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MN State Fair Crop Art Takes U.K. by Storm

Plus Bde Maka Ska Pavilion reopens, our spooky story contest looms, and modern high schools are nice as hell in today's Flyover news roundup.

MN State Fair|


Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

We've Heard of Coppers, but Crop Arts?

If that real reach of a header didn't clue you off, what we're trying to say is that the British newspaper The Guardian has a story today on the quirky craft of crop art and the Minnesotans who make it. Colony Little (what a byline!) writes that Minnesota "leads the way in crop art," with "the nation’s most active community of seed artists." She talks to a number of them, from the father-daughter team behind this year's winning Mona Lisa at the State Fair to software engineer, illustrator, and crop artist Nick Rindo, whose works include, among others, a controversial Bill Cosby piece from 2015 made with rapeseed. You should really read the whole thing, but if you don't, we'll leave you with this kicker:

Rindo sold his first piece, of William Shatner as Captain Kirk, for $1,000 when a hardcore Trekkie kept asking him to buy it, though he said crop art comes with a problem. “Nobody knows what to pay for it. I mean, it’s wood and seeds.” His Mister T portraits are somewhere in a family closet. And the work can suffer a more tragic fate. “They die,” said Melnick, sometimes eaten by mice and bugs.

There’s something poetic about that impermanence, much like sand mandalas that are ceremoniously designed and destroyed. For the humble seed, whether it’s planted or painted, death is a prerequisite of life.

Bde Maka Ska Pavilion Opens Today

The Uptown lake has been without a concession stand since the original structure burned down in a tragic hookah fire in 2019. Now, $6.5 million later, the Bde Maka Ska Pavilion has reopened with expanded offerings. That includes Pimento on the Lake, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen’s take on beachy fare. Think rice, plantains, and pulled pork, though they'll also have fries, burgers, and hot dogs. And yes, there will be wine and beer for sale. According to today's press release, the space will stay open “for as long as demand will sustain it this fall/winter.” Pimento Market, however, will be open year-round, and will showcase BIPOC Minnesota businesses and entrepreneurs.

What else does this glow up have going for it? There’s a new outdoor seating area that can hold 250 people (and the ceiling has mounted heaters), some large-scale artworks by Native artists, naval artifacts from the 1930s on display, unisex bathrooms, a performance stage, and redesigned bike and pedestrian trails. “As beloved as the original pavilion was, I believe this new building will quickly become a favorite gathering space and a Minneapolis icon,” Al Bangoura, superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, said at this morning's ribbon cutting ceremony.

Time's Running Out: Enter Racket's Spooky Skyway Story Contest!

We're hijacking our own editorial space here to remind you that mere days remain to enter Racket's Spooktacular Flash Fiction Contest. We've received a ghoul (i.e. good) number of entries so far, but your odds of scoring a part of the killer prize package remain frighteningly high. Click here for way more information on the theme (horror in the skyway!), the prizes (fame, weed, merch!), and the scariest info of all (rules and deadlines).

Modern High Schools Look like WHAT?!

If you attended prison-like South High School in Minneapolis, avert your eyes! John O'Sullivan, the TikToking walking tour guide Racket once profiled, saw his clip of the brand-new, $126 million Owatonna High School blow past 1.5 million views this week. Top TikTok commenter Big Beef's response to the luxe build? "We had classes in trailers 😂." TGIF, enjoy the tour.

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