Tag Archives: St. Paul

Fun Facts about the Minnesota State Fair

As soon as August arrives, all Minnesotans have just one thing on their mind: the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a time for folks statewide (and even from across the nation) to flock to the Twin Cities and enjoy the best days of summer. What began as an event in the early 1850’s to showcase crops, livestock, produce, and handiwork of Minnesota residents, has since become a cultural phenomenon beloved by all Minnesotans, regardless of their involvement with agriculture or farming.

In anticipation of August 25th (the event’s first of 12 days), we put together a list of some of the most interesting facts about “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” Take a look:

1.It is the largest state fair in the U.S. by average daily attendance.

2. It is the 2nd largest state fair in the U.S. by total annual attendance (the largest is Texas, which runs about twice as long).

3. The highest annual attendance occurred in 2014, with 1,824,830 fairgoers.

4. The single day record was set on August 30, 2014, with 252,092 attendants.

5. It was named the best state fair in the nation by USA Today readers.

6. Theodore Roosevelt first uttered his famous line “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the state fair in 1901.

7. Since it began more than 150 years ago, the state fair has only not been held five times (see the reasons why here).

8. The current site is not the fair’s original home. Before 1885 when it settled permanently in Falcon Heights (adjacent to St. Paul neighborhoods Como & St. Anthony Park), the fair jumped from city to city, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Red Wing, Owatonna, and Winona.


Photo Credit: “PrincessKay” by Jonathunder © 2010 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

9. Each year, the newly crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her royal court have their likenesses carved out of a 90 lb. block of butter. Each sculpture takes about 6-8 hours to complete.

10. For several decades, the soon-to-be-renovated Machinery Hill housed the largest annual display of farm equipment in the world.

11. Before moving to the Walker Art Center and eventually to CHS Field (its current venue), the Cat Video Festival was held at the State Fair Grandstand.

12. Owatonna native Lillian Colton created Crop Art for the fair for over 40 years, winning nine purple ribbons in all. Her work included portraits of celebrities ranging from Prince to Princess Diana.

13. The oldest amusement ride at the fair is Ye Old Mill, which just celebrated its 100th birthday last year. 

14. Meanwhile, the Hamline Church Dining Hall is the longest running concession stand, having been open since 1897.

15. Pronto Pups, a highlight of the fair for many, were first introduced to fairgoers in 1947.

16. New food offerings this year include spam sushi and macaroni & cheese curds. Talk about decadent!

17. Perennial favorite Sweet Martha’s Cookies (soon to have a third location in the north end), serves over 1 million warm chocolate chip cookies per day.

18. What goes better with cookies than milk? Nothing! To satisfy your dairy craving, head on over to the All-You-Can Drink milk booth, where approximately 26,000 gallons of the creamy stuff is served per year (in both white and chocolate varieties). If that sounds like a bit too much lactose for you, consider participating in the Milk Run instead – all participants receive a Milk Run T-shirt, fair admission, and a malt coupon.

19. If walking is more your speed, there is a year-round Fair Walking & Cell Phone Tour, which was created in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society to provide a more detailed guide of the fairgrounds.


Photo Credit: “Fairchild” by Jonathunder © 2009 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

20. You know those gopher mascots you immediately identify with the fair? Believe it or not, they actually have names (Fairchild and his nephew Fairborne) and backstories.

Were you surprised by any of these facts? What are your favorite State Fair traditions? What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Get Together? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Photo Credit: “2010 MN State Fair crowd” by Anndelion © 2010 (CC BY 3.0)

Top 5 Phone Apps for Realtors

Technology is a great resource for any professional today. For realtors, who are always on the go, what phone apps serve them best to make their jobs that much easier? Well, we’ve gathered 5 apps we suggest every realtor should have on their phones/tablets. Let us know if there is one you use the most:

1. Pro HDR

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 9.40.15 AM

View in iTunes store here

This app will allow you to take pictures of your properties, modify the lighting or little edits you can add to enhance the picture and make it a higher definition one.

2.  Storehouse

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View in iTunes store here

Imagine talking to a prospect buyer and pulling out a video and pictures with the virtual tour of a house right from your phone or tablet. This will make you look even more professional, but also one that’s eager and ready to get things done. Your clients will surely appreciate it.

