But the cold Twin Cities welcomes visitors to treasure hunts, fly zip lines across the Mississippi, ice fish in the Mall of America, spot Timberlake and NFL celebrities while SuperBowl ticket prices creep back up after a weekend drop. Helicopters buzz above Minneapolis at 80 mph leaving many below wondering if they should run and hide before remembering that “It is a Super Bowl experience.” Fun is everywhere in Super Bowl City. Olympic Skating experts perform in St. Paul’s Rice Park, others explore the seven-story Ecolab Ice Palace and earlier today winners finally claimed the full $12,000 treasure on its last day. Celebrities perform at both cities. I’m watching Saturday Night Live now.
Minneapolis is expected to be the coldest Super Bowl on record. Many here already have dealt with such obstacles as crowded icy cold streets, highly inflated prices for taxis, food and other amenities. Many say it resembles war zones with all the police and emergency vehicles patrolling the streets and helicopters flying low over the crowds. The weather forecast for tomorrow shows a high of about 8 degrees and a low of -3, the first time a Super Bowl Sunday will have dipped below zero in a host city. To add insult to injury, the weather service predicts a 20% chance of snow early Sunday. We Minnesotans believe in embracing the cold. Even Ice bars are available, I’m told. It’s a tough (or slightly crazy} crowd here.
Ten years ago I went skiing at Madeline Island off the coast of Wisconsin for three weeks in February. We drove our jeep the first day the ice road opened Feb. 1, and were told to follow the small leftover Christmas trees planted in the ice on the way to Madeleine, easily seen in calm weather. In case the wind comes in blowing icy snow, interfering with visibility, we would be able to follow the trees to the island’s only city street with a bar on each end, there to service thirsty snowmobilers who frequent the place once the ice road opens each year. In fact, several days later, both bars were packed, watching Green Bay Packers play in the Superbowl that year. It was quite a thrill.
Ah, to be young again.