This week we have an early Cinco de Mayo celebration, mint juleps for the Kentucky Derby, and our favorite Art in Bloom event.
Art in Bloom: Flowers After Hours: Hello Tokyo!
(Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.870.3131, www.artsMIA.org)
Though there are many fun events happening over this four-day festival combining art from the permanent collection with professional floral displays, this evening's party exploring Japanese pop culture looks to be the coolest bang for your buck. Tonight MCAD professor and author Frenchy Lunning will discuss the wide (and wild) world of manga. Guests can also check out street fashion, dance to pop, and watch anime shorts from Japan. There will also be a sake tasting and talk beginning at 6 p.m., so be sure to call and RSVP if you're interested. Free; sake tasting is $20. 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Spirits of Carnival
(Ramsey County Government Center West, 50W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651.223.4700, www.winter-carnival.com)
It might be hard to think about the St. Paul Winter Carnival as summer is right around the bend, but organizers of this party will not be subjecting guests to snow--at least not that we know of. Instead, this evening will be filled with food and drink. Sample tasty dishes from O'Gara's, Sakura, Brasa, and others. There will also be wine and beer tastings. All proceeds benefit the St. Paul Winter Carnival's fireworks along the Mississippi. $25/$35. 6-9 p.m.
Kentucky Derby Screening
(Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612.332.3908, www.britspub.com)
They call it the "greatest two minutes in sports." And while pictures of shirtless drunks screaming at horses will pepper news outlets the following day, you can experience the Kentucky Derby as the classy affair it should to be. Wear your most audacious hat (think Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady), and come watch the races live on TV at Brit's. Sit inside and view the day on the big-screen in the Clubhouse upstairs, or sit outdoors and watch from smaller TVs while enjoying the sunshine and views from the rooftop. There will be appetizers and drink specials throughout the day; be sure to order up at least one mint julep. Free. 4 p.m. (Mint julep pictured by Danielle Scott)
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
(El Neuvo Rodeo, 2709 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612.728.0101, www.elnuevorodeo.com)
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little early at this daylong party. Throughout the afternoon and evening there will be music, dancing, and other performances on two stages, one indoor and one outdoor. Headliners for the day are Latin Grammy winners Huichol Musical and La Autoridad de La Sierra. There will also be a low-rider car show, and food vendors, including traditional Mexican food, plus Japanese and Indian treats. Free. Noon to 8 p.m.