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Explore Minnesota Events Report
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February 23, 2011 Explore Minnesota Events Report

Southern Minnesota

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park at the city of Preston in southeastern Minnesota will offer a rare Winter Cave Tour opportunity on Saturday, February 26. The cave is typically closed during the winter months, but will be re-opened for the day due to many requests to explore the popular underground attraction during the winter. This amazing tour is perfect for all ages. The cave remains a constant 47-degrees fahrenheit all year. 507/937-3251;

The 32nd Annual Don Knoph Memorial Carriage & Cutter Parade will be held Saturday, February 26, in the town of Kenyon. This annual event attracts drivers and spectators from many states, with parade units pulled by more than 200 horses of various breeds. Other highlights will include tours of the Historic Gunderson House, wagon rides, pony rides, and a petting zoo. 507/789-5399;

The Mayo Civic Center in Rochester will host the 6th Annual Rochester Bike Show & Swap Meet on Saturday, February 26, followed by an evening performance by Leo Kottke. And on Sunday, February 27, don't miss the Townsend Flea Market, with a wide array of antiques, glass, pottery, jewelry, advertising, toys, books and other items for sale. 1-800-745-3000;

On Saturday and Sunday, February 26 & 27, head to Mississippi Parkside Marina in Wabasha for the Grumpy Old Men Festival. Just some of the many festivities include a ice fishing contest, pet pageant, a Grumpy breakfast, hot dish luncheon, bingo, Texas Hold'em and cribbage tournaments, Raghetti's Spaghetti, a stretch raffle, minnow races, snow sculptures, live music, the 3rd annual Grumpy Plunge, and free admission to the movie "Grumpy Old Men." And on Sunday, February 27, check out the Coffee Mill Resort Spring Fling at the nearby Coffee Mill Ski Area, and enjoy skiing, along with a scavenger hunt, poker run, door prizes, a costume contest, pig roast, and live music. 1-800-565-4158;

The International Festival of Owls will be held Friday through Sunday, March 4-6, at the Houston Elementary School. Highlights include seven species of live owls, an outdoor photography session with the owls, and owl prowls to call in wild owls. Families can build an owl nest box, make a variety of owl crafts, search for the medallion, and have a hoot eating owl-themed food. There will also be presentations by Norwegian owl biologist Roar Solheim, writer and humorist Al Batt, and author Jan Dunlap. This is the only annual, all-weekend, all-owl festival in the North America. 507/896-4668;

Turner Hall in New Ulm will be the site of Fasching, a traditional Mardi Gras celebration, on Saturday, March 5. Highlights include non-stop performances by authentic German bands, as well as ethnic food and drink, dancing, and a hilarious evening "Parade of Costumes." And while in New Ulm on March 5, be sure to check out the 26th Annual Bock Fest. This outdoor event held on the grounds of the historic Schell's Brewery in New Ulm includes the release of the seasonal "Bock Beer," live music, food stands, a bonfire, Jaeger's Ruh Bar in the woods on the Bock Hunt Trail along the Cottonwood River, and cash and other prizes for winners of the Bock medallion hunt. Due to the popularity of this event, attendance will be limited to the first 5,000 attendees - purchase tickets in advance to reserve your spot! Proceeds will support of New Ulm’s National Guard Unit and the New Ulm Area Food Shelf. 1-800-4-NEW-ULM;

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

The city of Forest Lake will host a Flake Festival through Friday, February 25. This week-long event includes ice sculptures, a medallion hunt, the Forest Lake Rotary Winter Plunge, a pond hockey tournament, ice golf, a breakfast buffet at Forest Laker, and a bonfire on the beach. 651/464-3200;

The 49th Annual Summit World of Wheels returns to St. Paul's RiverCentre, Friday through Sunday, February 25–27, with over 300 one-of-a-kind magazine cover cars, hot rods, race cars, custom cycles, antiques and feature vehicles. Highlights also include vendors, celebrity appearances and autograph sessions. 952/278-3140;

