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My Fair Lady

She loves the Minnesota State Fair. I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot cheese curd. St. Paul, we have a problem.




Today we go to the fair. Tomorrow, next year, the rest of my life?

I can’t promise that. In 20 years of living just a few miles from the Minnesota State Fair, I’ve been there exactly once. Its appeal is a mystery to me, an enigma wrapped in a mini-donut inside a beer belly. It’s hot. It’s crowded. It’s debased, a gladiatorial spectacle in which the seven virtues are slain by the seven deadly sins, their carcasses skewered, deep-fried, and laid out in the sun as if in warning. For 12 days of the year, the devil wears stretch pants.

My girlfriend, Lucy, can’t get enough of it. She volunteers in the political booths. She enters the contests. It’s in her blood: her mother, through 4-H, showed vegetables at the fair. Her great-grandmother and great-aunt both won the sweepstakes prize for the best overall entries. As I write this, Lucy is debating whether to enter her banana bread or her chocolate-oatmeal cookies. Once she submitted a cake decorated with frosting meant to look like corn dogs.

If we’re going to stay together, we’re going to the fair together. So Lucy has agreed to take me under her wing for one full day at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, in order to answer a simple question: Could I learn to love the fair, for love’s sake?
 

When we arrive, it’s 10 a.m. and already 90 degrees. The air is thick with smoke, heavy with grease. I can’t tell where my sweat ends and someone else’s begins. The devil is crooking his finger at me, snapping his elastic waistband.

I stand just a few feet inside the gates, orienting myself—a pointless procedure. There are foot-long hot dogs next to snowcones next to chicken chops next to Al Franken’s booth next to Bob’s Snake Zoo (“It’ll scare the whiz out of you!”). It’s almost a parody of juxtaposition, the neat, orderly nature of Minnesota melted down and served with powdered sugar.

“Check this out,” Lucy says, nodding at the family music tent. “They always have weird stuff there.” Sure enough, half a dozen dudes are dancing onstage to “Hammer Time” in black bodysuits and red masks. “My name is Yoda,” one dancer tells the crowd. I believe it.

But Lucy assures me that much of what repels me about the fair—the chaos and bad decision-making—is part of the fun, if you stand far enough back. We buy a Pronto Pup (much better in its pancakey batter, Lucy argues, than its more popular cousin, the corn dog) and move into the shadows, the better to point out passersby.

Consider this woman in a T-shirt that says, “Condom Club, $2 a month.”

Consider this guy with a comb and mirror, openly teasing his long, greasy skullet.

Consider this man with a yardstick carelessly cradled between his butt-cheeks. He’s so loaded down with swag as he waddles into the Midway, that he’s decided to slip his free ruler down the back of his pants, so that it sticks up behind him like a flag on a bicycle.

Who are these people and what do they do when they’re not here? All my life, I’ve striven to make good choices, believing they were necessary simply to stay alive. After just 10 minutes at the fair, in a moment of supreme self-regard, I wonder, How do these people survive?

“Honey,” Lucy says, dabbing at my temple, “you’ve got mustard on your head.”
 

Clearly, I’m in the minority: the Minnesota State Fair is America’s most popular, surpassing all others in daily attendance. To bypass the fair is not just un-Minnesotan, it’s un-American. How else to explain the preponderance of women here in American flag bikinis, spilling relish on the stars and stripes?

My traitorous tendencies even run counter to the stories cooked up by Rodgers and Hammerstein, E.B. White, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—all urban aesthetes, all remarkably thin, all fair fans. For them, a state fair conveyed American ingenuity. Look what we can do. To the winner goes the prize. For A Night at the Fair, a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1928, Fitzgerald set his characters adrift in the “tunnel of love” called the Old Mill (now the oldest ride at the fair), the midway being a stand-in for the mystery of attraction, the marvel of desire.

But, in truth, the Minnesota State Fair has struggled nearly since its inception to please everyone. Then as now, the state was divided along urban/rural lines. And by the 1890s, to attract city folks, the fair had allowed a gauntlet of seedy sideshows to grow up around the agricultural exhibits: wheels of fortune, blind-pig races, soda jerks who spiked the pink lemonade. The Grandstand began hosting mock battles worthy of ancient Rome. Ultimately, in 1933, the fair cancelled a few pastoral harness races in favor of a “thrill day” full of barnstormers, airplane wing walking, human cannonballs, and the like. The opening event was a staged train wreck.

