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Bike Adventures, Bar Crawls, Christmas Movies: This Week’s Best Events

See Santas on bikes, killer Santas, and the creepiest Santa of them all: CGI Santa.

11:43 AM CST on November 27, 2023

Santa Cycle Rampage

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

Little Free Reviveries

THURSDAY 11.30

One For All: Community Fundraiser for Reversing Overdose

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co. 

In Minnesota, opioid overdoses are rising fast. “We gave out about 6,400 doses of Naloxone in 2020; in 2021, we gave out 14,556 doses," Cobs Foucault of Southside Harm Reduction Services told Racket last year. Enter Little Free Reviveries, a collaboration between Southside Harm Reduction and local creative marketing agency Six Speed. Inspired by Little Free Libraries, these boxes are stocked with life-saving Naloxone and fentanyl test strips, which are stored unlocked and free for anyone to access. Naloxone isn’t free, of course, which is why this fundraiser comes to Lakes & Legends tonight, featuring a silent auction and live music from Some Shitty Cover Band so you can help replenish Little Free Revivery’s harm reduction stations across the Twin Cities. Free. 6-9 p.m. Free. 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis; find more info and RSVP here.—Em Cassel

Nate Patrin's The Needle and the Lens Book Launch

Moon Palace Books

I knew Nate Patrin was a sharp music critic long before I read his first book, Bring That Beat Back: How Sampling Built Hip-Hop. But I didn’t know about his film crit chops until I picked up his latest, The Needle and the Lens: Pop Goes to the Movies from Rock 'n' Roll to Synthwave. Over the course of 16 songs/movies, Patrin charts the evolution of how filmmakers have used popular music over the past 60 years, beginning with Kenneth Anger’s queer underground biker film Scorpio Rising and ending with Nicolas Winding Refn's electronically soundtracked Drive, and repeatedly his essays change how I’ll hear and view those films. To phrase it in hip-hop jargon, he’s not the sort of crate digger who surprises you with a cut you’d never heard before. He’s the DJ who recontextualizes a familiar sample in a way that makes it sound brand new. Tonight Patrin will be in conversation with another top-shelf music critic, Michelangelo Matos. Free. 6 p.m. 3032 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Beards!Build a Beard Competition

FRIDAY 12.1

Build a Beard Competition

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

Month-long facial hair party Movember may be over, but on December 1 the Minnesota Beard & Moustache Coalition is still celebrating the cool stuff dudes can do with their faces. Expect a beauty pageant of sorts, with categories including mustaches, shorter beards (6 inches or less), long bears (6+ inches), creative face hair, and masc folks in the brewing industry with face hair (isn’t that a prerequisite?). Prizes for best hair growin’ ranges from beer, to beer, to beer. It’s free to watch, but folks who want to compete will want to sign up here for $10. 6-9p.m. 725 Raymond Ave., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Navidad Bash

La Doña Cervecería

Christmas is a stressful time of year, so be sure to take breaks between the chaos. One such opportunity to do so will be this weekend at La Doña, and this celebration has got a little bit of everything going for it. Got an ugly sweater? Throw that bad boy on for a chance to win prizes in the ugly sweater contest. Got a sweet tooth? Try a few beer and Christmas cookie pairings on the menu, or go for the special Navidad beer cocktail available today. Need to shop? They got you covered, too, with a vendors’ market featuring artisan and handmade gifts from staff. Other fun to be had includes family photos with Santa, face painting, and plenty of beer on tap. Free. 3-9 p.m. 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

2023 British Arrows Awards

Walker Art Center

Look, I’m gonna level with you here. I don’t really get why people would pay to watch commercials; I’m that person who gets “shushed” for talking through the Super Bowl ad breaks. But hey, if you work in advertising or if you’re a hardcore Britophile, this could be your jam! And the Walker has been spreading this jam since 1986, making it one of the longest running events at the museum (RIP Rock the Garden). This year’s installment boasts a series of spots for U.K. malls, some feel-bad PSAs, and wacky deodorant, with celebs popping up to shill things like vodka (Daniel Craig), designer duds (Miley Cyrus), and a streaming service (Succession winner Matthew Macfadyen and John Boyega). Tickets to the opening-night party are already sold out, and other showings tend to fill up fast. You can also opt to watch these things as nature intended: streaming on your computer. $18; $25 streaming per household. Find more info at walkerart.org. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through December 31—Jessica Armbruster

This: But with less snow.Fat Bike Ride Day

SATURDAY 12.2

Global Fat Bike Day: Adventure Coffee

Mendota Trail

After a November that nearly set records for its lack of snow, Global Fat Bike Day might not look quite like it does during snowier years. But don’t let the dry paths keep you down—might as well get that bike out and ready for the season anyway! On Saturday morning, hit the trails along the Mendota side of the Minnesota River. At some point before, during, or after your ride, you’ll find Minneapolis Bike Parks, Angry Catfish, and Bone Saw Cycling Collective hosting a fire with donuts, hot chocolate, and Northern Coffeeworks coffee on the banks of the river. (“We will be posted up at the old overturned car between the Sibley House and the 494 bridge, you won't miss us.”) Whether you kick off your ride with a donut and coffee or celebrate the end of it with a mug of hot cocoa, it’s another reason to get out there and enjoy the cold weather on your big bike! Free. 10 a.m. to noon. Find more info and RSVP here.—Em Cassel

Santa Cycle Rampage

Various Locations

The concept is simple: Deck your bike out in holiday decorations, throw on your best Santa gear, and get sloshed during this 10th annual bike bar crawl intended to spread Christmas cheer. The eight-hour ride kicks off bright ‘n’ early at North Loop’s The Loop before heading to Surly, Sociable Cider Werks, 56 Brewery, Broken Clock, and, finally, Fulton. Organizers have added a toy drive for '23, and encourage participants to remember: “Don't forget to bring your lights and embrace a festive Xmas Cheer Attitude.” (Capitalizations theirs.) Temps are projected to push 40 with plenty of sunshine, making this seasonal salute to Santa, alcohol, and bike culture especially tempting. Free. 10 a.m. 606 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

The Main Cinema

“It’s garbage day!” Many meme origin stories are best left alone, but if you think you’ll enjoy an '80s-made movie about a man’s murderous rampage on his way to kill a nun, then this hilarious piece of shit is for you. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first Silent Night; the best parts of that flick make it into the first half of the sequel. The plot: Fresh from an escape from an insane asylum, Ricky goes on a vengeance hunt for Mother Superior, the abusive nun who slayed his Santa Claus-dressed maniac brother in the first movie. Folks protested the first film’s release in 1984 but, as far as I can tell, no one cared about the 1987 sequel, nor the three other films that followed (yes, there are five of these things). Expect kills via umbrella, car battery, and hot garbage served up via shotgun. Festive! $10. 10 p.m. 119 Main St. SE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Phoebe Robinson

Pantages Theatre

The Brooklyn-based 2 Dope Queens star has enjoyed a standup, podcasting, acting, and writing career that simultaneously appeals to NPR types, comedy nerds, and, increasingly, broad mainstream audiences. This is a good thing! Robinson, 39, didn’t get a second season of the show she starred in, wrote, and produced, Everything’s Trash, but that cancellation afforded her time for the current “Messy AF” standup tour. $35-$55. 8 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Yuletide Cinema Pass

Parkway Theater

Two good things that often get described as “magic”—movies and holiday cheer—will meet, Reese’s-like, at The Parkway through December. The neighborhood movie house’s Yuletide Cinema Pass affords purchasers tickets to five matinee films for one blanket price: 2004's The Polar Express (December 2), 1946's It's a Wonderful Life (December 9), 1990's Home Alone (December 17), 1992's The Muppet Christmas Carol (December 23), and 1996's Jingle All the Way (December 30). (Be sure to revisit our massive 25th anniversary oral history of that latter film.) Bonus: You score a free bag of (conscientiously objecting?) popcorn for each screening. $25 for kids under 12; $35 for everyone else. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Norway House

