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A Holiday Train, a THC Taproom, and a Shrek Rave: This Week’s Best Events

It's getting weird this holiday season.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

MONDAY 12.12

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
Union Depot

Racket’s official stance? Trains rock. And this is your chance to check out the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train for a free concert as it rolls through the Twin Cities on its annual journey to support food banks and shelves. General admission starts at 5:30 p.m., with the train arriving at 6:45 p.m. and live music (it’s outside—bundle up!) from Alan Doyle and Kelly Prescott beginning at 7 p.m. You’re encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or a cash donation to support their local food shelf partner, and if you can’t make it on Monday? On Tuesday, the CP train rolls through Golden Valley (4:45 p.m.), St. Louis Park (6 p.m.), and Minneapolis (8 p.m.), with more stops in Minnesota as the week goes on. Find the full list of shows here. Free. 5-8 p.m. 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.—Em Cassel

Beer art at Bauhaus


Pints and Prints

Bauhaus Brew Labs

This Tuesday, local artists, makers, and more will be sharing works inspired by beer while drinking beer in a brewery. Take that, cheesy infinity art! So sip a pint and buy some gifts for the beer-lovers on your holiday shopping list (or shop for yourself). There will be posters, there will be prints, there will be graphic novels, and there will be comics. So if you ever wanted a drunk angry octopus poster on your wall, now’s your chance to make that dream a reality. Featured artists include Jason Walz, Drew Brockington, and Nicholas Straight. Free. 5-10 p.m. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster


The 1975 


As I’ve already lived through the ’80s once, the 1975’s processed guitars, human-or-machine? drums, and inopportune sax breaks are not the exotic sounds from a distant past that their fanbase probably hears. It’s all just a jumble of retro musical styles as worthy of retooling as any other, and on Being Funny in a Foreign Language charmingly facile cad Matty Healy and his crew enlists the help of omnipresent helpmate-to-the-stars Jack Antonoff to streamline their sound. At their weakest, the 1975 sound like they’re soundtracking a direct-to-video Pretty Woman sequel, or like a tribute band to Level 42 or someone. But ultimately, 1975 fandom comes down to how taken with Matty Healy’s undeniable (if limited) wit you are. I’ve heard claims of Healy achieving emotional maturity here, but afaik his pledges of love are still credible only if you’re ready to suspend your disbelief for the sake of a decent hook. A good sign of his musical maturity, however, is that the album is his shortest: roughly 43 minutes, a true sign of restraint from a band that’s let a previous release balloon up to a full hour and 20. $203 and up. 7 p.m. 500 S. 6th St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Pokin'!Fair State


Hot Poker Beers

Fair State Coop

Toasting marshmallows over an open fire is pretty dang tasty. But what if you could do the same thing—hear me out now!—with beer? If you have a hot iron poker, you kinda can. Beer poking, or, as the Germans affectionately call it, bier stacheln, is a 400-something-years-old tradition of transforming brew into a warm (still alcoholic) treat. When you stick a red-hot poker into a pint, it caramelizes the sugars, turning it into a warm, even maltier bevvy with a softer, melty, Marshmallow Fluff-like texture. Fans of beer poking through history include fasting monks and Northern Europeans (who know how to have a good time in harsh weather). You can give your beer a good poke this Thursday with the help of Fair State, where they will be releasing their highly pokable Cooperator Doppelbock, a smokey/malty brew perfect for this type of activity. 5-7 p.m. 2506A Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Trail Magic Taproom Pop-Up

BŪCH Fermentary & Taproom

Back in September, we were as bummed to learn Able Seedhouse + Brewery was closing as we were intrigued to hear that hard kombucha company BŪCH was moving in. Most recently? We were super excited to find out that BŪCH would be hosting a four-day THC taproom. What a whirlwind of emotions! This week, from Thursday to Sunday, you can catch a different kind of buzz in Northeast, as they’ll have a THC bubbly from 13 different businesses making drinkable weed. That includes varieties from Lakes & Legends, Indeed Brewing, East Lake Brewing, BLNCD and Foundry Nation (read out gummy and bubbly review from these guys here), and Fulton, which released their bottled bevs right before Thanksgiving. Try different brands, take a sneak peek at the space under new ownership, and catch a buzz. 21+. 5-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster

FRIDAY 12.16

Trailer Trash

Turf Club

For 22 years, these local, good-humored, tireless country music fellers set up their Santa’s workshop in Lee’s Liquor Lounge, where, over the course of several sets, they’d pull one Christmas novelty after another from a seemingly bottomless bag of songs. But after disputes with new management prodded the band out of Lee’s (which eventually closed in 2019), they took their show on the road, much like Santa himself. These fellas are just about everywhere this X-mas season—they’ve already played the Parkway and a couple out of town gigs—but their gig at the Turf is one of their most popular. Ho, ho, holy shit. $25-$27. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Soon the sky will look like this later than 4 p.m.!Pryes Brewing


The Long Night: Winter Solstice Bash

Pryes Brewing Co.