Sounds good to me. But for some reason—costs, insurance, CGI—all these spectacles have been scrapped and instead of a train wreck we have, well, Kid Rock. We have bacon on sticks. We have, as Lucy and I discover, an oral hygiene exhibition inviting people to brush that bacon out of their molars—not after the fair but right there in shared sinks. Would it kill someone to crash some locomotives together?

The wonder of the fair, as at modern-day circuses or magic shows, is now largely gone, its pleasures antique. Instead, as with so much of contemporary American life, we’re offered quantity instead of quality. When Lucy and I pass Sweet Martha’s cookie stand, where plastic buckets are filled to overflowing with discs of chocolatey dough, I can feel my resentment rising. Within an eight-foot radius of the stand, there are hundreds of dark circles on the pavement—grease marks from the cookies that toppled off, the stains of gluttony.

What bothers me isn’t the waste, or the obesity, or even the spike in my health insurance needed to pay for the guy bent over a bucket of cookies today and a doctor’s table tomorrow. It’s the nagging notion that we’re better than this, that we should have something more to show for our American ingenuity than the ability to stuff ourselves silly—and that I wouldn’t want to read a short story about Sweet Martha’s.
 

Lucy doesn’t see things my way, because she’s too busy looking for what she wants. “Forget the midway, forget the grandstand—forget everything you think you know, okay?” she tells me. “I don’t go to the fair to try weird things on a stick.”

Instead, she guides me to the more honest spectacle of calving cows in the Miracle of Birth Barn. “Is that a pubic bone hanging above the cow pen?” I ask Lucy. Yes, it is.

She introduces me to the curious pleasures of the Creative Arts Building, where a young guy with bad teeth points to a display and advises us, “Check it out, your jaw will drop on the ground.” He’s talking about quilts.

She takes me wherever blue ribbons can be found. Because the fair, she says, for all the stuff you can buy here, has always essentially been a contest. The biggest pumpkins, the fattest pigs, the straightest zucchinis (or whatever their ideal shape is)—these are the real evidence of our ingenuity. And all those ribbons are benchmarks. To have one is to know you measure up. “We’re a striving state,” Lucy says. “Work on it!”

As we approach the dairy building, Lucy notes, “There are two things we need to do in here”—get a malt and see the butter busts of the dairy princesses. We need to do this, she says, for the same reason that we needed to see the winning rows of perfectly uniform corn kernels (congrats to Cody and Levi), the outspoken seed art (“The party’s over, T-bag,” says one piece ripping the Tea Party), eat corn on the cob, and drink root beer bought from a guy in a barrel. It’s tradition. It’s what stays the same, even as the sideshows come and go. You just need to know where to find it.

And so we stand in line for malts as though for communion, the butter statues arrayed behind us like idols. And I begin to understand. No matter how much things change, we probably haven’t lost our way so long as we can still get a good, cold cup of malted milk. “It’s an annual check-in,” Lucy tells me, a milk mustache forming above her lips. “Where are we at as a state?”
 

But I still don’t know what to make of this guy coming towards us, the one in jean shorts carrying a giant stuffed gorilla, a ruler shoved in his pants.

I don’t know what to make of the recent health study reporting that only 65 percent of women, and just 39 percent of men, wash their hands at the fair.

I don’t know what to make of the people who would respond to this ad in the fair restrooms: “Still a virgin? We can help at the parking lot.”

But Lucy knows how to bridge this divide, too. “We’re going to get some cookies,” she says, and steers us back to Sweet Martha’s.

It’s dark now, and the massive shapes of people moving about with spilling buckets are like something out of Fantasia, gothic and cartoonish. I order a giant cone full of cookies, just for the two of us, and say nothing when it’s piled beyond reason. I do nothing when a couple of cookies topple onto the pavement.

This is how it’s always been, I think—in Fitzgerald’s day, country women rubbed calico-covered shoulders with insouciant flappers, all drawn by the same basic desires. Now, as night falls, I can’t even tell who’s who.

“Once a year, the fair lets me get in touch with the rest of Minnesota,” Lucy says.

 “And guess what? We live in a state where people wear jean shorts and carry gorillas. Hell yeah!”

