This time of year, you don't have to pay to see butterflies, such as this black swallowtail. Photo: Nile Fellows
Conservatory's Obon Festival Turns 20
Photo: Salbal Ghosh
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory celebrates 20 years of lighting lanterns and more during its annual Japanese Obon Festival. The festival includes traditional and contemporary Japanese music, dance, and cultural performances; martial arts demonstrations; bonsai and ikebana floral displays; and nearly two dozen exhibitors. The festival concludes with a traditional lantern-lighting festival at 8 p.m.

Other logistics: More than a dozen food vendors will feature Asian and American festival fare. To accommodate growing crowds, activities are more spread out -- and there are more portable restrooms. There's a free shuttle bus from the school district's service center at 1930 Como, and you can ride Metro Transit for free. Nonetheless, residents on all sides of the park can expect State Fair-style parking congestion.

Details: The festival is this Sunday, Aug. 20, from 3-9 p.m. at the Conservatory. Admission is $5 for teens and adults; $3 for seniors and for children 12 or younger; free for children younger than that. 
State Fair Do's and Don'ts
Especially for those of you who live near the Fairgrounds, District 10 has created a "cheat sheet"  of what is allowed -- and isn't allowed -- in the neighborhood during the 12 days of the State Fair. The guide covers street parking, lawn parking, peddlers, and vendors; includes phone numbers to call about different issues; and offers general advice from neighbors on common courtesy and making the most of the congestion and crowds. You can  find the guide , including a downloadable PDF and code citations, on District 10's website. The Fair starts this Thursday, Aug. 23.
Greg Koch plays a big role in the guitar festival.
A Festival for the Geographically Uncertain
It's called the Lowertown Guitar Festival. But it's actually in Como Park.  The free festival is this Saturday, Aug. 18, from 2-9 p.m. in and around the Lakeside Pavilion. The day includes concerts on the main stage, at the Hamm Waterfall, dockside, and even on a floating stage; an exhibit area; a workshop by Greg Koch; and a raffle for guitars and accessories. 

Featured musicians include headliner Sunny Day, Iraida Noriega, the Greg Koch Duo, Lonesome Dan Kase, Thomas Nordlund, Mike Michel, Siama Matuzungidi, Paul Metzger, Jake Hanson and James Buckley, Greg Herriges, Berta Rojas, and the MacPhail Student Ensemble. 
Squeeze This One in Before the Fair
Like many park festivals, North Dale Booster Club's Summerfest has bouncing contraptions, a climbing wall, games, and food. But Summerfest also has pony rides, music (including an out-of-season appearance by the Winter Carnival's Klondike Kates), the police department's mascot dog (Sgt. Fuzz), and a reptile show from Snake Discovery (including a 7-foot boa). Summerfest is a fund-raiser, which includes a silent auction (cash or credit card only) and "reasonable prices" for some activities.

