Freeloader Friday: July 31-August 2

(game night at the Soap Factory's "Common Room")

Free festivals, karaoke, gallery parties, theater, and more after the jump.


Hot Off the Press

(Highpoint Center For Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612.871.1326,

Check out Highpoint's new digs at this show opening. Members of the community printshop cooperative will be on hand to chat about their work from 6:30pm to 9pm. There will be screen prints, relief work, intaglio prints, and lithographs available for sale or simply admiration. Snacks and drinks will also be offered.


(James Ballantine VFW Post 246, 2916 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.823.6233)

It might sound insane, but residents of Uptown know this VFW has some of the best karaoke and general weekend shenanigans in town. The patrons are a mix of friendly types from all walks of life (hipsters, neighbors, truck drivers, barflies, veterans...drunks). It's best to show up a little before 9 pm because sometimes in the summertime the place gets insanely crowded between the hours of 9 pm and 11 pm.


Hot Metal Pour

(Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer, 651.257.6668,

Watch experts create art out of hot, liquid metal. This festival will also feature live music by Savage Aural Hotbed who create music using found objects and other creative tools. There will also be food vendors, and games. 10 am to 6 pm.

Common Room

(The Soap Factory, 518 2nd St. SE, Minneapolis, 612.623.9176,

Creating a space with less of a gallery vibe, more of a creative living room feeling, "Common Room" will invite guests to participate in creative sessions and fun parties ranging from music jams, video screenings, karaoke, game nights, dance nights, book clubs, and more. The opening party is this Saturday from 7 pm to 11 pm. Guests are invited to bring a musical instrument to help score a variety of silent films. Bring your rusty clarinet, or just some friends and have a good time.

Free First Saturday: Down with Dirt

(Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612.375.7600,

Bring the kids and enjoy activities including a crochet workshop, sculpting with colorful clay, demonstrations by experimental archaeologist Grant Goltz, a performance by the Tiyumba Dance Company, and a family tour. 10 am to 3 pm.

Freedom Jazz Festival

(Minnehaha Park and Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave. S, Minneapolis, 612.827.2422,

Fans of jazz should be sure to check out this daylong festival loaded with local musicians including the Capri Big Band, Cornbread Harris, the Dean Brewington Quintet, McKissick Drum Troupe, McRae Jazz Workshop, and others. 1pm to 7:30pm.


Paws On Grand

(Grand Avenue Business Association, 867 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651.699.0029,

Grab your pooch and take him on a stroll up Grand Avenue. Participating stores will have doggie treats, experts offering advice, and activities ranging from a pet parade, pet portraits, and contests. Check out the website for a list of locations and their planned activities. Noon to 4 pm.

As You Like It

(Boom Island Park, 700 Sibley St. NE, Minneapolis)

Can't afford to go to the Fringe? No worries, all the world's a stage, after all. The Strange Capers perform this free Shakespearean comedy Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm. Too much of a good thing? Impossible!