I lean back, take another cookie. And then another. And then another. “Good, right?” Lucy says.

I say nothing, because my mouth is full and because I’m flexing my bicep, wondering what it would take to win one of those giant gorillas.

More State Fair finds and memories For more State Fair finds and memories, visit MNMO.com/MNFAIR.

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MN Events Calendar Sponsored by:

July 2015

No Events

July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

July 7 – July 18 Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills development. For four...

Cost: $300-$800

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

Local residents will have their shot at fame as the Aha Moment Tour makes its way to St. Paul. The Aha Moment Tour features a one-of-a-kind mobile television studio in a 34’...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raspberry Island
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
St. Paul, MN  55107
View map »


Sponsor: Mutual of Omaha

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Kennedy Senior High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

Celebrate the importance of clean water with this free, family-friendly event.  Discover how water works, what lives in it, how much we all need it, and how we can take care of it.  Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN  55912
View map »


Sponsor: Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
Telephone: 507-437-7519
Contact Name: Larry Dolphin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

July 7 – July 18 Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills development. For four...

Cost: $300-$800

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

Local residents will have their shot at fame as the Aha Moment Tour makes its way to St. Paul. The Aha Moment Tour features a one-of-a-kind mobile television studio in a 34’...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raspberry Island
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
St. Paul, MN  55107
View map »


Sponsor: Mutual of Omaha

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Kennedy Senior High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

As Urban Homeworks celebrates 20 years of People Oriented Development, we want to invite you to participate in some of the deep-rooted, heart-changing, narrative shifting conversations that have...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Capri Theater
2027 W Broadway Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55411
View map »


Sponsor: Urban Homeworks
Telephone: 712-830-7826
Contact Name: Emily Halstead
Website »

More information

Celebrate the importance of clean water with this free, family-friendly event.  Discover how water works, what lives in it, how much we all need it, and how we can take care of it.  Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN  55912
View map »


Sponsor: Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
Telephone: 507-437-7519
Contact Name: Larry Dolphin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

July 7 – July 18 Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills development. For four...

Cost: $300-$800

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Kennedy Senior High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

Patagonia in St. Paul (1648 Grand Ave, 651-698-1703) hosts Cameron Chambers for an evening of stories from his new fly fishing book, Chasing Rumor. Hear about his modern-day pilgrimage to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Patagonia St. Paul
1648 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the importance of clean water with this free, family-friendly event.  Discover how water works, what lives in it, how much we all need it, and how we can take care of it.  Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN  55912
View map »


Sponsor: Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
Telephone: 507-437-7519
Contact Name: Larry Dolphin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Consumers are rejecting traditional marketing at an alarming rate. By fast-forwarding past commercials using DVR and reading publications online, therefore never seeing your print ads,...

Cost: Free to attend, continental breakfast provided

Where:
Dakota Jazz Club
1010 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55401
View map »


Telephone: 612-204-1919

More information

July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

July 7 – July 18 Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills development. For four...

Cost: $300-$800

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Kennedy Senior High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

WCCO’s “Goin’ to the Lake” live radio and TV broadcasts are coming to Big Sandy Lake on July 9 & 10 (Thursday-Friday). Join the team as they discover all the summer fun...

Cost: Free

Where:
Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
20534 487th Street
McGregor, MN  55760
View map »


Sponsor: Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
Telephone: 218-426-5040
Website »

More information

Summer Faire Announces Its 2015 Season! The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes’ popular summer concert series is back- better than ever! Don’t miss FREE live music from talented local...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Shoppes Central Courtyard
I-94/I-694 at Hemlock Lane
Maple Grove, MN
View map »


Sponsor: The Shoppes
Telephone: 763-488-9965
Contact Name:
Website »

More information

In space, no one can hear you scream. But, can they hear you laugh? Probably not, which is unfortunate because you will be doing a lot of it during this show. So set your phasers to hilarity and...

Cost: $12 at the door, $10 if purchased in advance or with fringe button

Where:
Bryant Lake Bowl
810 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Sponsor: Comedy Fiends
Telephone: 320-493-0769
Contact Name: William Sommers
Website »

More information

Girl Friday Productions presents THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder, July 10-26, on the new Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre. Wilder’s hilarious farce about love, money and...

