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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday February 22nd 2024


By Sue Hunter Weir

fed by Hola Arepa and Dandelion Kitchen

Friends of the Cemetery have had little time to savor their recent 2011 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award from last year”'s remarkable Concert in the Cemetery by Jeremy Messersmith and others as they prepare for another concert in the Cemetery this year.

On June 9th, musical artists Zoo Animal will begin the concert at 5:30 p.m. and will build up the crescendo of anticipation leading up to the headline performance by Low, well known rock group, taking the stage at 7:00 p.m.

Hola Arepa and Dandelion Kitchen will sell some great food during the concert. This is an alcohol-free, family-friendly event.  In addition to the music, there will be fun activities for kids and If you missed last year”'s benefit concert at Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery (and even if you didn”'t””maybe especially if you didn”'t), you”'ll have another chance to hear some great music in one of Minneapolis”'s most unusual and interesting concert venues.  On Saturday, June 9th, Indie band Low, with special guest Zoo Animal, will headline the second annual benefit concert at Minneapolis”' Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery (2925 Cedar Avenue South).

Low, one of the best-known indeed rock groups to come out of Minnesota formed in Duluth in 1993. The band consists of Alan Sparhawk, Mimie Parker, and Steve Garrington. Often labeled slowcore, their music has also been described as “hypnotic and entrancing” by nationally renowned music critic Jim Derogatis. Low”'s performance will include songs from their most recent album, C”'mon, which music critic Chris Riemenschneider calls “some of the prettiest, warmest music they have made together.”

Proceeds from the performance will help support our efforts to restore the historic steel and limestone pillar fence that serves as the border of the cemetery along Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. Last year”'s concert featured Jeremy Messersmith with Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles opening the show.  It was spectacular in every way””a perfect day for perfect music.  Nearly 1,500 people attended and over $30,000 was raised from ticket sales and a grant from the American Express Partners in Preservation program, a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation.

In 2008, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota placed Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers on its “Ten Most Endangered” list in order to draw attention to the work that needs to be done in order to protect and preserve this unique place in our state and city”'s history.  We”'ve been working hard to make the cemetery one of the Preservation Alliance”'s success stories and have the cemetery removed from the Endangered List.  Pioneers and Soldiers is the only cemetery in Minnesota listed as an individual landmark in the National Register of Historic Places and has also been designated a local landmark by the City of Minneapolis”' Heritage Preservation Commission, and it”'s right here in the heart of the Phillips Community.

Our goal is to have 75 percent of the fence restoration project (50 of the 67 sections) completed by Spring 2013. Phase I and Phase II, which included the cemetery gates and several sections of the fence, are completed. Phase III of the fence restoration project is about to begin and will restore 12 additional sections of the fence along Lake Street. In January 2012, Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery was awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Program grant in the amount of $150,000. The grant award will fund Phase IV, which is scheduled to start this fall and restore 22 additional sections along Lake Street and Cedar Avenue.

The recently restored gates will open at 4:30 p.m. on June 9th, with Zoo Animal performing at 5:30 p.m. and Low taking the stage at 7:00 p.m.  Hola Arepa and Dandelion Kitchen will sell some great food during the concert. This is an alcohol-free, family-friendly event.  In add  Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the show.  Tickets are limited, so advanced purchase is advised.

Please join us for a great event in support of a great cause.ition to the music, there will be fun activities for kids and adults. Bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on.

Bike parking will be available within the cemetery. Free parking will be available at the Greenway Office Building, (2801 21st Avenue South) and the Community Education Services Building, (2225 East Lake Street) parking lots. On-street parking is also available. No parking will be available within the cemetery Tickets are not required for children 12 years and under, however donations are accepted.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at Electric Fetus, Hymie”'s Vintage Records, Treehouse Records, and online at

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