Thai New Year, Independent Bookstore Day coming to block of Uptown

Thai Block Party
The Amazing Thailand Songkran Uptown Block Party will beheld on April 27. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

Two seemingly unrelated celebrations hosted by next-door neighbors will bring family friendly fun to Uptown on April 27.

Amazing Thailand and Magers & Quinn Booksellers are both hosting parties, one a celebration of Thai New Year and the other recognizing Independent Bookstore Day.

Hennepin Avenue will be blocked off between Lake and West 31st streets from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, for the Songkran Uptown Block Party, a Thai New Year celebration.

It’s the third year Amazing Thailand and the Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota have collaborated to throw the free block party.

The festival features traditional Thai music and fire dance performances, Thai boxing demonstrations, the annual papaya-salad eating contest and ample street food for sale.

Next door at Magers & Quinn, the bookstore will be offering special sales on exclusive items as part of Independent Bookstore Day.

Inspired by the success of Independent Record Store Day, the bookstore version launched five years ago in California.

“It kind of took off,” said Annie Metcalf, marketing and events coordinator at Magers & Quinn.

Magers & Quinn will be selling signed copies of work from Minneapolis-based author Kate DiCamillo, special pins, rare editions and, for the brave of heart, vinyl versions of Charles Bukowski’s “Uncensored” record.

Local artist Kevin Cannon is again illustrating a Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport, which will allow people to get stamps from 19 independent bookstores in the metro that unlock special discounts.

Other Southwest shops participating in the Independent Bookstore Passport include Birchbark Books at 21st & Penn, Once Upon a Crime at 26th & Lyndale, Paperback Exchange at 50th & Penn and Wild Rumpus at 43rd & Upton.

“It really highlights the variety of independent bookstores in the Twin Cities,” Metcalf said.

Metro Transit will be offering free rides to people heading to Lake & Hennepin on April 27, if they fill out a survey at SongkranUptown.com.

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