Cost: $25 with discounts for MPR members, students, seniors, group, fringe buttons

Where:
Park Square Theatre
20 West Seventh Place
Historic Hamm Building
St. Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Girl Friday Productions
Telephone: 651-291-7005
Contact Name: Kirby Bennett
Website »

More information

Yee haw! Pull on your boots and dust off your hat! The 35th Annual Hamel Rodeo and Bull Ridin’ Bonanza stampedes into Cocoran Lions Park July 9-12.  It’s bronc...

Cost: ranges from $9 to $18

Where:
Corcoran Lions Park
19101 County Road 10
Corcoran, MN  55340
View map »


Sponsor: Farmers State Bank of Hamel
Telephone: 763.478.6611
Contact Name: Shorty Dorweiler
Website »

More information

All Originals Jazz Series presents the James Buckley Trio: James Buckley, bass; JT Bates, drums; Bryan Nichols, piano. All Originals is a weekly jazz concert series at Studio Z featuring select...

Cost: $10

Where:
Studio Z
275 E. 4th Street, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN  55101
View map »


Sponsor: Studio Z
Telephone: 651-755-1600
Website »

More information

The Instinct Gallery presents: An evening of performance and video on Nicollet Mall with: The BodyCartography Project and Sean Smuda 8 PM Please join the BodyCartography Project as they...

Cost: Free

Where:
Instinct Art Gallery
940 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

Celebrate the importance of clean water with this free, family-friendly event.  Discover how water works, what lives in it, how much we all need it, and how we can take care of it.  Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN  55912
View map »


Sponsor: Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
Telephone: 507-437-7519
Contact Name: Larry Dolphin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

July 7 – July 18 Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills development. For four...

Cost: $300-$800

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
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9701 Nicollet Ave S
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View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Kennedy Senior High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
View map »


Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

More information

WCCO’s “Goin’ to the Lake” live radio and TV broadcasts are coming to Big Sandy Lake on July 9 & 10 (Thursday-Friday). Join the team as they discover all the summer fun...

Cost: Free

Where:
Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
20534 487th Street
McGregor, MN  55760
View map »


Sponsor: Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
Telephone: 218-426-5040
Website »

More information

Summer at the Civic: Free Friday Concerts Patio and Grill open at 4pm, Happy Hour 4 – 6pm, Music at 5:30 – 9pm Free admission.  Rain or shine. Fresh food & cold drinks....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rochester Civic Theatre
20 Civic Center Dr. SE
Rochester, MN  55904
View map »


Sponsor: 507 Magazine
Website »

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Summer Faire Announces Its 2015 Season! The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes’ popular summer concert series is back- better than ever! Don’t miss FREE live music from talented local...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Shoppes Central Courtyard
I-94/I-694 at Hemlock Lane
Maple Grove, MN
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Sponsor: The Shoppes
Telephone: 763-488-9965
Contact Name:
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In space, no one can hear you scream. But, can they hear you laugh? Probably not, which is unfortunate because you will be doing a lot of it during this show. So set your phasers to hilarity and...

Cost: $12 at the door, $10 if purchased in advance or with fringe button

Where:
Bryant Lake Bowl
810 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN  55408
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Sponsor: Comedy Fiends
Telephone: 320-493-0769
Contact Name: William Sommers
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Girl Friday Productions presents THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder, July 10-26, on the new Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre. Wilder’s hilarious farce about love, money and...

Cost: $25 with discounts for MPR members, students, seniors, group, fringe buttons

Where:
Park Square Theatre
20 West Seventh Place
Historic Hamm Building
St. Paul, MN  55102
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Sponsor: Girl Friday Productions
Telephone: 651-291-7005
Contact Name: Kirby Bennett
Website »

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Yee haw! Pull on your boots and dust off your hat! The 35th Annual Hamel Rodeo and Bull Ridin’ Bonanza stampedes into Cocoran Lions Park July 9-12.  It’s bronc...

Cost: ranges from $9 to $18

Where:
Corcoran Lions Park
19101 County Road 10
Corcoran, MN  55340
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Sponsor: Farmers State Bank of Hamel
Telephone: 763.478.6611
Contact Name: Shorty Dorweiler
Website »

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TC is very excited for the return of... Eptic [Belgium] https://soundcloud.com/eptic https://www.facebook.com/eptic & Bear Grillz https://soundcloud.com/itsbeargrillz...

