Plan On It: Events in 2017

Take the pain out of planning what to do, and spend more time focusing on fun this year

Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 4, and head to Grand Old Day in St. Paul.

Photo by Brandon Stengel

When I was a teenager, my cousin and his fiancée eloped to a Vegas wedding chapel and sent my family a VHS tape of the ceremony. I didn’t understand the appeal of spontaneous nuptials until I found myself, weeks before my own wedding reception, locking horns with my soon-to-be-husband over whether we should have cloth or paper napkins. If only preparing for an activity could be as enjoyable as the event itself, right?

This month’s cover story takes some of the pain out of planning, with 100-plus ways to enjoy our vibrant, diverse state, as you trek from Grand Portage to Whalan, in search of powwows and pie. We curated a list that truly offers something for everyone: from Northern Spark, to the X-Games, to Somali Week, to Carlos Creek Winery’s Grape Stomp.

I encourage you to keep this feature (you can hang it up, calendar style, if you’d like) and refer back to it when you’re ready to start thinking about which of St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations you’d like to attend, or securing tickets to the Twins’ home opener, or signing up for Chef Camp (yes, that’s a thing). With so much to do, the year will pass by in a flash. Before you know it, it’ll be time for Black Nativity and the Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Even if you don’t get to everything on the list this year, you can at least feel like you’re in the know. A few tidbits I gleaned, from the January page alone:

1. The St. Paul Winter Carnival debuted in 1886 as a response to a New York reporter who trashed the city as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation.” (The nerve!)

2. The purse at the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is $150k! (My New Year’s Resolution: Take up ice fishing.) 

3. French Regional Park lights its sledding hill until 10 p.m. (Yes! Gather a group of grown-ups, put the kiddos to bed with a sitter, and hit the slopes!) 

4. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing Target Center. (I think I’ll pass this time.…After I saw them at Roy Wilkins in 1991, my neck was sore for days.) 

5. Stillwater hosts an annual Winter Ice Cream Social with Leo’s Malt Shop giving out free scoops. (The yum factor outweighs the brr factor.)

My husband was interested in checking out the Stillwater social, so I put it on the calendar, easy as that. Now all I have to do is pack a couple of extra napkins before we go—one paper, and one cloth.

Also in 2017, Minnesota Monthly is celebrating its 50th anniversary! The magazine began in 1967 as Minnesota Public Radio’s program guide, Preview. Since then, we’ve been covering the state’s most influential people, places, issues, and trends to give you a deeper understanding of the place you call home—from Paul Wellstone to Prince, from Rochester to the Northwest Angle, from the Hormel strike to Hmong immigration. We thank you for 50 years of readership and look forward to 50 more!

Portrait by Erika Ludwig. Hair and Makeup by Margo Gordon.


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