Art fairs galore in Minneapolis this weekend


It's here again: The annual art festival triple threat takes place all over Minneapolis this weekend with arts, crafts, music, entertainment, and mini-donuts galore. The adventurous among you may choose to hit all three festivals, which are at Loring Park, Uptown, and Powderhorn Park, where you'll experience both the beauty of Minneapolis as well as tons of arts.


To make travel a bit easier, there are several alternative options. Some festival-goers may choose to obtain a MetroTransit Art Pass, downloadable for free on the organization's website, which is valid on regular bus routes and the Hiawatha Light Rail line to travel between the three art fairs. Just show your pass to the bus driver/fare inspector for your free ride.

For people who prefer biking, folks can either park their cars for free at designated Wells Fargo and Midtown Global Market parking areas then check out a NiceRide bike, or park at one of the complimentary bike valets (see the NiceRide website for details).  

The Powderhorn Art Fair

This weekend, the Powderhorn Art Fair is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The fair features only original art and no commercial sponsors. It also strives to highlight artistic expression, community engagement, and diversity according to Artistic Director Dixie Treichle. A collaboration between The Powderhorn Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, proceeds from the fair go in part toward creative programming at the park throughout the year.  

According to Treichle, the art shown at the Powderhorn Art Fair has a funky, unique flavor, that is both grassroots and unique. There is also a focus on diverse artistic voices, including Mimi Alexander, a Native American jewelry maker who has shown her work at the fair every year for the past 20 years, and Charlotte Fung Miller, who does Chinese brush painting, and has been at the event for 18 years.  

Highlights of the fair include a performance by legendary Irish accordionist Paddy O'Brian, who also performed at the first Powderhorn Art Fair. (There's only ethnic music at the fair, Treichle explains, and no "commercial" bands). There will also be performances by Open Eye Figure Theatre, as well as demonstrations by the Chicago Avenue Fire Center. Other musical highlights include music by Dan Rein, who plays Iranian string instrument and Tom Klein, who plays the Irish bagpipes.  

New this year at Powderhorn is a history tent which will have articles, old posters, and t-shirts from past years. The tent will also house the making of a new stain-glass window. 

The Uptown Art Fair

The oldest of the three art fairs, the Uptown Art Fair was started in 1963 by three Uptown business owners. It's also the second most attended event in Minnesota next to the Minnesota State Fair. 

The Uptown Art Fair is bordered by 28th Street to the north, Dupont Street to the east, 31st Street to the south, and Lake Calhoun to the west. Like the Powderhorn Art Fair, the festival is juried, and the proceeds in part go toward beatification projects, education seminars, and other community enhancement functions. 

There will also be numerous entertainment acts, including performances from the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders, rhythm-based movement group Rhythmically Speaking, Jawaahir Dance Company, and more. 

The Loring Park Art Festival

Finally, The Loring Park Art Festival consists of 140 visual artists, strolling musicians, scheduled stage performances, children's activities, and food booths. Entertainment options include Cassondra Meyer and Cory Wong Duo, playing 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday by the main building, and Kristin Sponcia Duo playing by the Main Building from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Also, looke for Duo Borealis, a mandolin duo playing 1:30 to 2:30 on Saturday, and Paul Imholte (a.k.a. the String Man) roving the park from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.