Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter have both declared today, Dec. 12, to be Blenders Day, according to a press release from the band. Minnesota governor Tim Walz and North Dakota governor Douglas Burgam have also issued “certificates of congratulations” in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Minneapolis-based vocal group that originated in Fargo.
Mayor Frey’s proclamation cites achievements including the band’s 1998 single “(I’m In Love With the) McDonald’s Girl” hitting number one in Norway and New Zealand; winning three regional Emmys for the KMSP tune “Wake Up With FOX 9”; and landing their 2002 album When It Snows in the top 40 on Billboard’s Independent CD chart.
As a press release notes, the group predated the world-straddling success of latter-day vocal groups like Pentatonix and Tonic Sol-fa. Locally they’ve become closely associated with the holidays due to their string of popular holiday shows and recordings. Reviewing the Blenders’ 2016 performance at the Pantages Theatre, Jean Gabler (yes, my mom) wrote:
It’s clear that the Blenders have maintained a very loyal fan base, many of whom have followed them for the past two decades. The Friday night audience needed only small cues to begin wildly cheering in anticipation of what was to come, and the Blenders delivered the most rocking Christmas show I have ever seen – think “Go Tell It On the Mountain” with fist-pumps and a disco ball, and “The Little Drummer Boy” belting it out to Baby Jesus with a full drum kit.
The Blenders will be back in action at the Pantages starting tonight as they kick off their Holiday Soul tour with a four-day run of Minneapolis shows.