Downtown Minneapolis got down to business this past weekend.
Men, women, kids, and giant bananas danced their faces off on Saturday night, as the Decentralized Dance Party brought its "Strictly Business" traveling street party to town.
The meet-up point for the blowout was announced just hours before the event kicked off. Partiers were alerted via email, Facebook, and Twitter to convene at the Spoonbridge and Cherry in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at 8 p.m. sharp.
A crowd of what looked to be around 400-500 gathered at the starting point, decked out in their best business attire while brandishing everything from switchboard phones to potted office plants. It took the "Elite Banana Task Force" (a crew of volunteers sporting sweet banana costumes) around 20-30 minutes to tune all of the boom boxes to the master FM frequency (about 100 were laid out by the pond by the DDP, in addition to the ones people brought themselves). Once they had everyone aligned, it was time to get things started.
The music was bumping, and the group starting breaking it down with their best dance moves. Some passersby looked on confused or took pics of the party (including one mortified group of high schoolers trying to take prom photos), while others didn't hesitate to get in on the action. Soon, the crowd began moving through the garden, before heading up on to the overpass and into Loring Park.
As they moved, more and more partiers joined in on the action as the DDP broke out the portable strobe lights and smoke machines just outside of Loring Kitchen. But that was just the beginning.
The real party started once the crew moved further into downtown and toward Peavey Plaza, where Occupy protesters were staked out. Pretty soon it was just one big party, as the protesters joined the celebrants in the party-Armageddon, with crowd size quickly growing to roughly 1,000 people.
While most crowds this size would be a cause for concern with the Minneapolis Police, the DDP and police were partying in harmony, with officers helping to control traffic and ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
Mitch Ozmun, one of the DDP's event organizers, was super-stoked about the event's success.
"I was really impressed with the crowd at Minneapolis. The cops were awesome. They helped us out a lot, controlling traffic and letting us carry on with the party route. And it sounds like they had a lot of fun themselves just observing," he says.
While the crew left town as quickly as they arrived (the next party is taking place in Chicago this week), Mitch and company are hoping to make another appearance in the Twin Cities.
"I would love to come back to Minneapolis at some point in the future; it's a pretty fun city."