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Summer guide to the Twin Cities 2016

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Lazy afternoons on a patio. Relaxing weekends at the park. Long days by the pool. These are things that are often associated with summer. While we certainly strive for these languid moments during the warmer months in Minnesota, the reality is that summer goes fast and is filled with obligations and activities — especially on the weekends. Choose your festivals, concerts, and road trips carefully, because it will be fall before you know it. Below are some of our favorite happenings, including concerts, festivals, and sporting events. For a complete listing of things to come this summer, check out our listings page and our concert calendar

Flight of the Conchords
Orpheum Theatre

New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords haven't been very active since 2009. That's when their HBO series was canceled and their last album, I Told You I Was Freaky, dropped. But through their several hiatuses and Jemaine Clement's bid at a movie career, the musical comedy act have continued to refine their show into a tight, wry riot that mixes Bowie-infused folk with sharp Kiwi wit. The pair of Clement and Bret (pronounced "Brit") McKenzie have a familial intimacy that radiates in the theater setting, making their gig at the Orpheum a rare chance to see the Conchords in an optimal environment. Last year Clement teased that a Flight of the Conchords movie might be in the works. $39.50-$59.50. 7 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. June 17 —Jerard Fagerberg

Adele
Xcel Energy Center

Adele's heartbreaks have almost singlehandedly resuscitated the floundering record industry. The British singer-songwriter used her past relationships as potent inspiration for her trio of record-setting albums, 19, 21, and 25. Her current run of arena shows in support of last year's 25 brings her back to the Twin Cities for the first time since 2011, this time for a two-night stand to accommodate the huge demand for tickets. The U.K. megastar is actually launching her massive, four-month-long U.S. tour in Minnesota. Based on her European set lists, fans can expect to hear all of her hits, including her Grammy/Academy Award-winning James Bond theme, "Skyfall," plus her touching Bob Dylan cover, "To Make You Feel My Love." The performance is sure to be drenched with emotion, with Adele's golden voice showing no ill effects from vocal-cord surgery. Sold out. 7:30 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-726-8240. July 5-6 —Erik Thompson

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Drake and Future
Xcel Energy Center

Drake may have started from the bottom (not really), but he's reached the pinnacle of the Twin Cities concert scene — really! The Canadian-born rap superstar is joining fellow rap hitmaker Future for the 32-date Summer Sixteen Tour, due at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on July 24. Drake — who scored massive 2015 hits with "Hotline Bling" and "Jumpman" (feat. Future) — will be touring in support of his fourth full-length, April's Views. Future — who also appeared at Rhymesayers Entertainment's Soundset Festival in May — will be supporting EVOL, his fourth album, which arrived in February. The chart-dominating buddies each snatched the No. 1 Billboard spot with their new releases. Drake headlined Xcel back in 2013, a show our reviewer described as visually stunning, occasionally corny, and always strikingly earnest. Future opened that gig, as did R&B phenom Miguel. Roy Woods, DVSN, and "special guests" are slated to open the Summer Sixteen Tour. $49.50-$129.50. 7 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-726-8240. July 24 —Jay Boller

Metallica
U.S. Bank Stadium

There's no building in the world more fit to be baptized by Metallica than U.S. Bank Stadium. On August 20, the grease-and-gear rockers will throw the second-ever concert at the sinister-looking matte-black stadium. The L.A. heavy-metal icons will kick in the door at the Vikings' future $1.1 billion home alongside Avenged Sevenfold — a bill that sold out the 73,000-seat arena in 10 minutes — the night after Luke Bryan cuts the ribbon. It's the only gig on Metallica's calendar for 2016 thus far. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the band's breakout album, Master of Puppets, so an explosive evening is in order. Metallica won't be pimping a new album (2008's Death Magnetic is their latest), so expect a blaring marathon of hits. Volbeat will also perform. Sold out. 5 p.m. 900 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-777-8700. August 20 —Jerard Fagerberg

