Minneapolis, Minnesota – June 2001

It’s here! It’s here! Summer is finally here and it’s warm almost every day. Sometimes downright hot. But it won’t last very long, so, get outside. I don’t care what you do – just GET OUTSIDE.

Everyone else will be outside and you will have so many things to do, you won’t know where to start. There is a festival of some sort on every corner. Well, maybe not every corner but most. Walk to one of the lakes and watch rollerbladers, runners and bikers avoid each other. Sit in one of many neighborhood parks and see whoÂ’s got “game”.

If you’re like me, sit at one of the many patios that come out of nowhere in front of bars. In uptown, Old Chicago on 28th and Hennepin probably has the biggest, Filio’s patio on the corner of Hennepin and Lake Street has fancy fabric umbrellas and also receives the most bus exhaust, the Uptown bar patio is the place to be in Uptown because it gets the most sun.

On Lyndale, the Brew Pub Herkimer has a small patio and it’s in the shade for those who just can’t stand the heat, or is it the humidity? The Leaning Tower on 24th and Lyndale has a small patio on a busy corner. Across the street, for the sober or high octane, is Muddy Waters a coffee shop with picnic tables outside that are always crowed, but be warned, Kelly the proprietor with chase you away with a stick if you sit out there and don’t buy anything.

The Black Forest on 26th and Nicollet is the Grand Daddy and consistently voted the “Best Patio” in the City Pages Best of Issue. Goth, Punkers, Slackers, dotcomers, and good old Mom and Dad come to enjoy the groping green vines, and overgrown bushes and trees that make it feel very medieval in the midst of all the German food and beer.

So hit a patio, a park, or a porch and enjoy it while it lasts. If you’re still not sure how to handle Minnesota in June, here’s some other options:

City Pages Beer Festival
Featuring domestic and imported beers available locally. Outdoors at Calhoun Square on Hennepin and Lake Street. 5:50pm – 9:30pm June 1. $16 advance tickets, $20 day of event. Ph: 651-989-5151.

Grand Old Day is the largest one day street fair in the Midwest. Attendance has been as high as 300,000 people. That’s a lot of people on the 2.5 mile stretch of Grand Ave. where the festival is held. There will be 16 live bands, more than 130 food vendors and great people watching. In years past, groups of festival goers used to pull kegs behind them in little red wagons. You can’t do that anymore, but the 13 festival beer gardens are sure to keep your thirst quenched. The parade is at 10:30 am on June 3rd (same day as the festival). Ph: 651-699-0029

Stone Arch Festival of the Arts
Located conspicuously close to the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls, this festival features over 200 visual artists toting their wares. There’s plenty of entertainment for all along Historic Main Street, including kids activities. June 16-17. Free. Ph: 612-673-5123.

Blaine’s Blazin’ 4th
The name makes exactly no sense since it takes place June 30-July 1, but what the heck. Blaine’s National Sports Center hosts the event that includes carnival rides, a street dance, concerts, a MN Thunder soccer game and fireworks. Not to mention the royalty pageant, that’s sure to be a hoot. Ph: 612-673-5123.

If getting out of town is your thing, try the International Polka Festival in Chisholm on June 21-24. Local and National acts will get your toes tapping on four different stages. If you know your polka, there is a dance contest. There will also be crazy Iron Range Food like porketta, sarmas, or calzones (who knew?). Ph: 1-800-372-6437.

Or maybe Steamboat Days in Winona from June 29-July 4. Ph: 1-800-657-4972. If you really want to get crazy, try the Covered Bridge Music and Arts Festival in Zumbrota on June 16th. Ph: 507-732-7318.

Regardless what you do, remember: GO OUTSIDE!