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Freeloader Friday: 102 Free Things To Do This Weekend

We're covering four days of free stuff for the holiday weekend.

Ben White via Unsplash

Freeloader Friday is your weekly guide to having fun no matter what your budget looks like. Each week we have a list of 100% free events like gallery parties, music, and films in the park, as well as free admission events like special happy hours, markets, and more. For our picks of the week's best events, price be damned, click here.

WEDNESDAY 

The Sandlot

Dusk. The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Jeff Sturgeon

Old time banjo and guitar. 7 p.m. The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The Band That Fell to Earth

“The premier Midwest Bowie tribute!” 7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

The Second Stringers 

6 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

The Indecisions

With the Outcats. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Delano 4th of July

Delano 4th of July Celebration

Featuring family fun, a parade (10:30 a.m. Thu.), tons of free music, a pro-wrestling show (Fri.), a street art and vendor fest (Sat.), fireworks (10:30 p.m. Sat.) Find a complete schedule at delano4th.com. Central Park, 650 Park Ave., Delano. 

Open Mic Night

Participants get a free beer. 7-9 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Free Meat and Beer Raffle

21+. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Heavy Rotation Brewing Co., 9801 Xenia Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Bloomington Summertime Fete

Featuring live music, kids’ entertainment, two dozen food trucks, fireworks at 10 p.m. 5-10:30 p.m. Normandale Lake Bandshell, 5901 W. 84th St., Bloomington.

Eagan’s July 4th Fun Fest

Featuring a carnival, live music, a parade (10 a.m. Thu.), and fireworks (10 p.m. Thu.). Find the full schedule here. 4-11 p.m. Wed.; noon to 11 p.m. Thu. 1501 Central Pkwy., Eagan.

Coon Rapids 4th of July Celebration

Featuring a carnival, live music stages in the evening, food trucks, and fireworks on the 4th. Noon to 10 p.m. Wed.; noon to 7:30 p.m. Thu.; 10 p.m. Thu. fireworks. Boulevard Plaza, 11002 Crooked Lake Blvd., Coon Rapids.

Neon Night Market

Featuring sidewalk sales, a bounce house, live music, food trucks, and more. 5-10 p.m. The Shops at the West End, 1628 W. End Blvd., St. Louis Park. 

Hoot-Zen-Nanny 

Featuring a new trio of singer/songwriters each month. Hosted by Brent Fuqua. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Zen Arcade, Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Karaoke Crime Scene

Live band punk karaoke. 8 p.m. Palmer’s Bar, 500 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Yev & Friends

7:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Harold’s House Party on KFAI 

With DD & Company. 7 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Bosso Poetry Company 

9:30 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Craig Clark Blues Band 

6 p.m. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul.

Kevin Nalty via Unsplash

THURSDAY

Red, White, and Boom

Downtown is back, baby! OK, Red, White, and Boom never really “went” anywhere, but after taking a Covid break and returning last year with a (kinda sad) laser show, the real thing has returned to upset our pets and instill patriotism via sky fire. But before shit gets blown up we gotta pre-party, so be sure to get there early for food truck eats and rock and R&B covers from Big Mike Retro Soul & the Westside Horns and DJ Angel Beloved. Find more details about parking and viewing spots online. 6 p.m.; 10 p.m. fireworks. West side of the Mississippi River, at Water Works and the Stone Arch Bridge parking lots, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

77th Annual Fourth in the Park

Meanwhile, this St. Paul Fourth of July party just keeps on going. Festivities include a parade, which travels along Como Avenue from Luther Place to Langford Park, where there will be a ball pit, live music (Ticket to Brasil, the Foxgloves, Light of the Moon Trio), food trucks, pickleball, lawn games, and picnicking. Stop by Ned’s Park Service (2277 Como Ave.) for free flags and T-shirts while they last. Find more details at 4thinthepark.org. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Langford Park, 30 Langford Park, St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Live Band Karaoke

7-10 p.m. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

White Bear Lake Fireworks

Featuring Marketfest in Downtown White Bear Lake, food, music, inflatables, and fireworks. 6-9 p.m.; fireworks at 10 p.m. 11th and Lake Ave., White Bear Lake.

