By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There was only one way to get a true sense of Super Bowl weekend, and that was to come downtown and see it firsthand.

But for many it was a pain navigating congested and snow-covered streets, and fun also brought a degree of frustration.

It was like a giant Super Bowl snow globe as visitors, dusted in white, cheered a death-defying stunt, with Levi LaVallee doing a backflip on his snowmobile right on Nicollet Mall and 11th Street, in front of WCCO-TV’s studios.

But if the fresh snow set the stage, not everyone was cheering. Karen Spitzfadden opted for an Uber.

“I never did plan to drive, didn’t want to deal with the parking and didn’t know even where I would park,” she said.

Congestion and slick roads had downtown streets at a crawl, making it faster to go by bike than car.

Saturday’s weather challenges also brought reassurance. City leaders promise quick work, clearing sidewalks and roads.

“We have 39 pieces of equipment treating our streets and plowing our streets,” Minneapolis Public Works director Robin Hutcheson said.

What some cursed, others embraced.

“They gave us some snowshoes and we went snowshoeing up the hill on that street. That’s pretty cool,” visitor Mitch Monson said. “I’m pretty graceful on the snow.”

The snow and cold didn’t deter TSA’s viper teams, using canines to patrol light rail stations.

“The weather always is going to be a challenge, especially as cold as it is, but they’ll always fight through it and focus on the mission of keeping the travelers and transportation system safe,” TSA Federal Air Marshal Services’ Tom Kelly said.

At RiverCenter in St. Paul it was a big night at Taste of the NFL. Nearby, a taste of winter at the St. Paul Winter Carnival in Rice Park.

The general theme? Enjoying Super Bowl sights with a true sense of the Bold North.


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