3. Genius Scan

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.02.37 AM

View in iTunes store here.


Realtors, and agents are never in one single place. Odds are sometimes you might have to run back to the office to scan a document and end up losing time and gas. This app can scan your documents and turn them into a PDF or JPEG doc. Take a picture, and send it over through email as either format with no problem and no need to run to anywhere.

4. Waze

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.22.06 AM

View in iTunes store here.


Ever been stuck in traffic in a unfamiliar part of the city wishing you could know of a shortcut? Well, we’ve got one for you! Well, iTunes and Google has one, but we’re telling you this one is will make your life so much easier. This app will tell you the traffic updates  or road closures close to your location. Sounds like a perfect app for someone who’s always on the go!

5. Dashlane

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View in iTunes store here.

Realtors can have over 10 social media platforms. With all the names, addresses, information realtors receive in one day chances are you might forget passwords often. This app will solve that problem alone. Not only does it save your login information, but also receipts, payment methods, credit card information. Perfect app for a busy professional such as a realtor or agent.


Gym vs. Home chores: Which one burns more calories?

Do you ever feel guilty for staying home and cleaning your house instead of going for a jog, hitting the gym, or missing your yoga class? Well, fear not dear reader we have good news! You might burn more calories staying home and doing chores than lifting weights! Don’t believe us? No worries, take a look at this infographic and tell us if you were surprised as much as we were.



Source: Yourgreenpal.com

5 Hacks to Make Your Studio Apartment Look Bigger

Do you live in a loft? studio apartment? Do you see yourself living there for a while, or do you just like that style and can’t see yourself leaving it? Well, we totally understand, and we’ve got tips for you to make every square footage of that room count. Here are five hacks to make your studio apartment look bigger than it actually is:


1. Lighten up the floors

Yep, that’s right. Make your floors a lighter color. Paint them, or if you’re renting the place  and your lease won’t allow it, then a wide bright rug will do the trick just fine, as well.


2.  Clear it up

By this we mean, clear, see-through furniture is your best choice. Side tables with see-through legs. All these help into making it seem there is less space, or clutter. Try it out and tell us what you think!

3. Two-for-One

To some people this idea never seems like fun, but then again some people love the efficiency of it. Think of buying one furniture that doubles into something else. For example, your side table could also double as a bar. These not only save you space, but also keeps you and almost forces you to keep the space less cluttered  and more organized.


4. The walls are your friends

Well, it might sound silly but they are! They become extra space you can occupy. For example, hang your necklaces, towels, etc. Have that become another space that you can use. Here’s a tip: make sure everything has at least 5-8 inches of space between each other. The trick is to never make it seem like it’s cluttered.


5. Higher Up

Ok, so now we’ve used up your walls, floor, and even doubled-up some furniture use. Now, look up. Yes, the ceilings. No, we’re not hanging anything from there today (although we recommend you do—some interior decorators suggest hanging plants gives it a sense of more space to a room), but we will be painting it. If you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling, then feel free to paint it! We suggest you do the same color as your floor to lighten up the place even more.


Well reader, here is where we end our post. Hopefully, you’ve find it informative! Feel free to tell us if you’ve tried any of this and it’s worked! Or, if you’d like to add some more tips, feel free to do so in the comments below!



Find the original article here.

Nene Matey-Keke Wins MAAR 2014 Realtor of the Year Award

Nene Matey-Keke, MAAR, Realtor of the Year

Most companies share a common goal of ending the year better than where they started it. RNR Realty International can certainly say they have accomplished that in 2014. The company’s principal broker and owner, Nene Matey-Keke, was recently named the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) 2014 REALTOR® of the Year. Matey-Keke beat out more than 7,500 Twin Cities competitors to receive this prestigious award for his dedication to his clients, involvement in local and national associations, and volunteerism throughout the community.

“I was humbled and appreciative that all of my efforts to gain a better understanding of and to improve both this industry and my business have culminated in this achievement,” said Matey-Keke. “I’ve spent the better half of my lifetime trying to set forth to be the best at what I do, so to be recognized by my peers for something that I’m so passionate about is the greatest honor that I could have received.”

