At first this parade for "freedom of expression" down Nicollet Mall, followed by a musical freakfest in Loring Park, sounds decadent in the extreme: Why on McCain's smoldering earth would anyone plan an avowedly apolitical or nonpartisan street party in Minneapolis on the eve of the RNC except to distract people? But the idea grows in appeal with specifics: This free event features art cars—which didn't get their annual local parade this year—and some of the finest bands in the Upper Midwest: nationally revered pop-punk kamikazes Dillinger Four, Al Sparhawk's Retribution Gospel Choir, acclaimed jazzbos Happy Apple, STNNNG, the Brass Messengers, and Mama Digdown's Brass Band. The content is as political as you make it—last I checked, the libertarian Minnesotans for Limited Government had signed up—with an application deadline pushed back "as late as August 29th," according to the website, which adds: "We figure we need a day to organize and everything." Republicans and other tolerant people welcome, in other words. Free. Parade starts at 1 p.m. at Nicollet Mall and Sixth Street and proceeds southwest on Nicollet to Loring Park; concert begins around 2:30 p.m. Visit www.libertyparade2008.com for more information.
Sun., Aug. 31, 1 p.m., 2008