Glitter rains down on group backing marriage amendment

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 6, 2011 - 11:59 AM

The Skyglider at the State Fair

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

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As deputy general manager of concessions and exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair, Jim Sinclair is always on the lookout for new ways to wow the crowd. "We're always looking for new and unusual stuff," he said.

A glitter shower isn't exactly what he had in mind.

On Sunday, four people on the SkyGlider ride sprinkled several pounds of glitter atop the Minnesota for Marriage booth. Nick Espinosa organized the dump to protest that Minnesotans United for All Families, which opposes the 2012 constitutional amendment that's endorsed by Minnesota for Marriage didn't get a booth at the fair. The amendment would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Donald McFarland, a Minnesotans United for All Families project manager, said that after requesting a registration package early this summer and calling the special exhibits office at the fair in July, he was told no spaces were available.

"They made it very, very clear that there was no room and we weren't coming to the fair," he said.

In a statement on its website, John Helmberger, chairman for the Minnesota for Marriage Coalition, said that initially the group could not secure space inside the fairgrounds, so it set up a booth outside the grounds in front of the Church of the Holy Childhood.

Sinclair said the Minnesota for Marriage Coalition's application was submitted after the fair started and that it met all of the requirements, and that a space on a grassy 7-foot-wide boulevard happened to be available.

That spot was under the SkyGlider ride, where at 4:55 p.m. Sunday four riders each dropped a bag of glitter from about 10 feet above the booth. Espinosa, who has organized similar glitter dumps at Marcus Bachmann's clinic and on Newt Gingrich's lap, said no one was apprehended. "They just got off the sky ride and continued to enjoy the fair."

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

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