Glen Everhart Hebegebees Family Music Show will be held at the Richard G. Hardy Performing Arts Center in Cambridge on Saturday, February 26. This children’s show is a fun and interactive musical experience, combining hilarious songs and stories with lots of great music and audience participation. 763/689-6189;

The Minneapolis Home & Garden Show will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Wednesday through Sunday March 2–6, with everything new in home, gardening, remodeling and home decor, as well as more than 1,000 experts, seminars, and thousands of products and services. The Minneapolis Convention Center will also host the 11th Annual Body Mind Life Expo, Saturday and Sunday, March 5 & 6. This is the original and largest health and natural products expo, with experts to help you find more peace, fun and balance in your life. 612/335-6000;

Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville will be the site of the 13th Annual Subway Bedrace for Bridging on Saturday, March 5, when teams of four, dressed in outrageous costumes, race down Buck Hill's tubing hill on specially covered queen-sized mattresses to raise money for Bridging, Inc. Prizes will also be awarded for Cities 97 Costume Contest, and for "Bucks for Bridging" fundraising efforts. Afterwards, stick around for the Cities 97 Post-Race Concert, featuring American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox, the Chris Hawkey Band, and Augustana! Gently-used furniture and household goods can be dropped off at this event. Bridging, Inc is a non-profit organization that distributes household goods to individual and families in transition. 952/888-1105;

And just some of the upcoming concerts and performances include:
Gaelic Storm at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, February 24
Merle Haggard at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, February 27
David Gray at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, February 28
Harry Torter And The Magical Law School at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, March 4 & 5
Clay Aiken at the Historic State Theatre, March 5
Sarah McLachlan at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, March 9
Jay Leno at Mystic Lake Hotel & Casino, March 12
Kevin Hart at the Historic State Theatre, March 12
Pat Donohue at the Fitzgerald Theater, March 12
Smucker's Stars on Ice at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, March 13
Riverdance at the Historic State Theatre, March 18-20
Imagination Movers "In A Big Warehouse" Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, March 19
Amos Lee at the Historic State Theatre, March 24
Kenny Chesney at the Xcel Energy Center, March 25
Patton Oswalt
at the Fitzgerald Theater, March 25
Marat Sade at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, March 25-April 10
The Avalanche Tour at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at St. Paul RiverCentre, March 26
Ellie Goulding at the Fine Line Music Cafe, March 31
Madagascar Live! at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, April 1
Tiësto at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at St. Paul RiverCentre, April 1
Harlem Globetrotters at the Target Center in Minneapolis, April 2
Jeremy Messersmith at the Fitzgerald Theater April 9
Robert Plant
at the Historic State Theatre, April 12
Kellie Pickler at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel, April 16
Jeff Beck at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, April 17
Minnesota Varsity at the Fitzgerald Theater, April 17
Jersey Boys at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, April 21-May 5
Celtic Woman: Songs From The Heart Tour at the Historic State Theatre, April 22
Chris Cornell
at the Fitzgerald Theater, April 24
The Pixies at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at the St. Paul RiverCentre, April 24
Chanticleer at the Fitzgerald Theater, April 27
The Deftones at First Avenue in Minneapolis, April 28
Burnsville Rotary Presents The Second City - Fair & Unbalanced at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, April 30
The Second City - Fair & Unbalanced at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, April 30
Jackson Browne at the Historic State Theatre, May 4
Colin Hay at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, May 7
An Evening with CAKE: Showroom of Compassion World Tour at the Historic State Theatre, May 12
Daniel O'Donnell at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, May 18
Robin Trower at the Fitzgerald Theater, May 18
Score! With Chan Poling Fitzgerald Theater May 21
Usher with special guest Akon at the Target Center, May 21
Adele at First Avenue in Minneapolis, May 26
Glee at the Target Center, June 1
Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me Tour with Special Guests at the Target Center, June 4
Brett Dennen: 2011 Loverboy Tour at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, June 5
The Script at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, June 7
The Moody Blues
at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, June 9
Ira Glass at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, June 11
Taylor Swift at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, June 14 & 15
Jethro Tull at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, June 25
Katy Perry at the Xcel Energy Center, July 9
New Kids On The Block & Backstreet Boys at the Target Center, July 15
David Sedaris at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, November 13
For further information on any of these performances or events, please contact Ticketmaster at 651/989-5151, or visit

