Newspaper article

One Night in St. Paul: 'Dreams Come True' Revelry -- and Bob Dylan

Newspaper article

One Night in St. Paul: 'Dreams Come True' Revelry -- and Bob Dylan

Article excerpt

It's been a historic week in downtown St. Paul, particularly at River Centre and the Xcel Energy Center, which kicked off the week with two concerts from Madonna, who Saturday night encouraged her fans to vote for President Barack Obama and to defeat the anti-gay- marriage amendment.

Tuesday night, River Centre played host to the state DFL victory party. The wee-hour celebration of Obama's win and the defeat of the anti-gay-marriage amendment spilled over to the Capitol steps Wednesday evening, where a thousand or so revelers basked in an OutFront Minnesota-organized victory party that brought speeches from activists, organizers and politicians.

"This fight started in 2003 when my esteemed colleague Michele Bachmann started this effort. After 10 long years, we've settled the question now," said state Sen. Scott Dibble, who was flanked by friends, family members, and the august backdrop of the Capitol building and dome. "We invite you to step out of the shadows of misunderstanding and fear, and open up your hearts."

Love was all around. Signs and banners dotted the crowd, proclaiming, "Dreams Come True," "Thank You, Minnesota!" and "God Bless Everyone Everywhere." Before the speakers took the stage, the Pet Shop Boys' "Winner" pulsed over the P.A. with the salient missive, "This is the moment we'll remember every day for the rest of our lives/Time may rush us hurt or love us/But on this day we have arrived."

"Tonight we close the chapter on 'No' and open the chapter on 'Yes,'" said TakeAction Minnesota Executive Director Dan McGrath, to a spontaneous chant of "Yes, yes, yes!"

Amidst the cheers, the mood at the Capitol was one of pervasive relief, shock and low-grade elation. A similar weariness was palpable across the way at the X, where Bob Dylan returned to perform for the first time since his election-night concert at Northrop Auditorium in 2008. Plenty of well-worn "Vote No" and Obama T-shirts hung on fans, and conversations about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado abounded, but for the most part there was only an unspoken sense of history being made. …

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