Festival Palomino
Canterbury Park

Festival Palomino pulled out all the stops for its expanded third iteration. In addition to a headlining set by Duluth bluegrass faves/fest curators Trampled by Turtles, three stages of eclectic music will feature Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach's rocking side project the Arcs, the ornate chamber pop of Andrew Bird, U.K. singer-songwriter sensation Jake Bugg, the wistful Scottish rock of Frightened Rabbit, indie-Americana outfit Houndmouth, and the elegant country of locals the Cactus Blossoms, to name just a few artists on the packed bill. Sixteen acts will perform throughout the day (up seven from last year), and the fest will take advantage of its Canterbury Park location with horseracing throughout the day. In a scene starved for unique, high-quality music festivals, Palomino steps up by not breaking the bank while delivering stirring, impeccable-sounding live performances under the late-summer sun. For the full lineup, head to www.festivalpalomino.com. $52-$151. 1 to 10 p.m. 1100 Canterbury Rd. S., Shakopee; 952-445-7223. September 17 —Erik Thompson

Open Streets
Various locations

Open Streets Minneapolis is back for its sixth season this summer. From Uptown to downtown, and touching all corners of the city, Open Streets upends the car-to-pedestrian hierarchy by creating a safe space for bicyclists, skateboarders, walkers, roller skaters, unicyclists, joggers, and stroller-riders to roam free on some of the city's main drags. The event, which began earlier this month on Lyndale Avenue, will be hitting main thoroughfares like East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue, West Broadway, and Nicollet Avenue. Every Open Streets event is a little different, as each one is organized by neighbors and businesses, but there's usually a combination of kids' activities, art and cultural experiences, and food. Local businesses along each street often have special offerings on hand, and you'll see street vendors selling everything from jewelry to snacks. The real joy of Open Streets, however, is waltzing down the road in an exhaust-free environment. See openstreetsmpls.org for a full schedule of the season. Now through October 1 —Sheila Regan

Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Stone Arch Bridge

There is truly something for everyone at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. Against the backdrop of one of the most picturesque views in all of Minneapolis, over 250 artists gather to display their wares, alongside four performance stages featuring live music from many different genres, a car show, delectable food and beverage offerings, and a variety of family activities. With that wide array of entertainment suitable for any and all interests, it's no surprise that this three-day free festival over Father's Day weekend brings out quite a crowd. In addition to all the art, music, and family fun, Stone Arch also has a ticketed beer sampler event, featuring breweries from across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the U.S. offering up special samples of their brews. The family activities area is always popular for kids of all ages, with art projects, face painting, and caricature artists adding their flair to the festivities. The music lineup is consistently top-notch, no matter what your tastes, and the food and drinks all go down easy on glorious summer nights at the Stone Arch Bridge. For a complete schedule of events and lineups, visit www.stonearchbridgefestival.com. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 219 S. Main St., Minneapolis; 612-230-6400. June 17-19 —Erik Thompson

Greenway Glow
Midtown Greenway

As many cyclists know, the Midtown Greenway is a main drag for riders. The bike and walking trail provides crucial pavement that bicyclists use to get from one area of Minneapolis to another, and to connect to other trails and pathways. It's an option that is used for recreation as well as commuting. At the annual Greenway Glow, the trail becomes an art party. The event, which benefits the Greenway, features dozens of artist installations and performances, all lit up for the night. The 10-mile bike ride and 5K fun run/walks raise even more money, while after parties at Eastlake Craft Brewery and Taco Cat in the Midtown Global Market keep the celebration going. To register, visit greenwayglow.kintera.org. Free; $10 donation suggested; $25 registration for run/bike (plus $75 in pledges). 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Freewheel Midtown Bike Center, 2834 10th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-238-4447. June 18 —Jessica Armbruster

Pride and Summer Beer Dabblers
Loring Park/CHS Field

Nothing says "summertime" like drinking beer outdoors. You'll be able to do just that at the Pride and Summer Beer Dabblers this season. The beer fest kicks off Twin Cities Pride weekend for the fifth year in a row with over 50 breweries setting up shop in Loring Park. Announced varieties include an habanero-infused lager from Sidhe, a potato-and-beet brew from Lupulin Brewing, and a elderberry-fueled cask IPA from Lake Monster Brewing that pays homage to Betty White. Later in the summer, the beer party returns for the Summer Beer Dabbler. This mega-fest, which takes over an entire stadium, will offer over 100 beers, live music, and stadium eats. For tickets and more info, visit beerdabbler.com. June 24; August 20 —Jessica Armbruster

