Saint Paul Parks Offer Potential

Brian Horst is the creator of four performing series in Saint Paul parks.

With the number of beautiful parks in Saint Paul, it’s easy to see why Brian Horst saw the potential to celebrate the arts and build community at the same time. Horst, founder of B Horst Productions, is the man behind many of the performances and activities in Saint Paul parks.

The original series, Music in Mears Park, started in 2004. Music in Mears was “designed to promote local artists and to help revitalize and energize the Lowertown community,” Horst says, adding that this summertime event had potential to grow, and that is exactly what it did. Starting with only four performances, Music in Mears soon became a 12-week series.
But this success only kick-started a bigger movement for Horst.

Horst was approached to do a similar series in Rice Park that started last year. While he embraced the challenge, Horst says he wanted this series to be a little different than the one in Mears Park. For this reason, Rhythm in Rice was created as “more of an international series” with a global theme.

2017 is the inaugural year for Horst’s latest series, Performances in Pedro. Pedro Park will be showing local films and feature live theater performances.

While these other parks only offer entertainment, Horst also helped start what he calls a “philanthropic happy hour beer garden.” At the Kellogg Craft Beer Overlook – KCBO, staff members from nonprofits can talk about their organizations and raise money through beer sales. Great River Greening is one of many nonprofits to embrace the opportunity. Others include Bike MN Alliance of Minnesota, Arc’s Value Village and Saint Paul Prep Academy.

Horst sees all of these series as helping to strengthen the bond of community in Saint Paul. “They support local art and support cohesiveness of the community,” he says.

Each of the parks offer their events through August with Performances in Pedro every Wednesday, Music in Mears every Thursday, and Rhythm in Rice every Friday. The Kellogg Park beer garden is Tuesday through Friday and runs through the end of October.