For those who know Matey-Keke, it’s easy to see why MAAR decided to present him with this award. Driven, determined, and dedicated are just a few words that family, friends, colleagues, and affiliates use to describe the hardworking realtor. As proof, Matey-Keke holds a total of 14 different residential and commercial real estate certifications and designations, and more than 25 additional certifications, which cover financial investment, community development, and construction.

Having been in the real estate industry for almost fifteen years, Matey-Keke has been diligent in continually building not only his multiple businesses, but also his personal knowledge as well as his ever-growing professional network, which he does partly by maintaining membership in numerous associations and committees.

At MAAR, Matey-Keke recently completed his appointment to serve on the Board of Directors and has previously been on the Finance Committee, Nominating Committee and the Young Professionals Network. He will continue his involvement with the Global Business Council and Public Affairs Committee.

At the state level, working with the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® (MNAR), Matey-Keke is on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Commercial Forms Sub Committee, Governmental Affairs Committee, Minnesota RPAC Board of Trustees, Professional Standards Committee, and is an active participant of the Strategic Planning session. He also was a founding member of the Diversity Committee and served as the 2014 Chairman. During his tenure, he spearheaded a joint partnership between MNAR and Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest as one way to address the current homeownership disparity. Junior Achievement now incorporates the value of homeownership for all in its curriculum. Matey-Keke’s commitment to improving diversity within the real estate industry has led to his appointment as treasurer of the recently created local chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America – Twin Cities (AREAA).

At the national level (National Association of REALTORS®), Matey-Keke is the Federal Political Coordinator assigned to the 5th District under Congressman Keith Ellison. He is also a member of the Global Business and Alliances Committee, Research Committee, and previously served on the Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee, Diversity Committee, and Housing Opportunity Committee.

In addition to his extensive REALTOR® association involvement, Matey-Keke also dedicates time to developing the commercial and investment aspects of his business, by actively participating in the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors (MNCAR) and the Minnesota Real Estate Investment Association (MnREIA), respectively.

One of Matey-Keke’s many areas of focus is the international community. His attention to this particular market contributed greatly to his REALTOR® of the Year victory, as well as to his overall personal success. It was because of his background and interest in travelling and learning more about other cultures that he created RNR Realty to be an international business. He would like to use his recent accomplishment to push the business even farther globally, in order to help increase clients’ opportunities for relocation, purchasing resort or second properties, investment (Commercial and Residential) as well as to help make homeownership accessible to all worldwide.

In fact, it was his own personal struggle to overcome past adversity and a lack of access to information that motivates him to work with underprivileged communities today. Despite his extensive association involvement – not to mention running multiple businesses – Matey-Keke still finds time to teach first time homebuyer classes for various local organizations, including Model Cities, the African Development Center, and Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH). He has also spoken for the Minneapolis Urban League’s “Realizing the American Dream” class, which hits close to home.

“Being the child of two parents who have had tremendous fights to claim and acknowledge their identities, in addition to overcoming lack of access and exposure to mainstream resources, has always driven me to be the best and to take advantage of all the resources that are available to me now,” said Matey-Keke. “Rising from [my upbringing] and charting my own path with little to no guidance within the real estate industry has been difficult, to say the least. That is, until I became involved with the association. Getting more involved with the association has led me to be a better businessman and has increased my opportunities overall. Starting where I did, it’s that much more rewarding to be the first African-American to receive this honor and be recognized for having achieved a certain level of success in this industry to which I have given myself.”

Recently, Matey-Keke has also begun teaching community education classes in neighborhoods around the Twin Cities, on topics ranging from purchasing investment properties to finding the best resort and second property opportunities, locally, nationally and globally.

REALTOR® of the Year award winners are allowed to select a charitable organization to receive a $1,000 donation in their name. Matey-Keke chose MCASA Homes, a Model Cities program that provides affordable homeownership opportunities to low and moderate income families. He selected this program because he has previously worked with Model Cities, and he strongly believes in MCASA’s mission to put homeownership within everyone’s reach.

Emily Green, the 2014 MAAR President and past REALTOR® of the Year award recipient, helped name Matey-Keke as this year’s winner and presented him with the trophy.

“Nene is a REALTOR® who contributes to the community and advocates at a local, state and national level for homeownership opportunities for all,” Green explained. “His service to our industry has been invaluable and we are proud to honor him with the distinguished designation of REALTOR® of the year.”

