St. Patrick's celebration, whiskey-release parties, vintage markets: 35 free things to do this weekend

Chris Juhn

Chris Juhn

This weekend in free things to do we have holiday happenings, boozy parties, and controversial art. Come take a look.

Tera Kilbride, 'Distortion'

Tera Kilbride, 'Distortion'


Censored; Artists Respond
Controversy erupted in February at Artspace Jackson Flats, a live/work space in northeast Minneapolis, over a series of female nudes. As reported by City Pages, the body-positive exhibition, curated by Kristin Harsma, faced censorship when residents of the building were offended by the artwork. Management told Harsma that she needed to adjust the placement of the works. This month, a new show featuring residents of the building and guest artists emerges at Artspace in response. Pieces will take on the topic of censorship directly. The exhibition takes place in two different areas. In the more public Yellow Gallery, the work will all be self-censored as artists explore the ways that they have been censored or silenced. The larger Gray Gallery, which is a bit more secluded, will highlight work that some have deemed offensive. Opening reception 7-11 p.m. Fri., Mar. 16. 7-11 p.m. March 16. Free. Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-333-9012. --Sheila Regan

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

With Psychic High, Zig Zag Wanderer, and A Dream Set Fire. 9 p.m. March 16; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Jennifer A Schultz

Jennifer A Schultz

Where We Come From: Our Stories as Art
Featuring fiber and fabric art work by Jennifer Schultz. Opening reception 7-9 p.m. Fri., Mar. 16. Free. Susan Hensel Gallery, 3441 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-2324.

Terry Boullianne & The Decibel Kings
8:30 p.m. March 16; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue
6:30 p.m. March 16; Free. Vieux Carre, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 612-332-5299.

L-R: 'Harness,' image stills from interviews with children.

L-R: 'Harness,' image stills from interviews with children. Essma Imady

Essma Imady: Thicker Than Water
Syrian artist Essma Imady reflects on the experiences of immigrant and refugee children in “Thicker Than Water,” a mixed-media exhibition at Mia’s MAEP Gallery. Through film footage and reimagined objects, Imady examines how kids’ identities are formed, and how they understand complex concepts like war, displacement, and home. Footage of interviews with refugee children in Istanbul are presented alongside everyday—but altered—items. There’s Receiving Blanket, made from a soft, touchable material with an image of twisted metal that represents the sharp edges of a broken home. For Comfort Object, a teddy bear has been stuffed with a mother’s weight in lead. These pieces meditate on parental anxiety in the general population and in refugees, and how that anxiety is passed on to children. Imady fled Syria with her now-husband in 2011 after protests erupted near Arab International University, where she studied art. She completed her B.A. at St. Cloud State University and her MFA at MCAD. The couple has a four-year-old daughter who prompted Imady’s own questions about what it means to be Syrian. Free. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. --Erica Rivera

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 p.m.-8:30 a.m. Every Fri.; Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Corda Mór Irish Dancing
Authentic Irish dance performances in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. 12:30-7 p.m. March 16; Free. Mall of America Best Buy Rotunda, 365 N. Garden, Bloomington; 952-883-8800.

Vinyl Club
All vinyl nights with variety of DJs. 10:30 p.m. Every Fri. and Sat.; Free. The Lexington, 1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-222-5878.

Visit Saint Paul

Visit Saint Paul


St. Patrick's Day Parade in St. Paul
This weekend, the downtown streets of the Twin Cities will be rowdier than usual, as St. Patrick’s Day festivities march through Minnesota. If you normally miss the St. Paul parade due to it being in the middle of the day, then you’re in luck this year, as the holiday falls on a Saturday. At the stroke of noon, politicians, unions, local businesses, bands, and others will make their way through the city in a sea of green. This is the 52nd year for St. Paul’s parade, which travels Fifth Street starting at Broadway, then makes its way around Rice Park before turning on Washington to Fourth Street. Afterward, consider heading over to Landmark Center for family-friendly fun including traditional dance, music, and food and beer. Or start your day-drinking adventure at the Liffey, O’Gara’s, Emmett’s, or the Dubliner. Lowertown’s 12welve Eyes Brewing is launching a charity series on Saturday, called Craft That Cares, which will raise funds for good causes. On St. Patrick’s Day, one dollar of every beer sold will benefit the St. Patrick’s Association. Metro Transit offers free rides starting at 6 p.m. and running until 3 a.m., but keep that cell phone fully charged in case you end up needing to take a Lyft instead. Find more info on the parades at and 12 p.m. March 17; Free. Rice Park, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-632-5111. --Jessica Armbruster

Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day Parade
Meanwhile, one city away, find the 50th annual Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This celebration marches at 6:30 p.m. along the length of Nicollet Mall. Though the parade is later in the day, people will start celebrating as soon as the bars open. Some nearby Irish pubs include Kieran’s, the Local, O’Donovans, and Kelly’s. Find more info on the parades at and 6:30 p.m. March 17; Free. Nicollet Mall, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

St. Patrick's Day Free Rides Metro Transit
Score free rides starting at 6 p.m. March 17.

