2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

 

LIFESTYLE

The famous stage of ACME Comedy Club // A Growler Magazine Photo

The famous stage of ACME Comedy Club // A Growler Magazine Photo

Comedy Club – Acme Comedy Company

Acme has grown into a nationally revered club over the years among both stand-up newcomers getting their footing in the scene and old hats craving a break from the arena circuit. The club has survived threats of closure with a collective #SaveAcme movement last year, championed by comics like Marc Maron and Jen Kirkman.

 

 

Nick Swardson // Photo via Nick Swardson's Facebook

Nick Swardson // Photo via Nick Swardson’s Facebook

Local Comedian – Nick Swardson

A Twin Cities native and passionate Vikings fan, Nick Swardson has emerged onto the national stage and the silver screen. Several of his standup comedy specials have been featured on Comedy Central, one memorably reimagining a Jack Daniel’s ad to simply say, “Jack Daniels: F*ck It.”

 

 

 

The Guthrie Theater // Photo via Paul VanDerWolf, Flickr

The Guthrie Theater // Photo via Paul VanDerWolf, Flickr

Theater – Guthrie Theater

Even among non-theatergoers, the Guthrie Theater is recognized as a quintessential fixture in Minneapolis’ skyline. The award-winning building stands as a beacon of a thriving local theater scene, one which has more theaters per capita than any U.S. city after New York.

 

Children's Theater Company workers // Photo via The Children's Theater Company Facebook

Children’s Theater Company workers // Photo via The Children’s Theater Company Facebook

Theater Company / Troupe / Group – Children’s Theatre Company

Since its first season in 1961, the Children’s Theatre Company has brought childhood wonder to the stage with performances ranging from “Hansel & Gretel” to Dr. Seuss’s “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” charming youth and adult audiences alike year after year.

 

 

The Science Museum of Minnesota // A Growler Magazine Photo

The Science Museum of Minnesota // A Growler Magazine Photo

Museum – Science Museum of Minnesota

OMNI films, dinosaurs, and a giant astronaut—the Science Museum of Minnesota has it all. Whether you’re exploring deep oceans or seeing through a newborn’s eyes in the human body exhibit, the museum never fails to make science cool.

 

 

 

The Prince Mural in Uptown, Minneapolis // Photo courtesy of 89.3, The Current Blog

The Prince Mural in Uptown, Minneapolis // Photo courtesy of 89.3, The Current Blog

Public Art single installation – Prince mural by Rock “Cyfi” Martinez, Uptown Minneapolis

Tucked behind a building at 26th Street and Hennepin Avenue is a mural that has attracted countless fans since its creation in April 2016. The artist said that he used the sign instead of Prince’s name to respect the reclusive artist’s desire to control his public image.

 

 

 

The interior of Wild Rumpus Books // Photo via Wild Rumpus Facebook

The interior of Wild Rumpus Books // Photo via Wild Rumpus Facebook

Bookstore – Wild Rumpus

No matter your age, Wild Rumpus guarantees to take you on an adventure with tales of mystery, magic, and romance. Plus, there’s a troupe of real shop animals to help guide your selection, including a ferret called Ferdinand and a cat named Booker T.

 

 

 

 

Leviticus Tattoo // Photo via Leviticus Tattoo's Facebook page

Leviticus Tattoo // Photo via Leviticus Tattoo’s Facebook page

 

Tattoo Parlour – Leviticus Tattoo

Whether it’s the professional attention to custom, detailed tattoos, the rotating gallery of unique art, or that soothing Japanese koi pond, Leviticus Tattoo has left their mark on Growler readers as the best tattoo parlour.

 

 

 

Penn Cycle // Photo via Penn Cycle Facebook

Penn Cycle // Photo via Penn Cycle Facebook

Bike Shop – Penn Cycle

For 60 years, Penn Cycle has been a trusty local provider of the best in bikes, service repairs, apparel, and accessories to suit you up for your ride. They are Minnesota’s largest Trek bike dealer, and are your pick for this year’s best bike shop.

