After 8 months of cold and snow, summer in Minnesota shifts into full gear (for the 3-5 warm months of the year). In less than 24 hours Saint Paul became home to; an overnight light exhibit spread throughout the city, called Northern Spark; fun for the whole family, in the form of colors, games, and music at Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, hosted by the Ordway; and Grand Old Days- a block party including parade, beer gardens, and Minnesota’s favorite state-fair food, cheese curds. And this is only the beginning of the summer!
Northern Spark was an all-night event of different light installations throughout the Twin Cities. Scattered Light (above, by Jim Campbell) was one of those installations. It consists of some 1600 flickering LED lights that, when you stand far enough away, come together to create a slow-moving movie. When you stand close to the lights (see photo above), there seems to be no pattern to the flickering, but once you stand back and you see the “shadows” of the slow-moving video drift across the lights it all begins to make sense.
Grand Old Days is essentially a day-long, 2-mile block party on Grand Avenue. A parade starts things up strong in the morning. Followed up with eating greasy, but delicious foods, “bar-hopping” from beer garden to beer garden, being amused by street jugglers and performers, and enjoying the fantastic people-watching opportunities that arise.
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, hosted by the Ordway theater, was held in Rice Park and the Landmark Center during the entire weekend. There were activities for the whole family, including visual arts for the Northern Spark festival on Saturday night. Through dance, they told excerpts of Corbian the Dinosaur, using black cloth and glow-in-the-dark costumes to eliminate the person wearing the costume, and bring the dinosaur to life. During the days there were several stages playing music or dance, including a non-conventional “stage.” The photo at the beginning of this post shows the Project Bandaloop dancers defying gravity on the side of the Lawson Building.
What are your favorite things about summer?