US Bank Stadium Opening

An anchor of the Minneapolis skyline for more than thirty years, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome — which opened in 1982 — has hosted an impressively diverse roster of exciting events. The Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game, Final Four, and an era-spanning array of world-renowned musicians have all taken center stage. Most memorably, the stadium was transformed into the thunderous “Homer Dome” for both the 1987 and ’91 Minnesota Twins’ World Series championships.

By the mid-2000s, however, despites its historic pedigree, the iconic structure had clearly been lapped by Father Time.

In addition to its antiquated aesthetic — nothing screams 1970s and ’80s architecture quite like a marshmallow-shaped dome — its amenities failed to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy fans and suite-selling owners. Indeed, playing landlord to three high-demand sports franchises (the Vikings, Twins, and Gopher football) presents unique challenges for any single dwelling, state-of-the-art or otherwise.

A trio of luxurious stadiums have since been erected including the eco-friendly Target Field and open-roof TCF Bank Stadium. This month, U.S. Bank Stadium completed the modern triumvirate and officially opened its doors after nearly three years of construction.

Though the first thing one notices about the new structure is its sleek, eye-catching exterior — including signature 95-foot pivoting glass doors — U.S. Bank Stadium’s interior forges an inviting personality all its own, with luxury elements rivaling any NFL domicile. Wireless internet, LED lighting, six club lounges, and a restaurant all contribute to a comfortable, fan-friendly environment.

The new 1.75-million square-foot building also includes numerous upgrades over its dome predecessor. It features ten times the number of high-definition televisions, more than twice as many bathrooms, a hundred additional concession stands, and a substantially wider concourse. And, to the delight of the Viking ownership group, you’ll also find nearly 50 extra suites and almost 8,000 more club seats.

Finally, as the Metrodome’s archaic video boards were woefully inadequate, U.S. Bank Stadium — much like AT&T Stadium in Dallas, also designed by architecture firm HKS, Inc. — features a dazzling screen display with two monitors measuring a total of 12,560 square feet, nearly ten times that of its forebear.

The first event in the dashing new building came on August 3 when defending Premier League champions Chelsea christened the field against A.C. Milan. Versatile as it is, however, U.S. Bank Stadium also hosts musical concerts including its first two performers: Luke Bryan (August 19) and Metallica (August 20).

And, while two preseason NFL games will also be played on its field (August 28 versus the Chargers and September 1 against the Rams), the first regular season matchup comes on September 18 when the Vikings host their eastern rival, the Green Bay Packers, during a Sunday Night Football clash — a primetime event certain to be as raucously unforgettable as any in recent memory.

 

By Jacob Westlin

State Fair Vendor Preview

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The Great Minnesota Get-Together may be best known for fried foods on sticks and the Miracle of Birth center, but another big draw is the shopping and swag. Hundreds of vendors are located throughout the State Fair, offering everything from beer steins to free backpacks. This year, there are 52 new vendors – here are a few that you should definitely check out. For a complete list of vendors, visit www.MNStateFair.org.

The 16oz Society

This Midwest apparel company is dedicated to, “helping beer lovers show their support for local breweries.” For their first year at the Minnesota State Fair, the 16oz Society will be selling exclusive posters, pint glasses, and shirts alongside their regular catalog of hats, stickers, and decals. Find this vendor in the Grandstand, upper level, along the south wall.

You & Me Sittin in a Tree

For personalized family trees, state prints, and wooden ornaments, You & Me Sittin in a Tree is the place to be. They also offer a gorgeous collection of wooden and ceramic bird cages and decor. Located at the West End Market in the northeast section.

Doghouses & Playhouses

This aptly-named vendor offers exactly what you would expect – custom dog and play houses. The company offers a wide variety of themes, including Victorian home, lake house, and of course, the Minnesota Wild. Pick out the perfect house for your dog and/or kids or have one designed to your exact specifications. Doghouses & Playhouses can be found on the southwest corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street.

Kasemakers

If you’re in the market for a custom wood-engraved phone case or virtual reality (VR) headset, Kasemakers is the perfect vendor for you. In addition to cases, you can also find camera lenses, wireless headphones, and even a Google Cardboard 3D viewer. If you aren’t sure what you want on your case, the company offers plenty of inspiration. Located in the Grandstand, upper level, along the south wall.

Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms

Mushroom fans pay attention: home cultivation kits are on the market! Offering nearly 30 different types of cultivar, Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms has everything you need to grow your own your own. No more foraging in the forest – these kits are easy to use and guaranteed to impress foodies of all types. Find them in the Creative Activities Annex along the west wall.

Angry Minnow Vintage

Based in Rosemount, MN, Angry Minnow Vintage features custom flannel for both men and women. At the State Fair, you’ll be able to peruse locally-themed shirts, hats, bottle openers, and even handbags. It may be too hot for a flannel long sleeve now, but you’ll be glad you have one come November. At the northwest section of the West End Market.

