Why the Twin Cities will go dark for an hour Saturday night

It's not a power outage. It's Earth Hour.

If you're driving through Minneapolis or St. Paul Saturday night and things look darker than usual, don't worry. It's not a mass power outage, it's Earth Hour.

Earth Hour has been happening annually for the last 10 year – most of which the Twin Cities have celebrated. What happens is cities across the globe turn out lights in a movement against climate change.

So as the clock strikes 8:30 p.m., places like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London's Houses of Parliament, New York's Empire State Building, and Minnesota's State Capitol will turn the lights out for an hour.

It's already happened in China. Click here to watch a video of Hong Kong going dark.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) organizes the event, and 178 countries and territories participate.

What to expect in Minnesota

The cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Eden Prairie are urging businesses, government centers, and individuals to participate by turning out all nonessential lighting from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

St. Paul has a whole list of places that have already confirmed participation. It includes Wells Fargo Place, Xcel Energy Center, Metropolitan State University, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

Minneapolis notes it's also participating in Audubon Minnesota's Lights Out campaign which encourages building owners to turn off their lights during spring and fall bird migration.

It's to protect birds, many of which migrate at night, from crashing into buildings and dying.

Audubon suggests turning out lights between midnight and dawn from March 15 to May 31. To learn more about that campaign, click here.

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