Fireworks, night markets, bike rides, and a dog parade: 56 free things to do this weekend

Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks

Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks Dusty Hoskovec

Check out all the free happenings this weekend.

NE Dog Parade

NE Dog Parade Image courtesy Star Tribune


Northeast Dog Parade 2019
Start your weekend off right: with a dog parade. Pups will be prancing through the neighborhood for a freakin’ adorable puppy hour experience, and all canines (and their humans) are welcome. Meet in the park across the street from Wilde Cafe for dog treats to share and local vendors to explore. At 5:30 p.m., participants will march along East Hennepin Avenue, turning at Masu Sushi and then making their way along Central Avenue back to the park. Once everyone has returned, event organizers will award prizes for the best costumes, best tricks, and more. Don’t have a dog? Find a spot outside on a patio along the route for the cutest and happiest happy hour ever. 5 p.m. July 26; Free. Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-4544.

Planned Parenthood Benefit
Featuring Oyster World, Prim Woes, Step Sister, and Betty Won't. 10 p.m. July 26; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Sunset on the Lock
Special opportunity for walkers, photographers, and families to go out on the lock wall during sunset. More info at 5-9 p.m. July 26-27. Free. Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, 1 Portland Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-5336.

Revelers participate in a 'Soul Train' dance off at FLOW.

Revelers participate in a 'Soul Train' dance off at FLOW. Image courtesy Star Tribune

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl 2019
Since 2006, FLOW arts crawl has been showcasing the artists, organizations, and businesses thriving on the North Side. At this non-juried, self-guided tour you’ll find special gallery receptions, hands-on fun for kids, parking lot parties, music, and more. Past years have featured community dinners, pop-up shops, mural painting open to all, and a beer garden. Find more info at Find activities on West Broadway, from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Daily from July 25-27; Free. West Broadway, 2nd St N, Minneapolis.

Northside Flow Glow Roll
While the Greenway Glow will light up south Minneapolis on Saturday, this nighttime ride on Friday gives the North Side a chance to shine. Folks will meet at the West Broadway Farmers Market, where they’ll find treats for purchase and free entertainment. Come bedecked in glowlights and bike lights, and wear orange in honor of Protect Minnesota’s gun violence prevention initiative. Don’t have any glow sticks? Event hosts will have some—along with safety lights—to hand out before heading out. Around 8 p.m., riders will take a casual cruise along the city’s proposed bike boulevard on Queen Avenue North, and through some of FLOW Northside Art Crawl’s highlights, which is taking place this weekend. The ride will end with a bonfire party and refreshments. 6:30-10 p.m. July 26; Free. West Broadway Farmers Market, 300 W Broadway, Minneapolis; 612-353-5178.

Black Business Week: House of Talents
This open house features small bites and champagne, plus info on this business, which buys and sells pieces from international artists at liveable/ethical prices. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Free. Gaviidae Common (Skyway Level by YMCA), 651 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Walker Art Center

Walker Art Center

Free A10 at the Aquatennial
A free yoga session hosted by Alchemy 365. 6 p.m. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 726 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7656.

Tour de France Livestream
Watch the race on the big screen. 7 a.m. Friday; 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar, 4208 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-1538.

Cy DeCosse

Cy DeCosse

The Many Faces of Cy DeCosse: A Retrospective Exhibition
Exhibition tracing the successful advertising, publishing, and photography career of Cyrille "Cy" DeCosse. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Fri., July 26, featuring special music commissioned from five Minnesota composers. Free. MCAD Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis; 612-874-3700.

Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs
8:30-11:30 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Birch's Lowertown, 289 Fifth St. E., St. Paul; 651-432-4677.

Kinda Kinky
8:30 p.m. July 26; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Mike Gunther & the Total Crapshoot
With Martin Devaney. 10 p.m. July 26; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

 Lego Movie 2
Fri., 8:45 p.m. Stewart Park, Minneapolis.


"Dystopia: Art of the Dark Future"

"Dystopia: Art of the Dark Future"

Dystopia: Art of the Dark Future
Juried group art show featuring 20+ artists. 7-11 p.m. Fri.; 3-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free. Rogue Buddha Art Gallery, 357 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-3889.

Studio Deep
With Jeff Swiff, Miss Elaine Eos, and Tim Sexton. Registration and more info at 8 p.m. July 26; Free; RSVP requested. AC Hotel by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown, 401 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-0700.