ME3D

Have you always thought you’d look great as an action figure? Now you can be one, thanks to the folks at ME3D.  These lifelike three-dimensional color printed personal replicas come in a variety of sizes. Every member of your family can now be the super-hero they’ve always wanted to be. Located in the Grandstand, lower level, in the southeast section.

 

By Rachelle Gordon

 

The Minnesota State Fair

There are things at the Minnesota State Fair that I can’t do without and need to see every year. I love the haunted house and expect to be invited into it by a man dressed as a pirate. I have to look at the perplexing coil-shaped machines that automatically deep fry little donuts. I need the wonders of the goat barn and can’t wait to lose myself in a whirlpool of throaty bleats there. The State Fair is the lighthouse around which we Minnesotans navigate through our year.

But without innovation what would life be? It would be more horrible than the time my wife poured my whole liquor cabinet down the drain just because I crashed her Camry into a bus stop. That’s why I love that the Fair always has new fun to accompany the cherished classics. Let me tell you about some of the new things at the Fair this year.

If you’re like 95% of Midwesterners you’re probably wondering at any given time what you can cram into your fat face next. Here are some this year’s more interesting new Fair Foods:

Candied Bacon Donut Sliders: If you want donuts and bacon but don’t have time to eat two things, the Fair’s miles ahead of you. Candied bacon donut sliders look as good as they sound. Your arteries will just look at one another and shake their heads!

Sheep Dog: If you want a sheep dog but you’re too tired to go to the Fair’s Pet Center, roam on over and get a hot dog made from real lamb. Doesn’t sound baaaaaad, does it? I’m sure the people who came up with it are going to make a mint!

Reuben Pickle Dog: If you don’t eat a Reuben pickle dog at the Fair this year then I’m afraid you can’t be helped.

But did you know that there’s more to life than just food? There is! Here are some new things at the Fair that you can’t eat:

Hen House: Located in the Miracle of Birth Center, the Hen House is a place to meet living examples of the thousands of birds you’re already eaten. I’m going to ask a hen for three Bucks.

Selfie Spots: Located at five places throughout the fairgrounds, these official Selfie Spots are just one example of why God doesn’t talk to us anymore.

Garden Kaleidoscopes & Floral-palooza: The good folks at the Agricultural Horticulture Building will set up kaleidoscopes around spinning bowls of live flowers. No joke, this is really neat and I like it.

In with the old and the new, I say! If you see a confused looking man-eating Spam sushi and attempting to converse with poultry at the Fair this year, please leave me alone. I’ll be in my zone.

 

By David Scheller

Ivy Spa Club 

Situated on the second floor of The Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis is the luxurious Ivy Spa Club. This incredible oasis – easily accessed by Skyway during the colder months – offers over 180 unique spa services for both men and women including massage, facials, and laser services while the full-service fitness center features a wide variety of workout equipment, saunas, and whirlpools. The spa’s “Simply Beyond” attitude is in place to ensure complete relaxation for all guests.

Treat Yourself

Ivy Spa Club is your one-stop-shop for pampering and tranquility. Unlike most spas in the area, Ivy encourages their guests to spend the entire day with them. With all there is to do, one day may not be enough! Become a member of the Ivy Fitness Club for additional savings on spa services and exclusive benefits. There are packages to fit every need. The club is open 364 days a year, meaning guests can indulge anytime.

Massage

For massage, there is literally something for everyone. The Ivy Signature is a full relaxation massage featuring firm yet gentle pressure, while the Deep Tissue massage focuses on releasing muscle tension and knots. For those looking for balance, the Lomi Lomi Hawaiian or Thai style of massages are designed to reduce stress and increase vitality. Pregnancy and couples massages are also available. There are a number of enhancements to choose from in order to customize your experience, including reflexology, aromatherapy, and scalp massage.

Facials

Ivy Spa Club also offers several types of facials, tailored to meet your individual skin care goals. The Ivy Signature facial features the use of Alpine stem cells and Osmo Tec in order to protect cells and reduce the signs of aging. For something even more luxurious, try the Phyto-Elite facial. This groundbreaking treatment utilizes a blend of Argan and Comfrey stem cells along with collagen, retinol, and elastin in order to reduce wrinkles and lines and give the skin a youthful radiance. Don’t forget to ask about body treatments, laser and medispa services to complete your spa day.

Ivy Spa Salon

After your rejuvenating massage or facial, head to the Ivy Spa Salon for top-quality beauty from head-to-toe. The salon’s skilled stylists will make you look as great as you feel with their expert hair, nail, and waxing services. Try out an all-over color for a bold new look or add extensions to add volume. Professional makeup applications are also available for special occasions – or anytime!

