ]
Colleen Wallin and her sled dog team take off first from the start line of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023 outside Billy's Bar in Duluth, Minn. ]
Austin Homkes, a field biologist with the Voyageurs Wolf Project, holds a gray wolf pup from the Half-Moon Pack as Tom Gable, the project lead, looks over its paw while doing pup counts Friday, May 12, 2023 near Voyageurs National Park in Kabetogama, Minn. Gable and Homkes surveyed three dens during the week to identify how many pups are in each litter, take measurements, and microchip each individual for future identification. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE •
A beaver lifts its tail from the water before slapping it down as a warning sign as it swims on Lake One near an area that was burned in the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire Thursday, July 6, 2023 in the Boundary Waters Area Canoe Wilderness near Ely, Minn. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE •
After four to eight years spent underground, a dogday cicada, or annual cicada, emerged from its "cast skin" Saturday morning, July 8, 2023 in Minneapolis. Annual cicadas, are seen every year in Minnesota, according to the U of M's Extension Service website. Periodical cicadas, the type that spend 15 years or so underground before emerging en masse, do not occur in Minnesota.
An escape from what feels like a neverending winter can be found at the Spring Flower Show inside the Sunken Garden at Como Zoo in Sunken Garden at Como Zoo, Minn., on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Say hello to spring as you amble among thousands of florals including tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, foxglove, acorus, hydrangea, hyacinth and pansies in a color pallet of chartreuse green, purple, pink and yellow. ] SHARI L. GROSS •
People gather along the Mississippi River to watch a thunder storm beyond downtown Minneapolis Monday, July 3, 2023, at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, Minn. In lieu of fireworks, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation hosted a 25-minute "patriotic laser light show with music", projected against a screen at Boom Island Park to celebrate Independence Day. ] AARON LAVINSKY •
Nick Cobbett, wearing a mask waters veggies at the Capital View communal garden as heavy smoke blankets near bye downtown St.Paul Wednesday June 14,2023 in St. Paul Minn.] JERRY HOLT •
Muslims view the annular Eclipse as the clouds break during a viewing party at Commons Park in Fridley, Minn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. Local NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador Nadia Abuisnaineh, cq, hosted a viewing event for the Muslim community with an eclipse prayer known as Salaatul Kusoof. The Salatul Kusoof is a prayer in the Muslim faith known as the "eclipse prayer," which occurs when the moon comes between the sun and Earth. Prayer, activities and warm drinks were also part of the event. ] Elizabeth Flores •
A canoe glides past old growth trees and a diverse variety of plants in the northwest corner of Lake One, near the BWCA entry point, that was spared from the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire Thursday, July 6, 2023 near Ely, Minn. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE •

Minnesota Sports

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) and other Twins players celebrate with champagne in the locker room after clentched the American League Central title. The Minnesota Twins hosted the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minn. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •
Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers tags out Bo Bichette (11) of the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning during Game 1 of the Wild Card series, Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •
Fans cheer on Minnesota Twins pitcher Pablo Lopez while he throws to a batter with two strikes in the third inning during Game 1 of the Wild Card series, Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •
Rosemount players celebrate after defeating Forrest Lake 6-1 to win the MSHSL class 4A softball state championship game Friday, June 9, 2023, at Caswell Park in North Mankato, Minn. ]
Roope Hintz (24) of the Dallas Stars celebrates after Evgenii Dadonov got the puck past Minnesota Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson (32) for a goal in the third period during Round 1, Game 4 of the NHL playoffs Sunday, April 23, 2023, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •
Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) dives just short of the end zone for a first down in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. ] Elizabeth Flores •
Eli Salano, 12, from St. Cloud, is comforted by his mother, Tiffany Solano, after the Vikings 31-24 loss during a NFL wild card playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants on Sunday, Jan.15.2023 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Maple Grove players celebrate with their student section at the end of the game, Thursday, March 2, 20023 during the Section 5AA Championship at the FTC Event Center in Elk River, Minn. Maple Grove beat Rogers 7-3 to advance to the State Tournament. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •
Anthony Edwards (1) of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks the ball in the second half Sunday, March 2, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •

Loss and Resilience

Tracy Dettling, holding a photo of her late daughter Heather Mayer, stands in the frozen remains of a garden Heather planted for her years ago at home in Nerstrand, Minn, on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •
Simone Hunter, 22, is overcome with emotion as she discusses the abuse she faced living with her foster family during her childhood Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 at her apartment in Minneapolis, Minn.
Antrice Sease, center in pink shirt and blue hat, sits at the grave of her daughter Aniya Allen surrounded by family and loved ones before a balloon release in Minneapolis, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023 to mark what would have been Aniya Allen's ninth birthday. Allen was killed by a stray bullet when she was six-years-old while inside her parents' car near the intersection of North 36th Street and Penn Avenue in May of 2021. ] LEILA NAVIDI •
Members of Temple Israel Pam Margolis and granddaughter Josie LaMere join in solidarity in light of the attacks in Israel at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, Minn., on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023. ]RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII • richard.tsong-taatarii
Demonstrators made their way back to the Federal Building on S. Fourth St. Thousands of people demonstrated support for Palestenians in Gaza on the day of a visit to Minnesota by President Joe Biden with a rally outside the Federal Building followed by a peaceful march through downtown Minneapolis Wednesday evening, November 1, 2023. ] JEFF WHEELER •
Patricia weeps as she shares about the journey she made leaving her children and coming to Minnesota via the dangerous Darien Path in Minneapolis, Minn., on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. ] Elizabeth Flores •
Tuesday, July 19, 2023, at Hennepin County Medical Center Emergency Department in Minneapolis, MN. ]
Chetek Police Chief Ron Ambrozaitis pays his respects at a growing memorial for two slain police officers, including one from his department, outside the Chetek Police Department Monday, April 10, 2023 in Barron County, Wisc.. Rural Wisconsin is reeling after two small town police officers were killed during a traffic stop. Officer Hunter Scheel, age 23, of the Cameron Police Department and Emily Breidenbach, age 32, of the Chetek Police Department both died Saturday during a traffic stop at about 3:30 p.m. in the village of Cameron. ] AARON LAVINSKY •
Fresh from the shower, Lynette Ruse got her bedding sorted out before going to sleep in her van Monday night, October 30, 2023 in Duluth. At night, the parking lot of the Damiano Center becomes Safe Bay, a place where unhoused people can sleep in their vehicles without fear for their safety. A mobile hygiene trailer has showers and bathrooms for people to use before they settle in for the night. Safe Bay is an initiative of Stepping On Up, a coalition of Duluth social service organizations, many of which are housed in the Damiano Center. ] JEFF WHEELER •
Joseph Rubash, 11, sat in the arms of his mother Brenda, as his14th and final infusion of Tzield, a new drug meant to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes, was coming to an end Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji, Minn. ]
Marvin Haynes sits for a portrait in his prison cell Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater in Bayport, Minn.. Haynes, a 35-year-old Stillwater inmate, has been incarcerated since he was 17 for the 2004 murder of a flower shop clerk in north Minneapolis. The Innocence Project has taken on his case and submitted it to the AG's Conviction Review Unit. There was no direct evidence connecting Haynes to the crime, and various eyewitnesses have since recanted their trial testimony. The filing also notes many problems with the use of photo and live lineups in the investigation. ] AARON LAVINSKY •
Marvin Haynes is surrounded by his neices and nephews while celebrating with family and friends as he visited his mother at her nursing home after being released from prison on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minn. After serving 20 years in prison from the age 16, Marvin Haynes was exonerated of a murder conviction and released on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •

Minnesota Moments

Along with DFL legislative leaders and his commissioners, Gov. Tim Walz threw a bill-signing party Wednesday morning on the Capitol steps in front of hundreds of supporters, a pep band at his side and a drone camera overhead recording the occasion. Wednesday, May 24, 2023 St. Paul, Minn. ] GLEN STUBBE •
Hildie Edwards with sister Dahlia take time from school to advocate for the "trans refuge" bill up for vote in the Senate at the Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, April 21, 2023. In the background are signs opposing and supporting the issue. Hildie Edwards is a transgender activist who has helped pass legislation making Minnesota a refuge for transgender individuals. ] RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII •
Dean Phillips stepped off of his campaign bus at the New Hampshite Statehouse where he filed a declaration of candidacy to run for the New Hampshire presidential primary Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 Concord, Minn. ] GLEN STUBBE •
Derrick Strauss, who is also a cannabis glass ware artist enjoys a puff on a dab rig designed to give a better high for the user in Minneapolis, Minn., on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.The biggest advertised celebration of marijuana legalization for Day One in Minneapolis runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at and outside First Avenue.] RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII • richard.tsong-taatarii
Fans packed into U.S. Bank Stadium for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Concert review and photos from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' show with the Strokes and King Princess on Sat., 4/8. It's the first stadium concert of 2023, the first-ever Chili Peppers stadium show in town and the first local Strokes gig in a decade.Saturday, April 8, 2023 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. ] Brian Peterson ¥
Emma Schwartz offers a friendship bracelet trade to two strangers, Kayla Buffone (left) and Destiny Hondz as a way to pass the time in the Taylor Swift Eras Tour merchandise line outside of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday, June 22, 2023. Making and trading friendship bracelets became a trend after Swift's song "You're on Your Own, Kid" from the album "Midnights" where she sings, "So make the friendship bracelets / Take the moment and taste it." ] Angelina Katsanis •
With tears in his eyes, Chavel Stafford hugs his little sister Jayla Stafford after she graduated in the 2023 graduation ceremony for St. Paul's Harding High School outside the Roy Wilkins Auditorium Wednesday, June 14, 2023 in St. Paul, Minn. It was a celebratory occasion for a campus that also dealt with tragedy this year when a sophomore was fatally stabbed in the hallway in February. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •
Coveyah Caldwell (front ) and other students practiced yoga at Lovely's Sewing Sunday September3,2023 in Minneapolis, Minn. ] JERRY HOLT •
Todd Hughes and Robert-Bruce Brake, photographed July 18, 2023 at their home in Minneapolis. It's been 10 years since Minnesota's marriage law became gender neutral. The portrait of them at right was made the year they met, in 1993. ] JEFF WHEELER •
Young girls and boys line up to make their way down the aisle for their first communion at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, June 4, 2023. More than 60 percent of the congregation are immigrants from Ecuador. ] Elizabeth Flores •
Andy Nelson from Steel County hoses down one of his cows at the cattle barn on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minn. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. With temperatures in the high '90s during a record-breaking heat wave, it's just as important for the animals to stay cool as the humans. ] Angelina Katsanis •
FFA students and sophomores Brayden Mithun, from left, and Wyatt Sparks watch the gravity bin as farmer Scott Nehring donates corn from his auger machine during the United South Central FFA corn drive in rural Walters, Minn. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. This year is the 70th year of the corn drive. ] LEILA NAVIDI •
Jane Windsperger, owner of a 3.8 acre farm called GEDEF Farms ( the farm is named after her 5 kids). Jane purchased her farm in 2020, she is in the process of trying to get a fence around her farm to protect her vegetables from deer and other animals. Roots of collard greens left over from last year, and a new base for a new green house can been seen Thursday morning April 20,2023 in Ogilvie Minn.] JERRY HOLT •
Shannon Forster and Vince Brambrink drag in cranberries in a flooded field so that they are condensed for harvest on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 in Palisade, Minn. Minnesota has only one commercial farmer, the Minnesota Cranberry Co. near Aitkin, run by the Forster family for 20+ years. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •
The rides and attractions of the Mighty Midway are lit up at sunset Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minn. ] AARON LAVINSKY •
Tractors and horses of all sizes join the parade at the 50th Annual Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show in Le Sueur, Minn., on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.
Kacey Erwin, a second grade student, plays on the monkey bars during recess Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Hayes Elementary School in Fridley, Minn. ] ALEX KORMANN •
Joseph Gaetke and his daughter Brooklyn Bello, 10, rode the lazy river at Cascade Bay Water Park as temperatures reached into the mid 90's Wednesday, July 26, 2023 Eagan, Minn. Gaetke is a bar tender and doesn't get to get too much of the sun and he said it felt great to be at the park for the first time. ] GLEN STUBBE •
Laurie McGinley admires her newly-tattooed nipples by artist M Nijiya in Nijiya's studio in Minneapolis, Minn. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. Nijiya has given hundreds of these tattoos for people like McGinley who have undergone top surgery or other chest surgeries. ] Angelina Katsanis •
Filmmaker Nikko John Anderson sinks into his chari while watching the premiere of "Crash! Bang! It Sank" with his parents Jessica and Tyler Anderson Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, Minn.. Students and teachers from Kinderhaus Montessori spent the last two months making a short film about the Titanic, "Crash! Bang! It Sank," and they hosted a premiere at the Riverview Theater. Formal attire was requested for attendees, some of whom are grandparents flying from out of state. The head of the school said the movie (which is the result of the kids' fascination with the ship, which began when one student brought in a photo of it for show and tell) is a 17-minute piece that is more comedy than tragedy and full of answers to questions you didn't know you had about the Titanic, like "How many lemons were on the ship?" ] AARON LAVINSKY •
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