Freedom From Pants, Eric Shoultz

Freedom From Pants 2024

In the classic Simpsons episode "The Last Temptation of Krust," which aired... dear god... 26 years ago, Homer famously shouted at standup comic Krusty the Clown, "Don't you hate pants?!" That sentiment appears to have echoed through the ages—why else would we have today’s pantless bike ride devoted to protesting, you guessed it, pants? “It is once again our favorite time of year to grab our steeds and hit the streets in everything but our pants!!” promoters write of the annual event. “So grab your bikes, grab your pasties, grab your thongs, undies, shorts, lights, tunes, and g-strings, rain or shine…” The idea is simple: Meet at Nicollet Island (you’ll be able to spot fellow attendees), ride bikes sans pants to the Sabo Bridge, and finish things off with a trouserless dance party. There’s a lengthy list of dos and don’ts here (most of ‘em common sense stuff), but the underlying message is as stark and beautiful as the bodies atop those bike saddles: have fun! Free. 6 p.m. Nicollet Island, under the Hennepin Avenue Bridge; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Compassionate Action for Animals Vegan Potluck

Bring some treats and enjoy dishes from others. Find more info here. North Mississippi Regional Park, 5116 N. Mississippi Dr., Minneapolis.

DJ Bootsy Ballins

8 p.m. Palmer’s Bar, 500 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Ron Slowey Group

8-11:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The Snozberries 

With the Haws. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

The Nitty Gritty

FRIDAY

The Nitty Gritty

Funky dance records spun by Brian Engel and Mitch Sigurdson. 9:30 p.m. Dusty's Bar,  1319 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Rock and Rockets

Featuring tunes from Sister Hazel and Fastball, food trucks, and fireworks. 5 p.m.; fireworks at 10 p.m. Mystic Amphitheater at Mystic Lake Casino, 2432 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake. UPDATE: This event was moved from Thu., July 4 to Fri., July 5 due to weather.

Shrek

Dusk. Dickman Park, 614 Second St. NE, Minneapolis.

MAGICK FLAVOUR STATION, Morgan Liluna, ditch pigeon, frank & janea

10 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Mammoth Moth, Boots & Needles

8-11 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Munson Hicks Party Supplies, Lilianna Rindal, Dan Israel

Free tunes at the Plaza on Nolan Mains. 5-8 p.m. 50th & France, Edina.

Matthew Hope

7-9 p.m. Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, 3016 E. Lake St., Minneapolis. 

USAF Band of Mid-America

7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Lucky Cat Records

Lucky Cat Records Opening Weekend

Oh hey, look who’s open now in the old Treehouse Records space! Lucky Cat Records, 2557 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Brass Union

7 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Twelfth Night or What You Will

At one time, theater was entertainment for the masses. And this may be most apparent in one of Shakespeare’s most soapy works, Twelfth Night. The hallmarks of great trash TV are all here: mistaken identities, twins, forged love letters, romantic overtures. When twins Sebastian and Viola are separated via a shipwreck, Viola opts to disguise herself as a gent and the women (and men) come calling. Throw in the antics of a drunk uncle and you have yourself a 400-something-years-old romcom. This summer you can see it in the parks of the Twin Cities and surrounding ‘burbs thanks to Classical Actors Ensemble’s free summer series. Fri.:  7 p.m. at Como Park Lakeside Pavilion (1360 Lexington Pkwy. N., St. Paul) Sat.: 7 p.m. at Lake of the Isles (2500 Lake of the Isles Pkwy. E., Minneapolis) Sun:  4 p.m. at Normandale Lake Bandshell (5901 W. 84th St., Bloomington). Find more times and locations at classicalactorsensemble.org. Through July 14—Jessica Armbruster

Tyler Herwig

7 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Blue Dog

8-11:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Warehouse District Live

The fate of Open Streets may be uncertain this season, but every weekend a part of First Avenue will be closed to cars—and not just for construction reasons. Described as “an enhanced pedestrian zone,” Warehouse District Live will offer things that big cities normally have in their downtown areas: food trucks, extended seating areas, and more public bathrooms. Wow! So do some bar-hopping, sit outside and eat, walk in the middle of the street, and wonder why so many exurban Twitter users are so scared of downtown. Free. 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fri.-Sat. First Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through October —Jessica Armbruster

Friday Night Open Mic

21+. 10 p.m. The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

FARMERS MARKETS

House of Hope Market

1:15-5 p.m. Fridays through October 25. Hope Church, 797 Summit Ave., St. Paul; stpaulfarmersmarket.com

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Arguably the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through October. Good to know: The EBT booth is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fri.-Sun.  312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis; mplsfarmersmarket.com.

