We've heard of Pronto Pups — but summer ending ... pronto? As disastrous as that sentence is, it does hold a firm truth: Summer is winding down, which means the Minnesota State Fair is upon us! After satisfying your agrarian impulses in the always upsetting Miracle of Birth Center, you'll be in need of some culture. Grandstand acts like Def Leppard (August 27) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (September 3) won't help with that, but your pledge-loving friends at Minnesota Public Radio will.
MPR and 89.3 the Current released their State Fair agendas last week, complete with loads of free local music coming to the MPR booth (corner of Judson and Nelson). Among the Minnesota faves stopping by: Duluth blues/folk vet Charlie Parr, Fargo-reared folk upstart Reina Del Cid, indie-folk star Haley Bonar, R&B party-starters Black Diet, and trad-country harmonizers the Cactus Blossoms. MPR and the Current will both be broadcasting live from the booth throughout the fair.
As for grandstand events, gone is the Current-sponsored MN Music on a Stick (boo!), with the re-branded Music on a Stick ($35-$45) set to take its place. What does that mean? It means roots-rocking North Carolina group the Avett Brothers joining New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band on September 5. Neither act is local, and call us skeptics, but odds are they're not literally on sticks, either (apologies if they are). Retirement-bound Garrison Keillor will bring his ketchup humor and trademark sighs to the grandstand for A Prairie Home Companion ($25-$32) on September 4. Tickets to grandstand entertainment are available here.
Here's the full lineup of MPR/Current music to-dos:
August 27 (4:30 p.m.): Charlie Parr
August 28 (4:30 p.m.): Reina Del Cid
August 31-September 3 & September 7 (9 a.m.): Classical MPR Choral Sing-Along with Tesfa Wondemagegnehu
September 1 (noon): Classical MPR live broadcast with the Copper Street Brass
September 2 (4:30 p.m.): Haley Bonar
September 4 (2 p.m.): Classical MPR live broadcast with the Great Northern Union Chorus
September 4 (4 p.m.): Black Diet
September 4 (7:45 p.m.): A Prairie Home Companion
September 5 (7:30 p.m.): The Current's Music on a Stick feat. the Avett Brothers with Preservation Hall Jazz Band
September 7 (2 p.m.): Classical MPR live broadcast with the Singers
September 7 (4:30 p.m.): The Cactus Blossoms