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Big, busy weekend ahead in the Twin Cities

Updated: July 12, 2019 06:51 PM

It will be a busy weekend in the Twin Cities. The Basilica Block Party just got underway Friday. Headliners for the weekend include Kacey Musgraves and Jason Mraz. Thousands of kids from across the country are also in town for Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Youth Gathering. Plus, the Target USA Cup, formerly known as the Schwan’s Cup, gets underway this weekend in Blaine.

It's a tradition in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, as the Basilica Block Party takes over.

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"It's a really big deal ... Lots of people expected, people can expect a really good year this year," said Racine Hansen, the event chairman.  

There are new food and beer choices that close to 30,000 people will get to enjoy as they listen to their favorite bands on Friday and Saturday.

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"We do have the area for the campus of the Block Party blocked off for everybody's safety," Hansen said.

The big, busy weekend continues at the National Sports Center in Blaine, just north of the Twin Cities. Richard Kepski is in town from Illinois for the event.

"It's a wonderful event ... We love being here in Minneapolis," Kepski said.

The Youth USA Cup has more than 16,000 players and their families descending on the area this weekend.

Kepski added, "It amazed us as to the enormity of this event ... Getting from point A to point B is probably going to be a little trickier."

And then there's the buzz from an event happening in downtown Minneapolis at the Convention Center. About 23,000 people are participating in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Youth Gathering.

"It's pretty cool, just to have that many people congregate in one area to celebrate all the same thing ... It's just a really moving experience to have everyone here," said Nicole Ogborn, of Minnesota-based Feed My Starving Children.

Some of the high schoolers made birthday packages for those with disabilities. Others made diapers for families in developing countries. And more filled meal boxes for Feed My Starving Children.

"One of our hopes is that they're inspired, not just to serve Minneapolis over this time, but to go back into their own communities," said Derek Broten, the LCMS Youth Gathering program director.

Getting the kids to and from the projects, however, is a daunting task.

"We've got about 6,000 participants on the Metro," Broten said.

When the LCMS Youth Gathering wraps up Monday morning, Metro Transit is asking participants to use the second and third light rail cars to accommodate regular daily riders.

It all adds up to a lot of excitement in the cities this weekend, but also a very busy one.

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Brandi Powell

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