What’s new around the state
illustration by darren booth
Dick Beardsley, the long-distance runner from Detroit Lakes who tied for first place at the inaugural 1981 London Marathon, opened his home in Bemidji this spring to visitors looking for lakeside hospitality. Lake Bemidji B&B sits on what people in the early 20th century called Bemidji’s Gold Coast, referring to the mansions built there by lumber barons. Guests can find fishing spots five minutes from Beardsley’s two-story, three-guestroom home—and can take advantage of Beardsley’s fishing advice.
Slide the City
Photo by Maxwell Christen
Event company Slide the City hosts summer block parties across North America based on a simple premise: Everyone who remembers the ’90s agrees the slip-’n’-slide had so much more potential. This month, the organization slaps its 1,000-foot strip of slip-slidin’ vinyl down one of Chisholm’s main streets, spraying water onto a padded rubber surface more than three football fields long for innocent, penguin-inspired fun.
The community’s annual Granite City Days kicks of a new tradition recognizing Fred Yiran, a drummer and artist who moved to Minnesota from Cameroon in the ’80s and studied African arts at St. Cloud State University before making a name for himself around the state building drums from Minnesota wood and teaching kids to make and play their own. Yiran died in 2011, and now, to honor Minnesota’s international population, Fred Yiran African Arts Day hosts African dance, drumming, and storytelling at Lake George Municipal Park.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
photo by natalie hall
This summer, after a delay involving the controversial gallows-evoking sculpture “Scaffold,” the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden reopened to debut a new manicured look and fresh art following nearly two years of renovations. Some sculptures moved across the more spacious-feeling, sparsely treed park, while 18 new pieces settled in, including a mini brick temple for the reclaimed statue of a saint, a candy-striped cluster of spindly steel spider legs, and a new state icon on the level of Spoonbridge and Cherry—a giant cerulean rooster.
The carillon, a rare, centuries-old instrument, is a set of at least 23 bells often housed atop towers and belfries and played a bit like an organ. Minnesota’s largest carillon, with 56 bells, resides in Rochester—300 feet up, at the top of one of the Mayo Clinic’s tallest buildings—and it just got a new carillon player (known as a carillonneur). Austin Ferguson, hired at 24 years old this spring, plays everything from Bach to Lady Gaga for the enjoyment of those on the Mayo campus below. Only the medical center’s fourth carillonneur, Ferguson is also one of the few playing full time around the world.