May begins with a bang: festivals, parades, expos, tours


Festivals and special events fill the first week of May—after labor, immigrant and peace demonstrations and marches on May 1, In St. Paul—Cinco de Mayo celebrations start Friday and continue on Saturday in St. Paul. The Midtown Farmers Market returns May 3 in Minneapolis, and the Living Green Expo 2008 opens on the State Fairgrounds for a two-day run. Also Saturday in St. Paul, the vacant home tour highlights opportunities in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Sunday the spotlight returns to Minneapolis with the Heart of the Beast MayDay Parade, Ceremony and Festival. Monday—the actual Cinco de Mayo—brings a Minneapolis celebration in Corcoran Park. The Festival of Nations runs through Sunday in St. Paul. On the arts side, the Bent Festival runs through Saturday (May 3) at Intermedia Arts, and the Best of Fest from the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival runs from May 4-8 at the Oak Street Cinema.

Living Green 2008 by Carrie Wasley, TC Daily Planet
In 1970 the popular song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” was composed and sung by Kermit the Frog on Sesame Street, the popular and iconic children’s television show. Kermit laments the fact that he is green and thus defined by his color. Thirty years later guess what – it is easy being green and you can find out just how green you can be by participating in the Seventh Living Green Expo going on this weekend, May 3 and 4 at the Minnesota State Fair from 10:00AM to 5:00PM on both days.

Midtown Farmers Market returns May 3
by Lori Wolter, TC Daily Planet
The popular Midtown Farmers’ Market returns May 3, kicking off at 8 a.m. with opening-day festivities that include sheep shearing, master gardener presentations, storytime hosted by East Lake Library, and a couple of bands.

Vacant home tour
by Jeanette Fordyce, TC Daily Planet
Last weekend there were home tours in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, but on May 3-4 Dayton’s Bluff will have its first vacant home tour. Of the 8 to 10 homes that will be shown, all are owned by banks except one, which is owned by the city of St. Paul. The Dayton’s Bluff vacant house committee wants to save homes from the “demolition ball.”

Heart of the Beast MayDay Parade, Ceremony and Festival
The 34th Annual MayDay Parade will start at 1 pm at the corner of Bloomington Avenue and East 25th Street in South Minneapolis, and proceed south on Bloomington Ave. to 34th St., where it turns west into Powderhorn Park. The Living Bridge/Tree of Life ceremony follows at Powderhorn Park. The MayDay Festival follows the MayDay Parade and Ceremony and features music, dancing, poetry, foods, canoe rides, and more.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican Independence Day, as many people believe. It marks the anniversary of Mexico’s “Battle of Puebla” in 1862 when a fledgling Mexican army defeated the larger, better-equipped invading French forces. Cinco de Mayo festivals throughout the United States honor this historic event, and also celebrate Mexican culture and tradition.

In St. Paul— The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in District del Sol on St. Paul’s West Side takes place Friday, May 2 and all day Saturday, May 3. St. Paul’s Cinco de Mayo features music stages, a lowrider car show, children’s activities, a parade and much more.

In Minneapolis— Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Monday evening, May 5, with Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue and the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization. The Aztec dance and drum troupe (featured on page 4 of the May Corcoran News) will perform in Corcoran Park (3334 20th Ave S) starting at 6:00 pm. (Corcoran Neighborhood Board general membership meeting and elections follow the celebration.)

The world coming to St. Paul
by Mark Weaver, TC Daily Planet
Have you ever tried a pocky? Do you know the difference between kimbap and sushi? Do you know how to make a yurt? How about a hardanger? Have you ever wondered what life, entertainment, crafts, music, and food is like on other parts of the planet? Did you know you can find out relatively easily and cheaply?