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

The Great Midwest Rib Fest
Featuring rib-cooking competition, food and beverage vendors, and live music from Gretchen Wilson and Jessie G (Thu.), Loverboy and the Tubes (Fri.), and Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, and Emerson Hart (Sart.). 5-10 p.m. Daily from July 25-26; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. July 27; Free. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake; 800-262-7799.

Allison Ruby

Allison Ruby

New work by Allison Ruby. Opening reception 7-10 p.m. Fri., July 26. Free. Red Garage Studio, 3640 Garfield Ave. S., Minneapolis.

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.

Nikki & the RueMates
Monthly residency on the fourth Friday of each month. 9:30 p.m. Every 4th Fri.; Free. Dusty's Bar, 1319 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-378-2118.

Summer Flower Show
Featuring a mixture of roses and lilies, with filler plants augmenting the main colors of lavender, purple and peach. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Daily from April 27-Sept. 29; Free. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul; 651-487-8200.

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.

Minneapolis Aquatennial

Minneapolis Aquatennial Dusty Hoskovec


Aquatennial Night Market
Minneapolis Craft Market hosts a vendors mart before the fireworks show. Find it on Chicago Mall, between the Guthrie Theater and Spoon River Restaurant (the same location as Mill City Farmers Market). Saturday, 4-10 p.m. 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities
Featuring live music, local craft brews from Fulton and Sociable Cider Werks, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, a family fun zone, and more. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Saturday, 4-10 p.m. Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls, 500 Main St. SE, Minneapolis.

Aquatennial Yoga with Corepower Yoga
A free yoga sessions. 9 a.m. Boom Island, 724 Sibley Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Featuring skateboard demos, food and drink, live music, and fireworks at 10 p.m. 4-8 p.m. West River Parkway, near Stone Arch Bridge.

ArtCar + ArtBike Parade

ArtCar + ArtBike Parade The Chalk ArtCar

25th Annual ArtCar + ArtBike Parade
ArtCars have been cruising through south Minneapolis each summer for a quarter of a century now. This Saturday, a selection of funky vehicles will make their way around Lake Harriet for a colorful slow ride. Past years have featured a car covered in wine corks, a car with a giant lipstick on top, a car painted in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and a bike made to look like a canoe floating on a lake. To celebrate this landmark anniversary, folks will line up along the grassy spots on Roseway Road, as well as the paths lining the lake. Lawn chairs and picnicking are welcome. 5-7 p.m. July 27; Free. Lake Harriet Rose Garden, 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis; 612-230-6400.

Pontoon Rock on the Shore of Lake Minnetonka
8 p.m. to midnight. Free. Wayzata Brew Works, 294 Grove Ln. E., Wayzata; 952-737-1023.

Lourdes Block Party
Family fun, food and drink, and Aquatennial fireworks. Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Northeast Minneapolis, East Hennepin Avenue at 25th, Minneapolis.

Keg and Case Farmers Market
Weekly Saturday market features locally grown produce, flowers, food, art, local products, activities, and entertainment. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keg and Case Market, 928 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651-756-7739.

Greenway Glow

Greenway Glow Charles Lyon

Greenway Glow 2019
Nighttime bike rides are summertime magic. The Greenway Glow, however, makes night riding even more special, as artists and performers light the path with a variety of luminescent art installations and performances. The self-guided rides are free, while VIP rides raise funds for the Greenway. Choose a family-friendly jaunt or a more challenging sunset excursion. VIP passes also score you two free beers, tacos, ice cream, and glow necklaces. Find registration details and more info at 6-11:59 p.m. July 27; Free; $29-$49 VIP. Midtown Greenway Coalition, 2834 10th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-879-0103.

How to Train Your Dragon
Sat., 8:45 p.m. Kenwood Park, Minneapolis.

7th Annual Ice Cream Social
Featuring free ice cream, carnival games, face painting, make-and-take puppet crafts, and live puppet shows. 12-3 p.m. July 27; Free. Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis; 612-874-6338.

Aardvark in the Park
Arts habitat festival featuring art activities, performances, interactive creative stations, music, poetry, and food vendors. 12-4 p.m. July 27; Free. Western Sculpture Park, 387 Marion St., St. Paul; 651-632-5111.

