Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak has the forecast for Twin Cities Pride: “Grown & Sexy”

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Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak with Ellen Degeneres. (Photo: mikeaugustyniak.com)

CBS’ Mike Augustyniak is an avid traveler who has lived in the Twin Cities area for decade. He’s even hung out with Ellen DeGeneres a couple of times.

In addition to predicting the weather, he’s a cocktail mixologist, science blogger, and self-proclaimed “relatable nerd.”

That’s plenty to make the sexy 40-year-old the GayCities Pride Guru for Minneapolis.

Check out Mike’s Twin Cities Pride favorites and musts.

Favorite hangout?

Pride, for me, is about celebrating friendship. Minnesotans are notoriously friendly but hard to get to know (Google “Minnesota Nice”). On Pride weekend, it wouldn’t be hard to get invited to a pool party. Summers are short here, and everyone’s typically in a great mood for those scant warm weeks, so finding new friends shouldn’t be a problem no matter where you go.

What makes Minneapolis Pride?

This is the largest Pride festival between Chicago and Denver, with over 400,000 people watching the Pride parade on Sunday. Twin Cities Pride draws from the entire region — Iowa, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Canada (eh?) and, yes, even Chicagoland, as they celebrate Pride on a different weekend (well, two if you also count Market Days). It’s so much fun to watch the mix of people, families, and — selfishly — the beefy corn-fed farm boys who come to the big city for Pride.

Favorite club?

I tend to skip the all-night sweaty dance inferno (Saloon, I’m looking at you and your outrageous Pride cover charge) for something more low-key. While I’m not a bear or an otter, I end up at Eagle BOLT Bar most often. It’s the closest thing to a judgement-free gay bar I’ve been to. The oldest gay bar in Minnesota is 19 Bar, which is cash only. And shoutout to St. Paul’s super-inclusive Town House Bar where everyone is family.

Sunday brunch?

The parade starts at 11am on Sunday, so you’ll want to eat somewhere near the parade route on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Mercy is on the parade route.

Best place to meet locals?

Get yourself a day pass to Lifetime Fitness at the Target Center where the friendly gym bunnies will get their weekend started. Before you leave, take a selfie and pay respects to the world-famous First Avenue made famous by Prince.

If you’re looking for hotness of a more rugged variety, you should also check out any of the climbing walls at Vertical Endeavors‘ four metro-area locations, the newest of which is a bouldering-only facility in St. Paul, which attracts some of the more hardcore climber types, and their hypnotic back muscles.

On Sunday, after the parade, the scene comes to Lurcat, adjacent to Loring Park. While it almost always comes close to reaching capacity, the spillover into the street always becomes a party in and of itself.

Mike giving a warm summer forecast. (Photo: Mike Augustyniak/Facebook)

Best hotels?

Close to the festival in Loring Park, the parade route, and some of the clubs, there is the newly renovated Hilton in downtown Minneapolis, and the DoubleTree Suites. Farther from the park, but still near nightlife and the parade route are the new Hampton Inn & Suites and the Radisson Blu.

Traveling on daddy’s dime, or looking for a quieter spot to return to after a loud day? Try the Hotel Ivy, a luxury hotel with an on-site gym, spa, and Constantine — a speakeasy-style bar that makes some of the best cocktails in the region.

Best food?

Take an Uber to the North Loop neighborhood, and order the best burger in the Twin Cities at Parlour. Try a beer and a bratwurst on the patio at Butcher & the Boar, which also serves more Knob Creek Single Barrel bourbon than any other bar in the country. Hit up Red Rabbit for homemade pasta or pizza, and affordable and delicious craft cocktails.

Favorite pride cocktail?

Gimlets are easy for even a busy bartender to make because there are only 3 ingredients: spirit, citrus, simple syrup. At the bar, ask for a Vodka Gimlet or a Gin Gimlet and get ready for the Don Draper comments.

Favorite pride event?

My alliance is with the grown-and-sexy demographic, so I’d be remiss not to point out that one of the most inclusive, and raucous, events of the festival happens on Friday night at the aforementioned First Ave. and just so happens to be called Grown & Sexy. This year marks the eighth year for the event, which features performances by burlesque dancers and drag queens, and adult-friendly dance music courtesy DJ Shannon Blowtorch. Another event that’s been going on nearly as long is the Beer Dabbler, located in Loring Park. Finally, for those bookworms like myself, check out the used book sale at Quatrefoil Library, one of the oldest and largest LGBT libraries in the country.

Best parade watching?

Head to Mercy where $5 will get you a ticket to their rooftop and their patio to watch the parade, shows by RuPaul’s Drag Race all-stars, and DJs.

Mike and his pup Lola. (Photo: Mike Augustyniak/Instagram)

What’s a common misconception about meteorologists?
A big misconception is that meteorologists are guessing, or passing along someone else’s forecast. That’s true in only a few cases, nationwide; most of us are real scientists. To get my degrees in atmospheric science, most of my coursework was in math, physics, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics.

I’m so good I can even predict if that statement made you hot. It did not. See?

Pride tips?

Remember – Pride started at a time when LGBTQ+ had more fear and fewer rights than today. Out of that oppression, a movement grew, and that movement helped to carry you to where you are today. Before, during, or after Pride weekend: do something to give back in whatever way you can, large or small. Happy Pride.

Keep up with Mike Augustyniak on Instagram for more Twin Cities meteorological moments.