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Three Free Things to Do This Week

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This week in free things to do we have a fire arts party, a book arts celebration, and a few free suggestions for St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day Parades

The weather is still on an upswing this week, which means taking in one of the St. Patrick's Day parades outside won't be as unbearable as it has been other years. There are two Twin Cities celebrations, so plan for both or pick the one that works best with your schedule. St. Paul's parade is at noon, and marches from Mears Park (Sixth and Sibley) to Rice Park (109 W. Fourth St.). Later in the day downtown Minneapolis gets in on the action. At 6:30 p.m. the parade heads up Nicollet Mall. If you're in Minneapolis, MetroTransit will be offering free rides from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. However, be prepared to wait, and bring backup cash, as buses don't pick up riders when they're at capacity. For more ideas on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, check out our guide here.

Quarterly Open (Hot)House (Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, 3749 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis)

If fire arts is more you thing, stop in to Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center for its open house. Guests will be able to watch a variety of demonstrations, including artists working with blacksmith techniques, glass molding arts, and metal coloration. There will also be hands-on activities, galleries shows to explore, refreshments, fire dancing, and more. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Third Thursday: Art + Lit (Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3000)

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This installment of Third Thursday will celebrate both visual art and the written word. The Loft Literary Center will be on hand with activities, as will the Center for Book Arts, who will be helping folks letterpress a bookmark. Coffee House Press will be having fun with poetry, while the Rockstar Storytellers will perform raucous spoken word. Music will be provided by the lyrical K.Raydio & O-D, and beer, wine, and other treats will be for sale. 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday.