Aquatennial, River Rats, the Floating Library: 60 free things to do this weekend

The Twin Cities River Rats

The Twin Cities River Rats Image courtesy event organizers

Check out this weekend's free fun for all.

Alchemy 365

Alchemy 365


Minneapolis Aquatennial 2018
Friday’s events include free yoga in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at 5:30 p.m., Downtown Thunderdome bike racing at Fulton Taproom from 4:30 to 9:15 p.m., and the Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski show starting at 7 p.m., which can be viewed on the West Bank of the Mississippi River between Broadway and Plymouth Avenues. For a complete schedule, check out Daily from July 18-21; Free. 

With Former Worlds, Sunless, and Grogus. 9 p.m. July 20; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Highland Fest 2018
Featuring live music, beer tent, juried art fair, petting zoo, wiener dog races, business fair, inflatable rides, games, 5K race, food and beverage vendors, movie in the park, and car and truck show. More info at 5-10 p.m. July 20; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. July 21; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 22; Free. Highland Park Neighborhood Community, 2065 Ford Parkway, St. Paul.

Jason Medeiros and the Rockers
8:30 p.m. July 20; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Middle Eastern Festival 2018
Featuring Middle Eastern cuisine, live entertainment from john Khoury Band and St. George Dabke Dance Troupe, a tradional marketplace, silent auction, childrens' games, and camel rides. RSVP and more info at 12-10 p.m. Daily from July 20-21; 12-6 p.m. July 22; Free. St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1250 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul; 651-457-0854.

Thomas Fluharty

Thomas Fluharty

As I Was Going Along...
Featuring work by illustrator Thomas Fluharty. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Fri., July 20. Free. Artistry at Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington; 952-563-8575.

Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival 2018
Featuring Marcia Ball, Ohio Players, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, High & Mighty, Free and Easy, Tornozo Cannon, Big George Jackson, Everett Smithson Band, and more. 4:30-10 p.m. July 20; 12-10 p.m. July 21; Free. Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., St. Paul; 651-632-5111.

Lumberjack Days 2018
Featuring free live music from the Jayhawks, Frankie Lee, Ruben, Buffalo Gospel, Nooky Jones, Monica LaPlante, and more, with family friendly events, lumberjack exhibitions, downhill derby, helicopter rides, chef's challenge, beer garden, bingo, and a parade. Check for more info. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Daily from July 20-22; Free. Lowell Park, 201 Water St., Stillwater.

The Comedy Corner Open Mic Night
10 p.m. Every Fri. Free. The Corner Bar, 1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-4333.

Valet, Scattered to Broken, and Hunter
10 p.m. July 20; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

"Black and White Blues"

"Black and White Blues" Marc Norberg

Black & White Blues
The M (otherwise known as the Minnesota Museum of American Art) hasn’t closed up shop during its renovation. In fact, the museum with the incredible collection is on the move and more active than ever. This exhibition is one example: A partnership with the Show Gallery and the Lowertown Blues and Funk Fest that presents Marc Norberg’s dynamic black-and-white photographs of iconic blues musicians. During the opening, there will be live music by Erik Christenson, followed by Ken Valdez (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday). Other times, recordings by the performers immortalized in Norberg’s photos will play in the gallery. Those recordings and the photos were collected in a 1995 book, as well. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Daily from July 20-29; Free. The Show Gallery, 346 N. Sibley St., St. Paul; 651-419-8022. –Camille LeFevre

Blooming Butterflies
Hundreds of butterflies from Africa, Asia, and the Americas flying freely in an indoor garden environment. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Daily from June 15-Sept. 3; Free. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul; 651-487-8200.

Can Can Wonderland Karaoke
Hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. All ages. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Kindness Without Borders:A Celebration of Immigrants and Diversity
Featuring live music, speakers, food, and word art. 3-8 p.m. July 20; Free. University Baptist Church, 1219 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1768.

Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival 2018
Featuring art showcase, make-and-take art activities, live music and entertainment, wellness opportunities, food, and games. More info at 2-8 p.m. July 20; Free. Lyngblomsten, 1415 W. Almond Ave., St. Paul; 651-632-5356.

MN Sinfonia Season Finale Classical Concert
Featuring Youth Outreach Week musicians. 7:30 p.m. July 20; Free. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis; 612-661-4785.

The Incredibles
Friday, July 20, 9:05 p.m. @ Dickman Park.

Minneapolis Farmers Market
Arguably the city's largest and most famous market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. Visit for more info. 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Daily from June 6-Oct. 31; Free. Minneapolis Farmers' Market, 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-333-1718.

