PRIDE

In case you haven’t read the news lately, here are a few highlights from the last year:

1. Last November, Minnesota defeated a proposed amendment to their state constitution which would have defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
2. In May, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. 3. In June, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), giving federal rights to same-sex couples.

As you might imagine, this years Twin Cities Pride Festival last weekend had a lot to celebrate. 🙂

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Although there were concerts, parades, and events throughout the whole city over the weekend, the main area of celebration was Loring Park where hundreds (yes, HUNDREDS) of booths, vendors, and activities were set up:

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As another bike-friendly event (this is Minneapolis, after all!), there was special bike parking inside the park:

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It took well over an hour to walk through all of the booths:

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It was great to see so many people out for the Pride Festival, and hopefully there will be even more to celebrate next year!

Secret City

This post is way overdue…as are many of my Minneapolis summertime fun posts…but I suppose my excuse is that I am far too busy doing more fun things around the city to blog about the things I’ve already done. Nonetheless, here’s a post about Secret City. Secret City is a free festival of art and performance that takes place each summer in Minneapolis. Featuring various displays of art, dance, and installations around downtown Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway, and the Minneapolis Convention Center, this is a large-scale community event with plenty of entertainment for every art taste.

We started our exploration of Secret City at the Basilica of St Mary where we watched some Aztec dancers:

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Secret City was super bike-friendly, and there was a special lane for bikes blocked off along Hennepin downtown so bikers could travel safely from place to place:

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The next performance we watched was a dance called The BodyCartography Project. The dance was performed in the I-94 underpass parking lot….very West Side Story of them. 🙂

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I will admit I am not exactly clear what the message of the dance was, but I would say it had something to do with how people move – either individually or within a group – as part of a city’s landscape. It was interesting and there was a decent sized crowd watching.

Moving on…we headed to the Convention Center to check out the plaza’s new centerpiece: MIMMI:

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MIMMI is a pressurized sculpture suspended in the Convention Center Plaza. The really neat thing about sculpture though is that its color is determined by the emotions of Minneapolis residents! Emotive information is gathered in real time through tweets directed at MIMMI as well as detected movement in the plaza. The real question though…what do the colors mean? We tried to figure out how MIMMI was feeling based on the colors shown in the picture above, but we didn’t have any great breakthroughs.

Since no Minneapolis event is complete without a few food trucks, there was a quick break at AZ Canteen for their signature AZ Canteen dog:

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We took the Midtown Greenway home to check out some of the festivities fair. Highlights included karaoke, lots of music (both live and from speakers), and a s’mores station set up on a bike!

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Overall, this was a great community event, totally making my infatuation with Minneapolis grow. How great to live in a city that hosts this sort of free event for its citizens? Major bonus points for the festival’s emphasis on bike culture. 🙂