Minnesotans have no lack of desire to do things in the summer, that’s for sure. For the few warm months we have, we want to get outside and enjoy it. Whether you want to join practically every other Minnesotan in grabbing something on a stick at the “Great Minnesota Get Together” or venture your own path on a walking tour, Lavender has rounded up a few great selection to occupy your time in these rare warmer months.
Historical Walking Tours
Through September 19
Minneapolis, Various Locations
These tours are the best way to get to know Minneapolis, to experience the city’s diverse neighborhoods, and to become more familiar with Minneapolis’ many historic resources. During the summer of 2015, Preserve Minneapolis will offer over 20 unique tours that highlight the built, natural, and cultural treasures found throughout the city. Of special note is the return of the Queer History tour in September. A spot Oscar Wilde stepped off a train to visit Minneapolis, the place where Josephine Baker danced, the original name of the Gay 90s (now housed in the building shown here, constructed in 1921), the first known gay and lesbian bars in the city…this tour focuses on secrets and important sites of significance to the local GLBT community. Some sites are well-remembered, while others have been demolished and are largely forgotten.
Artist-Designed Mini Golf
May 21 – September 7
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Back again for summer 2015 is artist-designed mini golf! Players will encounter some old favorites, including Curling Club, Stargazer, and Guess What? Chicken Putt!. But even seasoned players on the artist-designed circuit will have to work to stay under par thanks to some surprising new holes. And if the choice between a round of putt-putt and a wander through an air-conditioned contemporary art museum is driving a wedge between you and your loved ones, remember: every ticket includes free gallery admission (up to $14 value). Walker on the Green features the Dog House serving all-beef hot dogs and beverages. Mini golf is extremely popular, so expect a wait time, which may be longer in the evenings and on weekends when the course is busiest.
Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair
May 23 – August 16
Minnesota History Center
View 40 garments from the Ebony Fashion Fair including pieces from Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Patrick Kelly, Bob Mackie, and others. “Inspiring Beauty” explores how a world-renowned traveling fashion show, with works from the icons of the fashion world, became a vehicle for African American empowerment, pride, and achievement. Originally the fashion feature in Ebony magazine, the Fashion Fair began in 1958 and ultimately helped to redefine the concepts of beauty, style, and empowerment for African Americans. According to exhibit curator Joy Bivins, “Fashion was always the draw but the opportunity that the show provided black women to see fantastic fashion on women who looked like them was equally important. On the Ebony Fashion Fair runway, black women were the beauty standard.” “Inspiring Beauty” offers an unprecedented chance for visitors who never attended the show and Ebony Fashion Fair regulars to experience the beauty, glamour, and excitement first-hand.
Minneapolis, Various Locations
On the second Saturday of June, tens of thousands of people gather throughout Minneapolis to explore the city’s great cultural institutions, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges. See the city in a new light. Whether it’s a projection as big as the Mill City Grain Silos or a fleet of glowing bikes circling Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, the artists of Northern Spark shine new light on familiar places. By the end of the night you’ll find yourself with an illuminated perspective of the places you thought you knew.
Minnesota State Fair
August 27 – September 7
State Fair Grounds, St. Paul
Everyone knows that the State Fair is the place to get anything on a stick, but after you’ve had your fill, then what? So much. Notably, taking the stage at the Grandstand this year is a vocal GLBT ally: Carrie Underwood. Following her win on American Idol in 2005, she went on to become a true multi-format, multi-media superstar, spanning achievements in music, television, and film. The six-time Grammy Award winner has amassed more than 95 major honors, sold more than 64 million records worldwide, and recorded 18 number one singles. All of that aside, Underwood has spoken publicly of her support for gay rights (most notably marriage equality) and the community has embraced her whole-heartedly. Did you miss out on buying tickets for the sold-out performance? No worries, you can always hear what’s going on in the bandstand from outside anyway.