Central Minnesota

An International Ice Racing Weekend will be held Friday through Sunday, February 25-27, on Garrison Bay on Lake Mille Lacs, with professional snowmobile, motorcycle, 4-wheeler, car, and vintage snowmobile racing on ice. 1-888-350-2692;

The Red Horse Ranch Arena in Fergus Falls will host Motokazie Indoor Motocross Races, February 25-27 - this is Minnesota’s largest indoor motocross event. 952/601-1169; 218/736-3000;

Eileen Ivers, star of Riverdance and founding member of Cherish the Ladies, will perform Immigrant Soul Beyond the Bog Road on Saturday, March 5 at the College St. Benedict's Escher Auditorium in the city of St. Joseph at 7:30 p.m. Accompany Ms. Ivers on a travelogue that celebrates the Irish immigrant through Celtic music and dance, world music, history and other cultures. St. Joseph is located just west of St. Cloud. 320/363-5777;

St. Urho Days will be held Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12, in Menahga, with various events to celebrate St. Urho, the Finnish saint who saved the grape crop by running the grasshoppers out of the fields. Highlights will include a queen coronation, pancake breakfast, the changing of the guards, a parade, bar stool races, and a golf tournament on the lake, weather permitting. Menahga is located just south of Park Rapids on Highway 71. 218/564-4753;

The city of Crosslake will host the 37th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade at 2:00 p.m. on March 12. Other festivities will include pancake breakfast, ReMax Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Tether Rides-weather permitting, the 2011 Plunge for the Puck, great Irish food, drink specials, the Pot of Gold Treasure Hunt, live music at various venues, and a performancne by Tim Mahoney at Manhattans. 1-800-450-2838;

Northwest Minnesota

Buena Vista Logging Village at Buena Vista Ski Area in the city of Bemidji will hold its annual Logging Days Celebration on Saturday, February 26, with old-time logging demonstrations and events, as well as live music, horse-drawn sleigh rides, all-you-can-eat flapjacks, a treasure hunts, and crafts. 1-800-777-7958;

A Health & Wellness Expo will be offered February 26 at Century School in Park Rapids, with information on how to achieve good health and high-quality living. Come see health-related products, services and resources. Admission is free. 218/237-6600:

Itasca State Park, located 21 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71, will offer a Snowshoeing & Wildlife Watch from 10:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, February 26. Grab some snowshoes and head down the trail with a park naturalist in search of wildlife. Bring your lunch and gather around the lobby fireplace for socializing after the snowshoe outing. A limited number of snowshoes are available - please call ahead to reserve a pair or bring your own. After lunch, enjoy Snowsnakes & Snowcones - Family Outdoor Fun, and learn about the North American Indian game of snowsnakes. Bring your own snowsnake or borrow one from the snowsnake corral. Snowcones will be served afterwards. 218/699-7251;

A Backcountry Ski Trek will be offered at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, located 18 miles north of Detroit Lakes, on Saturday, February 26. And on Saturday, March 6, head to the refuge for a Winter Hike. 218/847.2641;

Cabela's in East Grand Forks will be the site of Spring Great Outdoor Days, Saturday and Sunday, March 5 & 6. Highlights include the following presentations: Early Catfishing on the Red, Jigs on Rainy River, Early Fishing Electronics, Fly Fishing for Carp on the Red, Camping 101 (on the 5th only), Canoe and Kayak 101, Boat Safety, Turtle River State Park Activities, and Early Fishing Clothing. Experts will be assist with choosing the appropriate gear and outerwear based on activity of choice. 218/773-0282;

