Check it out :: Basilica Block Party

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July 5, 2010
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie
Basilica Block Party hopes to be ‘ticket to musical redemption’

Organizers of this year’s Basilica Block Party are promoting the musical festival as “your ticket to musical redemption.”
If you visit the event’s website — — you’re invited to repent your musical sins by leaving a confession. A couple of samples in the confession gallery: “Forgive me for attempting a Shaggy song at karaoke” and “I forget birthdays but remember every word of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Aire.’”

In addition to a clever marketing campaign, the 16th annual block party has an impressive list of performers this year. High-profile bands lined up for the two-day musical festival on July 9 and 10 are Weezer, Spoon, Barenaked Ladies (BnL) and The Avett Brothers. There will be more than a dozen other performers, too.

The musical festival at 16th Street & Hennepin is one of the largest in the Midwest and is expected to draw more than 25,000 people.

The first block party began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help pay for the $9.5 million restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Block party organizers were recently honored with the Neighborhood Preservation Award for their fundraising work. The event has raised more than $3 million in 16 years. The award was given out by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Preserve Minneapolis.


‘The Way of the Skyway’

We’ve stumbled across another skyway blogger of note here at the Journal — “The Way of the Skyway” at

The blog’s tagline is “footloose and in focus on the Minneapolis skyways.”

Jeff Beddow is behind the blog. He writes that the “Way of the Skyway” is a reference to the “The Book of the Way” by the Chinese Philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).

“There are 8 miles of skyway used by tens of thousands of people a day,” he notes on his blog. “There are 81 skyways and 81 chapters in Laozi’s book. I look for enlightenment, close to home, a chapter and a bridge at a time. I see the same ordinary things as you. There is a horizontal grandeur here. If you see me with my Nikon wandering around, say Hi. I might take your picture.”

Beddow posts photos and reflections on all sorts of things he comes across in the skyways — everything from a review of new photos of the city’s skyline on display at Turtle Bread  Co. in One Financial Plaza’s skyway to his musings on watching the World Cup at Taco John’s skyway location.  


‘Best Days of Summer’

Always one of the highlights of summer, the Minneapolis Aquatennial returns July 16–24 for its 71st year.

Produced by the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Aquatennial is an action-packed celebration of the City of Lakes.

Highlights include the 15th annual Aquatennial Plaza Tennis Classic, the Aquatennial Block Party on Nicollet Mall between 5–11 p.m. on July 16, Dakota Jazz Fest on July 17, the Life Time Fitness Torchlight 5K on July 21 and the Aquatennial Target Fireworks at the Mill City Museum on July 25.

For more details, visit


Attention dog lovers

Dog Grounds, the nonprofit that manages three off-leash dog parks Downtown, is holding a fundraiser July 15 at the Loring Kitchen & Bar, 1359 Willow St.

There will be dog-inspired cocktails, appetizers and a chance to mingle with other dog lovers at the event. The event runs 5–8 p.m.

Dog Grounds formed in 2006 and has since opened play areas for canines in Loring Park (the north
end of the park near Minneapolis Community & Technical College), Gateway Park (4th Avenue between 10th & 11th streets), and the North Loop (3rd Street North and 8th Avenue North).

For more information, visit