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CONfluence, Holiday Lights, MCAD’s Mega-Sale: This Week’s Best Events

Be geeky, meet goats, and shop for gifts.

Glow Holiday Festival|

This ominous penguin invites you in.

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

PalehoundTonje Thilesen



7th St Entry

El Kempner’s songcraft deepens with each new Palehound album. On this Boston band’s fourth album, Eye on the Bat, Kempner charts several of the many the ways relationships can go wrong, whether temporarily or permanently, with lyrics ranging from comically aphoristic (“Bad sex makes a good joke/That anyone can get”) to acidly self-recriminatory (“I've become the person I'd wanna punch in the face if they/Ever treated you this way”), as muscular guitars spiral upward like a power pop Built to Spill. With alexalone. $18/$20. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Glow Holiday Festival


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

Opening Night at 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

Boba Fettish Ball

FRIDAY 11.17

Boba Fettish Ball

The Forbidden Bazaar

It doesn’t have to be Halloween for you to bust out your sexy ewok costume; that shit looks great year round. So put that fursuit on and let your freak flag fly at the Boba Fettish Ball, a party where Princess Leias, Kylo Rens, Chewbaccas, Senator Palpatines, and Jar Jar Binkses take to the dance floor en masse. Any Star Wars get up will do; if you feel creative, go ahead and create your own in-universe character. During festivities, there will be DJ tunes and performances from aerial and burlesque artists. If you feel like showing off your costume, head up onstage during the fashion show. All are welcome. 21+. $15; $10 if you’re in a themed costume. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 15 Fourth St. NE, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster 

Liz Phair 

Palace Theatre

While some indie heroines of the ’90s seem too much of their time, Liz Phair’s early recordings sound as relevant as ever. That’s partly because the kinds of rock dudes she railed against in 1993 haven’t gotten any better in the years since. But it’s also because there are now more opportunities for shy young women who harbor secret fantasies of rock stardom to craft idiosyncratic revenge fantasies against those dopes in their bedrooms. Phair’s 2003 self-titled plunge into pop now sounds like the classic that some of us (ahem) were saying it was at the time, and though her setlist might not contain any of its tracks, let me put one last good word for Phair’s most recent album, 2021’s Soberish. This tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of Exile in Guyville, which has remained a coming-of-age landmark for girls and young women in the years since—and, lemme tell you, an eye-opener for some of the boys too. As with Bikini Kill’s show at the Palace back in April, I’m guessing there will be women huddled up close to the stage who are young enough to be the daughters of Phair’s original fans. Some of them might even be with their mothers. With Blondshell. $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Revelers at CONfluence; artwork by Leslie Barlow.CONfluence: A Cultured Multiverse


CONfluence: A Cultured Multiverse

Northrup King Building

There are so many cons in the Twin Cities these days! Con of the North, Pokécon, CONvergence, Twin Cities Con (which we just sent a writer to last weekend). But none are quite like CONfluence at Public Functionary, where the emphasis is on art, sci-fi, futurisms, and fantasy specifically centered on BIPOC creators. “ConFluence has been dreamt up over the past year to be a creative, inclusive, and liberating space where everyone can feel connected, inspired, and seen,” organizers explain. That means every attendee will be able to attend workshops like 3-D Printing for Cosplay and panel discussions including Woke, Smoke, or Broke: Representation in Fandom. There’s also a cosplay contest planned, a vendor marketplace, and a gaming area, plus a retro-themed dance party. $30 one-day pass; $45 weekend pass. 10 a.m. to midnight Sat.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sun. 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis; tickets and more info here. Also Sunday—Em Cassel

MCAD Art Sale

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Of all the big art sales in town, this one has gotta be the biggest. Each year, students pack every square inch of MCAD’s Main Building with thousands of pieces of art. There will be paintings the size of your hand, as well as paintings bigger than your wall. There will be bold jewelry statement pieces, and super delicate ones as well. There will be graphic novel-style art, pieces of furniture, framed photography, ceramics, and work in just about any medium you can think of. Though this event starts Thursday with a spendy benefit party for the school, there will still be plenty of stuff to peruse on Saturday, whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind holiday gift, stocking up on pieces to create a gallery wall for cheap, or hoping to find that one piece that really speaks to you. Find more info and tickets online. $175 Thu.; $30 Fri.; free Sat. 6-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat. 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis. Thursday through Saturday–Jessica Armbruster

Goat Snuggle Party

The Plaza at Nolan Mains

If you enjoy quality time with impossibly cute creatures, then oh, do we have the event for you. This series at 50th and France invites you to join friendly/fuzzy faces from Goat Shine for a snuggle party on the Plaza at Nolan Mains with their baby goats. Pet the little kiddos, give them hugs, feed them treats, and learn some interesting facts about goats. For selfie lovers, llamas will also be here for photo opportunities. Free; RSVPs recommended. 10 a.m. to noon. 3945 Market St., Edina.—Makenzie Johnson

SUNDAY 11.19

The Music of Prince for Kids

First Avenue

Before we get started here, we must address the disconnect between one of nation’s greatest, horniest artists and the billing of “for kids.” (Remember The Onion’s instant classic headline from the day Prince died?) OK, now we can move on to the event itself, which seems like a real hoot for the whole family, with the touring Rock and Roll Playhouse performing live covers of Prince in a tot-friendly Mainroom setting. Based on my cursory online vetting, the troupe appears to be a less corny, IRL version of Kidz Bop that’s comprised of talented adult musicians; they perform at historic venues around the country, offering sets that range from Blink-182 for Blookly families to Grateful Dead for Boston ones. You can expect rainbow streamers, a giant parachute, lots of goofy dancing, more light with less volume, and a rigorously curated set of tunes from the immortal author of “Jack U Off.” $18; free for babies under 12 months. 11 a.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Libuše Jarcovjáková


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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