 

 

Outdoors Store – REI

Experienced rock climber? Avid kayaker? Expert marshmallow-roaster? Wherever your outdoor interests may take you, REI has you covered with the best in gear and guidance. They also host classes, events, and outings to familiarize novices with the great outdoors.

 

 

 

Duluth Trading Co.'s Woodbury location // Photo via Duluth Trading's Facebook page

Duluth Trading Co.’s Woodbury location // Photo via Duluth Trading’s Facebook page

Clothing Store (Men) – Duluth Trading Co.

With five Minnesota locations, and more across the nation, Duluth Trading Co. offers high-quality performance gear for every kind of outdoorsman. Their website promises “no highfalutin designer theme or snooty sales folks”—just knowledgable staff and reliable gear to help you get the job done.

 

 

Photo via Primp's Facebook page

Photo via Primp’s Facebook page

Clothing Store (Women) – Primp

What started in St. Paul with two fashionable friends looking to make boutique-shopping more affordable, has grown into nine retail locations across Minnesota and South Dakota. This “cheap boutique” offers a curated collection and personal stylists to help you dress up without breaking the bank.

 

 

A piece of leather being crafted and sewn into a Red Wing Work Boot // Photo by Barbara O'Brien

A piece of leather being crafted and sewn into a Red Wing Work Boot // Photo by Barbara O’Brien

Minnesota Heritage Brand – Red Wing Shoes

Though the times have changed since it started production over a hundred years ago, people still trust Red Wing Shoes to produce the best quality of work shoes and boots that can withstand the harshest of conditions, including many loyal Growler readers and little-known actor Ryan Gosling.

 

 

 

Minnehaha Creek mid Autumn // Photo via the Minnehaha Creek Facebook

Minnehaha Creek mid Autumn // Photo via the Minnehaha Creek Facebook

City Park – Minnehaha Regional Park

One of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river overlooks, attracting more than 850,000 visitors annually, and attracting our readers to call it the best city park.

 

 

 

A view from Tettegouche State Park during Autumn overlooking Lake Superior // Photo via the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Facebook

A view from Tettegouche State Park during Autumn overlooking Lake Superior // Photo via the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Facebook

State Park – Tettegouche State Park

Standing at the edge of the sharp cliffs, watching the fog roll in from Lake Superior over the craggy shoreline, it’s safe to say that Tettegouche State Park can’t be beat. It’s truly the jewel of Minnesota’s North Shore, and this year’s pick for best state park.

 

 

 

 

A view of Lake Superior from along the North Shore // A Growler Magazine Photo

A view of Lake Superior from along the North Shore // A Growler Magazine Photo

Lake – Lake Superior

The legend lives on, from the Chippewa on down, of the big lake called Gitche Gumee. The truth lies in the name and its sheer size, making Lake Superior a tough one to beat and your pick for best lake.

 

 

 

 

Belinda Jenson of KARE 11 // Photo courtesy of KARE 11

Belinda Jenson of KARE 11 // Photo courtesy of KARE 11

TV Weather Person – Belinda Jensen, KARE 11

It’s safe to say that Minnesota weather can be a real beast, but Belinda Jensen is always a guiding light in the storm. She has a rare talent for looking poised in any type of weather, and is your pick for your favorite TV weather person.

 

 

 

A Mary Lucia selfie // Photo via Mary Lucia's Facebook

A Mary Lucia selfie // Photo via Mary Lucia’s Facebook

Radio Personality – Mary Lucia, 89.3 The Current

Known around town as “Luch,” Mary Lucia has become a household voice over the years. Her passion for rock music can be felt over the waves, and her punk-rock aesthetic has made her a local fan favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Minnesota Get Together // Photo by Kevin Kramer

The Great Minnesota Get Together // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Community Fairs / Festivals (MSP) – Minnesota State Fair

From the fried foods on a stick to the creative concoctions of beer, animal barns to seed art entries, the Minnesota State Fair takes home a blue ribbon.

