Freeloader Friday: June 26-28

(picture by Indy Charlie)

Free festivals, free music, free readings, free art. Free. Click the link for free stuff happening this weekend.


5th Annual Uptown Pride Block Party

(on the street, round the corner from Bryant-Lake Bowl (810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612.825.8949))

Have a cold beer on your friend's porch and walk over to this free street festival tonight from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Totally free music acts include folksy rocker Tina Schlieske, soul popsters Black Blondie, punk rockers Sick of Sarah, and performances by members of Dykes Do Drag. Interested in kicking ass on wheels? Chat with North Star RollerGirls about tryouts for next season.

Karaoke Night

(U Otter Stop Inn, 617 Central Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 612.331.4169)

This Northeast Minneapolis bar is tiny, has one bathroom, and is usually packed by 11 p.m. It also has some of the best karaoke in town. Show up early, and be ready to sing when the karaoke machine is fired up at 9 p.m. 21+.


2009 Pride Festival

(Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis, 612.305.6900,

Have you heard? This weekend is all about pride. The main party is here, and will include just about anything you could possibly want to do in a park on the weekend (well, other than that). Cheer on sports teams, enjoy family activities, hang in the beer garden, and listen to live music. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Sawdust City

(First Amendment Gallery, 1101 Stinson Blvd. NE, Minneapolis, 612.379.4151)

This opening reception serves double-duty as an EP-release for Digitata as well. Check out paintings, sculpture, and photography by Eau Claire, Wisconsin artists Eric Lee, David Jensen, and Chance Orth. Local electro band Digitata will play a set of their latest tunes. Marijuana Death Squad will also perform. The party runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Bill Santiago

(Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.822.4611)

Love Bill Santiago but can't afford to check out his show over at Acme Comedy Co.? He'll also be giving a free talk and reading of his book, My Spanglish: One Man's Guide to Speaking the Habla, that promises to be hilarious. And free. 7 p.m.

Jenny Dalton, Bella Koshka, Revolver Modele

(501 Club, 501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.3848)

This newish bar is brought to you by the owners of the 331 Club. Tonight's show features a free night of rock, folk, and electronic sounds, from all three bands. The show starts at 10 p.m.



(Bush Lake Beach, 9140 E Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington)

Check out this sandcastle-building competition out in the 'burbs. Visitors can also enjoy games, live music, and theater from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

GLBT Barn Dance

(Lee's Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.9491)

This Sunday-night hoedown starts at 7 p.m., and is a gay-friendly, rootin' tootin' good time.

Also free: A megaton of suburban festivals

If you've ever been to a festival, you know what to expect. There will probably be cheese curds and buckets of cookies. You might have to buy tickets or a wristband before you can purchase your beer and fries. There will be live music, and probably some random roving entertainers. You know the drill. Here's were they are this weekend:

49er Days

(Fridley Common Park, 6250 7th St. NE, Fridley; 763.572.3570,

9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Earl Brown Days

(various locations, for more info call 763.569.3400 or visit

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


Dan Patch Days

(Savage Community Park, 13500 Dakota Ave. S., Savage, visit for a complete schedule)

6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.


(various locations, for more info call 651.792.7411 or visit

3:30 p.m. 11 p.m. daily.

Blaine's Blazin' Fourth

(Aquator Park, 9191 Lincoln St., Blaine;

5 p.m. to midnight Friday; 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.