Twin Cities Pride Festival
Loring Park

One of the country's biggest LGBTQ celebrations, Twin Cities Pride has more to celebrate every year. This summer's party runs for a full week, starting with a family picnic at Como Park on Sunday, June 19, and climaxes with the state's longest parade, taking over Hennepin Avenue the following Sunday, June 26. Floats run the full spectrum from hillbillies to cage dancers, with everyone high on life. Loring Park will turn into a merry riot of color and commerce all that weekend, with the big-name entertainment taking the park stage on Saturday night for Pride in Concert. This year's headliners are safe draws: American Idol drag queen Adore Delano and veteran hitmakers the Pointer Sisters. Are you so excited you just can't hide it? Good, because you're about to lose control and you'll probably like it. Kathy Griffin's also coming to town, for a June 23 gig at the sparkly new(ish) Orchestra Hall. That's not even mentioning a Lake Harriet bandshell show (June 20), a Pride night at the Saints and Lynx games (June 24), a Beer Dabbler (same night, preceded that morning by a "caffeine crawl" for those who like their uppers before their downers), and the annual Grown & Sexy Pride dance night at First Avenue (also Friday). Loud and proud? Join the crowd. Tickets and more info can be found at www.tcpride.org. Free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. June 25-26 —Jay Gabler

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Highland Fest
Highland Village

Highland Fest has transcended its humble origins as a neighborhood block party to become a destination event drawing over 65,000 attendees annually to the Highland Park area of St. Paul. Despite its popularity, the event has somehow maintained a uniquely genial vibe reminiscent of small-town carnivals. Friendly diversions include inflatable rides, wiener-dog races, and a petting zoo. Those seeking more adult activities, however, are welcome to take refuge under the beer tent or participate in a wine tasting, perhaps as a refresher before taking in some live music from the daylong lineup. The more athletically inclined can select from a 5K road race or an outdoor Zumba class, both of which will allow for the preemptive shedding of calories before venturing down the aromatically enticing aisles of food vendors. In a nod to the neighborhood's industrial history, the fest continues to feature an All Ford Car & Truck Show while another tradition, a juried art fair, draws wildly creative contributors from near and far. Topping it all off, naturally enough, is that quintessential spectacle: a fireworks display. For more info, visit www.highlandfest.com. Free. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Ford Parkway, between Cleveland Avenue and Fairview Avenue, St. Paul. July 15-17 —Brad Richason

Minneapolis Aquatennial
Various locations

Last year, the Minneapolis Aquatennial went from 10 to four days. That length of time seems to be working, as the citywide celebration returns this year with a similar format. Though the happening is shorter, the beloved events associated with it remain. There's Wednesday night's Torchlight Parade along Hennepin Avenue downtown, with family fun in Loring Park preceding it. There are sporting events such as tennis championships and bike races planned, and the Twin Cities River Rat water ski shows can be seen from West River Road Thursday and Friday. The festival concludes Saturday with Carifest, which showcases Caribbean culture, and the giant fireworks show along West River Parkway that evening. For more information and a complete schedule of events, check www.aquatennial.com. July 20-23 —Jessica Armbruster

Little Mekong Night Market
The Little Mekong District

The Little Mekong District, a business and cultural area located between Mackubin and Galtier Streets along University Avenue, gets transformed into a night market from Southeast Asia. Last year, 15,000 people attended the festival, which boasted 280 participating artists. Filled with delicious food, artisanal wares, games, activities, and both traditional and contemporary performances, this year's event promises to be bigger and better than ever. It's all put on by the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), which developed Little Mekong as a destination where businesses — including many Asian American-owned ones — can thrive and share culture, tradition, and activities. So come for the break-dancing and music, stay for the ping pong at this fun, family-friendly event that will satisfy your tastebuds. For more info, visit littlemekong.com. 379 University Ave. W., St. Paul. July 23-24 (an August date will be announced later in the season). —Sheila Regan

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl
North Side Minneapolis

For more than a decade, hundreds of unique artists from the North Side have come together for this annual celebration. This non-juried, self-guided tour features creatives who work with all kinds of materials, sounds, and movement, and are genuinely excited to share their work, which means you don't have to be an art snob to enjoy FLOW. Mural painting, live music, food trucks, and a beer garden are just a handful of the cool features you'll find at the event, giving you the opportunity to make an entire day (or weekend) of it. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to check out the studios, galleries, theaters, and commercial spaces that stretch over a mile and half of the West Broadway corridor. Come walk the line and select your favorites while opening your mind to a new experience at every turn. Of all the art festivals in town this summer, FLOW may be the most unique and diverse in focus, while still showcasing the great art being made everyday on the North Side. For more info, visit www.northmpls.org. Free. 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. July 28-30 —Patrick Strait

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Red Hot Art & Music
Stevens Square Park