We’ve almost done it: Ever so gradually, it’ll stop feeling like midnight at 5:30 p.m. The fine folks at Pryes—one of our favorite local breweries—are celebrating the darkest day by turning the brewery into an “enchanted winter wonderland.” (Technically, the solstice falls on the 21st, but Saturdays are better for drinking than Wednesdays.) We’re talkin’ live music (Cloudchord, Borahm Lee, Molly Brandt & Eric Carranza, Allie McIntosh), fire performers, a live muralist, bottle bar, cookie decorating, food specials, and limited-release brews. And just think: By the end of January, we’ll have already gained an hour of daylight… all the way up to nine hours and 50 minutes. Free. 11 a.m. to midnight. 1401 W. River Rd. N., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Snow Daze

Modist Brewing Company

Something about the ugly sweater party feels very 2009 to me—it stinks of the kind of almost-annoying self-aware irony that was a product of the era that gave us “the hipster” and “indie sleaze.” But hey, indie sleaze is making a comeback, so maybe the era of the ugly sweater party is back as well. Besides, I know we all still have plenty of ‘em lingering in the back of our closets, moth-eaten and hideously striped. And it is sort of nice to wear a cozy sweater to a brewery in the winter. I guess what I’m saying is, ah… what the hell, I don’t need to be a killjoy. This “old-fashioned” ugly sweater party at Modist seems fun! Free. 2-8 p.m. 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

Shrek Rave

First Avenue

“It’s dumb just come have fun.” So reads the promotional pitch for Shrek Rave, a dance night themed around everyone’s favorite Scottish ogre. For irony-soaked millennials who spend too much time online (hello!), the 2001 animated film has sprouted a cottage industry of memes and in-jokes, a phenomenon that L.A. host/artist Jordan Craig first translated into a rave two years ago. By this past July, the Grey Lady was writing about his lime-green dance dance night. “When people say there’s a Shrek rave, where else are you going to go?” 28-year-old raver Nick told the New York Times. “I found out about this a day and a half ago. I wish I knew earlier, I would have brought earwax.” In what trippy, bass-throbbing ways will Shrek, Donkey, Lord Farquaad, and the gang manifest in the Mainroom, which’ll be rebranded as “The Swamp” tonight? You gotta see for yourself—where else are you gonna go? (P.S. Did you know the late, great Chris Farley was originally planned to voice Shrek? Check out these fantastic early recordings.) $22-$37. 9 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Elf in Concert with the Minnesota Orchestra

Minnesota Orchestra 

Do classically trained musicians enjoy playing along to movies featuring a man-child North Pole elf guzzling gallons of maple syrup? Impossible for us to say. But! It does seem like an enjoyable letting-your-hair-down opportunity for our local maestros, and a whole helluva lotta fun for kids and parents who love the 2003 Will Ferrell vehicle Elf. Minnesota Orchestra promoters praise the film’s original score, by Hollywood composer/conductor John Debney, as “wonderful,” so apparently the source material is not the stuff of cotten-headed ninny-mugginses. Somber side note: Semi-recent RIPs to James Caan and Ed Asner, two of the greats who’ll be on the Orchestra Hall big-screen. $49.50-$92. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

The gang's all here!Lawless


Miracle at Lawless

Lawless Distillery

We love it when a cocktail bar goes fancy for the holiday, and Lawless never disappoints. This season, every square inch of the space will be packed with crap, including silvery tinsel, twinkling lights, bulbs galore, and tchotchkes, tchotchkes, tchotchkes. The drinks are also festive: The Christmapolitan, for example, is a fancy drink made with vodka, Creme de Flora, and spiced cranberry syrup, topped with a big hunk of rosemary. Prefer to sip on a non-alcoholic bevvy? The bar will be serving up two different mocktails as well. Stop by after work, after a day of shopping (Moon Palace is nearby!), or before a round of bowling at Memory Lanes–no reservations necessary. 5-11 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 5 p.m. to midnight Thursdays and Fridays;  2 p.m. to midnight Saturdays; 2-11 p.m. Sundays. 2619 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through December 31Jessica Armbruster

