6th Annual Wedge LIVE Cat Tour*
NOW AT RISK DUE TO MAYORAL VETO
June 29, 2022 – 6 p.m. Mueller Park, Minneapolis
(25th & Bryant Ave S)
*Pending the approval of street improvements by the Minneapolis City Council.
Update 6/21/2022: This event is at risk of being cancelled or moved out of Minneapolis due to Mayor Frey’s veto of full-time bus lines on Hennepin Ave. His decision disregards last Thursday’s vote of the City Council, the recommendation of his own Public Works staff, a letter from Minneapolis’ entire 15 member state legislative delegation, the preference of Metro Transit to ensure the success of a $60 million transit upgrade (E Line bus rapid transit), and most importantly the needs of my tourgoers. The City Council’s first chance to override Frey’s veto is June 30, so we are postponing this event indefinitely as we work out a contingency plan and discuss the potential need for relocation of the tour to another city.
Nationally-heralded cat tour guide Chet Wedgely (recently featured in the faith-based animal magazine “All Creatures”) is back for a 6th season of Cats of the Wedge.
Or is he? This year’s tour is all set and ready to go. The cats have been working out and eating right, practicing their parade waves. But despite that preparation, it could all be derailed by politics.
As Chet said in his press release:
“One factor complicating this year’s cat tour planning process is the commitment of the City of Minneapolis to a safe and people-friendly streetscape. The Wedge LIVE cat tour brings hundreds of people to Wedge neighborhood sidewalks for a long walk through the neighborhood to look at cats. Whether they arrive by foot, bike, bus, or car, I am committed to the safety and comfort of my tour-goers. I expect the same commitment from the city.
“This shouldn’t be hard. This is about following through on the city’s own adopted transportation policies. I’m calling on the Minneapolis City Council to approve the reconstruction plans for Hennepin Avenue, as recommended by the city’s professional transportation planners and traffic engineering staff. This means safe and convenient travel for everyone: pedestrian improvements, a bike route, a full-time bus lane, a center median, and left turn lanes. If the current plan is not approved by June 29, I will suspend cat tour operations within city limits. I will then appoint a cat tour work group tasked with identifying potential alternate sites for my nationally-heralded cat tour, to resume in 2023 and beyond.
“Anyone who thinks I won’t pull the plug on this wildly successful local institution for the sake of a 24/7 bus lane, is greatly underestimating what a giant weirdo I am. Don’t call my bluff. Don’t make me cancel this cat tour.”
It is my hope the city will do the right thing. I just wanted everyone to know before booking those non-refundable tickets and hotel rooms. Feel free to let the City Council know how much a viable and healthy cat tour industry in Minneapolis means to you.
The cat tour, assuming it happens, is appropriate for all ages and skill levels. If you are unable to spot cats, your tour guide will point them out for you.
If you live in the neighborhood and would like a chance to have your cat featured on the tour, register your cat at: wedgelive.com/registermycat