Loring Park Art Fair

Loring Park Art Fair Image courtesy event organizers

Loring Park Art Festival 2019
Each year, artists convene in Loring Park for two days of art and creative activities. This weekend, 250 vendors, artisans, and makers will be in attendance, sharing their wares and hosting activities. There will be woodworking, from practical kitchenware to crazy statement pieces; art celebrating things like Twin Cities landmarks, pickling, and Barbie; and giftable items like jewelry, bags, scarves, and rugs. Find hands-on fun at birdhouse-making workshops, painting sessions with wine, and kids’ activities. Nearby business Lakes & Legends will host a beer garden offering pints, sodas, pretzels, and treats for pups, while food courts throughout the grounds will serve up bahn mi, doughnuts, fish and chips, barbecue, vegan nachos, and more. Head to the festival’s website,, for a free bus pass to the party via MetroTransit. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 27; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 28; Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.

Midway's 11th Annual Monster Drawing Rally
Featuring live-drawing sessions from local artists, with each drawing available for sale, with cash bar and food available. 3-7 p.m. July 27; Free. Midway Contemporary Art, 527 2nd Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-605-4504.

Minneapolis Art Lending Library Summer Lending Event
Patrons check-out original artwork for a three-month period. More info at 12-3 p.m. July 27; Free. North Commons Community Center, 1801 James Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-370-4921.

Laura Hugo
With the Nunnery. 10 p.m. July 27; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Amy Rice for "Northern Light" at Groveland Gallery

Amy Rice for "Northern Light" at Groveland Gallery

Northern Light
Group show featuring the work of Groveland Gallery artists. Opening reception 2-5 p.m. Sat., July 27. Free. Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800.

Planned Parenthood Benefit
Featuring Blood Cookie, Repeat Bias, QQQL, and Charlie Doesn't Surf. 10 p.m. July 27; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

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

Charlie Lawson
Monthly residency with a different featured artist each month. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. every last Sat. Free.  Dubliner Pub, 2162 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-646-5551.

"Nature" Hints of a New World"

"Nature" Hints of a New World"

Nature: Hints of a New World
Works by Hazel Belvo and Marcia Cushmore. Artist talk 2 p.m. Sat., July 27. Free. Opening Night Framing Services & Gallery, 2836 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-872-2325.

Dan Israel and Friends Folk Festival
With Paul Metsa, Chemistry Set featuring Chris Thompson, and more. 6:30-9:30 p.m. July 27; Free. Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Dr., Minneapolis; 763-682-4590.

Erin Livingston & Mark Ziegenhagen
8:30-11:30 p.m. July 27. Free. Birch's Lowertown, 289 Fifth St. E., St. Paul; 651-432-4677.

Linnea Maas

Linnea Maas

Run With Scissors
Work by Linnea Maas. Public reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., July 27. Daily from June 24-Aug. 30; Free. Cryptid Hair Parlour, 2358 NE Stinson Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-354-7328.

Barbara Schlichting
Book launch and reading for the author's new book, 'The Broken Circle.' 1-3 p.m. July 27; Free. Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.

Cars and Caves for Charity
Classic and exotic car and motorcycle show. More info at 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Every last Sat.; Free. AutoMotorPlex, 8150 Audubon Rd., Chanhassen; 612-850-8398.

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 4-Oct. 26; Free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-341-7555.


Pee-wee's Big Adventure  
Sun., 8:45 p.m. The Trailhead, Minneapolis.

Tour de Freewheel Century Ride
Freewheel Bike is throwing a housewarming party ride, traveling 100 miles together to every shop in the metro. With prizes and rest stops featuring pastries, snacks, and lunch. Ride as little or as much of the slow-route as you want. Check online for stops and the schedule. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 10750 Cedar Bnd., Hopkins.

2nd Annual Water Festival: Vardevar
Armenian water festival featuring a water fight and celebration of water, with food, drinks, and fire trucks from the Saint Paul Fire Department. 12 p.m. July 28; Free. St. Sahag Armenian Church, 203 N. Howell St., St. Paul; 651-603-1940.

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

Kill It! Comedy Open Mic
7 p.m. Every last Sun.; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

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

The Experience Room: Featuring Ben Weaver, Strong Buffalo, Charlie Parr, and Mikkel
3-5 p.m. July 28; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.