Details: Summerfest is this Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 5-7:30 p.m. at North Dale Rec Center, 1414 N. St. Albans.
Don't Panic
Delicata learned its lesson in 2017 . This year, it's not competing with food-on-a-stick and bumper-to-bumper parking. So the Pascal St.  restaurant takes a vacation during the State Fair, Aug. 23-Labor Day. It promises to reopen on Sept. 4.
Buses Change Schedules on Saturday
Beginning this Saturday, Aug. 18, Metro Transit is changing schedules on its A Line and Number 3 and 61 routes, which weave their way through District 10. Get the details
District 10 Board Meets Tuesday
The monthly meeting of the Como Community Council board is this Tuesday, Aug. 21. The meeting includes presentations about a contract extension for Lancer Catering at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, and about Saint Paul's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate. Preliminary agenda
Last Chance to Wander Over to Our Survey
This Sunday, Aug. 19, is the last day to take our online survey about walking, bicycling, or rolling around Como Park. We hope you share your experiences and ideas about signs, paths, and generally getting from one part of the park to another.  You can take the survey  in English, Spanish, Hmong, or Somali. 
Photo: Dorothy DiGrigoli
Not That We're Rushing the Season
This is the last weekend Ramsey County will staff lifeguards at its beaches at Lake Josephine, Lake McCarrons, Long Lake, Tony Schmidt Regional Park, and White Bear Lake. Beginning Monday, Aug. 19, you're on your own until these and other beaches officially close for the season Sept. 4.
The Italian version of our namesake.
On the Move This Weekend
  • Juliette's Race: This Saturday, Aug. 18, 9 a.m., Lakeside Pavilion. 5K run/2.5K walk. Benefit for Down Syndrome Foundation. $20 suggested registration.
  • Saint Paul Triathlon: This Saturday, Aug. 18, 7-11 a.m. The triathlon is based in Phalen Park, but the bicycle leg reaches into our neighborhood. Expect sections of Arlington, St. Albans, and Wheelock Parkway to be closed Saturday morning. Also, parking is restricted on Grotto north of Arlington -- something about a detour for the detour for automobiles.
  • Ciro del Lago di Como: This Sunday, Aug. 19, 8:30 a.m., near Duck Point. If our neighborhood lake is indeed named after the much bigger and more glamorous version in Italy, it's only appropriate that the Italian Cultural Center sponsors this 5K fun run in tribute. The event includes a photo exhibit, music, Zumba session, and raffle for cooking and language classes. Plus, there's gelato. Registration: $25
Less of 35W Vanishes This Weekend
MnDOT again is shutting down I-35W this weekend, but only the southbound lanes from County Road C to downtown Minneapolis. As a result, Highway 280 also has reduced access: Northbound lanes are open, but there is no access to southbound 280 from westbound Highway 36 or from southbound 35W. The closures are supposed to last from 9:00 tonight, Friday Aug. 17, until 5 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 20, weather permitting. Access ramps will begin closing an hour before that. 
Jazz vocalist Lee Engele provides an alternative to opening night of the State Fair on Thursday. 
This Week at Spring Cafe
In addition to the Lowertown Guitar Festival (see above), this is what else is going on at the Lakeside Pavilion. (It's all free.)
  • Today, Friday Aug. 17: Yoga on the Lake, 10 a.m.; Choir-aoke with Kith+Kin, 7 p.m.
  • This Sunday, Aug. 19: Machinery Hill, 11 a.m.; Como Pops, 3 p.m.; Moonlight Serenaders, 7 p.m.
  • This Monday, Aug. 20: Harmonic Relief, 7 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, Aug. 21: North Star Chorus/Lake Country Sweet Adelines, 7 p.m. 
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 22: Yoga on the Lake, 10 a.m.; David Zollo, 9:30 p.m.
  • This Thursday, Aug. 23: Lee Engele and Friends. 7 p.m.
  • Next Friday, Aug. 17: Yoga on the Lake, 10 a.m.; Good Morning Bedlam, 7 p.m.
Things That Aren't the State Fair
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 22: Minnesota Distance Running Association Como Park Relays, 6:45 p.m. Main picnic pavilion. Registration: $3-$5, depending on age. Different distances every Wednesday in August.
  • This Thursday, Aug. 23: Back to School Night at Twin Cities German Immersion School, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Next Friday, Aug. 24, 5 p.m.: Deadline to apply for Wilder Foundation's Neighborhood Leadership Program.
  • Next Saturday, Aug. 25: Deadline to fill out the Twin Cities German Immersion School's design survey.
  • Monday Aug. 27: Deadline to apply for "Brush with Kindness" exterior painting program through Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
  • Friday Aug. 31: Deadline for teens in Grades 9-12 to apply for Wilder Foundation's Youth Leadership Initiative.
Have Coffee with a Cop on Wednesday 
Saint Paul Police hold their first "Coffee with a Cop" in District 10 this Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at Spring Café, inside the Como Lakeside Pavilion. The outreach event gives community members direct access to area commanders and patrol officers in an informal atmosphere with no agenda. And you don't even have to buy the coffee.

Wednesday's event does not replace the monthly Western District community meetings, which take place this Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 389 N. Hamline. If you go, you'll meet command staff, hear about the latest crime trends in the city and district, be able to raise your individual concerns, and be able to grab all the crime prevention fliers you can use.  
We Can Help with Your Party    
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties, neighborhood, or family events. 

The street barricades are required by the city when you block off your street or alley -- but ours are a more-affordable option than getting them from Public Works.  Barricades require a $50 deposit. We return $40 when you return the barricades.  Reservations are first-come, first-served. ( To borrow our barricades, you must have an event permit from the city.)

You can borrow the recycling containers for free; there are two kinds:
  • For cans, bottles and other items you can include in your weekly recycling.
  • For food scraps and other compostable organics.
To reserve any of this equipment, call our office at 651-644-3889, or send us an email.
Streetcar Station is Open Sundays
The exhibit space at the Como Park Streetcar Station is now open for the season every Sunday from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to learn a bit about the history of Como Park, pick up replacement organics recycling bags, or just share comments and suggestions with the District 10 board member on duty. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.  
Spread the Word
District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the community. The Council's mission is to inform, educate, and connect the neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence. 

You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.