Wet weekend washout dampens Twin Cities events

Rain left field conditions unplayable at the University of Minnesota, which was set to host the final games of an NCAA Softball Regional Sunday, but the weekend washout even stole Art-A-Whirl’s thunder.

“The turnout has been a little spotty,” said Scully, an artist at a wet and gloomy Art-A-Whirl Sunday.

Much like Sunday’s rainfall, Art-A-Whirl’s foot traffic set a somber tone inside the Grain Belt building in Northeast Minneapolis.

“It feels lighter this year,” said Jean Wright, another artist. “This time of year, the weather is always so unpredictable.”

While artists say unseasonably cold temperatures put a damper on the largest open-studio tour in the country, Katie Hayton and about 4,000 others, took the journey up 120 steps of the Prospect Park Water Tower.

“This is only the second time in 80 years that the tower’s been open on the weekend,” said Joseph Ring, the chairman of Friends of Tower Hill Park.

The 360 degree view of the Twin Cities is unlike any you’ll find on either side of the Mississippi River.

“I’m not native to Minnesota, but I’ve really grown to love the area,” said Katie Hayton. “I’m a hospice nurse and my turf is Minneapolis, so, as I drive around getting to know more about the city and just enjoying the beauty of this great state.”

It’s a beauty that proves every cloud does have a silver lining.

“Just really, really surprised with the weather we thought we’d be here by ourselves, but it was really, really a phenomenal turnout,” Ring added. “People love the tower. They love getting up there on that view deck and we really enjoyed being able to give them the opportunity to be able to do that.”

Art-A-Whirl representatives say an estimated 40,000 people did turn out this weekend, which is on par with last year’s turnout.