Last year was bursting with events. It was an election year, the All-Star Game was played at Target Field and the Green Line between the downtowns opened to hoopla and avid ridership.
At first glance, the 2015 calendar doesn’t hold that sort of promise.
The next light-rail extension is at least four years down the track. Although the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four are on the distant horizon (2018 and 2019, respectively), there’s no mega-sporting event on tap for us this year.
And instead of lawn signs supporting our favorite candidates, all we’ll have in the front yard is crabgrass.
Still, there are some things to look forward to in the new year. The Star Tribune’s best and brightest put together a slightly tongue-in-cheek list to help you get ready.
Critics labeled the 1970s “the decade that fashion forgot.” Now we’re going to try to remember it. The ’70s look is expected to be in, with flared pants, trapeze dresses and plenty of floral prints. For more information, see “Saturday Night Fever.”
The number of local breweries is expanding faster than the foam on a tall, cold one. By the end of 2015, we predict that craft breweries will outnumber Starbucks in the Twin Cities.
Déjà vu cinema
This year is poised to be the biggest year for movies ever, Hollywood insiders say. Among the anticipated blockbusters is another “Star Wars,” another “Avatar,” another “Avengers,” another “Peanuts” and the first — almost certainly to be followed by more “anothers” — “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Flushed with excitement
Baseball fans looking forward to rain? It’s coming with the opening of the Saints’ new stadium in downtown St. Paul. Among the accoutrements at CHS Field are tanks that will collect rainwater to be used to flush some of the stadium’s toilets. Which leads to one of the things we’re not looking forward to — a drought.
In a diversity update for the overwhelmingly white emoji characters, symbolic vocabularies worldwide will expand with the addition of new designs. They will involve more than just skin tone. Finalists for the new icons include a taco, a zipper-mouth face and — perfect for Minnesota — a hockey stick and puck.
Now that the New York Times has declared the Grape Salad to be the quintessential Minnesota food, we will exhibit our typical passive-aggressive behavior and try to embrace the dish. Watch for it to start appearing on restaurant menus and maybe even at the State Fair. Grape Salad on a Stick, anyone?
If Queen Elizabeth is still on the throne on Sept. 9, she’ll become the longest reigning monarch in British history, beating the record of Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. You can mark the milestone by brewing some tea, donning a pastel dress and matching hat and decorating a Corgi.
Big cars will be back in a big way. With gas prices having plummeted, the road tank is back in vogue — at least until prices skyrocket again, at which point we can turn them into family rooms.
Fewer homes will have living rooms, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If you end up missing the living room, see the prediction on big cars.
With oversized cellphones chic again, we’ll have to find some way to carry them. Watch for the unveiling of the unipocket pants, guaranteed to make your butt look big. Not to worry. Ample glutes are another building trend, with gyms offering “bootylicious” workouts.
This will be the year of the jutting jaw. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the new rage is a chin augmentation that mimics the square-jawed superhero look. Maybe Jay Leno shouldn’t have retired, after all.
Let’s craft a new term
Now that we’ve got artisanal toast (Canteen in Minneapolis), it’s inevitable that we’re going to end up with artisanal everything. On a related note, misuse of the word artisanal will continue to be blatantly ignored.
Lame name game
Baby name experts are predicting that Sophia and Emma will top the list of most-popular names yet again, according to Nameberry.com. We’re hoping that parents in search of more creative monikers will simply open an Ikea catalog, looking to add as many letters from the alphabet as possible. After all, what are the chances of there being another Vaxtgladje in your kid’s class?
A royal (labor) pain
The world is on royal baby watch, with Prince William and Kate Middleton expecting their second child in the spring. Historically, second-born royals are less cautious and enjoy the freedom that comes with not having to prepare to rule as monarch. Remember when Prince Harry was photographed playing strip billiards in Vegas? Watch for the baby to start throwing all-night raves in his crib. (And by crib, we mean bed, not Buckingham Palace. Those parties will come later.)
Going to seed
Pistachios are expected to be the year’s “it” nut. Technically, botanists point out, they’re not nuts; they’re seeds. To which we say: Nuts to you.
With the news that Nye’s Polonaise Room is closing, people who haven’t been there in 15 years will proclaim their love for the establishment and try to get reservations. Fat chance. If it’s nostalgia you need to feed, check out other old-school institutions, like Mancini’s Char House in St. Paul or Jax Cafe in northeast Minneapolis.
Popping in on Pluto
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006 en route to Pluto, will finally reach its destination in July. The piano-sized spacecraft will have traveled more than 3 billion miles. Alas, in the time it has been traveling, Pluto has been downgraded from planet to dwarf planet.
Guidance for geeks
JOFcon comes to town in October. It’s billed as a convention about how to put on “any type of ‘geeky’ convention,” such as science fiction and fantasy conventions, anime conventions, comic conventions or horror conventions. JOF stands for Journeymen of Fandom. Bottom line: Conventions aren’t just for Shriners anymore.
With the debut of the Apple Watch early in the year, watches will join telephones in being smarter than the people who use them.
Blood moon rising
In 2015, we’ll have two chances to see a blood moon, on April 4 and Sept. 28. For this relatively rare phenomenon (aka a total lunar eclipse), the moon turns reddish-orange when it passes the Earth’s shadow. Even rarer, in the next two years, we’ll experience a sequence of four blood moons at roughly six-month intervals, an astronomical event known as a tetrad. Not to scare you, but some believe the tetrad signals “the end of days.”
Minnesota residents weary of being considered part of the Midwest may drive a secession movement in which the state proclaims its nationhood — essentially turning the Star of the North into the Lone Star of the North. The smart money on who gets named ambassador to the United Nations already is on former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
TV or not TV
Remember all that angst Mom had about you spending too much time in front of the TV? Soon we might not even remember what a TV looks like. Mobile devices — including tablets and even cellphones — that stream video are the new hip way to keep up with your favorite shows. If you’re thinking, “Where do I plug in the antenna?” stick to “I Love Lucy” reruns.
Down and dirty
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2015 “The International Year of Soils.” If your soil isn’t worth celebrating, it’s probably a good time to start composting.
A disco deluge
Disco is making a comeback. It’s called Nu Disco (intentionally misspelled, we hope but aren’t sure) and is described as classic disco that has been shaped by house music DJs. Just what we need: baby boomers who think they still can do the Hustle. This could be a very profitable year for chiropractors.
You’re bacon me crazy
We’re predicting the opening of a new exhibit at the State Fair titled “Anything duct tape can do, bacon can do better.”
Staff writers Jeff Strickler, Aimee Blanchette, Tom Horgen, Katie Humphrey, Gail Rosenblum, Connie Nelson, Kim Ode, Kim Palmer, Emily Theis and Lynn Underwood contributed to this report.