It is with great civic pride that I point out that Civic Fest is coming. Described by its organizers, who announced its existence today, as “a very Minnesota celebration,” Civic Fest will start on the Friday before the Republican National Convention and continue until the convention closes on Thursday September 4.
Visitors will, “receive a commemorative credential, have their photos taken in a replica of the Oval Office, attend performances at the Live Stage, view simulcasts of convention sessions from a replica of the Convention Floor, shop in a 300-vendor Marketplace and view more than 35 exhibits including the Model White House.”
It’ll cost you $15 a pop to see a miniature White House, watch C-Span, shop for trinkets, and look at the winning submissions in a walleye art contest. If that doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the State Fair, which only costs $11 and has peoples’ heads carved in butter.
We presume there’s more to this event than the description so far, because the host committee hired Gerard McTernan, who produced a similar event during the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia, and has also put together shows around the 2002 Olympics, the 1996 Super Bowl and baseball’s All-Star game.
“Civic Fest, more than anything else, is about saying to the local community, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has everything to do with the people who live here,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Nothing says “Minnesota” like a mock-up of Air Force One.
The mayors of the two cities hope it keeps people in town during the convention. A lot of folks won’t have a choice. Minneapolis and St. Paul schools start on Tuesday the 2nd.