Resolve to Enjoy January
January takes its name from Janus, the two-faced god of doorways, transitions, and beginnings, so appropriately, we have a divided relationship with the first month of the year. There are those who love January for its icy, pristine beauty, while the haters make a sport of complaining about the snow, the wind chill, and the potholes. In the spirit of new beginnings, we offer an array of January-specific pleasures and distractions, both indoors and out.
Minnesota Vikings vs.
In 2010, when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed, local football fans helped shovel out the four-foot snowdrifts at TCF Bank Stadium, only to watch the Vikings lose to the Chicago Bears, 40–14. A year later, the Bears devoured the Vikings again, 39–10, at Soldier Field. This New Year’s Day, snowfall permitting, we anticipate that the Vikings will be loaded for—dare we say it—bear. Metrodome, Minneapolis, vikings.com
Progressive Boat Show
If your out-of-town clients don’t believe that Minnesota has the highest per capita boat ownership in the country, invite them to the Progressive Boat Show, now in its 40th year. Check out the latest boats and equipment and don’t miss the Antique and Classic Boat Display, including “Stella”, a 1907 Fay & Bowen Standard Launch from the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum. After you visit the new Marina and Yacht Club Experience, complete with boats docked in water, rest your weary Topsiders at the Seven Sushi & Steakhouse outpost. Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, minneapolisboatshow.com
U.S. Pond Hockey
For those attorneys, investment bankers, and other clients who still play hockey in the old guys’ leagues, show them how it’s really done. Created by local PR honcho Fred Haberman in 2005, this event brings former NHL legends, Division 1 hockey players, and high school heroes from all over the country (and Canada, of course) to Lake Nokomis for three days of bliss “the way nature intended,” and the chance to win the Golden Shovel, the Stanley Cup of pond hockey. Women, rink rats, and boot hockey players also welcome. Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, uspondhockey.com
Minnesota Wild vs.
Nearly 20 years ago, the Minnesota North Stars left town (and a big hole in the hearts of local hockey fans), only to resurface as the Dallas Stars. Last April, the Minnesota Wild messed with Texas, and eliminated the Stars from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Could be a grudge match on January 21. For more fun and games, check out the Wild vs. the San Jose Sharks on January 10, and the Nashville Predators on January 31. Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, xcelenergycenter.com
Pond Hockey North
Denny Loving and Jeff Markus created the Pond Hockey North America Championships (PNAC) in 2009, instantly creating competition for the incumbent U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Fortunately, we’ve got more than enough ponds (and hockey players) for two events. For spectators, PNAC wins by virtue of its easy access to nearby Dunn Bros., Maynard’s, and Bayview if the action gets too hot (or the weather gets too cold). Excelsior Bay, Lake Minnetonka, pondhockeynac.com
January 26 – February 5
The 2012 Saint Paul
Show your clients that innovation has always been a feature of life up here in the frozen north. In 1886, when a New York newspaper reporter described St. Paul as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter,” local business leaders created the St. Paul Winter Carnival, complete with a sparkling ice castle, to prove him wrong. Over a century later, this impressive event, which bills itself as “the coolest celebration on earth,” continues to bring magic (and commerce) to the lovely Rice Park, even without a castle. St. Paul, winter-carnival.com
Why should Scandinavians have all the winter fun? Join the equally fun-loving German-American community for a mug of warm GlÃ¼hwein at their annual Winterfest Tent Party, followed by a Euro Dance Party in the Ratskellar, complete with retro 70s and 80s Europop (Der Kommissar, anyone?) and classic Karneval party music. Germanic-American Institute, St. Paul, gai-mn.org