Each year, Red Hot Art & Music offers two days of local art and tunes on the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis. The event hosts over 100 makers, including painters, potters, print artists, photographers, zinesters, and jewelry designers. While many local art fairs attract established artists from around the nation who pay steep fees for a booth, Red Hot Art focuses on providing space for Minnesota artists who might not have an enormous table budget ($50 to $125 is the general going rate for a space here). In the afternoon and evening, the happening becomes a music fest, with local acts taking the stage. Stay tuned, a complete lineup is usually released closer to the event date. Follow the organization at www.facebook.com/RedHotArt. Free. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 1801 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis. July 30-31 —Jessica Armbruster

Minnesota Fringe Festival
Various locations

For its 23rd annual go-round, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is making a big change to its ticketing system: Instead of buying tickets on a show-by-show basis (and then getting one of those annoying, beloved buttons), all patrons will buy day passes. Organizers hope that the passes, which will cost $16 for weekdays and $22 on weekends, will encourage Fringe-goers to take in more shows, since every additional performance after you pay for the day's first will be free. What's not changing is the festival's signature non-juried application process, meaning that you never know quite what will happen when the lights go down at one of the Fringe's dozen or so Minneapolis venues. The Bryant-Lake Bowl returns to the Fringe mix this year — good news for those who like a little grass-fed beef with their indie theater — and Northeast's new Strike Theater will be a venue as well. The full festival schedule will be posted July 1; as you plan your attack, watch for our full Fringe preview and for our reviews once the festival begins. Audience reviews on the festival website drive a lot of buzz too (and they're unfailingly entertaining to read). Another good place to get the what's what is Fringe Central (last year it was the Red Stag Supperclub), the festival's officially endorsed late-night hang for drinks and gossip. $16 weekday passes; $22 weekends. For more info, visit www.fringefestival.org. August 4-14 —Jay Gabler

Renaissance Festival
Festival Grounds

Now in its 46th season, Minnesota's Renaissance Festival continues to be one of the largest and most talked about Renaissance festivals throughout the country. Lords, ladies, knights, and wizards will once again head to Shakopee this summer for a true throwback celebration. In addition to the live jousting, 16 entertainment stages, and hundreds of booths selling everything from swords to clothing, the festival also offers seven themed weekends. These include the Highland Fling, which features a keg toss, kilt competition, and Scottish dancers; the Wine, Chocolate, and Romance weekend, with grape stomping, pie eating contests, and free wedding vow renewals; and Oktoberfest, which boasts homebrew, beard, and "bier" pong face-offs. Even if you aren't interested in putting on a cape or a corset, there are still plenty of reasons for adults, kids, and everyone in between to be yelling, "Huzzah!" from summer into the fall. $11.50-$22.95. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus Labor Day. 12364 Chestnut Blvd., Shakopee; 952-445-7361. August 20 through October 2 —Patrick Strait

Square Lake Film and Music Festival
Square Lake

Good tunes, weird movies, pastoral setting, and bikes — what a great way to spend a Saturday. The annual Square Lake Film and Music Festival, located near the beautiful Square Lake County Park, boasts a dazzling selection of Minnesota-made experimental and animated short films, mostly under 15 minutes, paired with music from the likes of the Cactus Blossoms, the Blind Shake, Dreamland Faces, and Paul Fonfara & the Ipsefendus Orchestra. Square Lake is located about an hour outside of the Twin Cities, but if you're feeling especially adventurous, join one of the groups that bike all the way there for a steeply discounted ticket. In past years, more than 50 percent of attendees have cycled to the festival, which is great because parking is limited. You can also camp overnight for free, though no fires or grills are allowed. For tickets and more info, visit www.squarelakefestival.com. 2 p.m. to midnight; bike ride starts at 10 a.m. (meet at either HUB Bike Coop at 3020 Minnehaha Ave. S. in Minneapolis or Cycles for Change at 712 University Ave., St. Paul). 13359 Partridge Rd. N., Stillwater. August 20 —Sheila Regan

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Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fairgrounds

