While most festivities leading up to the Super Bowl in February will center on downtown Minneapolis, Bloomington is preparing to host an event of its own.

The Illuminate South Loop festival will take place in the city’s South Loop district, home to the Mall of America and several hotels, on Feb. 1-3. The city is billing it as an evening event that “focuses on leveraging the power of the arts, culture and creativity to engage the community.”

Art projects and artist-curated performances will be featured at Bloomington Central Park, including “Duck Duck What,” where people vote on the correct name for the children’s game, and a pep rally with drills from cheerleaders and drum corps. There also will be bonfires, drinks and food available from the nearby Hyatt Regency hotel.

The full list of offerings is available at bit.ly/2Czahf3.

Miguel Otárola


Winter brings return of outdoor ice skating

Some of the Twin Cities’ popular outdoor ice skating rinks are now open.

Edina’s Parks and Recreation Department opened its ice rinks on Monday. The rinks can be found in 12 city parks, including Arden, Weber, Normandale and Highlands parks.

The rinks are open from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 1 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. This week, through Dec. 31, they will be open from noon to 9:30 p.m. with the exceptions of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when they will operate on limited hours.

Rinks will be closed on Christmas Day.

The city will close the rinks if temperatures drop to 10 below or the windchill registers 15 below. The city is expected to keep rinks open until Feb. 25 or longer if the weather permits.

Miguel Otárola


County library to host Page race exhibit

An exhibit of artifacts on race relations in American history, taken from the personal collection of former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and his wife, Page Education Foundation Director Diane Sims Page, will open Jan. 8 at Hennepin County’s flagship library in downtown Minneapolis.

The exhibit, called “TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today,” will feature more than 100 objects and artworks providing context for contemporary discussions on race, according to Alan Page, the former Minnesota Vikings star lineman.

They will include a slave collar used in Virginia in the 1820s, a banner from Abraham Lincoln’s funeral in 1865 and literature by black women.

The exhibit will feature an interactive display, called “Testification Station,” for visitors to relate their own experiences.

The public is invited to the exhibit opening and reception at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 in Cargill Hall at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall. The exhibit will be open during regular library hours through Feb. 6.

Kevin Duchschere

St. Louis Park

City seeking input on water management

St. Louis Park officials are updating the city’s plan for treating bodies of water and asking residents to contribute their own ideas and questions.

The Surface Water Management Plan outlines policies the city follows in the care of its lakes, ponds and wetlands.

A meeting will be held Jan. 9 on how the city manages its water resources and to get public feedback on what it should tackle in the future. It will include a presentation by Steve Woods, executive director of the St. Paul-based Freshwater Society.

The meeting will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the council chambers at St. Louis Park City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd. For more information, contact Phil Elkin, the city’s senior engineer project manager, at pelkin@stlouispark.org or 952-924-2687.

Miguel Otárola


Council approves drop locations for organics

The Bloomington City Council has selected three sites where residents will be able to drop off organic waste starting on April 21, the weekend of Earth Day.

The sites approved for the new program are Valley View Park, 201 E. 90th St.; the Public Works building, 1801 W. 96th St.; and Bush Lake Park, 95th Street and W. Bush Lake Road.

Organic waste includes fruits, vegetables, eggshells, bread, meat, bones and certain types of paper. Once collected, the waste is taken to a facility and turned into compost.

This will be the city’s first foray into organics pickup since it switched to an organized trash collection system in October 2016. The estimated cost of the program is $36,250, with most money coming from the city and Hennepin County grants.

Miguel Otárola


SW Prime transit to begin serving city

SW Prime, an on-demand transit service for residents of Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen and Carver, will expand to Victoria starting Jan. 2. Commuters may request a ride through their smartphone application, online or by phone. A shared ride will be sent to fetch them.

SW Prime operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Ride requests are not accepted after 6 p.m. Fares are $4 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12.

Children ages 5 and under ride free, and passengers 65 and older may ride for $1 on Mondays. For more information or to request a ride, visit swprime.org or call 952-797-7463.

Liz Sawyer