 

 

 

 

A Knight in semi-shiny armor at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival // Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

A Knight in semi-shiny armor at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival // Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Community Fairs / Festivals (Metro) – Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Shakopee

Hear ye, hear ye! Readers, you have knighted Shakopee’s
Minnesota Renaissance Festival as the crowning winner. Bring on the turkey legs and barrels of mead.

 

 

 

An actor fires his gun during the annual re-enactment in Northfield, MN // Photo via the Defeat of Jesse James Day Facebook

An actor fires his gun during the annual re-enactment in Northfield, MN // Photo via the Defeat of Jesse James Day Facebook

Community Fairs / Festivals (Greater MN) – Defeat of Jesse James Days, Northfield

This celebration marks the anniversary of the famous Northfield Raid, a bank robbery that turned into a 400-mile chase and capture of members of the James-Younger gang. Events include a parade, a rodeo, and a downtown festival.

 

 

 

Rock The Garden // Photo courtesy of the Walker Art Center

Rock The Garden // Photo courtesy of the Walker Art Center

Music Festival – Rock the Garden

Returning to the new-and-improved Sculpture Garden this year, 89.3 The Current and Walker Art Center’s winning two-stage summer festival made people boogie with The Revolution and listen in awed silence with Bon Iver.

 

 

 

The Basilica Block Party // Photo by Kyle Howard

The Basilica Block Party // Photo by Kyle Howard

Block Party – Basilica Block Party

Basilica Block Party is somewhat of an anomaly—the two-day block party started back in 1995 as a fundraiser for the restoration of the eponymous Basilica of Saint Mary. It’s become a summer must for music fans, featuring headliners like Gary Clark Jr., Brandi Carlile, and The Shins.

 

 

 

Lizzo flew home so she could perform during the block party to celebrate the life and music of Prince outside First Ave. nightclub in Minneapolis on April 21, 2016 // A Growler Magazine Photo

Live Music Venue – First Avenue

First Avenue’s Mainroom stands as an essential piece of Minneapolis history. Rising to fame in Prince’s 1984 film “Purple Rain,” the venue has been a tour destination for everyone from Joe Cocker to Eminem, hosting shows for nearly any musical palette.

 

 

Lake Harriet Bandshell // Photo by jpellgen, Flickr

Lake Harriet Bandshell // Photo by jpellgen, Flickr

Outdoor Music Venue – Lake Harriet Bandshell

Bring a picnic supper, lay down a blanket, and enjoy some music at this iconic Minneapolis structure. Each summer, people flock to not only enjoy the stunning stage and lakeside air, but to also enjoy the numerous music concerts.

 

 

 

The corner of Electric Fetus // Photo via Electric Fetus Facebook

The corner of Electric Fetus // Photo via Electric Fetus Facebook

Record Store – Electric Fetus

Fun fact: when it opened in 1968, the Electric Fetus held a “Streakers’ Sale” in which customers could take as much as they could carry for free so long as they were completely naked. From its revolutionary beginnings to now, it’s been a vital resource for those looking for CDs and LPs with just a touch of obscurity.

 

 

 

 

The Doomtree Collective members; (from left to right) Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, SIMS, Mike Mictlan, Paper Tiger, P.O.S., and Dessa // Photo by Ben LaFond

The Doomtree Collective members; (from left to right) Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, SIMS, Mike Mictlan, Paper Tiger, P.O.S., and Dessa // Photo by Ben LaFond

Local Music Group / Band – Doomtree

What started as a group of friends making and distributing their own music underground has grown into the rap collective you’ve voted as our winner. There are seven members, all of whom have their own recorded solo and collaborative albums, but the collective still remains central to Twin Cities hip-hop.

 

 

 

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