Read more here: http://www.startribune.com/nene-matey-keke-named-realtor-of-the-year/286252901/


Minneapolis Metro Housing Market Shifts to Note in 2nd Half of 2014

This press release was originally published by PRWeb.

Home Destination finds several Minneapolis metro housing market shifts to note in the 2nd half of 2014 after the Department of Numbers and MAAR released recent Twin Cities housing data. Home Destination, a Minneapolis residential realtor with RE/MAX Results, shares the Minneapolis real estate reports and comments on what home buyers and sellers can anticipate till the year’s end.

Minneapolis, Twin Cities Minnesota (PRWEB) July 20, 2014

Minneapolis metro housing market shifts to note in the 2nd half of 2014 from reports released by theDepartment of Numbers, and MAAR reveal critical shifts in the Twin Cities housing market trends.

“Midway through the year, The Twin Cities home sales are beaten by last year’s by almost 10 percent after foul weather dampened the spring housing market season,” says Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination. “It is quite impressive that as Minneapolis home prices and listings continue to rise, there’s a positive optimism that the second half of the year will be strong.”

According to a report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors for the week ending July 5, three sets of housing data show remarkable improvements.

  • The number of new real estate listings increased 14.8% to 1,269
  • Pending home sales improved 17.4% to 1,045
  • Available housing inventory increased 7.7% to 17,587

Additionally, here are 5 Shitfs in the Twin Cites Housing Market according to Home Destination’s summary of the two reports.

1. Asking Prices Homes Listed In Twin Cities Real Estate Improve

At the halfway point in July 2014, there were approximately 19,056 single-family residential homes and condo dwellings on the market for sale in Minneapolis Minnesota. The median asking price by sellers for these properties ran near $253,525, according to the report. “Since this time last year, the inventory of homes for sale has increased by 33.4%, and the median price has increased by 7.9%.”

2. Uptick in Available Twin Cities Real Estate Listings

June closed with 8,315 new Twin Cities real estate listing added to the market, making it easier for home buyers to find the home they want. If one compares the number of homes available to this time one year ago, housing inventory is up 8.9 percent. With more to choose from, Twin Cities home buyers who hoped to find what they want are pleased. While bidding wars still erupt, buyers have more choices than available in some time.

3. Upswing in Pending Sales of Traditional Homes

New consumer optimism stems from the drop in Twin Cities home foreclosures and short sales, which has weighed down several aspects of the housing market. In June, there was an inspiring up swing of 12 percent in pending sales of traditional homes, which is given credit for helping median home values rise 4.7 percent to $219,000. Overall, however, sales in June were down 2.2 percent to 5,531 sales.

4. Better Clip in the Time It Takes to Successfully Sell a Home

The month of June 2014 saw a drop from 73 days on the housing market till sale in 2013 to 71 days. That is a +2.8% improvement that permits sellers to close the deal and move on to the next home at a better pace. This means that sellers must be prepared to move to another home in less time. This indicator suggests a transition from rapid recovery toward a steady pace that should mean stability.

5. More Homeowners are Above Water With Sufficient Home Equity to Move

Housing data found back in June of 2013 places the median home sale price at $185,000. This June, Twin Cities home sellers’ median home price for a sold home was $191,550, a welcome increase of 3.5%. The average home sold for $223,503 in June 2013 and for $237,404 in June this year, a significant change of +6.2%.

“Yes there’s more inventory, but not in all areas or price points,” stated Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors president Emily Green in the June 11 article titled Twin Cities Has Largest Pool of Homes for Sale in Almost a Year. “This market has been supply-constrained for long enough, but the trend is moving in a positive direction.”

“When talking to prospective clients, most home buyers and sellers seem to be more confident about real estate. The steadiness of the Twin Cities housing market climb upwards seems more trustworthy to many than if we had astonishing highs,” adds Thuening. “Being rated again as one of the top cities to live in the entire U.S makes Minneapolis residents appreciate what we have more.”

Home Destination has been regarded as a competent Twin Cities Realtor for over 15 years. Minneapolis homeowners who are interested in selling a home can call Jenna Thuening for free, no-obligation market analysis at 612-396-7832.

Read the original press release publication on PRWeb.com.

