For most Minnesotans, grilling is a way of life during the non-cold and snowy months. Memorial Day party? Grilling. Father’s Day? Grilling. Fourth of July? Grilling. Birthday party? Grilling. Get-together with friends or family “just because it’s nice out?” Grilling.
And nowhere in the state will that way of life be more celebrated than at the Fourth Annual Minnesota Monthly GrillFest, happening this weekend May 16-17 at CHS Field, the first event to be hosted at the new St. Paul Saints ballpark.
A ticket will get you inside the fun ambiance of the new ballpark and a plethora of wine and microbrew samples and delicious grilled food. Want to learn how to grill like a pro? A ticket will get you a front-row spot to informative and entertaining grilling demos and access to unique (and easy!) grilling recipes. Want to take something home? At GrillFest, you can buy the latest grilling rubs, seasonings, tools, and gadgets. If you know someone who loves to grill, this is the perfect place to buy a gift. Considering investing in a Big Green Egg? You’re in luck! There will be experts on hand to answer your questions (you can sear steaks and smoke briskets on these legendary grills—you can even cook a 20-pound turkey!). There will also be fun contests and competitions, like Minne-Eggapalooza, when local chefs will be grilling up tasty samples on the Greatest Charcoal Grill of All Time (aka Big Green Eggs), and a lively pig wing eating contest, sponsored by Croix Valley Foods. Oh! And local live music! Sarah Morris will perform twice on Saturday, and Farewell Milwaukee and the Cactus Blossoms will perform Sunday on the 89.3 The Current stage.
I just love this event. Everyone—from the just-turned 21-year-old to the carefree retiree–is in a jolly “Hooray! Summer is here!” mood (even if does happen to rain, because we are hardy Minnesotans, dontch’a know, and we don’t let a few drops of rain spoil a good time). It’s a truly festive atmosphere, with people walking around, laughing and talking and listening to live music, sipping craft beer and summer wine and sampling grilled burgers and steak and pork and wings and pizza and … well, you get my point. It really is the “kickoff to summer.”
GrillFest is Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 from 1-5 p.m. and will occur rain or shine (the venue is covered). Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased here.
*I-94 is closed this weekend from Highway 280 to 35E. Avoid driving (and parking) by riding the bus or train to CHS Field. Download a free Metro Transit pass here.