MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA —
It’s -11 degrees Celsius here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but it feels like -20. The sun has set and the wind is whipping — anywhere else and that would be the perfect excuse to stay indoors.
But here, on the eve of the biggest football game of the year, the biggest party of the year is outside in the streets. Super Bowl Live is more than a week of non-stop entertainment, leading up to Sunday’s NFL championship between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
The theme of this Super Bowl party is “the Bold North.” Minnesota is the very definition of the “Bold North” — to most, the idea of being outside in this weather is something more than bold, but here in the north, it’s just life.
WATCH: Thousands of Football Fans Party in the Streets on the Eve of the Super Bowl
‘It isn't that cold’
We asked a few local residents to explain Minnesota’s relationship with the cold.
“Where else are you going to be able to do this?” asked Troy Presler. “To come to a place like Minneapolis, where you spend three, four months in this kind of weather and just enjoy it, absorb it. It’s something that no other Super Bowl is ever going to have.”
Ryan Provos jumped in with a refrain we have heard many times on our trip to Minneapolis, regardless of the temperature outside:
“This isn’t that cold! This is warm right now!”
Katie, another local, agreed: “The weather is beautiful, and this is what we do! This is what we do as Minnesotans!”
Food, and more food
Like any good party, Super Bowl Live has lots to do. You can take the ultimate winter selfie in a life-sized snow globe, dance and sing along with local bands, and eat — then eat some more. Pizza, pretzels, barbecue, french fries, you name it.
Americans probably eat more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year, and tonight is your best chance to get warmed up for the big day.
Another annual highlight of Super Bowl Live has a new twist this year. On the same block as the food trucks — but inside, thankfully — you can also catch some adorable young cats playing in their own feline version of the Super Bowl, the Kitten Bowl, which replaces the traditional Puppy Bowl. Don’t worry, though: both the Kitten Bowl and Puppy Bowls can still be seen on television, but only the cats made the trip to Minneapolis this year.
Let it snow
Back outside, the snow is really picking up, and locals, Brad and Allie Novy, berate us for our climate-controlled, indoor detour.
“You can’t just hide inside all day,” Brad scolds.
“This is Minnesota! Experience the culture and the weather ... that’s what it’s all about,” Allie adds.
Heeding the advice of our new friends, that’s exactly what we do. Out in the cold, alongside thousands of others who have come to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, and the local residents who show us how to truly party like Minnesotans.
VOA’s Arash Arabasadi contributed to this report.