Renaissance Festival mystery men, salty roads and fiery shows | News

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If you’ve seen tickets or billboards for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, you may have asked yourself one important question: Is that guy with the sword and the fantasy haircut Jake Gyllenhaal?

Gyllenhaal, known for his standout roles in “Nightcrawler,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Donnie Darko,” would be an unlikely choice for a ticket model for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, but the resemblance is a little uncanny.

As it turns out, the person on the ticket is the creation of a graphic designer based out of the Renaissance Festival’s Michigan office. The designer, who said she preferred not to share her name, said she based the design off of an entertainer who works at the Michigan site — whom she also declined to name.

At no point in the design process did she use the visage of American actor Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal as inspiration.

“Someone else in the office did say he kind of looked like him,” she said of the person pictured on the ticket.

She asked what all these questions were for, and was informed that it was for a section of the newspaper for short, interesting tidbits. She asked if the reporter genuinely thought this information to be “interesting.” The reporter responded that she did. The conversation ended soon after.

All icy roads lead to Savage

Every year when winter arrives, Minnesotans drive on roads treated with salt.

Did you know that all of that salt first travels through Port Cargill in Savage?

It first comes from a mine in Avery Island, Louisiana. Then it travels by barge for 25 days to get to Savage, said George Pappajohn, a plant manager for Cargill Salt at Port Cargill in Savage.

Port Cargill handles over 500,000 tons of salt per year, Pappjohn said. More than 400 Minnesota Department of Transportation locations use the salt, he said.

From those locations, trucks take the salt to treat snowy, icy roads.

And that’s the rest of the (salty) story.

There is one thing people expect when they see the Fandazzi Fire Circus perform at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival: More fire!

And the Fandazzi Fire Circus performers usually give it to them, even if a breeze is rustling the nearby trees.

But the Fandazzi Fire Circus is looking to give the Shakopee community a little something extra: support for the local fire department.

When the Fandazzi Fire Circus opened this year at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, they debuted a new T-shirt design: “What do you want?” written on the back and “More Fire!” on the front.

The kicker: Fandazzi Fire Circus is giving a portion of each T-shirt sale to the Shakopee Fire Department. According to member Adam Solko, Fandazzi Fire Circus decided this year to give back to the fire departments in the cities they perform in, and Shakopee is the first.

The T-shirts can only be purchased at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, outside the Gypsy Stage, for $20.

If you see fire breathers, don’t be alarmed, you are in the right place.

With all the excitement of the Indian Horse Relays at Canterbury Park Aug. 24 to Aug. 26, attendees might have missed the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community mobile medical clinic.

The clinic is a 76-foot tractor trailer that travels around the state offering lifesaving screenings and has been doing so since 2007.

The mobile unit was started by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Health Department and Mdewakanton Emergency Services because “the high rates of cancer of all types in Native communities as well as the need for on-site services to improve health screening rates for earlier detection of problems,” according to the clinic’s website.

The mobile unit has two radiology suites for chest X-rays and mammography as well as a general laboratory. Services include blood drawing, x-rays, dental cleanings and check-ups, diabetes screening and care, cancer screenings and more.

“There aren’t many options in the middle of the Twin Cities, besides the state fairgrounds or the north side, so I think it’s a good fit for where it is.”

– Pinnacle Production Group President and CEO Sanjay Syal, on the Lantern Light Festival being in Shakopee.

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