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Conditions Heading Into Summer 2014

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Conditions Heading Into Summer 2014 (via PRWeb)

Minneapolis real estate market conditions heading into summer, while mixed, offer a positive outlook for prospective home buyers and seller, according to MAAR’s summary of May’s housing data. Home Destination, a Twin Cities residential Realtor with…

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125 Fun Things to Do in Minnesota this June

Festival, State Fair, Large Crowd

Festivals, concerts, and fairs – oh my! From ArtSoup to the Zumbrota Covered Bridge Music & Arts Festival, there’s an event for everyone happening this month. Offering tons of food, music, and good old-fashioned fun, here are some of June’s must-do events in Minnesota (and one in Wisconsin that’s definitely worth the trip).

The events are listed in chronological order. Click the links for more info.

5/30 – 6/7 Lake Fest Forest Lake
5/31 – 6/7 Hawley Rodeo Fest Hawley
5/31 – 6/7 I Love Burnsville Week Burnsville
6/1 Grand Old Day 2014 St. Paul
6/5 – 6/8 Tower Days Spring Lake Park
6/6 – 6/8 Bullhead Days Waterville
6/6 – 6/8 Cyrus Days Cyrus
6/6 Dairy Day Celebration Hutchinson
6/6 – 6/8 Edina Art Fair Edina
6/6 – 6/8 Father Hennepin Festival Champlin
6/6 – 6/7 Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Festival Nisswa
6/6 – 6/8 Pine Island Cheese Festival Pine Island
6/6 – 6/20 Spring Art Expo Cook
6/6 Twin Cities Electric Run St. Paul
6/7 – 6/8 Annual Fountain Trail Days Fountain
6/7 Art in the Hollow Swede Hollow Park, St. Paul
6/7 St. Paul Summer Beerfest St. Paul
6/7 Explore your Parks Day Lake Elmo
6/7 Frazee Crazy Daze Frazee
6/7 Greyfest 2014 Shoreview
6/7 – 6/8 June Bloom Wine Event Great River Road
6/7 OtterJam 2014 Ottertail
6/7 Rhubarb Festival Lanesboro
6/7 St. Anthony Park Arts Festival St. Paul
6/8 – 6/15 Buffalo Days Buffalo
6/8 Lyn Lake Street Festival Minneapolis
6/9 – 6/15 Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival Hutchinson
6/10 – 6/15 2014 Wizard of Oz Festival Grand Rapids
6/11 – 6/15 Albertville Friendly City Days Albertville
6/11 Friends of Ramsey Park Jamboree Redwood Falls
6/11 – 6/14 Kick’n Up Kountry Music Festival Karlstad
6/11 – 6/16 Steamboat Days Winona Winona
6/12 – 8/3 2014 Minnesota Biennial St. Paul
6/12 – 6/15 50th Annual Tater Daze Brooklyn Park
6/12 – 6/15 Barnum Spring Fever Days Barnum
6/12 – 6/15 Mapleton Town & Country Days Mapleton
6/12 – 6/15 Parktacular Celebration St. Louis Park
6/13 – 6/15 Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Crosby
6/13 – 6/18 Foley Fun Days Foley
6/13 – 6/15 Gammel Dag Fest Peterson
6/13 – 6/14 Interlaken Heritage Days Fairmont
6/13 – 6/14 Lake Crystal Duck Days Celebration Lake Crystal
6/13 – 6/15 Onamia Days Onamia
6/13 – 6/14 Fergus Falls Summer Fest Fergus Falls
6/13 – 6/14 Wannigan Days Taylor Falls
6/13 – 6/14 Winstock Festival Winsted
6/14 3rd Annual Northeast Ride Northeast Minneapolis
6/14 – 6/15 Art on the Lake Excelsior
6/14 Bigfork Wilderness Days Bigfork
6/14 Finnish-American Summer Festival Embarrass
6/14 Japanese Garden Festival Bloomington
6/14 Juneteenth Minneapolis
6/14 Midsommar Celebration Minneapolis
6/14 National Get Outdoors Day Multiple locations
6/14 Northern Spark Minneapolis
6/14 – 6/22 Perham Turtle Fest Perham
6/14 – 6/15 Solstice Outdoor Music Festival Mankato
6/14 – 6/15 Stone Arch Bridge Festival Minneapolis
6/14 Twin Cities World Refugee Day St. Paul
6/15 Chocolate, Shakespeare, & Champagne Winona
6/15 Falls Festival on Foot Little Falls
6/15 Lanesboro Art in the Park Lanesboro
6/17 – 6/21 Farmington Dew Days Farmington
6/17 Fourth Summer Food Fest Blaine
6/17 – 6/22 Willmar Fest Willmar
6/18 – 6/19 Faribault Heritage Celebration Faribault
6/18 – 6/22 Rockin’ Rogers Days Rogers
6/19 – 6/22 Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest Cottage Grove
6/19 – 6/22 Dan Patch Days Savage
6/19 – 6/22 Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Howard Lake
6/19 – 6/22 Hennepin County Fair Corcoran
6/19 – 6/21 June Jubilee Family Fun Day Wadena
6/19 – 7/4 Manitou Days White Bear Lake
6/19 – 6/22 Zumbrota Covered Bridge Music & Arts Festival Zumbrota
6/20 – 6/22 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration of Redwood Falls Redwood Falls
6/20 – 6/22 Prairie Fest Long Prairie
6/20 Redwood Falls Community Parade Redwood Falls
6/20 – 6/29 Rochesterfest Rochester
6/20 – 6/21 Roseau Scandinavian Festival Roseau
6/20 – 6/22 Sherburn Holiday Festival Sherburn
6/21 3rd Annual Summer Party in New Ulm New Ulm
6/21 50th & Bryant Street Fest Minneapolis
6/21 – 6/22 Afton Strawberry Fest Afton
6/21 Freedom Days of Becker Becker
6/21 – 6/22 GermanFest St. Paul
6/21 – 6/22 Rock the Garden Minneapolis
6/21 Solstice Music and Arts Fair Clearwater
6/21 Walk Around the World International Festival Rochester
6/23 – 6/28 Plein Air Art and Music Festival Red Wing
6/25 – 6/29 58th Annual Columbia Heights Jamboree Columbia Heights
6/25 – 6/28 Norman County Fair Ada
6/25 – 6/29 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
6/26 – 6/29 Cass County Fair Pine River
6/26 Walker Crazy Days Walker
6/26 – 6/29 Dawson Riverfest Dawson
6/26 – 6/28 Earle Brown Days Brooklyn Center
6/26 – 6/29 Fridley ’49er Days Festival Fridley
6/26 – 6/28 Jazz Festival St. Paul
6/26 – 6/29 Riverside Days Springfield
6/26 – 6/30 Rosefest Roseville
6/26 – 6/28 Watertower Festival Pipestone
6/27 – 6/29 Blaine Festival Blaine
6/27 – 6/29 Browerville Heritage Days Browerville
6/27 – 6/28 Ethnic Dance Theatre: 40th Anniversary Minneapolis
6/27 – 6/29 Kaposia Days St. Paul
6/27 – 6/29 Meadowfest 2014 Grand Meadow
6/27 – 6/28 Melrose Riverfest Melrose
6/27 – 6/28 Midwest Viking Festival and Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival Moorhead
6/27 – 6/29 Pine River Summerfest Pine River
6/27 – 6/29 Red Lake County Fair Oklee
6/27 Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games 5k Oak Park Heights
6/28 ArtSoup in Elk River Elk River
6/28 Burwell Art Fair Minnetonka
6/28 Burwell House Festival Minnetonka
6/28 – 6/29 Eagan Art Festival Eagan
6/28 – 7/4 Freedom Days in Apple Valley Apple Valley
6/28 – 6/30 Paul Bunyan Days Akeley
6/28 Pet-A-Palooza St. Paul
6/28 St. Boni Spass-Tagen Fun Days St. Bonifacius
6/28 – 6/29 Twin Cities Pride Festival Loring Park, Minneapolis
6/28 – 6/29 Wayzata Art Experience Wayzata
6/29 MN Food Truck Fair Uptown Minneapolis
6/29 Svenskarnas Dag Minnehaha Park
6/29 Vikingland Band Festival Alexandria
6/30 – 7/6 Military Family Week at the Minnesota Zoo Apple Valley



Best Birthday Deals In and Around Minneapolis

Birthdays are a great excuse to go out and have some fun with friends. However, they can be pretty expensive if your friends aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to foot the bill. To take the pressure off everyone, we’ve found a few ways to celebrate on a budget. Here are some of the best birthday deals to take advantage of in and around Minneapolis. Click the headings for links.


Free Improv Comedy Show at Comedy Sportz

Uptown Minneapolis

If you’re a fan of improv comedy, you’ve probably already been to this Uptown spot or it’s on your shortlist of things to do. Either way, they offer free admission for those who have signed up for their birthday club.


See a concert for free at First Ave

Downtown Minneapolis

Show up to this iconic music venue on your birthday and get free admission for you and a friend, even for sold-out shows. You also get a drink ticket that’s good for a free bottle of champagne.


Free Full Service Car Wash

Downtowner Car Wash, St. Paul

Okay, so maybe this deal isn’t as exciting as a night at First Ave and free champagne, but there’s nothing stopping you from swinging over to St. Paul to redeem this $22 value car wash before heading out for the night.


Free Tickets to See Comedy At Acme Comedy Co.

Downtown Minneapolis

Laugh for free with five of your friends. During the month of your birthday, you can get up to six free tickets that are good for any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night shows.


Free Round of Golf

Shamrock Golf Club, Corcoran

Sign up and enjoy a round of golf on the house at this golf course in Corcoran (just west of Maple Grove). For those who were born in the months that are less than ideal for golfing in Minnesota, the deal is redeemable for the month they open.


Other Birthday Freebies

Check out this link for a seemingly endless list of restaurants and other businesses waiting to give you something free for your birthday.


8 Great Holiday Events Happening in the Twin Cities

Looking for a good way to unwind after you’ve finished wrapping your gifts? Haven’t started wrapping your gifts and looking for new ways to procrastinate? Read up on these 8 great holiday happenings in the Twin Cities. Click the headings for links to each event.

Macy’s Santaland

Nothing says Christmas like taking the kids to see Santa Claus and Macy’s remains the quintessential place to do it.  The trip through the magical elf village on the way to Santaland will only have the kids more excited to meet Saint Nick and share him in on the Christmas lists they’ve been drafting for the past month and half.



The Holidazzle has filled Minneapolis streets with floats, costumes and lights since 1992. Sadly, this 22nd year will be Holidazzle’s last. So to those who have never been, this will be your last chance to see Holidazzle before its finale bow Saturday night. Organizers are promising a successor though and it’ll be exciting to see what they have up their sleeves for next year.


Ugly Sweater Crawl

Four downtown Minneapolis bars will play host to the fashionably heedless looking for drink specials this Saturday night. The ugliest  best sweater will walk away with a cool $100 in cash.


Ugly Sweater Party

Looking for something a little more stationary than a crawl but still want to show off that turtle-necked atrocity you call a sweater? Well, you’re in luck. The Living Room Bar in the Foshay Tower is hosting an Ugly Sweater Party that will be a little more refined than the nearby crawl. Classy bars and ugly sweaters: two great tastes that go great together.


Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate winter’s longest night around a bonfire in the Enchanted Forest at the American Swedish Institute. If that doesn’t sound like a fun time, your name probably rhymes with ‘Drooge’ and you have a sibling with children (your Uncle Scrooge is what I’m getting at here). Tours of the Turnblad Mansion’s holiday exhibit will be available as well a festive dinner featuring glögg, a Swedish mulled wine. Translation? Zero bah humbugs.


Wells Fargo Winterskate

Get the skates out of the attic (and knee pads) and head to Saint Paul for some free skating at Landmark Plaza. Skate rentals are available and, for those less enthusiastic about any activity preceded by waiver signing, so is the option of heading to the warming house for hot chocolate and significantly fewer concussions.


Holiday Lights in the Park

See more than 50 holiday sculptures and animated displays in Saint Paul’s Phalen Park from the comfort of your warm car in this drive-through holiday experience.  Pro tip: hot chocolate can also be consumed in a moving car.


Holiday Flower Show

Trick your mind into thinking you’ve fast-forwarded into Spring by surrounding yourself with the sights and smells of blooming flowers at the Como Zoo Conservatory in Saint Paul.

Just don’t forget about all those gifts that still have to be wrapped.