When you hear that something called Minnesota Naked will be a central part of this year's Highland Fest, don't get too excited. Nobody will be in the buff. Rather, it refers to the stripped-down acoustic music sets by Midwest artists playing throughout the weekend. If electrically challenged music isn't your thing, fear not: Highland Fest is stuffed with other activities to please just about everyone. Of particular interest, no doubt, will be the Beer Dabbler Showcase, which is new this year. The Dabbler, a marriage of some of the country's best brews and local music, will have two Minneapolis favorites, the Alarmists and Romantica, on stage while serving up 31 different beers. And it won't be a foamy showcase of only upper-Midwest selections like Grain Belt Premium and Leinenkugel. Beer Dabbler brings together brews from around the country, including Boulevard, a popular Kansas City beer that's rapidly expanding its reach, and selections from Chicago's Goose Island Brewery and Fort Collins, Colorado, favorite New Belgium Brewery. New music and beer aside, Highland Fest maintains the popular family activities that have been this festival's hallmark for years. The always-popular art fair returns, as do the 5K run and kids' 1K, and, of course, more than a dozen food vendors peddling an array of summer eats. For more info visit www.highlandfest.com.
Fri., July 17, 2-10:30 p.m.; Sat., July 18, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun., July 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009