Ice Fishing on Ludlow Pond will be offered Saturday, March 12 at Big Bog State Park, located on Highway 72, just north of Waskish. Bring your jig stick for some fishing fun, and try your luck at catching Ludlow Island panfish. Holes will be pre-drilled and bait will be provided. This event is ice/weather permitting. 218/647-8592;

The city of Bemidji will be the site of numerous events on Saturday, March 12, beginning with the 10th Annual Bemidji Pioneer Indoor Garage & Craft Show at Bemdiji State University's John Glass Fieldhouse. On Saturday and Sunday, March 12 & 13, the Headwaters Builders' Show will take place at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, with a chance to talk with the building and remodeling experts. And on Saturday evening, don't miss Monroe Crossing's Bluegrass Concert at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji. This is the Midwest’s Premier Bluegrass and Gospel Quintet, with an upbeat blend of classic and traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heartfelt originals. 1-800-458-2223;

Northeast Minnesota

The Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm will host How People Make Things through May 8. This exhibit explains the manufacturing processes and technology used to make everyday objects in our world, with a chance to use your hands, tools and machines to cut, mold and assemble various items. On Saturday, February 26, enjoy a Puzzle-Making Activity for all ages, and make your own puzzle. And while at the Minnesota Discovery Center, check out Journey Stories, which uses engaging images, audio and artifacts to tell individual stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society - open through March 12. 1-800-372-6437;

The city of Grand Rapids will be the site of numerous events Friday through Sunday, February 25-27, beginning with live blues music during the Boundary Waters Blues Fest Fundraiser at the Sawmill Inn Friday evening. On Friday and Saturday, head to Wendigo Lodge for the Itasca County Snowmobile Alliance Winter Festival, with groomer demonstrations, coffee & cookies at the Driftskipper Trail Shelter, and a family vintage snowmobile ride. A Women's Wellness & Lifestyle Expo will also be offered on Saturday at the Itasca Community College. And on Sunday, February 27, Central Square Mall in Grand Rapids will be the site of an Antique & Vintage Snowmobile Display. 1-800-355-9740;

The 4th Annual WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race will be held Saturday through Monday, February 26-28, in Ely, with 85 mushers competing in this premier mid-distance sled dog race spanning 130 miles. Don't miss the Vet Check at Vermilion Community College on Saturday, February 26, for a chance to meet the human and canine competitors. And on Sunday, February 27, head to the Ely Softball Fields at 3:00 p.m. to see the 10-Dog teams blast out of the starting chute. Be sure to dress warm and bring a camera! 1-800-777-7281;

Voyagaire Lodge on Crane Lake will be the site of Crane Lake Challenge Radar & Speed Runs on Saturday, March 5. Come see racers will reach speeds of more than 180mph on a shaved ice raceway - this event is considered by some to be the best snowmobile race in the north! 1-800-362-7405;

A Traditional Music Weekend - Traditional Western Swing will be offered at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Saturday and Sunday, March 12 & 13. Pull out your cowboy boots and put on your 10-gallon hat for this year’s traditional music weekend featuring the joy of Western swing music. Highlights include a concert with Western swing band Swiddlin' Fling, as well as accompanying coursework, demonstrations, family programs, and more! 1-888-387-9762;

Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort in Biwabik will hold their annual Giants Ridge Spring Carnival, Saturday and Sunday, March 19 & 20. Enjoy a weekend of winter fun and "everything Elvis," with ski & snowboard competitions, live music, an Elvis impersonator, Elvis or Priscilla Presley costume contests, the annual Slush Cup, outdoor barbeque on the deck, dance contests, and discounted lift ticket rates! 1-800-688-7669;



 "The information in this report is provided courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism."