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Have you ever wanted to wrestle your next door neighbor or jam out to a jug band?

posted Sep 11, 2012, 4:19 PM by Stephanie Hankerson   [ updated Sep 15, 2012, 11:26 AM ]
by Alison Henderson
(image from http://www.facebook.com/comoavejugband)
Have you ever wanted to wrestle your next door neighbor or jam out to a jug band? Now is your chance.

For the tenth year in a row, the Southeast neighborhood will be providing its residents with booty-shaking music, mouth-watering food and activities you won’t want to pass up at the Como Cookout.

The entertainment will last all day, showcasing bands such as Prairie Fire Lady Choir, Como Ave. Jug Band and Kidsdance. The entertainment bill also features El Guante, a local hip-hop artist, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, social justice activist and educator, according to his Facebook page.

Attendees will snack on corn, baked potatoes, hot dogs, and Qdoba. Meat will be provided by local vendors like Fischer Farms in Waseca, MN.

The Cookout will provide face-painting, hair-braiding, a bouncy house, human bingo and plenty of children's’ games. Participants a chance to help with the painting of the Gateway Mural on Fifteenth Avenue and challenge themselves to an arm wrestling competition.

Josh Handeland, who is a resident in Southeast Como, organized the tournament, and has hosted three in the past. The tournament is split into men’s, women’s and children’s division, but that doesn’t stop other creatures from winning.   

“Last year there were lots of great matches, Handeland said. “Goldy the Gopher actually came and took on the champion of the kids’ class!”

The Cookout will also hold a silent auction. Laura Hurley, a neighborhood liaison in the area helped round up prizes from local businesses like a Varsity Theater concert series, gift certificates to Espresso Royale, Eric’s Bike Shop and Northrup. The largest item up for bid is a free month membership to Anytime Fitness with personal training and tanning.  

Hurley said that all proceeds will be donated to youth programs at Van Cleve Park.

The Cookout was made possible by several organizations in the area including the Southeast Como Improvement Association, U of MN Student and Community Relations and U of MN Coca-Cola Development Initiative.

University of Minnesota student Gabby Helmen-Clazmer helped apply for the Coca-Cola grant. Helmen-Clazmer said she is excited for the entertainment and the chance to meet other people in the neighborhood.

“This is a unique event. There isn’t that many events on campus like this, so it’s great place to find local music and local food,” Helmen-Clazmer said.

The Como Cookout is on Sunday, September 16 from 2-5 p.m. at Van Cleve Park.