Retro Game Show Night
Play classic game shows hosted by local comedy celebrities. 9-11 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Tappy Hour
Group tap dance lessons. 4-6 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Teetering: Living at the Edge of Our Imagination
Works by graduates of the Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education. Artist guided tours at 7 p.m. on July 20. Free. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main St., Hopkins; 952-979-1100.

ArtCar + ArtBike Parade

ArtCar + ArtBike Parade


2018 ArtCar + ArtBike Parade of Minnesota
Art Cars and Art Bikes have special powers: They can make you smile while sitting in traffic, they add whimsy when they’re simply parked in your neighborhood, and they’re a unique sight in a sea of Hondas, Fords, and Chevrolets. For the past 24 years, Art Car owners have come together each summer to ride in front of spectators. Head to the Rose Garden this Saturday, or any nearby grassy knoll, as these steel works of art slowly make their way around Lake Harriet. Past years have seen cars decorated with mosaic tiles, lipstick kisses, and toys. Come watch the parade, then spend an evening at the beach or get some ice cream. 6 p.m. July 21; Free. Lake Harriet Rose Garden, 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

20th Annual Northeast Folk Festival
Indoor and outdoor folk fest featuring Gabe Barnett, Mother Banjo, Dan Israel, Martin Devaney, Liquor Pigs, Mike Nicolai, Bitter Spills, Mike Gunther, Rich Mattson and the North Stars, Molly Maher Trio, Billy Dankert and the High Mids, and more. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. July 21; Free. Grumpy's Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-789-7429.

35th Annual Rondo Days Festival
Featuring a parade, 5K run/walk, dance crews, food and drink vendors, family activities, and live music from Astralblak, Kaleem the Dream, Lady Midnight, Metasota, the Lioness, Why Khaliq, and more. 12 p.m. July 21; Free. Rondo Education Center Park, 560 Concordia Ave., St. Paul.

Red Hot Art Festival

Red Hot Art Festival Image courtesy event organizers

Red Hot Art Festival 2018
Before the massive art shows featuring national touring artists take over downtown and south Minneapolis, Red Hot Art will bring the local creative community together for two days. Over 150 Twin Cities artists will be showcasing their work, including screen printers, jewelry designers, and oddity collectors. There will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, kids’ fun, and more each day. Around 20 different musical acts will play tunes over the weekend, and food trucks will be stopping by. All of it comes with cool downtown views just around the corner. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Daily from July 21-22; Free. Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis; 612-879-0200. –Jessica Armbruster

Strange Girls Summer Night Market
Handmade art and craft market presented by A Conspiracy of Strange Girls, featuring works by local artists and artisans. 4-10 p.m. July 21; Free. Modist Brewing Co., 505 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis; 612-454-0258.

The Spergs
With Obstructionist, Dry Ice, and Her Lifted Mind. 9 p.m. July 21; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Twin Cities Record Show
Featuring dealers from the Midwest selling vintage and new albums, 45's, and music memorabilia. For more info, visit 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. July 21; Free. Able Seedhouse & Brewery, 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-405-4642.

AquaJam Best Trick

AquaJam Best Trick Dusty Hoskovec Photography

Minneapolis Aquatennial 2018
Saturday’s happenings includes Skyline Fest, with yoga sessions, canoe rides, and paddle board racing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Boom Island; skateboard stunts at AquaJam Best Trick in the Guthrie’s parking lot (6 p.m.); and fireworks grand finale with live music, kids’ fun, food trucks, and more from 6 to 10 p.m. on West River Parkway near Portland Avenue. For a complete schedule, check out Daily from July 18-21; Free.

Nazmo King
8:30 p.m. July 21; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Free Ink Day
Featuring stencil monoprinting, Open Eye Figure Theater's Driveway Tour Puppet Show. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-871-1326.

Celebration of Whisker Licker pineapple mango lager by Insight Brewing. Featuring drink specials, dog-friendly atmosphere, DJ tunes. 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-9069.

The Floating Library

The Floating Library Sarah Peters

Floating Library
Just in time for National Library Week, the Floating Library returns to Lake Phalen. Yes, that’s right, it’s a library that floats in the middle of a lake. On this raft you’ll find an oasis of art books and reading material for your pleasure and perusal, along with friendly merfolk librarians who will guide you to reading material that strikes your fancy. To get to the Floating Library, all you have to do is rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat, available at the shore. (Paddle boats are highly recommended for their ease and convenience in the reading-and-paddling department.) The library is filled with books created and donated by artists, submitted through an open call process. It’s a great opportunity to check out some zines and indulge in visual delights, all while blissfully soaking in the sun on a beautiful lake. For more info, visit 1-6 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from July 21-Aug. 5; Free. Lake Phalen, 1400 Phalen Dr., St. Paul; 651-776-9833. –Sheila Regan

Anoka Food Truck Festival
Featuring over 25 food trucks, live music, and beverages. More info at 12-10 p.m. July 21; Free. Anoka City Hall, 2015 1st Ave. N., Anoka; 763-421-6630.

