Say hello to summer in MSP

One of my favorite things about life in Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the four distinct seasons we enjoy here. Anytime I take it for granted someone will remind me how special that really is.

Given our MSP HELLO project team was already holding quarterly, seasonal events to welcome new neighbors, last month we experimented with a new format in partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Together, we welcomed hundreds of new residents and a thousand other friends to “Hello Summer,” a local preview of the season to come.

The event provided an amazing opportunity to showcase some of our region’s greatest assets. Artists previewed the Northern Spark art festival. Mississippi Park Connection and Wilderness Inquiry showed new residents how to enjoy the best of the nation’s best parks systems. And HandsOn Twin Cities provided ideas for getting involved in one of the country’s leading communities for volunteerism.

We learned about our music scene from The Current, summer food scene from the Minnesota State Fair, summer sports with Minnesota United FC, and much more.

Everyone has their own spin on summer here. So much so that our friend Lisa of Drawn Well ran out of room capturing everyone’s favorite summer activities. (That’s me kayaking down the Mississippi River with an eagle overhead…)

We figured this would be the first MSP summer for many of our new neighbors, so we asked some friends to provide a few tips of their own. They included:

  • Tech leader and Break the Bubble founder Matt Decuir’s love for the craft beer scene
  • Carlson School exec Linh Gilles’ favorite farmer’s market in a historic setting
  • Twin Cities Black Employee Network board member Marla Etheridge’s top shopping tips
  • Secrets of the City editor Taylor Carik’s insider tips on everything from music to donuts
  • Our vown Tiffany Orth’s outdoor favorites from hiking to movies in the park

To see more of their recommendations check out this MSP HELLO summer tip sheet (refresh the page if the link does not appear.) You’ll find dozens more recommendations from new and old friends listed on our website.

If you’ve yet to experience summer in our area, you’ll quickly discover how much we celebrate every day with calendars packed full of block parties, pub crawls, arts fairs, biking, hiking, boating, food festivals and so much more. And before you know it we’re on to new fun in a new season.

So while we’re already looking forward to the next seasonal celebration, “Hello Fall” at Saint Paul’s Minnesota History Center, I’m in no rush for summer to come and go. I hope to see you out there.


Matt Lewis is the Director of Make It. MSP. You’ll find him this summer at any block party featuring Al Church and his “Private Oates” cover band or kayaking down in Wabasha hanging with all the eagles.