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Geek Prom turn 3 at aquarium

By Kyle Eller
April 11, 2004 | Budgeteer News

Geek Prom founder Paul Lundgren says almost everything worked out as planned three years ago when the inaugural event took place at the Norshor Theatre.

Almost. “The one element we didn’t expect was worldwide media attention,” he said, and he’s not just talking about the mighty Budgeteer Web site and its global reach. The event was featured on CNN and seen on news shows in Norfolk, Va.

“We were on every freaking morning show in the planet,” Lundgren said. “I didn’t get off the phone for three days.”

Some of that has settled down in the third running of the Northland’s premiere event for geeks. This year’s event on Saturday, April 17, is dubbed Geek Prom Cubed “because it’s a little nerdier that way, if you cube it,” Lundgren says. But there will be some exciting changes.

Most notably, the event has been moved from the Norshor, which has closed and re-opened in the interim between Geek Proms, to the Great Lakes Aquarium, which while facing financial problems of its own remained open. The aquarium hosts a variety of special events and will remain open for the prom.

The lineup of events is similar to past years except that a new sponsor, Grandma’s Sports Garden, is hosting the pre-prom party, complete with “geek cocktails and hors d’oeuvres” and an air hockey tournament.

The entertainment this year will be provided by Trailer Park Queen, a Twin Cities-based band known for its lewd parody songs and best known in these parts for playing at the 2002 and 2003 Duluth-Superior GLBT Pride Festival. Berni “The Trailer Park Queen” Sarazine, the band leader, is actually an Iron Range native.

“Berni the Trailer Park Queen is kind of like the female Weird Al,” Lundgren said. “I’m hoping they’re going to be quite the spectacle,” he added.

There’s also a spaz dancing contest, with music by DJ Connor, and there will be an expanded opportunity for fun and games hosted by Mr. (Mark) Lindquist. Given the aquarium setting, the prom will also feature its own take on David Letterman’s “Will It Float” game.

The coronation of King and Queen Geek will return, judged again by celebrity judges. And the evening ends with a post-prom party at Pizza Luce. The Geek Shuttle will again move the awkward and the nerdy back and forth from their party to the sponsoring restaurants — Pizza Luce, Grandma’s Sports Garden and Lake Avenue Cafe.