Capitol party planned, and everyone is invited

The logo for the Capitol’s grand reopening celebration is creating its own buzz.

Morning yoga on the lawn, afternoon polka music, and dance parties at night are just a few of the highlights of the public party being planned to christen the state Capitol after an extensive and expensive face-lift.

The schedule of events for the August grand reopening features concerts, panel discussions, scavenger hunts, a craft brewery exhibit and more. Musical headliners include Lizzo, Polica, the Bill Koncar Polka Band and VocalEssence. There are also plans for a Prince music-themed DJ dance party on the first night.

Ethnic dance troupes will perform, and former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Gov. Al Quie will be among the political panelists. Early risers will be able to get free blueberry muffins, a tribute to the state’s official muffin. A family friendly Kid Zone will have events put on by the Minnesota Zoo, Science Museum, Children’s Museum and Minnesota Historical Society.

Department of Administration Commissioner Matt Massman promises something for all tastes.

“There’s going to be a little something for everybody and it’s free,” Massman said Tuesday at a news conference in the Rotunda to roll out details. “Whether you were a toddler or were here when the Capitol was still a new building or somewhere in between, there will be an event for you.”

The roster for the August 11-13 comes as a $300 million inside-and-out renovation of the century-old building nears completion. Officials expect as many as 100,000 Minnesotans to attend over the three days.

“This Capitol has been the center of Minnesota civic and community life for over 100 years,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “And this restoration now that it is finally complete is going to be like the big door opening for what I am sure is going to be the next 100 years of this building serving as a gathering place for every part of the community, every part of the state.”

Along with the event schedule, officials also debuted the logo that will be used in conjunction with publicity efforts. It drew a swift reaction from lawmakers and on social media for its color and jam-packed design.

Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, called it “bewildering.” Some fellow members of a Capitol preservation panel said they had reservations about the font choices and overall busy nature.

Others defended it as appealing to a younger generation and applauded it for how much information it conveyed. Either way, Massman said it’s here to stay.

“The logo, I anticipate, is going to be something I think is going to attract a broad swath of Minnesotans and be received very well,” Massman said.

  • Selar

    Great that they are striving to be so inclusive. It is disappointing, though, that they scheduled it to coincide with the annual Irish Fair at the Harriet Island grounds. Many families with limited budgets/time will be forced to pick one over the other.