When Your City Hosts the Super Bowl
3 months ago, anytime anyone mentioned Super Bowl weekend in Minneapolis I shuddered and immediately blurted out, "I plan on being out of town that weekend!" I was anti-festivities and anti-downtown because I hate crowds of people. Not that anyone loves being smooshed between a smelly old guy and a drunk mom, while a kid runs behind you and hits your knees...but I just have no problem skipping just about anything to avoid it. The FOMO is not strong with me.
Then I started to see all the cool things that popped up downtown and I had a BIT of a change of heart. I think it was the "Bold North" theme that everyone was using. We ARE a hearty group of folks up North, and embracing the cold weather and still enjoying ourselves was something I could get behind.
Oh, and by "embrace the cold" I mean I put these articles of clothing on my body:
2 pairs of socks (one mid-rise, one knee high)
2 pairs of fleece lined leggings
Heat-holding base layer
shin length down jacket with hood
See, you embrace the cold by knowing it is not to be fucked with. Just put on every piece of clothing you own and hope for the best. It was a balmy 15 degrees outside though, so I was perfectly warm the entire night.
Our first stop was the Bullseye Lodge. They had free hot chocolate, a line of 100 people to put your face on a marshmallow (we passed), shopping, and other photo opportunities. Outside they had fires going, curling stations, and a spot where you could record a touch down dance and have it displayed on one of the high rise buildings in the skyline. (It was very cool, and my touchdown dance was by and afar much better than Tom's!)
Then we wandered down Nicollet and watched cross-country skiers, the Polar Plunge, and listened to live Reggae music.
Our favorite thing, was unanimously the #ExploreMN Artpop exhibit at 5th and Nicollet. Local artists took us on a journey down the Mighty Mississippi and through each season. It was the most truly "Minnesotan" thing about the entire event. (and you know, any chance at all to pose with some Paul Bunyan characters, we're in! What up, Babe!)
And of course we did a little shopping at the NFL Shop.
It was a perfect evening downtown, and I think I was rewarded for actually taking part in the festivities by picking the night that wasn't overly crowded, and one where we were able to park just a few blocks away for $5. (Better than those nightmare stories of $60 parking garages. Say whaaat?!)
I was pretty proud of my city for the caliber of event they threw. All the volunteers were beyond helpful and nice, calling us out when lines were short, taking pictures for us, etc.
Now if only we had been able to get zip line tickets!!!