Updated: 05/08/2016 8:05 PM | Print Story |  Email

5 Twin Cities Event Picks: May 9 - 15, 2016

On May 7th, I had the honor to attend the Rise Above Seizures gala benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. My table included three people who live with epilepsy, including myself, and two moms who are immensely impacted. One of those women, Jessica, has a five-year-old son named Wyatt who experiences 100 seizures a day. Attendees heard the story of Hannah Enge, a 16 year-old from Thief River Falls who had a seizure while competing in the International Miss Teen Minnesota pageant in April. After a few minutes behind the curtain, she courageously got up to finish the competition. The story is inspirational no matter what trials you face. I posted a link to a TV news story about Hannah’s experience on my Facebook page.

Here’s some insider advice for events happening May 9 – 15. Have a great week!

-Mike Marcotte

1. FIRE UP THE GRILL: Minnesota Monthly’s GrillFest – Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15

The team at Minnesota Monthly knows how to throw a party. This weekend, their annual GrillFest is a perfect event if you’re thinking about buying a grill or just like eating grilled meat. There are plenty of food and drink samples, and trust me, you’ll leave stuffed. And the setting is the lovely, too: CHS Field in Lowertown Saint Paul. If you go, pack light and wear comfortable shoes because you’ll walk around the whole stadium. And dress for the weather, too. CHS Field has an awning, but it won’t protect you from the below average temperatures on deck for this weekend. If they’re handing out sample glasses when you arrive, grab one. Unless you’re actually shopping for a grill, save yourself and bypass the bag you’ll receive at the entrance that’s mostly marketing materials. I usually grab the glass, the bottle of water from the bag, and toss everything else. Seeing the $45 admission price might burn out your flame, but I’m here to help: watch Twin Cities Live on Wednesday, May 11 to purchase tickets online for half the price. It’s well worth $22.50 a person.

What: Minnesota Monthly’s GrillFest
When: Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2016
Where: CHS Field, Saint Paul
Cost: $45 in advance, $50 at the door (I’ll share a 50% off tickets deal on Twin Cities Live this Wednesday)
Parking: Union Depot has a parking ramp and is located two blocks away. Don’t forget that the light rail ends at Union Depot, too. It’s easy to drink a fair amount at these events, so plan ahead on a ride home.
Food: You’ll eat plenty here, but since you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Saint Dinette and get their cheeseburger or bologna sandwich and a cocktail.

2. OBTAINABLE BEER FESTIVAL: Stanley’s Craft Beer + Bacon Fest – Saturday, May 14

When you think northeast Minneapolis, many think of hipsters who wear tight jeans and stocking caps in the middle of May. That’s not the vibe at Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room. On Saturday, they’re hosting their 3rd annual Craft Beer + Bacon Fest on the streets surrounding their establishment at Lowry and University. You’ll be able to eat four varieties of bacon, including maple cinnamon (that has potential), snack on bacon popcorn and bacon jam, and sample plenty of craft beers from around the country (there will be over 100 to try). I was at this event last year and it was extremely obtainable: it wasn’t too crowded, parking is easy, and the people were nice, including all the Twin Cities Live fans who stopped me. The main event is only three hours, so you’ll want to get there on time so you don’t miss out on any brews. Note that this event is only open to those 21 and older.

What: Stanley's Craft Beer + Bacon Fest
When: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Time: 2 – 5 pm (doors open at 1 pm)
Where: Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room, Minneapolis
Cost: $60, which is a bit high in my opinion. However, it’s a great opportunity to try a bunch of beers without going to the liquor store and buy a dozen cases. There are also $10 designated driver tickets available. Tickets are selling fast, so buy them online soon.
Parking: You’ll have no problem parking in the neighborhood surrounding the event. No meters! Food: My advice for attending beer festival is always the same: eat something before you go so there’s something soaking up the suds. And plan a ride home. Stanley’s food truck will be selling food, but note that you won’t be able to purchase food inside.
Other tip: Bring a notebook or make sure the notes app on your phone is ready to go – you’ll want to write down the beers you love so you can buy them the next time you stop at a liquor store.

3. SAUSAGE FEST: Best of the Wurst – Sunday, May 15

I’m staying in Northeast Minneapolis for another outdoor event pick, this one taking place on Sunday. The first-ever Best of the Wurst festival located in front of Sociable Cider Werks includes all the sausages you can eat (!!!). Plus, your first pint of their hard cider is included with admission. There’s a full list of restaurants and butchers participating, including Seward Community Co-op, red-hot Revival, New Bohemia, and plenty others. This event has been on my radar for months now and it’ll be quite the party. If you see me there, say hello! If you go, note that the majority of the event will be in the parking lot outside of Sociable (wear comfortable shoes that can handle the concrete). Head to the Stanley’s event above if you’re looking to drink new beers; the party at Sociable will leave you quite full and I have a feeling it’ll be quite a celebration. Note that this event is only open to those 21 and older.

What: Best of the Wurst
When: Sunday, May 15, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Where: Sociable Cider Werks, Minneapolis
Cost: $35 (includes your first beverage and all sausage samples). Tickets are going quick, so buy them online now.
Parking: You’ll be fine parking in the streets around the event.
Food: I hope you like sausage.

4. SHARE A PINT WITH YOUR PUP: Pints and Pups – Saturday, May 14

Seven Midwest dog rescues will be waiting for you at Boom Island Brewing Company in Minneapolis on Saturday, May 14 for the second annual Pints and Pups event. Learn about adding a four-legged friend to your family or bring the one you already have (the event is dog-friendly). Fittingly, the Nate Dogs food cart will serve up hot dogs and two bars will be open for you to grab a beer (and your dog to get a water).

What: Pints and Pups
When: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Time: 1:00 – 9:00 pm (rescues are there from 1:00 – 6:00 pm)
Where: Boom Island Brewing Company, Minneapolis
Cost: Free
Parking: You’ll be able to park for free on North Washington, on Second Avenue (both north and south of Broadway) and in the neighborhood.
Food: If you’re not in the mood for a hot dog from Nate (they’re AWESOME), you’ll be out of luck. You could make this a full Saturday and check out the Stanley’s Craft Beer + Bacon Fest, which is just a couple miles away.

5. EWWWWWWWE!: Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival – Friday, May 13 through Sunday May 15

Over 130 vendors celebrating everything sheep and wool will gather at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo this weekend. Educate yourself with 35 classes ranging from weaving, rug-hooking, and more. The kiddos can make yarn jewelry and you can learn how to skirt a fleece. And there’s plenty for sale: rugs, slippers, hats, dyed yarn, and of course, fleece.

What: Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival
When: Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 15, 2016 (classes only on Friday)
Time: 9:00 – 5:00 pm Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Sunday
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds, Lake Elmo
Cost: $5, kids 8 and under free
Parking: Free

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