Cost: $15/ $20 @ door

Where:
The Loft @ Skyway Theatre
711 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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The Twin Cities are very excited for the return of... Eptic [Belgium] https://soundcloud.com/eptic https://www.facebook.com/eptic & Bear Grillz...

Cost: $15/$20

Where:
The Loft @ Skyway Theatre
711 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-333-6100
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Celebrate the importance of clean water with this free, family-friendly event.  Discover how water works, what lives in it, how much we all need it, and how we can take care of it.  Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN  55912
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Sponsor: Jay C, Hormel Nature Center
Telephone: 507-437-7519
Contact Name: Larry Dolphin
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Beer aficionados can sample flavorful pours from the best regional brewers and watch live entertainment by a local Duluth band, Big Dave and the Ripples.  Lodging and beer fest packages are...

Cost: $29/advance, $40/door

Where:
Lutsen Mountains
445 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, MN  80549
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Sponsor: Visit Cook County
Telephone: 218-387-2788
Contact Name: Kjesti Vick
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COOK COUNTY, Minn., (June 16, 2015) – Northwest of the Coolest Small Town in America of Grand Marais, Tour de Fox, a program of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, is inviting teams to climb Eagle...

Cost: Donation

Where:
Grand Marais, MN


Sponsor: Visit Cook County
Telephone: 218-387-2788
Contact Name: Kjesti Vick
Website »

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The 81st Annual Hopkins Raspberry Festival® will take place the third week of July in various locations throughout the City of Hopkins. Events are family-friendly and include: Royalty...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Hopkins, MN  55343

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On July 11, we'll hike up to the top of Eagle Mountain in northern Minnesota as part of the High Hopes Challenge, a summer-long quest to reach the high point in every state! Proceeds from this...

Cost: $50

Where:
Eagle Mountain, Minnesota
, MN


Sponsor: Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania
Telephone: 612-790-4549
Contact Name: Matea Wasend
Website »

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  The St. Paul Gus Macker 3on3 Basketball Event (StpMacker15) is ready for the second year back in St. Paul. American Royalty Group (ARG) & The Gus Macker Planning Committees (GM...

Cost: $160.00

Where:
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Dr. Rev Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Saint Paul, MN  55105
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Sponsor: American Royalty Group
Telephone: 651-200-5708
Contact Name: Orlando Walker
Website »

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Swim, bike, and run in the Lifetime Tri Minneapolis to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Participate as an individual or compete in the St. Jude Corporate Team Challenge for the...

Cost: Multiple Entry Point Levels

Where:
Lake Nokomis
Lake Nokomis
Minneapolis, MN  55417
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Telephone: 952-893-0442
Contact Name: Matthew O'Shea
Website »

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July 6 – July 17, 9am-4pm Academy of Russian Ballet Summer Dance Programs offer comprehensive training in Russian classical ballet technique (Vaganova syllabus) and skills...

Cost: $650.00-$850.00

Where:
Academy of Russian Ballet
14675 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
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Sponsor: Academy of Russian Ballet
Telephone: 612 501 9208
Contact Name: Kirill Bak
Website »

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Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council and Friends of LeDuc will be sponsoring a home and garden show, "Sanctuaries - Homes, Churches, & Gardens." This event will feature 4...

Cost: Tickets are available at local businesses and online at www.hpaac.org

Where:
Hastings
, MN


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  ART AT ST. KATE’S the exciting 8th annual ART FAIR of local artists presented by Artists’ Circle and Textile Center   Art at St. Kate’s, a juried art fair of...

Cost: free

Where:
St. Catherine University
Randolph and Cleveland
Saint Paul, MN  55116
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Sponsor: Artists' Circle
Telephone: 651-222-2483
Contact Name: Marit Lee Kucera
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Groove to live jazz music with the vineyard as the backdrop of our first annual Jazz in July Festival. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and relax among the dragonflies, enjoying wine, beer,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Dancing Dragonfly Winery
2013 120th Avenue
St. Croix Falls, WI  54024
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Telephone: 715-483-9463
Website »

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Let’s get started! Learn how to brew with the knowledgeable staff in a small group environment. You’ll brew a batch of beer so you can visually see the process from beginning to end....

Cost: Free

Where:
Northern Brewer
6021 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55419
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Telephone: 612-843-4444
Website »

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Arts | Music | Food | Games A community arts festival celebrating arts for all ages! The community is invited together for an intergenerational day of art performances, artist...

