city, travel

Art Sled Rally

bull sled

The Real Crashed Ice Event

I love Minneapolis.

Yes, I live in Saint Paul. Yes, this was on the day (the very hour, for one fo them) when our capital city hosted both the Winter Carnival King Boreas Grande Day Parade and the Crashed Ice events.

But the pull of a creative community collaboration that the Powderhorn Art Sled Rally  presented was irresistible, especially after I viewed this video from last year’s event:

Art Sled Rally 2012 from grambofof on Vimeo.

We’d gotten a break from the bitter cold air temperatures, so standing around watching people and art slide down a hill sounded more appealing than it would in subzero weather. Humorously, it’s just this kind of warm spell that turned the sledding hill at Powderhorn into more of a double-wide luge: I’ve never seen such a glossy sledding hill. Almost every approach to the area looked deadly, especially as I took a pretty hard fall on my own driveway ice about two weeks ago. In situations like this, these words of advice are sound: Walk like a penguin. Momentum is not your friend.

Those words don’t help as much when most of the spectator area is on a hill – in fact not a whole lot of the park is actually flat. My shoes needed spikes! I’m glad I thought to wear my newest hiking shoes, which have relatively sticky black rubber soles, though I should have added my YakTrax.

girl in panda hat

The furries win.

Thankfully, I stayed upright for the duration. I stuck around for nearly an hour, watching about half the sleds make their attempts down the hill. Once my fingers and nose got a little too chilled, I hiked up to the top to check out some of the sleds still lined up to go. This was truly an event for a camera: the sleds were awesome, but the costumes, crowds and knitted hat variety were what made it really fun, worth the trip, and also, extra fun to view the photos later. I figured I’d had a bad viewpoint for photos and would need to crop out a few things, but nearly every pic had all sorts of fun surprises – like the dude in the yellow pants, above. Grabbing his own butt.

I then remembered that I’d hoped to get a good walk in for exercise, but my fingers needed a little warmup, first. After some bonding time with my car’s heating vents, I found my friend Rebecca and we walked over to Midtown Global Market for some warm beverages and treats. Salty Tart provided! A Surly Furious fudge-topped cupcake, great coffee and some catching up with a friend wrapped up a great afternoon.

What’s your favorite home-grown community celebration? Does if often seem like your neighboring ‘hood has a better one?