Grand Old Days 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

As a Saint Paul Girl, Grand Old Days is considered pretty much a holiday for myself. Since I was a little girl I have been going to the annual celebration. On this day the street closes for people to walk about and go from beer garden to beer garden, listen to country music, eat lots and lots of greasy food, and even see a llama or two. In case if you are someone from the burbs who might not be as experienced with Grand Old Days here are some expert tips coming from an age old Grand Old Day girl- and my review of this years festivities.

  1. The Parade: Bring a chair because this parade can take a while. The parade features local businesses, groups, and schools on floats (some which are more creative than others) who tend to chuck candy straight at little kids. It's pretty much like Halloween 2.0 at this parade so be warned- bring a bag, because if you have that adorable munchkin with you around, you are bound to have a bag full of candy by the end of the parade. Since not every intersection of Grand is closed to traffic the parade can take a while (this year it was an hour and a half) so be prepared to have SPF 50, a snack, and lots of water along with you.  
  2.  Be prepared to walk: There are a lot of things to see on Grand Avenue that you won't want to miss for Grand Old Days including the petting zoo, the beer gardens, and food vendors throughout the avenue. The street is blocked off into several 'zones' to make certain areas more kid friendly than others. Be warned that these zones do have gaps in between them that can be fairly large so get ready to walk around folks. 
  3. Food: Compared to previous years were you had to buy tickets to purchase food, you can now simply use your cash and even sometimes your credit card at vendors. If you had in mind buying food from one of your favorite restaurants on Grand be ready for potential disappointment- not even restaurant will choose to sell their food that day and would rather be closed. But don't worry- there are many options to choose from including local food trucks such as the Falafel King that will make you happy. If you are looking for something on a budget head over to Punch Pizza for a $1 a slice. 
  4. Booze: This can be a tricky situation. Some bars will have entry fees while others won't (this year Axel's Bonfire and Wild Onion did not). Be ready to have some patience when it comes to ordering and getting your drink because the foot traffic in the bar is triple the amount the staff is used to. If you're interested in going to the beer gardens buy tickets online for a discounted price. 
  5. Have fun! This is a great kick off to the summer and is personally one of my favorite things to do. Every year I find myself enjoying a different aspect of Grand Old Days more than the previous. 

Did you go to Grand Old Days this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 

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