Beer fests, dog parties, art fairs, and last call for the Floating Library: 50 free things to do this weekend

The Floating Library

The Floating Library Sarah Peters

There's plenty of free stuff to do this weekend.

Uptown Art Fair

Uptown Art Fair Uptown Business Association


Uptown Art Fair 2018
For the past 55 years, the Uptown Art Fair has been attracting huge crowds from near (south Minneapolis residents) and far (the outer ring ’burbs). Here you’ll find over 350 artists from around the country working in just about every medium. There are pretty travel landscapes, creepy wax mannequins, giftable jewelry, and hypnotic kinetic sculptures. In between art diving there are plenty of kids’ activities, food vendors, wine and beer gardens, and outdoor performances to check out. Find more info at Score a free bus pass to this event via The event runs along Hennepin Avenue, from 28th to 31st Streets, in Minneapolis. 12-8 p.m. Aug. 3; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 4; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5; Free. Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-824-1240. –Jessica Armbruster

Wild Age (Single Release Show)
With Panther Ray and Smellkin Ernesto. 10 p.m. Aug. 3. Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

With Los Pinche Gueys, Aethereal Rose, and Victory Riot. 9 p.m. Aug. 3. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Rock the Lawn
Featuring live music from Wain McFarlane and Dreadlock Cowboy, with food, drinks, lawn games, and ice luge. 4-8 p.m. Aug. 3. Free. Elevate Food Hall, 100 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 763-464-0743.

2nd Annual Pils Party
Taps will featuring pilsners from 10 different local breweries. Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight. Grumpy's Northeast, 2200 Fourth St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-789-7429.

Almost Famous
Friday, August 3, 9 p.m. @ Lake Harriet Bandshell.

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

With Jonathan Ackerman 9 p.m. Every 1st Fri. Free. Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-9800.

Lowertown First Fridays
Featuring open studios, receptions, and more. For more info, visit 6-9 p.m. Every 1st Fri. Free. Lowertown, 5th St. E. & Sibley St., St Paul.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shrek the Musical
An ogre falls in love with a princess. 7 p.m. Every Fri. and Sat. from Aug. 3-4; 4 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. Lundstrom Center for the Performing Arts, 1617 2nd St. N., Minneapolis; 612-521-2600.



Little Mekong Night Market 2018
In 2014, the Little Mekong business district launched the Little Mekong Night Market as a way to draw visitors to all the splendid things the area has to offer. The festival features arts, culture, and dance groups performing traditional forms, hip-hop, and breakdance. There are plenty of kid-friendly art activities, and tons of delectable snacks: spicy tater tots, refreshing bubble tea, Twistatos chips, frozen yogurt, and towering Lu’s sandwiches. You’ll want to come with an empty stomach to take advantage of all there is to offer. More info can be found at 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Aug. 4; 2-10 p.m. Aug. 5; Free. University Avenue, from Lexington Pkwy. to Marion St., St. Paul. –Sheila Regan

DJ Toda
With DJ Rowsheen, Scoundrel Spence, the Lioness, and G.P. Jacob. 10 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Butcher's Bag
With Wax Lead, Prozac Rat, and Awesome Cups. 9 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Powderhorn Art Fair

Powderhorn Art Fair Image courtesy event organizers

Powderhorn Art Fair 2018
This weekend, Powderhorn Park is hosting the other mega-huge art fair in town. While the sites in Uptown include storefronts, bars, and hot asphalt, the Powderhorn setting is a little more idyllic, with grassy areas, lake views, and a walking path. Over 200 artists hailing from 26 states will be sharing their work, and there will be an area of the fest dedicated to local talent from the neighborhood. Food vendors will be serving up eats, and there will be plenty of things to explore, see, and do. Depending on your starting point, you may find it easy to bike to the event. If not, consider downloading a free bus pass at Find more info at 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 4; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5; Free. Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-823-1141. –Jessica Armbruster

Raymond Ave. Block Party
Outdoor festival featuring food from local vendors, clothing, art & vintage items for sale, beer from Dual Citizen Brewing, and a live music stage sponsored by Barely Brothers Records featuring performances from King Kustom & the Cruisers, Wild Planet, Tramps Like Us, and Saint Small. 12-5 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. 791 Raymond Ave., St Paul.

