Here's what's free in the Twin Cities this week.
The Greatest Showman
P.T. Barnum, a man who exploited people with disabilities for money, abused animals, and spread the myth that elephants couldn't feel pain, gets the romantic Moulin Rouge treatment in this campy -- and mostly fabricated -- musical. Monday, July 2, 9:15 p.m. @ McRae Park.
Tuesday, July 3, 9:15 p.m. @ Sheridan Memorial Park.
Red, White, and Boom 2018
As our institutions crumble, families seeking asylum are torn apart, and white supremacy sweeps through the nation, it’s hard for many to feel patriotic toward America right now. But should you feel like celebrating what American could and should be, then Red, White, and Boom in Minneapolis is a place to do so. There will be pockets of entertainment at various viewing points. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park is more family-friendly, with roving jugglers, magicians, and more. Meanwhile, over by the Stone Arch Bridge you’ll find live music and DJ tunes. The fireworks will begin around 10 p.m., and can be viewed at both of the locations above. Other popular viewing points include over by Mill City, the Guthrie, the Aster Cafe, and the Soap Factory. Or walk along the West River Parkway until you spot an open area. Find a map with viewing spots and other details at www.minneapolisparks.org. 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday. Free.
Freedom From Pants Ride XII
For the past 12 years, this ride has been celebrating the birth of our nation the way we’re all born: naked and screaming. This July 4, riders will once again free themselves of pants, tops, and other regularly worn items as they make their way through Minneapolis. Some wear swimsuits, some wear underwear, some keep their clothes on. There is no wrong answer here, as long as you feel free. Beers and other beverages will be enjoyed along the route, and usually there’s at least one beach stop. Bring sunscreen, bring drinks, and bring a bag for trash, but leave the fireworks to the pros -- there’s too much exposed skin here for that to be safe. 6 to 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. Free. Nicollet Island Park, 2 Merriam St., Minneapolis.
Fourth in the Park
While Minneapolis sets fireworks off by the river, St. Paul offers a park and parking lot party this Fourth of July. Things kick off at 11 a.m. with a parade featuring color guards, marching bands, floats, and more making their way down Como Avenue to Langford Park via Knapp Avenue. Following that, you’ll find picnicking in the park, lawn games like horseshoes and corn hole, sporting tournaments, and plenty of kids’ activities. Should you get hungry, food trucks will be stopping by, and after the party ends at Langford around 4 p.m., Sunrise Banks’ parking lot (corner of Como Avenue and Doswell Avenue) will have live music from the Rockin' Hollywoods and beer from Rush River Brewing Company. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Free. Langford Park, 30 Langford Park, St. Paul.
Thursday, July 5, 9:15 p.m. @ Jackson Square Park.
First Thursday at the Northrup King Building
Explore four floors of studios as artists open their doors for receptions, sales, demonstrations, and other fun. The parking lot outside is also free. Thursday, July 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.
First Free Thursday
Check out the museum's three exhibitions currently on display: the fashion fueled "From Underwear to Outerwear"; "Shelf Life," which gives a behind-the-scenes look at preservation and care of the History Center's collection; and "Close Associates," which explores 80 years of the architectural firm's designs, from homes to hospitals. Thursday, July 5, from 1 to 8 p.m. Free. Hennepin History Museum, 2303 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-1329.