I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to be some sort of party where the companies who were in the City Pages Best of 2016 issue were going to have booths set up.
After taking a couple wrong turns through downtown Minneapolis, I arrived at the International Market Square in the kind of all-day rain storm that somehow manages to make everything a little gloomy. The only place to park was in the ramp which had no clear entrance sign (I know this because I took another wrong turn into the loading docks).
I paid for my pretty-expensive ticket and went through the entrance. And it didn’t take long to realize that A) You should not attend these things alone and B) I didn’t fit in.
The city folk came out in mass numbers, and they dressed to impress. Most of the women had their hair done up and wore figure-hugging dresses, and many of the men wore suits fit for someone’s wedding. And then there was me: in my brown shoe-boots, slim dark blue jeans, checkered red button-down, grey zip-up hoodie (button-down and hoodie courtesy of Five Four Clothing), and my trusty dark grey pleather jacket. I was dressed like a writer.
I was able to get around pretty quickly, mostly because I was there alone so I didn’t have to walk with anybody. The booths were on the perimeter and many had people crowding around eager for a sample of what was being offered. I was able to try one of the beers that made the list, and it wasn’t too bad (pictured above). There was a place to get your picture taken on the red carpet, but I think it’s best that evidence of my attendance to this party is limited.
In the center of the room was a stage where the bands that made the Best of issue played sets throughout the night. I always feel bad for bands and artists who perform in a kind of situation where their music isn’t the main attraction. They essentially get to be the background music as people talk and sample.
I didn’t stay too long, because there was really no reason for me to. You can only walk around the party so many times until just feels weird. I’ll be sure to bring someone along next time and dress up a little more (very tempted to do a little Doctor Who cosplay).