GLOW Holiday Festival

CHS Field

This season, CHS Field gives baseball a rest and becomes a winter wonderland for you to explore. Attractions include Brite Bikes, an interactive Christmas tree light show that people control via cycling (think of it kinda like a festive spin class). There are a few installments that sound like a trip, literally. There’s an enchanted forest, filled with twinkling trees; “glitter critters,” an area dedicated to electrically sparkling “animals”; and Spire Alley, described as a “psychedelic cross between a fuzzy blacklight poster and spirograph.” Folks who like to get lost in the snow will appreciate the Reindeer Run maze, while thrill seekers might enjoy the giant snow slide. Santa visits, a makers’ markets, and liquor, wine, and beer round out this big ol’ fest. $10. 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Reserve your time and find more details at 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul. Through January 1–Jessica Armbruster

Rosy Simas Danse: She Who Lives on the Road to War

Weisman Art Museum/All My Relations Arts

Part art installation, part dance performance, She Who Lives on the Road to War examines potential paths to a peaceful future via indigenous history. The exhibit’s title is inspired by the life of Jigonhsasee, an ancient Haudenosaunee woman, known as the Mother of Nations, who once touted war between tribes but eventually changed her ways and advocated for peace. Can you imagine what that kind of turnaround would look like in today’s world? That’s kind of the point of this show, which encourages people to rest, grieve, and “consider how we can all work towards reconciliation during the dual pandemics of systematic racism and COVID-19.” You can see installations at both WAM and All My Relations Arts, and both venues will host dance performances during the show’s run. RSVP for free tickets and find the entire performance schedule here. Weisman Art Museum’s (333 E. River Rd., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) show runs through February 5, while events at All My Relations (1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis) are through December 15.—Jessica Armbruster

European Christmas Market

Union Depot

Yeah, Americans know how to decorate a mall real fancy, but Europeans definitely trump us with their classy, old world-style markets. The best attempt at one of these in the Twin Cities is at the Union Depot, where the festive European Christmas Market offers wholesome fun each winter. Events take place indoors and outdoors each weekend, with plenty to see and do. Traditional eats available for purchase include baklava, raclette, pierogi, spätzle, brats, and Glühwein (aka mulled wine). Shop from local and international vendors selling wooden toys, glass ornaments, and other giftables. Traditional music, dance, and other entertainment rounds out the event. Check out for more info. 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. 240 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Through December 18—Jessica Armbruster


Loring Park

Holidazzle was once an illuminated parade that ran through downtown Minneapolis. But, like many things that have been around for decades, a few years ago it had to pivot and transform. These days, the event is a festival in Loring Park. Each weekend, there’s a ton of stuff to see and do. A few of their greatest hits include a carousel, a 17-foot-tall illuminated Yeti sculpture, and a beer garden, where you can enjoy wifi and brew and seltzers from Fulton. Kids can enjoy a playground area plus visits from Santa, while teens and grownups might get a kick out of weekly drag bingo. There will also be dog-friendly fun, live music, local artists and makers, and fireworks every Saturday evening. Find the complete schedule here. Free. 5-9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. Through December 18—Jessica Armbruster

A Very Die Hard Christmas

Bryant-Lake Bowl

Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking about Die Hard twice this week. But this annual holiday production has been going on for yeeeears, and has truly become its own holiday beast. Here Die Hard is merely the frame that holds that story together, following NYC cop John McClane as he single-handedly takes down a group of German terrorists holding his estranged wife and Japanese business men hostage. As he makes his way through the L.A. skyscraper, audiences are treated to a mashup of just about every iconic holiday flick, with callbacks, improv, music, and chaos, plus a visit from Santa who’s ready to kick ass. The cast includes regulars Josh Carson (tank topped, raspy-voiced, and bloody), Anna Weggel, Brad Erickson, Matt Sciple, Leslie Vincent, and Duck Washington, with Kelsey Laurel and Aron Woldeslassie debuting this year. Get ready to feel warm and festive (and also buzzed; they serve a full bar in the theater) as you watch Hans Gruber fall from the great heights of the BLB’s tiny stage. Christmas vengeance is so heartwarming! $25. Shows are generally 8 or 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays; check for the complete schedule. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis. Through December 22—Jessica Armbruster

