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A Fair Food Parade; Minnesota Children’s Museum to open on Aug. 1

ALSO: Jazz Fest Live presents the Laura Caviani Quartet; Talk of the Stacks features Larry Watson via Zoom; and more.

Minnesota State Fair
No crowds this year, but you can still get your favorite fair food.
MinnPost photo by John Whiting

On May 22, the Minnesota State Agricultural Society board voted to cancel the 2020 Minnesota State Fair. For many Minnesotans, that was the day the fair food died. We talked with a friend who wondered if the fair could open to a limited number of people, just for the food. They could drive around in their cars from booth to booth.

Back then, that sounded crazy, but now it’s the sweetest sound of summer so far, because it’s precisely what the Minnesota State Fair has planned. On Aug. 20-23, 27-30, and Sept. 3-7, the first-ever Minnesota State Fair Food Parade will welcome food-on-a-stick-starved Minnesotans to a meandering drive-through experience featuring 16 vendors, entertainment, activities and a swag bag. You’ll stay in your vehicle and be served at your vehicle window, following health and safety protocols.

Tickets are $20 per car, up to five people per vehicle (kids 4 and under aren’t counted). They will be available online only starting Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. Write that down. Tattoo it on your wrist. These could sell out faster than tickets to Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney or Chance the Rapper.

When you buy your ticket, you’ll choose your day and time – just like you’re buying a ticket to Mia, the Walker or the Bell Museum. Food purchases are not included in the ticket price. Sales will support Minnesota State Fair operations in a year when 95 percent of its revenue for maintaining facilities and preparing for the 2021 Fair were lost to the virus.

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If you score a ticket, plan for a multihour experience. This will be a parade, not a grab-and-go curbside pick-up. All vehicles will follow the same one-way, 1.5-mile route through the fairgrounds.

And now (drum roll), who are the vendors? Turkey to Go, Tom Thumb Donuts, Fresh French Fries, Sweets & Treats, Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Que Viet, Pronto Pups, Pitchfork Sausage/Butcher Boys London Broil, Dairy Goodness Bar by Midwest Dairy (yes, the concession in the Dairy Building near the butter sculpting booth), West Indies Soul Food, Foot Long Hot Dogs & Corn Dogs, Giggles’ Campfire Grill, Cheese On-A-Stick and Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade, The Hangar, El Sol Mexican Foods and Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar. Find a menu and pricing here.

A quick glance at the menu reveals that if you want cheese curds, you’ll have to buy a bucket. And if you want Sweet Martha’s, you’ll have to buy a pail – limit six pails per vehicle. Six pails of Sweet Martha’s! Sweet Jesus.

See the Know Before You Go page FMI.

Minnesota Children’s Museum is taking reservations

The Minnesota Children’s Museum, a place where children go to play, will reopen on Saturday, Aug. 1.

It won’t be the same as it was. Plexiglas barriers and hand sanitizer stations will be present. Soft props, costumes and face painting will be absent. Gallery spaces, props and common areas will be cleaned throughout the day.

The Minnesota Children’s Museum
Courtesy of the Minnesota Children’s Museum
The Minnesota Children’s Museum
Staff will wear masks and practice social distancing. All visitors ages 5 and over will be required to wear masks. (Bring your own.) Signs will urge families to check their health before entering and reschedule if anyone is sick. Signs and other cues will encourage visitors to practice social distancing.

Again, it won’t be the same as it was. Nothing is. And our arts and culture institutions have to start somewhere. While all are being careful, it seems reasonable to believe that the Children’s Museum, whose whole reason for existence is children, will be extra-extra careful and still find ways to make the place fun.

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Museum hours will be Thursdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $14.95 “for ages 1 to 101” and free to members. Reservations are required and available now. You’ll reserve for a specific day and time. At present, museums are allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity, not to exceed 250 people.

Museum President Dianne Krizan said in a statement, “We’re excited to begin welcoming families back to the museum in August. We’ve missed the sights and sounds of joyful play.”

Go here to learn more, schedule a visit and buy tickets.

Momentum: New Dance Works announces next choreographers, leadership change

Gabrielle Abram, Leanna Browne, Yoni Light and Arneshia Williams have been named the 2020-21 Momentum: New Dance Works artists, the Cowles Center announced on Saturday. All are early-career, Minnesota-based choreographers. They will participate in a 14-month program that will culminate in a two-week performance festival at the Walker in July 2021.

The festival will be co-presented by the Walker and the Cowles. Momentum has been funded by the Jerome Foundation from its start in 2001. Since 2006, it has been led by independent dance curator and writer Michèle Steinwald. Under Steinwald’s leadership, Momentum has become one of the most important platforms for emerging dance artists in Minnesota, with deep national and international connections and increasing funding. The directorship is currently transitioning from Steinwald to cultural healing curator and healing artist DejaJoelle, who will take over in October 2020.

Left to right: Arneshia Williams, Yoni Light, Leanna Browne, and Gabrielle Abram
Courtesy of the Cowles Center
Left to right: Arneshia Williams, Yoni Light, Leanna Browne, and Gabrielle Abram
Abram is a professional dancer, choreographer and producer active in the Twin Cities’ Hip-Hop community. She is a member of STRONGmovement and Atlantis13 Dance Collective. Light is a dancer, musician, actress, activist, and co-founder of the Hip-Hop dance crew New Black City. Browne has a BA in psychology and a special major in Dance & Black Studies from Swarthmore College. She has danced with various artists and companies, including Erinn Liebhard, Leslie Parker Dance Project and BLAQ, and she teaches dance to children and youth in after-school programs. Inspired by her experiences of family, care and rhythm, Williams focuses on traditions of the African Diaspora and contemporary dance.

This will be the Momentum Dance Festival’s first time at the Walker. Tickets will go on sale in the fall.

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The picks

Online anytime: The Parkway’s Virtual Cinema. Tired of doing the zombie scroll through the big streaming services’ interfaces? We’re looking at the Parkway’s site right now and thinking “Crescendo,” about a man charged with creating an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, sounds interesting. Or “Papicha,” about a fashion-crazy student in increasingly conservative Algeria. Or “Other Music,” about a New York City record store. Fees vary by distributor. FMI and tickets. The Parkway is part of the National Independent Venue Association, which is fighting to keep independent theaters alive during the pandemic.

Laura Caviani
Courtesy of the artist
For 15 years, the charismatic and classy Laura Caviani has been showing how it’s done.
Tonight (Thursday, July 23) at 5:30 p.m.: Jazz Fest Live presents the Laura Caviani Trio. For many jazz fans, the traditional piano trio – piano, bass, drums – is where it’s at. For 15 years, the charismatic and classy Caviani has been showing how it’s done. With Chris Bates on bass, Dave Schmalenberger on drums, she’ll play an impeccable set on Crooners’ outdoor stage. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival will stream the performance live. Sign up here to save your spot. If you prefer to be there in person, tickets are still available ($20).

Tonight (Thursday, July 23) at 7 p.m.: Talk of the Stacks with Larry Watson. In the old normal, Talk of the Stacks events were held in the Minneapolis downtown library. For this one, you don’t have to go anywhere. Wisconsin author Watson, whose 10 books include the best-selling “Montana 1948” and the brand-new “The Lives of Edie Pritchard” will appear via Zoom, where he’ll give a talk followed by a live Q&A. Presented by Friends of the Hennepin County Library, free and open to the public. Register here.