Image courtesy the venue

Image courtesy the venue

Studio Grand Opening
The artsy businesses on Minnehaha Avenue have been doing some shuffling as of late. When Moon Palace Books moved two blocks down the street to Minnehaha and Lake, Ricardo Levins Morales moved his art studio, previously at 38th and Minnehaha, into the vacated spot located next to Peace Coffee and the newly remodeled Trylon Cinema. The studio boasts posters, cards, and buttons featuring Levins Morales’ message-driven art. People who care about anti-racism, workers’ rights, the environment, immigrant rights, and other social-justice causes will find affinity with the artist’s beautiful pieces, which are sometimes poignant, sometimes pithy, and often emotionally charged. For the last eight years, the studio has been as much a store as a community space frequented by activists and rabble rousers, hosting meetings on occasion. In addition to making art, Levins Morales has been a stalwart in the progressive community for decades. The grand opening will include sales, refreshments, yoga for kids, and performances. 10 a.m. March 17; Free. Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio, 3260 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-455-2242. --Sheila Regan

Steel Bearing Hand
With Lockgnar, Plagued Insanity, and Getting Stabbed. 9 p.m. March 17; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Bad Lucky St. Pat's Party
8:30 p.m. March 17; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Blessing of the Still
St. Patrick's Day blessing of the still by a monk from Brother Justus' monastery, with free whiskey samples and glimpses into how Minnesota whiskey is made. 4:30 p.m. March 17; Free. Brother Justus Whiskey Co., 451 Taft St. NE, Door 35, Minneapolis.

Double Peace Studio

Double Peace Studio

Maiden, Mother, Crone Spring Vintage Sale
Shop spring collections inspired by different kinds of magic as they correspond to the three iconic energies: Maiden (crystals, color magic), Mother (candle magic, herbal/kitchen witchery), Crone (divination, astral projection). Hosted by Noisy Eye Vintage and Double Peace Studio. Bring in new or gently-used professional or business casual clothing to donate to Harriet's Closet and receive 10% off purchases. Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Seen the Future, 2223 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. 

Gamer's Flea Market
Trade or sell your tabletop games, RPGs, board games, CCG, and miniatures. 1-4 p.m. March 17; Free. Wander North Distillery, 771 Harding St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-276-2189.

"Dirt and Bones"

"Dirt and Bones"

Dirt and Bones
Two artistic powerhouses whose multi- and mixed-media installations embrace scale, materiality, nature, and culture with an integral approach linking the personal and the political, Judy Onofrio and Sandra Menefee Taylor are not to be trifled with. In this exhibition of wall pieces and installations, they both use natural materials as their medium to explore Earth as a partner, the transitory nature of life, and a distinctly feminist perspective on art making and meaning. The work is arresting, intriguing, and exhilarating. It’s a perspective we need more of to bring us back to the essence of our own bones as well as the greater world of engagement. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 17. Free. Form + Content Gallery, 210 N. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-436-1151. --Camille LeFevre

Spring Flower Show
Featuring a mixture of tulips, daffodils, hydrangea, hyacinth, Asiatic lilies, calla, and crocus. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Daily from March 17-April 22; Free; $2-$3 suggested donation. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul; 651-487-8200.

State Senator Patricia Torres Ray Birthday Party
Celebration welcoming immigrants and dreamers. 6-9 p.m. March 17; Free. The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-345-7166.

5th Annual Kiss My Asana Yogathon
Free all-levels yoga class to support Mind Body Solutions, with snacks, drinks, prizes, and a free pint after class at Lake Monster Brewing. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. March 17. Free; donations welcome. Paikka, 550 Vandalia St., Ste. 165, St. Paul.

Cassandra Buck

Cassandra Buck

Cassandra Buck
Large scale paintings. Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Sat., Mar. 17. Free. Showroom, 612 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-345-7391.

Nickelodeon Universe 10th Birthday Celebration
Featuring family activities, character meet and greets, cupcakes, and entertainment. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. March 17; Free; cost for some rides. Nickelodeon Universe, 5000 Center Court, Bloomington; 952-883-8600.

The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness
Group show created by The Forgiveness Project. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., Mar. 17. Free. Modus Locus, 3500 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-382-9477.



SpokesPeople Talk: The Riddle of Steel
Handmade cycle builder Erik Noren (Peacock Groove) gives an illustrated history of his career. Cycling Museum open vault runs from noon to 4 p.m., talk is at 1 p.m. Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis.

Baddies Comedy Co. Featuring Pierre Douglas, Bruce Williams, and Brandon Riddley
2 p.m. March 18; Free. George Latimer Central Library, 90 W. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-266-7000.

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

Northeast Winter Market
This is the last call for this year's Northeast Winter Market. At this free happening, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you'll find wares from local makers, artisans, and food vendors. There will also be kids’ activities and a Bloody Mary bar. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 18; Free. Solar Arts by Chowgirls, 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-203-0786.

Pavia Wind Quintet and Friends
2 p.m. March 18; Free. Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave., Minneapolis; 612-871-5303.

Saint Paul Civic Symphony: Music from the Heart
3 p.m. March 18; Free. Roseville Lutheran Church, 1215 Roselawn Ave. W., Roseville; 651-487-7752.

Steve Ford
Author/teacher presents his new book, 'Keys to Inspiration: A Teacher's Guide to a Student-Centered Writing Program.' 2 p.m. March 18; Free. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.