Cost: FREE admission

Where:
Lyngblomsten
1415 Almond Avenue
St. Paul , MN  55108
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Saturday, July 11, 2015 12 – 5 PM    The Shops at West End 1621 West End Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN   Come and discover the rapidly growing MN wine...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Shops at West End
1621 West End Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
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Website »

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Celebrate Bastille Day with the French! On Saturday the 11th, from 2 to 8 pm, Alliance Française and the Dakota will host an outdoor Bastille Day celebration. Stroll the West 7th Place...

Cost: $10, free for children under 12

Where:
West 7th Place Pedestrian Mall
Wabasha St N & 7th Place W
St Paul , MN  55101
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Sponsor: Alliance Française
Telephone: 612-332-0436
Website »

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THE BIG EPIC SHOW presents our BIG EPIC SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT ARTS CAMP, where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy, live hip-hop, and professionally choreographed...

Cost: $125

Where:
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Ave S
Bloomington, MN  55420
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Sponsor: THE BIG EPIC SHOW
Telephone: 952-913-8412
Contact Name: Cherice Mahal
Website »

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International Festival Burnsville! Burnsville is a city that truly values & celebrates cultural diversity! Join us at the eighth annual International Festival of Burnsville in...

Cost: Admission is Free!

Where:
Nicollet Commons Park
12550 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
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Sponsor: Dodge of Burnsville
Website »

More information

Summer Faire Announces Its 2015 Season! The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes’ popular summer concert series is back- better than ever! Don’t miss FREE live music from talented local...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Shoppes Central Courtyard
I-94/I-694 at Hemlock Lane
Maple Grove, MN
View map »


Sponsor: The Shoppes
Telephone: 763-488-9965
Contact Name:
Website »

More information

Saturday July 11th, 2015 Skyway Theatre is Excited to announce the 711 Festival Feat: **TROYBOI** (London) One of South East London's most closely guarded secrets...

Cost: $15/$20

Where:
The Loft
Minneapolis, MN

More information

Yee haw! Pull on your boots and dust off your hat! The 35th Annual Hamel Rodeo and Bull Ridin’ Bonanza stampedes into Cocoran Lions Park July 9-12.  It’s bronc...

Cost: ranges from $9 to $18

Where:
Corcoran Lions Park
19101 County Road 10
Corcoran, MN  55340
View map »


Sponsor: Farmers State Bank of Hamel
Telephone: 763.478.6611
Contact Name: Shorty Dorweiler
Website »

More information

Girl Friday Productions presents THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder, July 10-26, on the new Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre. Wilder’s hilarious farce about love, money and...

Cost: $25 with discounts for MPR members, students, seniors, group, fringe buttons

Where:
Park Square Theatre
20 West Seventh Place
Historic Hamm Building
St. Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Girl Friday Productions
Telephone: 651-291-7005
Contact Name: Kirby Bennett
Website »

More information

TC is very excited for the return of... Eptic [Belgium] https://soundcloud.com/eptic https://www.facebook.com/eptic & Bear Grillz https://soundcloud.com/itsbeargrillz...

Cost: $15/ $20 @ door

Where:
The Loft @ Skyway Theatre
711 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

Enjoy a free movie under the night sky! Big Sandy Lodge and Resort will be showing a film on their sand beach volleyball court at dusk on Saturday, July 11th (weather permitting). Bring a lawn...

Cost: Free

Where:
Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
20534 487th Street
McGregor, MN  55760
View map »


Sponsor: Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
Telephone: 218-426-5040
Website »

More information

Over 70 local and regional artists set up by the glistening shores of Lake Superior for two days during the peak of summer to showcase their unique fine art and provide insight into their artistic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grand Marais Art Colony
120 WEST 3RD AVENUE PO BOX 626
Grand Marais, MN  55604
View map »


Sponsor: 55604
Telephone: 218-387-2737
Website »

More information

Beer aficionados can sample flavorful pours from the best regional brewers and watch live entertainment by a local Duluth band, Big Dave and the Ripples.  Lodging and beer fest packages are...

Cost: $29/advance, $40/door

Where:
Lutsen Mountains
445 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, MN  80549
View map »


Sponsor: Visit Cook County
Telephone: 218-387-2788
Contact Name: Kjesti Vick
Website »

More information

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