2022 in Review – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

MN Enters Its THC Era

In case you forgot, somehow Minnesota “accidentally” legalized THC products in July. The wave of edibles since has exploded, from Bebe Zito introducing THC ice cream to brewers joining the buzz with THC-infused sparkling waters and tonics. It is a hemp heyday for Minnesota farmers? The boom hasn’t slowed down: Minnesota just welcomed its first THC pop-up taproom, and Gov. Walz himself expects full weed legalization in 2023.

Prince Makes a Mark in Downtown Minneapolis

Downtown got a little more purple this year. Hiero Veiga’s $500,000, 100-foot-tall Prince mural marked a Prince resurgence in the city as hundreds gathered to party like it’s 1999 for its unveiling. It now sits in permanent residence on Ramp A, just a few steps away from First Avenue. The same week as its completion—on what would’ve been Prince’s 64th birthday—the city of Minneapolis unveiled a commemorative street sign on the corner of First Avenue & 7th Street naming the one-block stretch Prince Rogers Nelson Way. A few miles away, a celebration of the Purple One’s life made its long-awaited return to Paisley Park after a two-year hiatus. 

Minneapolis Got Its First Five-Star Hotel with the Four Seasons

When the Four Seasons opened its doors in June 2022, it brought more to downtown Minneapolis than just the title of being the metro’s first five-star traveling experience. Its luxurious suites and skyline pool rooms keep guests comfortable and relaxed while Mara, the new Mediterranean hot-spot, and Socca Cafe, the grab-and-go cafe stocked with breakfast and lunch eats, keep Four Seasons guests fed and smiling with delicacies crafted by Twin Cities native and James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen. Speaking of luxury in downtown Minneapolis: the city also got its first communal bath-spa combo in Watershed.


It was a *special* year for Lizzo, wink. She kicked it off with a triple whammy—releasing the single of the summer, “About Damn Time” from her newest album, Special (which has turned out to be her highest charting album so far). She went on to do double duty on SNL in the spring and came back as musical guest in December, shared the stage with Harry Styles at Coachella and released her size-inclusive shapewear, Yitty. She won three Emmy Awards for her Amazon show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, and was named the People’s Champion and highlighted activists at the People’s Choice Awards. She made history and stirred things up by playing James Madison’s 200-year-old crystal flute at the Library of Congress. Lizzo closed off the year at No. 6 on Billboard’s Greatest Pop Stars of 2022. 

Our Women’s Soccer Team Had a Legendary Debut Streak

The Minnesota Aurora, the state’s pre-professional women’s soccer team, scored goals on and off the field for their inaugural season. Setting a precedent for what soccer can be, the uniquely women-led and community-owned team kicked off the season with a 13-game winning streak and made it to the USL W-League finals as the only undefeated team in the league. They suffered their only loss in the league final to the South Georgia Tormenta. During the State Fair, the Aurora unveiled their official mascot, Rory the Aurorasaurus, who will be joining them on the field next season. After their star debut, they made moves to go pro, submitting a bid to join the NWSL that fell short. Setting the bar high, we’re sure this is just the beginning for the Minnesota Aurora.

Minnesota Became an Island for Abortion Rights

When Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, abortion laws all over the country suddenly hung in jeopardy—including in the Midwest. With abortion access severely limited in Wisconsin and North Dakota (NoDak’s only abortion clinic hopped state lines, from Fargo to Moorhead, over the summer) and illegal in South Dakota, Minnesota became many Midwesterners’ main option to find care. Here, Gov. Walz promised “there will never be an abortion ban under [his] watch,” and Mayor Jacob Frey signed an executive order making Minneapolis  a “safe haven” for people looking for abortion access and reproductive health care.

The Supper Club Is Back

One thing we can agree upon with our neighbors to the east? There’s nothing wrong with a good supper club experience. And this year, the metro saw a surge in supper clubbing that northern Minnesota (and, yes, Wisconsin) should be proud of. For months, it was hard to get a reservation at south Minneapolis’s Creekside Supper Club. The opening of Mr. Paul’s Supper Club brought a welcome dose of NOLA (and a solid Hurricane) to 50th & France. And, more recently, Apostle Supper Club opened with a little vintage-groovy glitz near the Xcel in St. Paul. We’re not really sure what decade it is, but hey, we’re not mad about it—and, after the supper club boom, we can’t wait to see what 2023 brings to the restaurant scene.


Democrats took over state government in this year’s election, taking control of both the state House and Senate, and brought about historic victories and firsts that are culminating into Minnesota’s most diverse Legislature ever. Three black women were elected to the Senate for the first time, including Zaynab Mohamed, the youngest woman and first Gen Z candidate to serve in the Legislature. Additionally, Minnesota welcomed its first Japanese American legislator (Samantha Sencer-Mura), first openly nonbinary lawmaker (Alicia Kozlowski), and first transgender legislator (Leigh Finke).

A Year of Labor Movements

It’s been a landmark year for labor movements in Minnesota, from the nearly three week Minneapolis teacher and education support professional’s strike in March, to the three-day-long, 15,000-nurse walkout in September—the largest nursing strike of its kind in U.S. history. Unions have also been popping up in places historically not seen before, like the Minnesota Historical Society, where they’ve been fighting for their first contract since June. Starbucks, Amazon, and Apple Stores in Minnesota have also seen unionization.


In June of 2020, George Floyd became a name that sparked a revolution. After Floyd, a Black man who was murdered by white Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, people took to the streets worldwide to protest systemic racism and broken policing. In February, former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter was sentenced to two years in state prison after being convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright. Also that month, the three former MPD officers who stood by as Chauvin murdered Floyd were convicted of federal civil rights violations.

By November, 12 protestors won a $600,000 settlement from the city after being harmed by MPD officers during the uprising. The settlement includes a ban on the city from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical violence on lawful protesters—including pepper spray and foam-tipped bullets. Brian O’Hara, Minneapolis’s new police chief, promised to bring accountability and inclusive leadership when he stepped into the role. The city most recently bought the Speedway gas station located at George Floyd Square, the intersection where Floyd was murdered, in December, hoping to transition the boarded-up building into a center for racial justice healing next year. 

And Finally… Mpls.St.Paul Celebrated a Half-Century

Our editors exhaustively exhumed the archives in honor of our 50th birthday. What would our golden jubilee be without turning up our big stories from each decade and revisiting key figures from the Twin Cities’ past? Revisit our magazine’s history, and see how our state has changed throughout the years.

Gone But Not Forgotten:

  • Mel Reeves, civil rights activist and journalist, (1958—January 6, 2022
  • Clyde Bellecourt, activist and American Indian Movement founder, (May 8, 1936—January 11, 2022)
  • Louie Anderson, comedian, (March 24, 1953—January 21, 2022)
  • Jim Denomie, painter, (1955—March 1, 2022)
  • Marion Barber III, professional football player, (June 10, 1983—June 1, 2022)
  • Hugh McElhenny, Vikings player, (December 31, 1928—June 17, 2022) 
  • Honorary Minnesotan: Claus Oldenburg, Spoonbridge and Cherry sculptor, (January 28, 1929—July 18, 2022)
  • Peter Schjeldahl, art critic, (March 20, 1942—October 21, 2022)
  • Mimi Parker, Low drummer, (September 15, 1967– November 5, 2022)
  • Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, LGBTQ activist and archivist, (1946—December 9, 2022)

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