Ivy Fitness Club

Looking for a convenient and exclusive place to work out? The Ivy Fitness Club offers month-to-month memberships with a wide range of fitness and wellness options. Get your heart rate pumping on one of the club’s treadmills or elliptical machines, all outfitted with individual televisions. Group fitness classes include cardio, yoga, barre, spin and more – all specially-designed to fit beginners through advanced athletes. Personal trainers are also on hand to help guests meet their individual fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or increasing endurance.

 

By Rachelle Gordon

 

 

When The Snow Flies You’ll Wonder … Where did Summer Go?

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I’m sure you have found yourself wondering where summer went as the fall season approaches. In Minnesota, summer is a cherished season.  The season is short, sweet and we want the most of it.  So I insist you make it a point to get the most of from this enchanted season.

Many of us are obliged with a day job that motivates us to work hard until the weekend.  With the short season unfolding now, let’s prioritize our lives to make the most of every free moment we have.

Reflect back to the days when you were a child, summer activities were a must.  Your goal each day was to find a more exhilarating activity than the day before.

As adults, we can stay up late, have a bonfire, go on an impromptu camping trip, visit a national park 100 miles away from home and so on.  But let me ask:  When was the last time you actually did any of that?

I know last summer, I used a few precious vacation days to simply run errands, why?  Because that was the “adult” thing to do.  Did I feel better afterward? Sure, but only for a moment.  As the fall season approached it had me wondering, why I didn’t take advantage of my vacation days to go frolic in the woods and to be exhilarated like my inner-child would insist I do.

In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams

What song will you be singing this summer before this enchanted season slips away?

If you haven’t a clue then let me take a moment to encourage you to set aside some time to carve out and create your summer.

Maybe you’re a bit bemused with carving out time for summer activities as you’re uncertain of where to start.  Minnesota is a flourishing state full of summer activities and places to see.

Here are a few random things I plan on doing this summer:

Attend a few outdoor concerts, have a picnic at a favorite park, grilling on a weekly basis, visit a few new parks, enjoy the sunshine for 10 minutes every morning before I start working, and gaze into the midnight sky learning a new constellation or two.

These are just a few ideas.  Create a summer that is meaningful and will have lasting memories for you to call upon in the bitter winter months ahead.

 

By: Tara Massan

Power Plate Meals: Healthy Doesn’t Have to be Boring

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How many times have you found yourself crunched for time or too exhausted from a long work day to cook? What options do you have? Order a pizza? Run to the nearest McDonalds? Eat something simple like cereal (my current go-to meal)? Eating healthy can be expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be.

Seth Houkom and fiancé Haylee Swanson know what it’s like to need a quick meal that entails little fuss and even littler mess. Seth is a farmer who owns his own construction company, while Haylee is a registers nurse who works with premature babies in the NICU. They both grew up in West Fargo, a community that doesn’t have many mechanisms in place to provide meals that are both convenient and healthy. Enter Power Plate Meals, the newest addition to the area’s paradigm shift towards health and accountability.

Power Plate Meals offers fully cooked, pre-packaged, healthy, and convenient meal options that can be shipped to your front door. These do not arrive in cardboard boxes that contain frozen “healthy” meals that offer little actual nutritional value and taste like the box they are packaged in. Power Plate Meals offers hand-made meals that include unprocessed proteins, healthy carbs and fats, and vegetables. Best of all, Power Plate’s ingredients are all pronounceable. No more “hydro”- this or “brominated”- that.

Power Plate Meals opened its doors in January, with Seth and Haylee each putting on a variety of hats. Currently, Hayley handles the company’s social media profile and its marketing duties; Seth runs the cooking side of the company. “We have now had a chef for over a month, so I can do some things on the business side, but I still oversee meals and the breaking down of macros and nutrition,” Seth explained.

Companies like Power Plate are often geared towards body builders. As a result, Seth (a former body builder) wasn’t sure if the general public would be interested in the company’s products. “We wanted to offer a healthy option for the business man or woman, or anybody really,” he explained. “The results have been great. Our average customer is wealthier females between the ages of 30 and 40. That is now our target audience.”

Power Plate has developed a signature line that includes delectable meals like BBQ chicken and sweet corn on the cob, chocolate/banana protein pancakes, turkey porcupine meatballs, and chicken mac and cheese. Custom meals can also be created using steak, cod or salmon, chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef. The meals are affordable as well, with the average meal costing about $7.50.

For Seth and Haylee, it is all about helping customers make healthy choices. “We are very passionate about our food. We care and want to share our food experiences with others,” Seth explained. “Healthy doesn’t have to be boring.”

Meals can be purchased online or in their new West Fargo store. Located in the Pioneer Center at 1380 9th Street East, Suite 605, the store is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. The company currently ships to North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. More information can be found at www.powerplatemeals.com.

 

By Jamee Larson