Local Current Blog

Lizzo, Poliça, Prince dance party to highlight post-renovation Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration

A poster featuring the Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration art was on display in the Rotunda for a June 13 press conference (Jay Gabler/MPR)

Aside from the State Fair, the State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration this August may be the most Minnesotan celebration of the summer — featuring a Prince dance party and performances by Lizzo and Poliça.

Several dozen government employees, journalists and visitors gathered Tuesday afternoon at a press conference in the Capitol’s lobby, held to announce the celebration. State officials emphasized their excitement for the grand opening and encouraged Minnesotans to take pride in the new Capitol at the three-day event scheduled for Aug. 11-13.

“This is going to be great — a once-in-a-lifetime event that can’t be missed. I’m a historian, so you can take my word for it,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, who authored the House version of the bill for the celebration. “I want to welcome everyone back to the People’s House, and let’s party like it’s 1999.”

The planned festivities include a Prince dance party with DJ Dudley D on Friday, Aug. 11, as well as a concert from Lizzo and Poliça on Saturday, Aug. 12. On Sunday, Aug. 13, Classical MPR and VocalEssence are presenting “Bring the Sing on the Capitol Green,” a community choral event. Each day also features performances from musical groups of a variety of cultural backgrounds. Other activities will include yoga on the lawn, tours, kids’ activities and “Hotdish Panels” on various Minnesota history topics.

“On January 2, 1905, thousands of Minnesotans traveled in the dead of winter to walk through these marble halls and marvel at their new capitol building,” said Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. “Just as it was in 1905, in the months ahead, we will see thousands of Minnesotans, and hopefully in August, we’ll see hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans travel to St. Paul to enjoy the grandeur of this remarkable building.”

The press conference opened with a performance by a group of dancers from the Community School of Excellence. The five young girls performed a dance that was a fusion of Japanese, China, Hmong, Lao, Thai and Indian choreography, a staffer from the school said.

“I am still recovering from wincing from seeing some of the positions they got themselves in and out of,” said Gov. Mark Dayton, before applauding the group.

Later, Dayton said, “Come and see the wonder of this place and what it represents. It represents the place where our democracy resides, where people come together with their honest differences and disagreements, and all their different perspectives from all over the state. This building was built to last, just as our democracy is built to last.”

Below is the full schedule from the government’s website. See our Facebook page for full video of the press conference.

Friday, Aug. 11

7:30 a.m.     Yoga on the Capitol Lawn (North Lawn)

9 a.m.    Capitol Blessings and Ribbon Cutting (Capitol South Steps)

10 a.m.   Tours begin (MNHS Info Desk)

11 a.m.   Kids Zone begins on the Capitol Lawn and indoors (Rooms G750 & G950)

12 p.m.   Minnesota State Band Performance (Stage)

2 p.m.     Hotdish Panel: The Life and Works of Cass Gilbert (Cass Gilbert Room)

3 p.m.     Afoutayi Performance (Stage)

4 p.m.     Kid Zone ends

5 p.m.     Tub Ntxhais Thaji Lij Performance (Stage)

7 p.m.     Cocktails on the Loggia – free, ticketed event (Capitol Loggia)

7 p.m.     Theatre of Public Policy – free, ticketed event (L’Eotile du Nord Vault)

7 p.m.     Northland Community Schools Drum and Dance Performance (Stage)

8 p.m.     Raising of the Chandelier (Capitol Rotunda)

8:30 p.m.     Prince Dance Party with DJ Dudley D (Stage)

10 p.m.   Tours end

Saturday, Aug. 12

8 a.m.     Yoga on the Capitol Lawn (North Lawn)

8 a.m.     Tours begin (MNHS Info Desk)

9 a.m.     Ticket to Brazil Performance (Stage)

11 a.m.     Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue Performance (Stage)

11 a.m.     Kid Zone begins on the Capitol Lawn and Indoors (Rooms G750 & G950)

11 a.m.     Hotdish Panel: Minnesota’s Contributions to Music (L’Etoile du Nord Vault)

11 a.m.     Hotdish Panel: VP Walter Mondale and Governor Quie (Room G-15)

1 p.m.     Sansei Yonsei Kai Performance (Stage)

2 p.m.     Hotdish Panel: Women’s Leadership Panel (L’Etoile du Nord Vault)

2 p.m.     Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (Stage)

2:30 p.m.     Hotdish Panel: History of Beer in Minnesota (L’Etoile du Nord Vault)

3 p.m.     Afoutayi Performance (Stage)

4 p.m.     Cap Untapped, presented by the Craft Brewer’s Guild and The Current – fee-associated, ticketed event (MLK Jr., Blvd.)

4 p.m.     Kid Zone ends

5 p.m.     Titambe Performance (Stage)

7 p.m.     Cocktails on the Loggia – free, ticketed event (Capitol Loggia)

7 p.m.     The Current Presents: Lizzo and Policia! (Stage)

8 p.m.     Raising of the Chandelier (Capitol Rotunda)

9:30 p.m.     Fireworks! (Capitol Lawn)

10 p.m.   Tours end

Sunday, Aug. 13

9 a.m.     Yoga on the Capitol Lawn (North Lawn)

9 a.m.     Tours begin (MNHS Info Desk)

10 a.m.   Hotdish Panel: The Minnesota Native A.m.erican Experience (Room G-15)

11 a.m.   Kid Zone begins on the Capitol Lawn and Indoors (Rooms G750 & G950)

1 p.m.     Bring the Sing on the Capitol Green, presented by Classical MPR and VocalEssence (Stage)

2 p.m.     Hotdish Panel: Minnesota Folklore (Room G-15)

2:30 p.m.     Capitol Workers’ Memorial Plaque Dedication (L’Etoile du Nord Vault)

3 p.m.     Capitol Workers’ Appreciation Ice Cream Social and Celebration (South Lawn)

3:30 p.m.     Bill Koncar Polka Band Performance (Stage)

4 p.m.     Hotdish Panel: Our Changing Demographics (Cass Gilbert Room)

4 p.m.     Kids Zone ends

5 p.m.     Sumunar Musical Performance (Stage)

8 p.m.     Final Raising of the Chandelier (Capitol Rotunda)