Minnesota State Fair: Good deed treat among new foods for 2014

Not often do new food products at the Minnesota State Fair have a great taste, a feel good story and a pay it forward note after you finish. But that’s exactly what JonnyPops delivers. JonnyPops, one of 28 new foods debuting at the 2014 Fair, were created by a group of St. Olaf College entrepreneurs, who donate a portion of profits to Hazelden in hopes of helping teens battling addiction. Johnathan “Jonny” Jeffrey was a cousin of founder Erik Burst. Continue Reading

Can summer be far behind? Minnesota State Fair announces three Grandstand Concert acts

There’s hope it will get warmer: the Minnesota State Fair has announced three acts for their 2014 Grandstand series. Linkin Park & Thirty Seconds to Mars with special guest AFI is confirmed for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26. Tickets are $81 (general admission and reserved seating), $71 (reserved seating) and $51 (reserved seating) and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 7. Kid Rock is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. Continue Reading

New one-day attendance record at Minnesota State Fair on Sunday; People’s Choice Awards

On Sunday, September 1, the Minnesota State Fair’s turn-out of 236,197 set a single-day attendance record, according to Fair officials. The record-setting Sunday came after a week of unrelenting heat and humidity, which lowered attendance  in the middle of the Fair’s 12-day run. The 2013 State Fair started out strong, with the first three days beating the 2012 daily attendance records. Then Sunday, August 25’s higher temperatures caused the Fair to lose gate crowds. Thursday, August 29 saw a slight increase, then a dip again. Continue Reading

The Internet Cat Video Festival: Nine memorable moments

Everybody loves cats; this is something we all know and have slowly come to terms with over the past 3,000 years or so. There is a beautiful masochism in showering undying love and devotion onto creatures that, more or less, really only care about the food you provide (and probably kind of want to kill you). So I guess that means it’s kind of empowering when we coerce cats into humiliating situations and film it for the viewing pleasure of millions of people worldwide.It’s also why an Internet Dog Video Festival would be kind of depressing.But the Walker Art Center’s second annual Internet Cat Video Festival, August 28 at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, wasn’t so much fun as it was surreal—which is certainly better than being boring, but most definitely makes it harder to explain. I really took for granted the joys of people watching before today; people are so interesting, especially when they’re dressed as cats.I’m going to share with you, in no particular order, some of my favorite mind-blowing festival moments—because the people who worship our feline friends are actually a lot more interesting than the felines themselves. There were a few moments that I was far too sober to fully appreciate, and all of those moments involve Koo Koo Kangaroo. After they threw giant balls of yarn into the audience I was about to forsake all hope when the jumbo screens in front of the stage flashed a short audience dance number showcasing none other than the Daily Planet’s own Jay Gabler (who probably didn’t know anyone could see him shaking it to the song “Cat Party”). Continue Reading

ARTS REVIEW | The 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival: Return of the cat people

The 2012 Internet Cat Video Festival was a zeitgeist moment if ever there was one. Over 10,000 people crowded the green hill outside of the Walker Art Center to pay tribute to the many felines that undoubtdley have gotten them through late nights and workplace tedium. Views of the screen were premium and it was clear that no one, including the Walker Art Center, anticipated just how many people would show up to watch something you could see online. The mood throughout that screening was electric, the sensation of knowing that you were part of something deeply unique and special. In it’s own LOL-way, the cat video festival was the most anyone could hope a film screening would be. Continue Reading