Snow flurries be darned. On Friday, Twin Cities' yelpers shoveled themselves out of hibernation for a late winter's night rumpus of food, drink and fun at Yelp du Nord!
With nearly 1,000 party-goers and 30+ purveyors packing the American Swedish Institute, this was the biggest local Yelp party in history.
Not only did the night cure everybody's cabin fever, but we also raised more than $3,000 for One Heartland, a nonprofit that supports children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and other challenges. (Want to put 'em over the top? Make a donation online!)
The deep roster of local businesses included a blizzard of bites like fresh oysters from Barbette, beef tenderloin and goat cheese-rhubarb panna cotta from Beacon Public House, lingonberry Swedish pancakes from Bryant Lake Bowl, to-die-for chocolate chip cookies from Common Roots, pork belly rilettes from Fika, bison ragu over nettle-potato gnocchi from Gnocchi Me, donut holes from Mojo Monkey Donuts.... OK, coming up for air real quick.... elote and jalapeño sliders from Neato's Food Truck, potato sausage from Red Stag Supperclub, museli parfaits from Seven Sundays, a gourmet marshmallow s'möregåsbord by St. Croix Chocolate Co., craft ice cream from Sweet Science Ice Cream and Vietnamese-marinated barbecue pork tacos from Vellee Deli. Phew, we're hungry again just thinking about it.
Yelpers were warmed from the inside out thanks to the numerous sips available, including Big Gingers by 2 Gingers Whiskey and Dark & Snowstormy cocktails by Bacardi Oakheart and Joia Soda. Guests sampled Oliver Winery varietals, Crispin Cider and hopped around the party to try local beer from Summit Brewing, Fulton Brewery and Harriet Brewing.
Raising a glass wasn't the only way to get the party started at Yelp du Nord! In the company of eight little snowman sentries
, yelpers roasted homemade marshmallows under the stars in the American Swedish Institute's outdoor courtyard while enjoying death-defying fire performances
by Illumination Fire Troupe.
Inside, Smart Candle
provided mood lighting while DJ Sticky from Nora Events
spun jam after jam. We spied dance parties breaking out all over the place—not to mention the four-song encore that ended the night!
Yelpers took turns freeze-framing with cat masks and top hats in the Snap Yourself
booth (an interactive photo station like no other
), while the stylish Canary Grey Photography
stealthily captured all the action shots.
Much of the party was in the new Nelson Cultural Center, but the American Swedish Institute opened up the Turnblad Mansion (i.e. "the castle") for serious exploration too. The museum's curators and guides hosted crazy Q&As as yelpers peered at the Scandinavian jewelry made with human hair and took turns riding Dala, the mechanical Swedish horse.
offered heavily discounted town car rides for the guests to get home safely and a few lucky winners took home posh prizes from Barbette, Red Stag, Bryant Lake Bowl, Pat's Tap, Summit, The Depot Tavern, First Avenue, Surdyk's, Blue Door Pub, Oliver Winery and Parc Boutique!
If you still aren't convinced that this was the best. party. ever.
, you're welcome to read the rave-reviews on Yelp
(or write one yourself if you were there—just remember to hold off on your reviews of the participating businesses until you've had a more typical customer experience). Make sure to check out all the party pics
and photo booth pics as well.
Wanna snag yourself an invitation to future Yelp events
? Check out the Yelp Elite Squad
to learn about our exclusive monthly Elite events and apply online if you think you have what it takes to be part of this league of urban explorers!
There aren't enough thank yous in the world for the American Swedish Institute, all of our generous sponsors, volunteers, Liz W., Tameka D., Caroline R., Tiffany N., Rachel F. and every single soul who came out despite the snowfall and helped make this party the most spectacular thing to have ever happened to February.
Until next time,