ONGOING

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. There will also be familiar Twin Cities structures and incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and full time professional bakers, making this wonderland a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information online. $15; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4 p.m. 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 7–Jessica Armbruster

European Christmas Market 

Union Depot

Okay, so most of us aren’t going to make it to Germany, Sweden, or Austria this season. We’re most likely heading to pop-up markets at breweries, Target, the Mall, and, if we’re feeling ambitious, maybe Dayton’s downtown. But, should you want to experience a little old school charm, the European Christmas Market has got it in spades. This huge holiday market event features local makers and crafters selling traditional gifts, including knit items to keep us warm, wooden toys for kids, and foodstuffs galore. There will be tons of entertainment, with live music, dance, and local choirs taking the stage each day. Santa will be stopping by, as will Krampus, sled dogs, and reindeer. There will also be plenty of food to snack on, plus traditional hot beverages, beer, and gluhwein. Santa’s post office will be stationed for children who have hand-written requests, and there will also be a new extended holiday market called Santa’s Village. Bonus: Score a free Metro Transit ride to the event at uniondepot.org/holiday. Free. 4-9 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8). 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul. Through December 17–Jessica Armbruster

Glow Holiday Festival 

CHS Field 

At the risk of questioning how The People’s Stadium is used, why doesn’t U.S. Bank Stadium stage seasonal fests like this when the Vikings aren’t bumbling around inside? Still, the $12.75-$20.75 entry fee for Glow Holiday Festival isn’t exactly an egalitarian use of the commons, though the event does seem fun. We’re talkin’ a loop around CHS Field featuring over a million holiday lights that illuminate something of a wintertime Candyland—enchanted forest, illuminated bikes, glowing critters, a 60-foot Christmas tree, maze, zipline, gift shop, and the so-called penguin playground. (Here’s a drone swoop of last year’s festivities.) Will there be up-charge opportunities? ‘Tis the season! The 150-foot Giant Snowy Slide is extra, as are s'more fixins and other concessions. The highly Instagrammable proof that you loaded up the kids and tapped into a shared sense of holiday magic? That’s priceless*. (*Holiday magic may be extra, we’re not sure.) $20.75 for adults; $12.75 for kids; free for kids under 24 months. 5-9 p.m. Thu.-Sun. 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul; find more info here. Through December 31—Jay Boller

Winter Lights 

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

With a forecasted high of 61 degrees (!) it’s not going to feel particularly wintry for the opening of this year’s Winter Lights display. Maybe a rebrand is in order? Autumnal Illuminations at the Arb? Or maybe it’s just a nice excuse to get outside and slow down—you’re free to wander the walking tour route at your own pace, and there’s live music from the Minnesota Chorale. $10-$15 members; $25-$30 non-members; $10 for ages 15 and younger. 6-9 p.m. opening night; 5-10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, plus additional holiday dates. 3685 Arboretum Dr., Chaska; find more info here. Through December 30—Em Cassel

Just men being manly together. Jürgen Wittdorf

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s 

Walker Art Center

What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Native photography past and present are showcased in Mia’s latest exhibit, “In Our Hands.” The collection, curated by Indigenous artists and scholars, covers over 130 years with imagery from First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American photographers, from early historical documentation to thoroughly modern photoshoots. “I truly believe that it is important for the legacy of all photographers to know this history, and it is the history of the land you are more than likely standing upon,” says consulting curator Jaida Grey Eagle. With over 150 images on display, the exhibition isn’t tied to time and place, rather in themes. The first section explores Indigenous connections to the natural world, with highlights from foundational, mid-century, and female photographers. The second collection explores Native leadership, past present, and future, while the final section celebrates perseverance. Related events include an opening party, group discussions, an educators’ evening, and meetups. $20; 17 and under are free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through January 14, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

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