Fifth Annual Lourdes Block Party
Featuring food, ice cream, live music by Dan Ristrom & the Big Throwdown, and a viewing of the Aquatennial fireworks. 6-10 p.m. July 21; Free. Our Lady Of Lourdes Church, One Lourdes Place, Minneapolis; 612-379-2259.

Hijack visits Hair + Nails

Hijack visits Hair + Nails Ryan Fontaine

Witch District Stitch
Downtown dance darling Kristin Van Loon and her cohort Ryan Fontaine combine their interests in this lively event at their gallery, Hair and Nails. Screen-printed details from Fontaine’s paintings find their way into wearable art by Los Angeles artist/musician Rachel Blomgren, worn by models dancing through the galleries and backyard sculpture garden. Clothing by local artist/musician Rebecca Spangenthal will also be on display in the garden. Meanwhile, movers Laurie Van Wieren, Amal Rogers, and Hijack (Van Loon and Arwen Wilder) perform on the walls, in the basement, and under the trees. Yes, there’s music, too. And Fontaine’s new painting and sculpture show, “The Confounding Variable,” will be on view. 7:30 p.m. July 21; Free. Hair and Nails Gallery, 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis; 612-229-0585. –Camille LeFevre

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Saturday, July 21, 9:05 p.m. @ Bohanon Park.

Sky, Land, Water
Group show featuring the work of Groveland Gallery artists. Opening reception 2-5 p.m. Sat., July 21. Free. Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800.

Gerry Bibby

Gerry Bibby

Gerry Bibby: Game on Tilt
New work. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Sat., July 21. Free. Midway Contemporary Art, 527 2nd Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-605-4504.

Mill City Farmers Market
Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce, with weekly cooking clinics and live entertainment. More info at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from May 12-Oct. 27; Free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-341-7555.

New Hope Community Farmers Market
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from June 21; Free. New Hope Farmers' Market, 4300 Xylon Avenue N., Minneapolis; 763-531-5196.

Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market
Featuring locally grown produce, live music, children's activities, and food trucks. More info at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from May 19-Oct. 20; Free. St. Boniface Catholic Church, 629 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-379-2761.

Sister Cities Day

Sister Cities Day


Minneapolis Sister Cities Day
Family-friendly celebration featuring ice cream, music, multi-cultural entertainment, children's activities, and special program recognizing Cuernavaca, Mexico. 1-5 p.m. July 22; Free. Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power St., Minneapolis; 651-642-1049.

Como Fest Art Fair 2018
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul.

Mumblin' Drew
Weekly residency with a variety of special guests and opening acts. 7-9 p.m. Every Sun. from July 15; Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.

Open House at Minnehaha Recording Company
Featuring studio tours, a food truck, and live performances from Dosh, Matt Yetter, Manual Controller, Jules Daud y Los Tarantos, and Brianna Kocka. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 22; Free. Minnehaha Recording Company, 4501 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-564-8088.

Open Streets Minneapolis

Open Streets Minneapolis

Open Streets Minneapolis: Lake + Minnehaha
Outdoor street festival on E. Lake St. from Elliot Ave. to Minnehaha Ave. More info at 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 22; Free.

Blues Jam
7-11 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Bunny's Funnies
Comedy open mic showcase hosted by Trish Cook. 7:30 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Bunny's Bar & Grill NE, 34 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5659.

Can Can Wonderland Bingo
12-2 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Linden Hills Farmers Market
Featuring goods from local growers, flowers, work by local artisans, craft market, and live music. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sun. from May 27-Oct. 29; Free. Linden Hills Farmers' Market, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis; 612-345-0946.

Sunday Social: Hernán Diaz and Chris Fischbach
Diaz presents his new book, 'In the Distance,' in conversation with his publisher/editor, moderated by Milkweed Books manager Hans Weyandt. 4 p.m. July 22; Free. Milkweed Books, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Ste. 300, Minneapolis; 612-332-3192.

Urban Growler's Farmers Market
Featuring live music and special beers, plus locally made foods, artisan items, and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Every Sun. from June 3-Oct. 14; Free. Urban Growler Brewing Company, 2325 Endicott St., Saint Paul; 612-501-1128.

We Are A Horse Nation
Sunday, July 22, 9:05 p.m. @ East Phillips Park.