Second Line Jazz Parade in the Park
Second Line parade led by Zena Moses and the Selby Avenue Brass Band, with food, art, entertainment, and live music. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, 420 Main St. SE, Minneapolis.

Joshua McGarvey

Joshua McGarvey

Joshua McGarvey presents a series of video installations throughout a three week long residency. Saturday, 7-10 p.m. Porch Gallery, 3306 Park Ave., Minneapolis; 617-283-9752.

The Keg & Case Croix Valley Foods Steak Fest
Featuring live entertainment, food and craft vendors, local beers, steak cooking competition, grilling demos, and live music from Mark Stary, Kevin James and the Weary, Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, the Carnegies, and Jayden James and the Hunger. More info at 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. Keg and Case Market, 928 7th St. W., St. Paul.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Movie screening. Saturday, August 4, 8:50 p.m. @ Victory Park.

Two shows open at SooVAC this weekend.

Two shows open at SooVAC this weekend. L-R: Work by Yael Ben-Simon, Christopher Harrison

Out of My Book: New Work by Yael Ben-Simon
Drawings and mixed-media. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. Free. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263.

A Monster Anthology: New work by Christopher Harrison
Paintings, sculpture, and printed works. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. Free. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263.

L-R: Work by Betsy Alwin, Shana Kaplow

L-R: Work by Betsy Alwin, Shana Kaplow Image courtesy event organizers

Uncertain Structures/The Small Parts
Betsy Alwin’s immediately recognizable ceramic works merge the delicacy of filigree with the substantiveness of such architectural forms as bricks, blocks, and crown moldings. That she also juxtaposes her perforated objects with raw wood and rusted metal just increases the odd sense of materiality driving her pieces. Shana Kaplow works similarly, but with a lighter palette: ink paintings, photographs, and small objects help her create seemingly weightless works that float through the viewer’s consciousness. Together, these artists’ challenge one’s sense of what goes where, how, and why. There will be a public reception on Saturday, August 4, from 7 to 10 p.m. Free. Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-747-3942. –Camille LeFevre

Dog-friendly event includes special vendors, kids’ activities, and more benefitting local canine organizations. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, 12459 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove; 763-424-0504.

CarryOn Homes

CarryOn Homes

CarryOn Homes
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the CarryOn Homes temporary art pavilion in downtown Minneapolis, this is the perfect opportunity. The structure was created by five different artists from five different countries, and imagines a world without boundaries. The project, which was the winner of the 2018 Creative City Challenge, debuted at the Northern Spark Festival. Now it’s at the Commons, offering a beautiful outdoor piece of art that visitors can enjoy. This Saturday, all kinds of things are planned, including a writing workshop with local artist Meena Mangalvedhekar, followed by performances by Southeast Asian storytelling collective the SEAD Project and New Delhi-born/Minneapolis-based composer and vocalist Rita Gunguly. The event wraps up with a free community meal provided by the St. Paul restaurant Lao Thai, as well as free milk by TeaBar. Find more info on the project at 4-7:30 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis. –Sheila Regan

August Free First Saturday: Jamboree
Featuring music by the Pop Ups, art making activities, performances by Young Dance and BodyCartography Project, and DJs Douala Soul Collective, with kids’ films and free gallery admission. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.

The Floating Library

The Floating Library David Eberhardt

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

Free Outdoor Yoga
Featuring an hour-long CorePower Yoga session, mimosas and mocktails, snacks, yogurt samples, mini massages, and DJ. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 4. Free. Elevate Food Hall, 100 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 763-464-0743.

