MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis is just 100 days away, but the party really begins in 90 days.
On Friday morning, Mayor Betsy Hodges and Super Bowl organizers announced plans for Super Bowl Live. The 10-day, free event will begin on Friday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. and will run through game day on Feb. 4.
The festival is presented by Verizon and for 10 straight days, it will include food, fun, entertainment and different types of artwork that showcase what organizers are calling Minnesota’s “Bold North” brand.
“Think of this as an entertainment street that has so many things to do on it,” said Sean Connolly, one of the event’s organizers.
On Friday morning, the weather on Nicollet Mall looked more like February than October — and maybe that’s fitting for a discussion of a winter celebration.
“We’re going to make Bold North a permanent way of thinking in the U.S.,” Richard Davis of the Super Bowl Host Committee said. “There’s the West Coast, the East Coast, and now the Bold North. The centerpiece will be the Twin Cities.”
They’re calling it 10 days of free fun leading up to Super Bowl LI. There will be a Northern Lights projection show, snow globes and warming benches, and the Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain. Local music legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will be bringing in artists from around the country.
“We’re going to celebrate the sun going down, but it’s also the end of the day and Happy Hour when people come out of their offices,” Connolly said. “So we’re going to have this Super Bowl crowd that we think will happen every day.”
Nicollet Mall will have a Minnesota feel too. Native American drummers and dancers will perform each day at 4 p.m., and Minnesota Nice wouldn’t be complete without Minnesota ice.
Minnesota Ice Sculptures will create the sculptures you’ll see downtown. The one on display Friday is 7 feet tall and weighs around 8,000 pounds. The one’s you’ll see for Super Bowl week will be twice that size.
“Looking forward to it,” Robert Harrell of Minnesota Ice Sculptures said. “It’s going to be a lot of work, and looking forward to getting out of town afterwards.”
It’ll be 26 years since Minneapolis last hosted a Super Bowl. That was the first one to have the “Super Bowl Experience” and it was held at the convention center.