The State Fair has a singular status as a summer's-end must, but the Great Minnesota Get-Together isn't resting on its laurels. With each passing year, there are fewer mediocre food purveyors and more high-end eateries like the Blue Barn. For fans of suds, the State Fair is now essentially a craft beer festival with a giant slide. This year's new food list will be released any day now, but until then you can bet there will be something inspired by a New York food trend (a la the French Meadow "doughsant"), something that sounds absolutely disgusting, and several entrees ill-advisedly maneuvered onto sticks. The State Fair also calls itself "Minnesota's largest music festival," and it's certainly the most eclectic. This year's big news at the Grandstand is the two-night stand by the Dixie Chicks, with both shows instantly sold out. But don't worry, tickets are still available for Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, a Lovato-Jonas double bill, and the indefatigable Turtles. Hundreds of free music shows will include a Leinie Lodge set from Billy Bob Thornton and his band the Boxmasters, with local notables like Sonny Knight and Reina del Cid taking the Schell's Stage. For livestock aficionados, this year's most joyful news is that the birds are coming back. Last year, poultry were yanked and people looking for those adorable chicks at the Miracle of Birth Center had to settle for cows licking amniotic fluid off their calves. With avian flu now at bay, fairgoers can once again count their chickens (as well as eat them). Visit www.mnstatefair.org for more info. $11-$13. 6 a.m. to midnight daily (10 p.m. on Labor Day). 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-288-4400. August 25 through September 5 —Jay Gabler

Live Racing
Canterbury Park

If you've ever wanted to experience the pomp and circumstance of the Kentucky Derby without having to hop a plane, you need to get to Canterbury. With live horse racing taking place every Thursday through Sunday, you can cheer on your favorites, root for the underdogs, and still be home in time to get a good night's sleep. Canterbury is a family-friendly environment, as kids can get up close and personal with the horses and jockeys. Meanwhile, mom and dad can enjoy a craft beer or a cocktail and place a few bets to spice up the entertainment value. Best of all, the track features special events all summer long, including Extreme Race Day featuring ostriches, camels, and zebras running the track (July 16); the brand-new Corgi Dog Races (July 30); Food Truck Fest (August 6); and more. It's also a great value, as every Thursday is Buck Night, where admission and programs are just $1 each, and there are great food specials for $1 to $3. Whether you're looking for a cheap date night or a way to strike it rich with your expert horse-betting, Canterbury is a unique way to spend an afternoon. $7. 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 12:45 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 952-445-7223. Now through September 17 —Patrick Strait

Saint Paul Saints
CHS Field

While the Twins tend to dominate local summer sports coverage, baseball fans in search of a more relaxed experience have flocked to the Saint Paul Saints. Unlike their major league contemporaries, the Saints possess an endearing scrappiness that lends a refreshing sense of spontaneity to their games. Coming off a solid 2015 season wherein the Saints clinched the title of Northern division champions in the independent American Association, the team is returning with a promising roster including standout pitcher Jeff Shields and record-setting slugger Angelo Songco. Saints games aren't only defined by the on-field action, but also by an array of entertaining diversions including costumed characters dancing in the stands, wacky contests for attendees, wittily conceived theme nights, and spectacular fireworks displays. Though some still lament the move from the more tailgate-friendly digs at Midway Stadium, the team's newer home at CHS Field has proven to be an open-air oasis, stocked with clear sight lines, uncongested walkways, and copious food and drink options for savoring a leisurely summer eve at the ballpark. Tickets and info at saintsbaseball.com. $5-$28. 360 N. Broadway, St. Paul; 651-644-3517. Now through September 5 —Brad Richason

Minnesota Twins
Target Field

So far in the 2016 season, the Twins have sadly failed to build on the promise of last year's club, who were fighting for a playoff spot up until the season's final weeks. Despite the emerging talents of Miguel Sano, Oswaldo Arcia, and celebrated rookie Byung Ho Park – a superstar in his native South Korea, whom the Twins acquired in a league-wide bidding war during the offseason – the local nine has stumbled out of the gates with an MLB-worst record through the season's first two months, leaving their fans frustrated and looking for someone to blame. The multi-millionaire face of the franchise, hometown hero Joe Mauer, is again the target of fierce criticism, as his paltry numbers and anemic production at the plate fail to warrant the huge contract the Twins offered him following his early MVP season. The shrewd front office moves of general manager Terry Ryan haven't generated winning results in recent years, while manager and St. Paul native Paul Molitor's luck has entirely disappeared after a relatively charmed initial season in charge of the team. But no matter the success of the product on the field, heading out to Target Field on a glorious summer evening continues to be a special treat to die-hard Twins fans who waited all winter for the chance to see some outdoor baseball. Let's just hope the team can turn their fortunes around and hold our interest throughout the long season. $13-$129. For tickets and a complete schedule of games, visit minnesota.twins.mlb.com. 1 Twins Way, Minneapolis; 612-659-3400. Now through September 25 —Erik Thompson