Material Evolution - Midsummer Pop-up with Laurie Borggreve
Opening reception 4-8 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. Free. Veronique Wantz Gallery, 901 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-254-2838.

Circa Gallery

Circa Gallery

Summer Salon II
Group exhibition featuring new work by gallery artists. Opening reception 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. Free. Circa Gallery, 210 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-332-2386.

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.

Red Stag Block Party

Red Stag Block Party Image courtesy event organizers


Red Stag Block Party 2018: In Cahoots!
This summer, 17 breweries and one distillery have collaborated to create nine one-of-a-kind beers for the Red Stag Block Party. Attendees get to try these special brews and vote on a winner, who will award their prize to a charitable organization. Revelers get good beer. Charities get cash. Everybody wins. Participating breweries include Dangerous Man, Indeed, Fulton, Bauhaus, and Left Hand, plus Tattersall Distillery. There will also be live music from the Bad Man, Romantica, the Shackletons, and the Lonesome Losers: A Tribute to Yacht Rock. Lawn games will add to the friendly neighborhood vibe, and Open Streets Minneapolis will be hosting happenings nearby along Central Avenue Northeast, 22nd Avenue Northeast, Monroe Street Northeast, and East Hennepin Avenue. 2-8 p.m. Aug. 5; Free. Red Stag Supper Club, 509 1st Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-767-7766. –Loren Green

With Feral Light, Ulkum, and Serac. 9 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Beertail Mania
Beertail Mania is a celebration of creative local bartenders who showcase the wonderful flavors found in beer and spirits... by mixing them together. Stay with us here: “Beertails” (aka beer cocktails) are the less bougie version of a champagne cocktail. This Sunday, you’ll be able to try a few, as eight bartending teams will compete at Palmer’s to make the ultimate beertail. Presented by Insight Brewing and Tattersall Distilling, the event will find the winning team bestowed with a trophy belt, while attendees get the pleasure of a day of debauchery on the West Bank, enjoying many drinks as the drama unfolds. 2-6 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625. –Loren Green

Open Streets Northeast

Open Streets Northeast

Open Streets Minneapolis: Northeast
Featuring streets open to bikes, rollerblades, and pedestrians, with sidewalk sales, sampling, yoga and sports sessions, live music, and much more. More info at 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. Find happenings along Central Avenue Northeast, 22nd Avenue Northeast, Monroe Street Northeast, and East Hennepin Avenue.

Sensory Friendly Sunday
Event for kids, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities and their families featuring art making activities, gallery exploration, and a short film. The galleries are closed to all other visitors. 8-11 a.m. Aug. 5. Free; registration is requested. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.

Stand Up Sundays Comedy Showcase

The lineup this month includes Daniel Williams, Linda Aarons, Casey Flesch, Rana May, and Pierre Douglas. Sunday, 8:30-11 p.m. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-444-3209.

Pet Project Rescue Flea Market
Sunday, 1-7 p.m. 612BREW, 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-930-4606.

Paws on Grand

Paws on Grand Image courtesy event organizers

Paws on Grand 2018
This Sunday, businesses, bar patios, and parking lots will be welcoming dogs for Paws on Grand. The annual festival invites pups and their humans to stroll along the St. Paul street where they’ll discover freebies and fun things to try. Phresh Spa Salon will be painting doggy nails, adding bows to collars, and serving free “puppcicles.” Coldwell Banker and Wet Paint will host pet portrait artists working in photography and paint respectively. There will also be live music, free food samples for canines, and a doggy pool to cool off in. Donations collected will benefit local animal organizations. For more locations and details, visit Find the event along Grand Avenue, from Snelling Avenue to Dale Street in St. Paul. 12 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. Grand Avenue Retailers, 649 Grand Ave., St Paul; 651-699-0029. –Jessica Armbruster

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.

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.

Movie screening. Sunday, August 5, 8:45 p.m. @ Cleveland Park.