Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to Minnesota

I assume that everyone is aware of the Republican National Convention is being held at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN.

To all those that are coming to Saint Paul, whether you are a delegate, protester, reporter or just a curious person, welcome to my beautiful state. While most of the coverage is on Hurricane Gustav, the Convention will still go on in some fashion. In this highly charged politically time, when the blood boils over perceived differences, I would like to call everyone's attention to Minnesota's other great attractions, including our Masonic treasures.

Are you a Mason? While most of the Lodges are "dark" during the summer, a few Lodges continue to meet during the summer. To find a complete list of Lodges in Minnesota, including if they are open and contact information, visit the Grand Lodge of Minnesota's website or the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Minnesota's website. Also, we have one of the few Scottish Rite Valleys that perform all 29 degrees, the Minneapolis Valley. To find out more about the history of this building downtown, here is a link to Heritage Preservation page on the City of Minneapolis' site.

Also, near the Pioneer building is the Hennepin Center for the Arts.

A more modern photo of the building.

In all, Minnesota Freemasonry is extremely robust and exciting.

Do you like really large gatherings of people eating crazy fried food on a stick? The Minnesota State Fair is just right for you. The last day is today, Labor Day, so if you need to get your Pronto Pup, Cheese Curd, Sweet Potato Fries fix, you gotta do it today.

Do you like the arts? In Minnesota, we have a lot of great venues for you to enjoy. For the performing arts, we have the world famous Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis (in a beautiful, new building facing the Mississippi River),
Image:New Guthrie riverview.jpg
the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Saint Paul,
Ordway Center
and the Hennepin Avenue Theatre District. Also, Garrison Keillor's MPR staple, "A Prairie Home Campanion" continues to be recorded at the Fitzgerald Theater (named after famous author and Minnesotan, F. Scott Fitzgerald) in downtown Saint Paul. Maybe you would rather see an Orchestra or Opera performance. We have them here as well. If fine art is more your cup of tea, we have the Minneapolis Institute of Arts which has some wonderful pieces, from beautiful Asian art (don't miss Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Poets at the Lan T'ing Pavilion, it is an amazing piece) to Impressionism and much more. Here is one of the many videos that the MIA has posted on Youtube.

Do you like to fish? With 11,842 lakes of 10 acres or larger, you've come to the right place. To find a good resource for knowing the rules, regulations and much more, visit the Minnesota DNR's website.

Do you like sports? We have professional sports teams in the four major leagues. The Minnesota Twins are remaining hungry in the AL Central Pennent race, just behind the ChiSox. The next home games will be on Friday. Sadly, my favorite baseball team, the St. Paul Saints, is done for the season. The Saints are owned by Mike Veeck, son of famous owner Bill Veeck, who runs the team with the same crazy and goofy stunts that highlighted his tenure as Major League owner. The Minnesota Vikings, with Adrian "All-Day" Peterson tearing up the turf, are playing Green Bay on Monday. Both the Twins and the Vikings play at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. (Pictured Below)

Image:Hhh metrodome.jpg

Sadly, I cannot mention everything in the state but my advice is if you are in the state, even if it does not involve the convention, go and explore. Minnesota has so much to offer and you will never be bored. Wow, I guess I should apply with the Minnesota Tourism Department.

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