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Minnesota United FC
National Sports Center Stadium

Things are really looking up for our professional soccer team. After years of building a passionate fan base and a successful team on the pitch, MN United have been chosen to join Major League Soccer as an expansion team, and are in the process of having a brand new, 20,000-seat stadium built for them in St. Paul as well. But until the Loons move to the MLS (most likely in 2017), and transition to their new home in 2018, the team continues to fare well against the competition from their rivals in the North American Soccer League, while playing to their raucous, Dark Cloud supporters, who religiously trek out to Blaine to see them in action. The team is led by a group of young stars who all appear poised to take the next step to MLS glory. Christian Ramirez, Ben Speas, and Brazilian Stefano Pinho all bolster a record-setting offense, while Justin Davis, Kevin Venegas, Jeb Brovsky, and Damion Lowe all anchor a stout defense in front of their Cameroonian international keeper, Sammy Ndjock, whose extraordinary saves keeps the club in each and every game. Time will tell how the team ultimately handles the big move to the MLS, but for now the excitement continues to build for the future of MN United, as well as the importance of professional soccer here in Minnesota. $15-$57. For tickets and a complete schedule of this season's games, visit www.mnunitedfc.com. 1700 105th Ave. NE, Blaine; 763-476-2237. Now through October 29 —Erik Thompson

Minnesota Lynx
Target Center

The Lynx are in the midst of establishing a dynasty here in Minneapolis, having won three WNBA titles over the past five seasons. With the rapid decline of all the other professional sports teams in Minnesota, it's truly gratifying to have a champion to celebrate, and Los Lynx are the reigning queens of the WNBA court. The team is led by a quartet of all-stars, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, and Hutchinson native (and former Gopher) Lindsay Whalen, who form the talented core of a team that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Under the steady guidance of head coach Cheryl Reeve, the Lynx have captured the boisterous support of local sports fans who have grown desperate to cheer on a winner in this championship-starved state, as well as legions of young girls who take to their own basketball courts dreaming of one day following in the footsteps of their idols. The current season has started just like last season ended, with the Lynx asserting their dominance over the rest of the league, and Maya Moore proving that she is one of the best athletes to ever play professional sports here in Minnesota. Seriously, get out there and support the Lynx, because they are the only champions that we've got here in the Twin Cities, and who knows how long this impressive run of their will last. $20-$85. For tickets and a complete schedule of this season's games, visit www.lynx.wnba.com. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-673-0900. Now through September 17 —Erik Thompson

North Star Pro Bike Races
Various locations

Every summer, North Star Pro Bike Races turn the Twin Cities into a giant race track. Each day offers a new race at a new location with its own unique challenges. Things kick off Wednesday morning with the St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial. Though the views will be pretty, riders will be focused on cycling, as mere minutes could take pro athletes out of the event. Later in the evening, the St. Paul Downtown Criterium will requires riders to zoom by Mears Park and Lowertown buildings, occasionally trekking along on brick roads. The following day takes participants out to the countryside for the Cannon Falls Road Race. Spectators may want to do a little winery touring or antiquing as cyclists make their way to Red Wing and back. Friday's Uptown Minneapolis Criterium is always a nail-biter, as racers must make six super-tight turns on the .88-kilometer track, looping around multiple times. For the new North Mankato Road Race, riders will take laps through rural scenery before ending on top of a hill on Valerie Lane. Finally, the notorious Stillwater Criterium requires athletes to trek up the perilously steep Chilkoot Hill multiple times. From there, the ultimate winner emerges. For more info, visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com. Free. June 15-19 —Jessica Armbruster

Food Truck Fest
Uptown Minneapolis

Unless you work in downtown Minneapolis, you might not get to dine from Twin Cities food trucks too often. Sure, there's usually a truck at a brewery on any given night, and you might spot a few at a weekend festival, but rarely is there an opportunity to gorge on food truck offerings quite like the annual Uptown Food Truck Festival. Here you'll have access to delicious eats from 50 or so trucks, whether you're jonesing for tacos, barbecue, fish and chips, burritos, or just something delicious and meaty. Wash things down with beer, and enjoy live music while you dine. For more info, visit www.uptownfoodtruckfestival.com. Free. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, Minneapolis. June 26 —Jessica Armbruster

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