Walk the Talk: Fat Girls Hiking, Little Africa Fest and More Ways to Get Out and Engage

Editor’s note: Walk the Talk is Streets.mn’s carefully curated, highly partisan collection of both serious and fun-loving events, community meetings and opportunities for engagement that we think will interest our readers. Email your ideas to managing editor amy.gage@streets.mn.

Here, in an order that makes sense to us, are five options you may learn from and enjoy.

Walk and book reading with Fat Girls Hiking author Summer Michaud-Skog: Monday, August 1, 7 p.m., Magers & Quinn

Hear the founder of Fat Girls Hiking speak at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis on Monday night.

Fat Girls Hiking, a national organization with a Minneapolis chapter — and with the appealing handle “Trails, Not Scales” — will host a book reading at Magers & Quinn (Uptown) in Minneapolis on Monday, August 1, 7 p.m. Registration and masks are required; click here to learn more and register for both the reading and the pre-event walk.

  • Cat Polivoda, owner of the plus-size thrift store Cake Plus-Size Resale and KFAI podcaster (Matter of Fat), will interview Fat Girls Hiking founder Summer Michaud-Skog, whose book will be featured Monday evening at one of the Twin Cities’ fine local bookstores. A pre-reading hike at Bde Maka Ska will take place if the weather cooperates (note your interest on the Eventbrite registration). The event is free and open to the public.

Little Africa Fest: Sunday, August 7, noon to 9 p.m., Hamline Park, St. Paul

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) is sponsoring the joyful Little Africa Festival on Sunday, August 7, in Hamline Park on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.

Dr. Bruce Corrie, an economist and professor at Concordia University in St. Paul, researches the economic impact that immigrants and minority communities make in the Twin Cities and throughout the state. His Cultural Destinations website is a rich resource to explore. So, when Bruce, in his gentle but persistent way, urges people to pay attention to a neighborhood, an area business, a trend or an event, I tend to listen up. Little Africa Fest — a celebration on Sunday, August 7, from noon to 9 p.m. — is one of those happenings.

  • The event drew more than 10,000 people in 2019, Corrie says, to enjoy food, art, performances, an African fashion show and plenty of dancing. Sponsored by African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS), Little Africa Fest will be at Hamline Park in St. Paul on Snelling between Thomas and Lafond. Take the A Line Bus Rapid Transit.

National Night Out: Tuesday, August 2, evening

Sidewalk artists showcase their commitment to National Night Out, held annually the first Tuesday evening in August.

National Night Out is a big deal in my St. Paul neighborhood, with folks of all ages on various blocks relishing the opportunity to hang out safely in the street, let their kids loose in a bouncy house, grill and goof with the neighbors. Relax with your neighbors. Despite some people’s reservations about the police-focused nature of the event, Minneapolis claims to lead the country in participation on National Night Out, which happens this year on Tuesday, August 2.

  • Prospect Park in Minneapolis has a positive spin, citing the chance to build block clubs and “cohesive, healthy neighborhoods” by gathering residents, businesses, faith communities, city agencies and more. The fun begins about 5:30 p.m., depending. Bike around and look for barricades blocking the streets. In my experience, strangers are welcomed.

Tour de Tonka: Saturday, August 6, Minnetonka

Tour de Tonka, on Saturday, August 6, benefits the local food shelf along with youth and preschool programs.

If you don’t have time for the three-day Bike Duluth Festival for mountain bikers from August 5–7, try a daylong ride in the west metro on Saturday, August 6. Tour de Tonka offers six routes from 16 miles all the way to a century ride, along with same-day registration. “A ride not a race,” the event allows e-bikes and requires helmets.

  • A portion of proceeds benefits the local ICA Food Shelf at a time when demand for food shelves is on the rise. A program of Minnetonka Public Schools, Tour de Tonka also supports community education programs for kids.

Live at Lyndale Gardens, Wednesday evenings in August

Simone Perrin and Kevin Kling will open the Live at Lyndale Gardens series on Wednesday, August 3.

In the Delight-Cultivating category that we so enjoy at Streets.mn, the Live at Lyndale Gardens shows in Richfield on Wednesday evenings throughout August look to be can’t-miss events. Thanks to organizers at Illusion Theater! The August 10 exploration of Marvin Gaye’s seminal 1971 album, What’s Going On, with T. Mychael Rambo is sure to draw a crowd.

  • This coming week, on August 3 at 7 p.m., storyteller Kevin Kling and musician Simone Perrin — whose Hummingbird CD is online — will kick off the series with “stories and music to lighten your heart and soul.” Climate change? Record-breaking inflation? Watching the Supreme Court tank another liberty we took for granted? Lightening the load for an evening sounds OK to me.

Photo at top courtesy of Jade Destiny on Unsplash

About Amy Gage

Amy Gage was named managing editor of Streets.mn in June 2022 after five years as a volunteer editor and writer for the site. A former journalist, she writes a blog about women and aging (themiddlestages.com) and is director of neighborhood and community relations at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

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