Monday was a great experience at the Opening Night event at the Xcel Center. I arrived a little early, so I took a quick walk through the Winter Carnival. Beautiful ice sculptures,. I believe it will run through the first week of February if you want to check it out!
At the Xcel, about 100 of us gathered together to be the greeters and assist fans with their experience. I wasn't planning to be outside, but did bring my winter gear just in case. It turned out that they needed more of us outside and so I volunteered. We were a team of 6 that rotated outside every 25 minutes. We were on the corner of Kellogg and 7th, so it was a busy intersection at Gate 2. We directed fans and media to their gates, watched a protest for education and talked to a few National Guard that were in our area and assisting officers.
In our down time, we had a free meal and had a chance to enjoy the event. I couldn't believe all of the media! Wow! During "halftime" they showed Super Bowl Live on the screen with Sheila E and The Time on the stage. Loved the Prince music!
I have to say that I did see a lot of Minnesota Nice. There were some Philly fans in the house, but definitely more Vikings and Patriots fans. When the Eagles team was announced, there was some booing, but that is to be expected. Overall, no issues and a good event.
Security is at an all-time high. Everywhere I went, there was high-security. From picking up my credentials to the event earlier in the day to working our shift. While working, we had to go through security each time we went in after our shift outside.
Tuesday I was at the Mall of America with about 40 other volunteers to help their staff set up for an event in the amusment park. It was the first time ever that they have closed the amusement park for a full day. The private party was in the evening for all of the media, (about 5,000 people!). The volunteer shift consisted of setting up tables and seating, and watching the entrances so guests didn't wander into the park and to let the vendors in and out.
I did have a chance to wander the mall during my break and visited Radio Row. It just so happened that Stefon Diggs was interviewing at the time, so had a glimpse of one of my favorite players!
Today we head up to the Cities as a family to enjoy festivities and find out if Ally wins the Super Snack Challenge! Stay tuned...