Georgina & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley 

Jungle Theater

Jane Austen may have only written one Pride and Prejudice, but thanks to public domain and a still-active fanbase the Darcys and Bennets continue to entertain us with wacky hijinks and biting social commentary via Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s nationally lauded plays. First there was Miss Bennet, which followed bookish middle sibling Mary as she sought love and intellectual stimulation, next The Wickhams took a look at that same story via the perspectives of the servants behind the scenes. Georgina & Kitty, the final installment in the series, follows the youngest Darcy and Bennet sisters as they plan for their futures, hope for love, and deepen their friendship. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through December 23—Jessica Armbruster

Die Hard is a Xmas Movie and 4 Other Films

The Parkway Theater

You can only see A Christmas Story, Home Alone, or It’s a Wonderful Life so many times before your brain melts. But how often do you get into the spirit of the season watching Gremlins? Well, maybe you should. We live in odd times, so you might as well make the movie choices weird, too. Parkway’s untraditional take on the holiday series kicks off this week with that Joe Dante classic about a cute little Mogwai that multiplies when wet and turns into an evil lizard-thing if it eats after midnight. This is an ‘80s movie, so there will be puppets (but definitely no Muppets). The following week, we have Bad Santa, where Billy Bob Thornton plays a drunk horny mall Santa who learns the spirit of Christmas by being kinda nice to a kid he’s scamming. Next is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, a classic that brought us memorable quotes like, “Shitter’s full!” Then there’s Die Hard, an action flick about a cop who crawls through a ventilation system to save his (also bad-ass) estranged wife from an eeeevil Alan Rickman. The series caps off with Love Actually, a rom-com about cheating. Each week, the fun kicks off an hour before showtime, with special activities that include a Santa costume contest, a pre-movie debate, and live music. $9 advance/$12 at the door; $45 series pass. 7 p.m. activity; 8 p.m. showtime Thursdays. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis. Through December 29—Jessica Armbruster

We Are Working All the Time

Weisman Art Museum

Polish-born, Minneapolis-based artist Piotr Szyhalski creates posters that look like propaganda. But instead of promoting patriotism, he challenges the status quo, as his pieces proclaim things like, “Seek Truth From Facts,” “Rise Up!,” and “I can’t Breathe. If It’s No Covid, It’s the Police.” Szyhalski has been exploring “extreme historical phenomena” – think wars, labor movements, and protests against bad world leaders – since the ‘90s. In 2020, Szyhalski was set to have a retrospective exhibition at WAM. That show, of course, had to be postponed when the pandemic hit – an extreme historical phenomenon! During that time of lockdown and chaos, he entered another creative era, posting a new hand-drawn poster every day for 225 days. The resulting project, “COVID 19: Labor Camp Report,” was a hit, not just locally but internationally, with many pieces going viral. You can see some of these efforts in “We Are Working All the Time,” an epic exhibition showcasing Szyhalski’s 40-plus years of work, which includes posters, plates, installation, media, and other curious items. 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis. Through December 31—Jessica Armbruster

Gingerbread Wonderland

Norway House 

The biggest cookie village in town returns this winter to Norway House. Each year, 250 or so pieces come together, creating a sweet-smelling wonderland for all to explore. Creations range from cozy cabins in the snow to multi-story abodes topped with icing, to familiar Twin Cities structures, to incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and professional bakers, making it a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information at $10; $5 members; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4:00pm Sun. and Tue.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through January 8—Jessica Armbruster

Paul Chan: Breathers

Walker Art Center

Can those inflatable tube guys used to drive people to sales be art? If it’s in the Walker Art Center then, yes, it can. But that would be oversimplifying the work of Paul Chen, a Hong Kong-born, Nebraska-raised, NYC-based writer, publisher, and artist. In the ‘90s and ‘00s, Chan garnered attention releasing videos, animations, fonts, and more, often for free on his website, These pieces explored pleasure, war, politics, and human interactions. But by 2009, he had burned out, tired of looking at a screen. Relatable. Five years later, after a brief, you know, “breather,” he found a new way to explore movement and meaning without a computer, instead using physics, fabrics, and fans to create shapes that move about in interesting ways (and, thankfully, won’t try to sell you a car).  You can see these kinetic sculptures at the Walker; the show will also include some video installations as well as pieces from his publishing company, Badlands Unlimited, which releases poetry, erotica, artists’ writings, and more. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023—Jessica Armbruster

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