Greetings Florida Elks!
I hope you are looking forward to our visit to Minneapolis! The weather is looking like highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid-60s. A welcome change from our Florida summer heat!
Please read this information carefully, as it will answer many of your questions regarding your visit to Minneapolis.
First and foremost, anything regarding the actual convention sessions, meetings, registration, event times, etc., please refer to the Grand Lodge Website. Here is the link:
I will comment however on the Grand Lodge provided shuttle from our hotel to the convention center: The Florida Delegation Hotel, the Hilton Minneapolis, will be serviced by the Route 1 (Red) bus. It will board at the side 11th street entrance. The schedule says “limited service”. I am not sure what that means. There will be a sign in the hotel lobby that should list the times the shuttle will operate.
Here is a recap of information I have already provided:
The 2023 Grand Lodge Convention will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota July 2 through July 5, 2023. The Florida delegation hotel is the Hilton Minneapolis located at 1001 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
The Hilton Minneapolis is located .3 miles from the Minneapolis Convention Center where the convention will be held. It is about a 10-minute walk to the convention center or a 5-7minute shuttle bus ride. There will be seven other states co-located with us in the Hilton, the largest of which is New York, and our sister states of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The Hilton Minneapolis is also the Grand Lodge headquarters hotel. This will be a VERY busy hotel!
The Opening Ceremonies begin on Sunday at 4pm. Exalted Rulers and Alternate Delegates are required to attend all general sessions and the opening ceremonies. The final general session of the convention will end around 11am on Wednesday. All Exalted Rulers or Alternate Delegates are required to check-in with their Endorsed District Deputy prior to the beginning of each official Grand Lodge session.
The check-in time for the Hilton is 3pm and check-out time is 11am. The Hilton does not offer an airport shuttle. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) airport is located about 12 miles from the Hilton or about a 14-minute drive by car. There is a Light Rail Service – Metro Transit offered from the airport. The stop closest to the Hilton would be the Nicollet Mall Station. Transit time to the Nicollet Station would be approximately 22 minutes and then you would have an 11-minute walk to the Hilton. This might be a convenient way to transfer to and from the airport. The cost is approximately $2.50 for one person one-way.
If you drive or rent a car, the Hilton has valet parking for $45 per day and self-parking with in & out privileges for $25 per day. The closest self-parking garages charge $8 to $10 per day and do not offer in & out privileges. This means that each time you leave the garage you will be charged.
Most major car rental counters are in the airport, a short Skylink Train ride from the baggage area. The Hilton is about 15 minutes from the airport.
Upon your arrival in Minneapolis, you will want to make your way to the Minneapolis Convention Center to obtain your Grand Lodge voting credentials and badges. The registration schedule is as follows:
Friday, June 30 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, July 1 – 8am. to 4:15pm
Sunday, July 2 – 8am to 3:45pm
Monday, July 3 – 7:30am to 3:45pm
Tuesday, July 4 – 7:30am to 1pm
The official Grand Lodge Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Sunday, July 2nd from 4pm to 6pm. Members and accompanied guests are encouraged to attend.
Florida attendees are encouraged to wear red, white & blue or orange for the opening ceremonies on Sunday, and orange shirts for the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Grand Lodge sessions. However, with Independence Day falling on Tuesday, you might want to wear patriotic this day too! Basically wear what you wish, but the default can always be orange! There will be seats held for Florida all four days. Look for the waving Florida Orange flags. Also, be reminded that all Exalted Rulers or Alternate Delegates are required to check-in with their Endorsed District Deputy prior to the beginning of each official Grand Lodge session.
The Florida Dinner will be held at the Hilton Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 4th. The doors will open at 6pm with a DJ playing music for dancing. There will be a cash bar. Seating is open seating. The program will begin at 8pm and dinner will be served at 8:30pm. Dress for the event is business casual. A VERY limited number of tickets will be available. Inquire at the FL Hospitality Room.
Here is the schedule for the Florida Hospitality Room.
Light food items will be served during the first hour of each night! Pre-purchased tickets for the Florida Hospitality Room and for the Florida Dinner may be picked up at the Florida Hospitality Room starting Saturday at 6pm.
Also, when you check-in at the Florida Hospitality Room, you will be given a “Goody” Bag with some Florida items for use at the opening ceremonies and convention sessions. These items include a cowbell to make us LOUD, an American flag to make us PROUD, and several orange items to make us VISIBLE! Take them with you to each session and use them often!
The Ritual Competition will take place in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Florida’s best, Gainesville Lodge #990 is scheduled to compete at 9am on Saturday, July 1st. Florida’s Phil Watercutter from Deland Lodge #1463 is scheduled to compete in the Flag Charge Competition on Sunday, July 2nd at 1:15pm, and Florida’s Deborah Reedy from Jacksonville Lodge #221 will compete in the Eleven O’clock Toast Competition at 10:30am on Sunday, July 2nd. Please attend these competitions and show your support to our fellow Florida Elks!
There is only one local lodge within a short drive of the Hilton. The Hopkins Elks Lodge #2221 is about 15 minutes to the southwest located at 30 – 8th Avenue S, Hopkins, MN 55343. I found this on their website:
Specials during the National Convention
Walleye Lunch or Dinner
- Saturday, July 1, 12pm - 4pm - Lunch
- Tuesday, July 4, 12pm-8pm - Lunch & Dinner
On the Menu: Lunch ($12): Walleye Sandwich with coleslaw Dinner ($18): 2 piece Walleye meal with potato salad, coleslaw and bread
I think you are going to enjoy Minneapolis, the Grand Lodge Convention, and the Hilton!
I am looking forward to seeing you in Minneapolis! If I may be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!
Safe travels everyone!
FL Elks COO/State Secretary