Minnesotan in training


So much to talk about, so little time. That’s how I feel about the long weekend, especially Saturday, so I’ll start there.
After battling for 11 innings, the Lakers found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 score against the Luverne Redbirds. 
Talk about a heartbreaker.
Obviously, after winning the 2012 championship and returning a nearly identical team, the expectations were high. And, obviously, it would have been particularly special to repeat as champions in front of a packed home crowd.
Instead, the community was forced to watch the Sartell Muskies hoist the trophy on Monday.
Regardless, I tip my proverbial hat to the home team for another solid season. 
Despite all the extra work of co-hosting the Class C Championship, the black and yellow squad focused on the task at hand every game.
The community, including a host of volunteers, helped make it all possible by supporting the team in every way – from cheering, to prepping the stadium, to stepping up to make sure every tournament-time position was filled.
Everyone involved deserves a pat on the back because the good news is Maple Lake was showcased very well.
Though I was hoping to cover a repeat performance from the Lakers, I still enjoyed documenting the success they had, with help from Charlene Wurm and Martin Castro, of LMC Photography. It was great to know someone had my back, including Saturday evening.
Months ago, Sarah and I had purchased tickets to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis close out Saturday’s events at the Minnesota State Fair. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
Before the show even started, we were among the hundreds of fans waiting for him to visit the KDWB radio booth. Initially scheduled to appear around 4 p.m., he was unable to show up until about 7:30, even though one of his opening acts had already started the show without him.
It was worth the wait, despite how antsy I was, when Macklemore gave a glimpse into the person behind some of the most popular music of the past year. He talked about being a normal person despite the newfound fame and encouraged everyone to be true to themselves rather than trying to emulate others. Apparently, some had missed the memo, as they sported the independent artist’s hairstyle and similar clothes. 
I found it ironic.
Inside the grandstand, the show was postponed due to severe weather. Thanks to a new friend we made there and friends we hadn’t seen since the last Great Minnesota Get-Together, the wait went pretty quickly. 
Once again, it was worth the wait, with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis delivering their high-octane hits that got the crowd moving and singing along. Yes, it would have been nice to hear more than an hour of music from them, but that just gives more reason to see them the next time they return to the state with more mainstream tunes in their repertoire.
Even the late-night ride home was a fun experience.
Riding a bus from the fairgrounds to Maple Grove, it didn’t take long to realize I was surrounded by Maple Lakers.
Not wanting to wait for another bus, Sarah and I had found ourselves standing in the aisle of the bus, along with a gentleman who gave up his seat for a gal who was in no shape to stand for that amount of time. His daughter called a cab for the stranger and her friend to make sure they’d get home safely.
Even though I warned them, I won’t mention any names, but it was great to see the hospitality extend beyond the city limits of this town. I also enjoyed talking to them about a Maple Lake legend whom I had never met, yet knew had made a huge difference in the town and beyond.
The positive energy on that bus capped off a long, eventful day.
Let’s just say, now I know why they call it the Great Minnesota Get-Together and I’m glad I could be a part of it for the second year in a row.
It was the highlight of my weekend. Hopefully everyone else had a safe, fun weekend as well.