Political, historical exhibits showcased at CivicFest

Public relations senior, Matt Barthelemy, in converse, walked past a white house facade Friday during the Civic Fest at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Civic Fest offers a look into American history and includes models of Air Force One, the White House and The Oval Office.

Ali Haupt

Public relations senior, Matt Barthelemy, in converse, walked past a white house facade Friday during the Civic Fest at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Civic Fest offers a look into American history and includes models of Air Force One, the White House and The Oval Office.

A scale replica of the White House i s now on display at CivicFest, a political and historical exhibit at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event, which runs Aug. 29 through Sept. 4, also includes replicas of the Oval Office and Air Force One. ThereâÄôs a collection of dresses worn by first ladies and more than 150 U.S. flags. The nonpartisan event was produced by the Minneapolis-Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee and created to coincide with the Republican National Convention. Gerard McTernan, CivicFestâÄôs executive producer, said the event is intended to present MinnesotaâÄôs history to state visitors while extending the convention experience to those not taking part in the RNC. McTernan also said CivicFest features a âÄúonce-in-a-lifetimeâÄù combination of historical artifacts. âÄúWeâÄôre bringing together a lot of exhibits that will never be together again,âÄù he said. McTernan said he figured the average attendee spends three hours at CivicFest. At âÄúThe Eagle, National Emblem of the United States âÄù exhibit, a live bald eagle from the UniversityâÄôs Raptor Center was on display on Aug. 29. Adam Barnett, a Raptor Center interpreter naturalist , said the exhibitâÄôs purpose is to teach people about the history of bald eagles and previous conservation efforts. âÄúItâÄôs just a good event to bring our national symbol to and let people get up close and educate them about the birds,âÄù he said. Josh Sandey, 23 , and Rebekah Sandey , 28, said the RNC and CivicFest were inspiring a âÄúpatriotic moodâÄù in people. The Air Force One exhibit was one of their favorites. âÄúWith the convention being in town, itâÄôs interesting to see weâÄôve attracted all this,âÄù Josh Sandey said. âÄúItâÄôs nice to have the exposure for the state.âÄù Former University student Khanh Nguyen , 33, said his interest in government attracted him to CivicFest. Nguyen said events like CivicFest get people excited about politics. âÄúAny time they have a convention, things like these are a great way to get kids and families involved in the political process,âÄù Nguyen said. But while organizers said theyâÄôre expecting about 150,000 visitors, some University students hadnâÄôt even heard about CivicFest. Jerome Harrison , a senior journalism major, wasnâÄôt familiar with CivicFest. Harrison said heâÄôd be interested in going, but he hadnâÄôt heard about it yet. First-year nursing student Faduma Mohamed didnâÄôt know about the event either. Mohamed said CivicFestâÄôs exhibits sounded intriguing, but she didnâÄôt think sheâÄôd be going. âÄúIâÄôm interested, but I donâÄôt have the time,âÄù Mohamed said.