MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Once again, it’s time to head over to Northeast Minneapolis to check out local arts, enjoy a wealth of foods and the flavor of one of the Twin Cities’ most unique neighborhoods.

The Art-A-Whirl is one of the largest open studio tours in the country, and it takes place at more than 70 locations in Northeast Minneapolis.

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“I think a lot of people are surprised when they step into a studio building and see these hundreds of artists that work here all year around,” said Alejandra Pelinka, the executive director at the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association.

More than 500 local artists participate in the event.

“Artists really try to show as much artwork as they can within their studio, so they cram it packed with artwork,” Pelinka said.

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This year marks the 18th for the annual event, which runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Art-A-Whirl participants will get the unique opportunity to experience and purchase locally-produced works of art, as well as talk one-on-one with the artists behind them.

Participants can also enjoy the old Minneapolis buildings that have been converted into studio spaces. One studio, for instance, is in the old Grain Belt Bottling House. Another, which used to hold General Mills, now holds Foci Glass, home to some of the most talented glass artists in Minnesota. (To watch one artist make a glass horse in under 60 seconds, watch the video above.)

The event is organized by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. The organization, according to Pelinka, is trying to give the city’s northeast side the reputation as a hub for arts.

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