August 25, 2005
What? The State Fair opened today?! Hard to believe, but the Great Minnesota Get Together is already here. Kind of snuck up on me since I haven't seen the usual week's worth of coverage in the paper leading up to opening day (or maybe I just missed it).
- The 2005 Minnesota State Fair commemorative poster, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, best known for her work on the Harry Potter books. Get a poster at the fair or order one online. It's not Napoleon Dynamite, but we do what we can.
- The world's largest boot, certified by Guinness and created by the Red Wing Shoe Company in celebration of their 100th anniversary.
- Fighting robots. Gotta love the fighting robots.
- New and frightening food creations this year? Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, chocolate dipped potato chips, grilled chocolate sandwiches, chocolate covered sunflower seeds (do I sense a theme?), and mini cinnamon rolls with softserve ice cream. (The Pioneer Press has details on the new foods)
- On Tuesday, August 30 kids can try out musical instruments at the Minnesota Orchestra's Instrument Petting Zoo. (Can you say "saxa-ma-phone"?)
- August 27 & 28 you can catch a free Hopefuls show (formerly the Olympic Hopefuls) at the Teen Fair.
- Every day at 7:00 p.m. head to the Pet Center for the St. Paul Police K-9 Unit demonstration.
And for a bit of history, check out the Star Trib Yesterday's News blog for details about the 1901 State Fair, which featured then Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and his "speak softly and carry a big stick" speech.
August 19, 2005
If you missed touring the 127-foot Highland Water Tower in St. Paul earlier this month during the Highland Fest, you'll have another opportunity in October. The tower, built in 1928 and designed by architect Clarence Wigington, will be open October 8-9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for viewing of the fall colors.
Admission is free and visitors can climb the 151-step staircase to the observation deck for views of St. Paul and the Mississippi River.
June 17, 2005
Classic cars of every make, model, vintage and then some have descended upon the Twin Cities, and with them come hundreds of people in lawn chairs lining Snelling Ave. to watch the cruisin'.
So unless you like car watching or sitting in traffic, you might want to avoid Snelling Ave. and the Roseville area, especially near the State Fairgrounds and highway 36.
It's the Minnesota Street Rod Association's 32nd annual Back to the 50s weekend. If you're planning to check it out, tickets are $10 and you might want to consider using a park and ride or taking the bus. You also might be able to get discount tickets at Bumper to Bumper or Champion Autoparts.
Last year the event drew over 10,500 street rods, and most of them spent the weekend driving up and down Snelling Ave.
Update: The Minnesota Street Rod Association is reaching out to younger members with their Ignitors club for people 27 and under.
June 2, 2005
Attend a Minnesota Lynx game on Saturday, June 4 and you could help score a new gym for the Union Gospel Mission. It's part of Faith and Family Night presented by KTIS, the Minnesota Lynx, Fishing for Life and featuring a concert by Twin Cities natives Go Fish.
The WNBA is offering a $25,000 gym renovation as part of their Court of Dreams sales promotion. Whichever community group sells the most group tickets to a single game across the league will win. Last fall KTIS won the promotion after selling 3,467 tickets to a Lynx vs. Storm game and concert by the Christian group FFH. The new basketball court went to Total Victory Church in Minneapolis.
This year KTIS and the Lynx are partnering with the Union Gospel Mission and if they win the gym renovation will go to the Ober Center in St. Paul. The game that counts is this Saturday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m., the Minnesota Lynx vs. the Charlotte Sting. Go Fish will sing the national anthem and perform a post-game concert. Fishing For Life will be promoting their upcoming Fish-a-Thon and offering fishing activities for kids before the game.
How to Order
You can order tickets by calling the Lynx/Timberwolves Christian Community Program at 612-673-1225 or ordering online (though I'm told you get a better seat selection by calling). If you buy tickets through Ticketmaster or at the gate they will not count towards this promotion. Tickets start at $10.
Other Ways to Help
You can also sponsor tickets for the Union Gospel Mission, buying $10 tickets that will be distributed for free to people the Union Gospel Mission serves. This tax-deductible donation is a great way to give people a night out who otherwise couldn't afford to go. Businesses are encouraged to donate.
In addition, the Union Gospel Mission is accepting donations to help remodel the Ober Center.
The Ober Center
Located in the Frogtown neighborhood just west of downtown St. Paul, the Ober Center houses the Promise Program, an office training program for women, and the King Family Foundation Child Development Center, a toddler and pre-school daycare center run by Bethel University. Until recently the Salvation Army also ran after school programs at the Ober Center, though the Union Gospel Mission has been remodeling the Ober Center for new ministry.
My wife works at the King CDC and they often use the gym when the weather prohibits them from going outside. Just last week when I picked my wife up I saw the inside of the gym for the first time and realized just how badly it could use a renovation. It's the size of a single basketball court with absolutely no windows and severe cracks in the walls. It's like stashing neighborhood kids away in the basement.
May 7, 2005
Nothing says Happy Mother's Day like a sunrise baseball game. The St. Paul Saints will be playing a 5:30 a.m. game against the Sioux Falls Canaries on Sunday, May 8: Mother's Day. It will be the earliest starting time ever for a pro baseball game, and the first time a ball game started under the lights and finished in daylight.
So why are they doing it? A portion of the ticket sales will go to the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Darkness to Light, a non-profit organization that teaches adults how to protect children from sexual abuse. That and it sounds goofy, which is sort of the modus operandi for the Saints.
As a special bonus, fans who attend Saturday's game can stay overnight at the stadium and sleep on the field.
May 2, 2005
Speaking of the Saints, they're looking for a few good men. The minor league team is holding open tryouts tomorrow morning, Tuesday May 3 at 9:00 a.m. Registration begins at 8:30. Bring your own glove and cleats.
In previous years the Saints have actually offered on the spot contracts to several players at their tryouts.
April 28, 2005
The Scallywags Bicycle Club is a crew of people who love Jesus and like to build and ride bikes. but not just any bicycle. If you've ever seen someone riding a bike with a seat ten feet off the ground, that's the kind of funky bicycles we're talking about. Apparently jousting is a typical Scallywag pastime.
The Scallywags were established in Minneapolis in 2001 and have chapters across the country in Chicago, San Antonio, Texas, Columbia, S.C. and outside the U.S. in Winnipeg, Canada. Their National Summit is this week (April 27-May 1) in Minneapolis, and will culminate with riding in the annual May Day Parade. (link via Knightopia)