Thinking of the Future: Summer in the Cities!

I think it is finally safe to say that summer is on the way here in Minnesota, and we are probably out of the danger zone for any freak snow storms for the foreseeable future. I took a nice long bike ride this afternoon, smelled the blooming lilacs and river smell, enjoyed the breeze, ate some gourmet ice cream, and I was totally thinking about all the awesome stuff that’s coming up this summer. Of course, summer may a little less fun now that I don’t have any school breaks, but, oh well, there is still something about that encourages laziness. It may be the heat. I may really be more of a fall/winter person after all, but after last winter I am looking forward to some warmth. Well, as long as its not too warm, that is.

Lazy though the summer is, I am looking forward to all the fun events that pop up in the Twin Cities summers so I thought I would share a short list of my favorites.

I’ve been to two great evenings of Northern Spark, 2012 and 2013, and it is probably my favorite arts festival in the city. Back in Minneapolis after a jaunt across the river to St. Paul, it seems as if half the metro is there taking advantage of the balmy temperatures to stay up all night. There were so many different things to do, it was hard to decide on which ones to do next, and so much creativity on display I was left breathless. Can’t wait for 2014, in which so much is going on across the city that it will take me some time to decide what to do!

The same weekend is the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, which presents art and music in the shadow of the photogenic and atmospheric Stone Arch Bridge. I went last year for the first time and it was a fun event in a great location. Worth checking out before Northern Spark!

I will be gone on an adventure to the Pacific Northwest for most of July, so moving forward to the end of July and the beginning of August, we have the ever intriguing Minnesota Fringe Festival. It’s the Twin Cities, so we’ve got to include some performing arts. We do have the second number of theater streets after New York City, you know! You would be hard pressed to find the level of innovation, experimentation, and just plain weirdness that comes out at the Fringe even in NYC. I’ve been attending Fringe plays since 2007 (a small section of its 21 year run), and have seen everything from adaptations of obscure works by Robert Anton Wilson to audience interactive mystery stories, to musicals involving the world’s largest ball of tinfoil. All great. They do not have a list of this years shows yet, but keep watching!

Finally, not to neglect St. Paul in my list, I am looking forward to my yearly hit of Japanese culture at Como Park’s Japanese Lantern Festival on August 17. It is always fun to relax to the sound of Taiko drums, eating some Japanese street food, and watching people dressed as their favorite anime characters, and then the lantern lighting section is just breathtaking.

So, anyway, as I was looking forward to the future, this article from the City Pages by Tom Vandyck came up today and it was definitely an interesting and thought provoking read, too, great for when you are looking ahead. Check it out!.





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