Signal Hills Farmers Market

Featuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables sold direct from producer to consumer, located in the lot of West St. Paul’s Signal Hills Mall. 8 a.m. to noon Fridays through October 25. 1225 S. Robert St., St. Paul; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Minnehaha Regional Park

4-8 p.m. Fridays through August 30 (no market July 12 or 29). 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr., Minneapolis; more info here

Taste of MN

SATURDAY

Taste of Minnesota

Last year the relaunched Taste of Minnesota, a two-day free festival along Nicollet Mall, was framed by city leaders as a Minneapolis-is-back victory lap. Historically, the food ‘n’ tunes bash was held outside the State Capitol through the ‘80s and ‘90s, relocated to St. Paul’s Harriet Island in 2003, and, finally, lasted for a couple of years in Waconia before shutting down in 2015. In practice, the rebooted Taste was well-attended but suffered from retrospectively obvious issues related to a lack of drinking water, shade, and food—it's summer on asphalt, folks! Here's hoping logistics are smoother for this fest, which'll feature headliners like '90s alt-rockers the Wallflowers (perhaps you're familiar with the singer's dad) and country star Martina McBride on Saturday, plus local R&B/funk/soul favorites Morris Day & the Time and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on Sunday. Also on tap, not unlike the hopefully ample supply of H2O: lots more music, food trucks, ziplining, a puppy party, and F1RST Wrestling. Organizers are touting ToM '24 as bigger than last year's, which was made possible by a one-time, $1.85 million grant from the Minnesota Legislature. It's unclear how much state funding went into this summer's installment. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Nicollet Mall, 250 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Napster Collective

Acoustic trio playing tunes from the ‘90s through the ‘00s. Urban Growler Brewing Company, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Wolf Tales

DanceCo presents a family-friendly mashup of classic stories like Peter and the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs. 10 and 11:30 a.m. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park Bandshell, 420 Main St. SE, Minneapolis.

Kung Fu Panda 4

Dusk. Webber Park, 4300 Webber Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Ellis Delaney 

Happy folk. 2 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

DJ Bryan Angeles

2-6 p.m. Modist Brewing Company, 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis.

Totally Rad Vintage

Totally Rad Vintage Fest on the Green

This monthly series features 30+ vendors selling vintage from the ‘80s through the ‘00s. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other dates: Aug. 3 and Sep. 7. North Loop Green, 350 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis.

Behind Bars Turns 20

Happy birthday to the best damn bike shop in northeast Minneapolis. To celebrate, the Behind Bars crew has organized a day of group rides and races, plus plenty of festive hangout opportunities around the shop. We’re talkin’ raffles, door prizes, and bicycle decoration contests with cash prizes. Later in the afternoon, neighboring Oro by Nixta will begin slinging tacos as DJs spin tunes and artists from Nokomis Tattoo offer pop-up tats. Sounds like a celebration of T.C. bike culture as much as this is also about a great Nordeast bike shop.  Free. Noon to 7 p.m. Behind Bars Bicycle Shop, 208 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Early Show

Indie-Western tunes. With Scott Hefte and the Bury ‘Em Deep, Tempest Foundation, Shoveler. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Daddy Squeeze & Elizabeth 

Outside. 6-8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Confucisaurus

9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Minneapolis POPs

7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Open Studio Saturdays

Open studios, sales, special receptions, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Gypsy Mania Hot Club

7 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Excelsior Flea Market

Hang out on Lake Minnetonka while shopping from local vendors, artisans, artists, and more. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. 10 Water St., Excelsior. Through September 21

Open Mic Comedy

7:30-10 p.m. The Joint, 913 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

FARMERS MARKETS

Mill City Farmers Market

Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year round. 750 2nd St. S., Minneapolis; millcityfarmersmarket.org.

Fulton Farmers Market

Traditional and heirloom vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastries. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through October 26. 4901 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis; neighborhoodrootsmn.org.

Midtown Farmers Market

Urban market serving produce and more to Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 2225 East Lake St., Minneapolis; facebook.com/MidtownFarmersMarket.

Downtown St. Paul Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. Find free parking on Prince Street, where they have pedicab rides from the lot to the market. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sun. now through Nov. 24. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul; stpaulfarmersmarket.com

Apple Valley Farmers Market at the Government Center

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 7 through October 26. 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Burnsville Farmers Market at the School District

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 7 through October 26. 200 Burnsville Pkwy. W., Burnsville; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Lakeview Terrace Farmers’ Market

Formerly known as the Camden Farmers Market, this small market has teamed up with Robbinsdale to offer fresh produce and artisanal goods plus free fitness classes, chef cook-offs, and more. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through September 21. Find it on the northeast corner of Bottineau Blvd. (CR 81) and Lakeland Avenue in Robbinsdale, across from HyVee; thenewmpls.info/farmersmarket.

Northeast Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring food vendors, local produce, and artisanal goods. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, through October 12. St. Boniface Church parking lot, 629 2nd St. NE (corner of University and Seventh Ave. NE), Minneapolis; northeastmarket.org.

St. Luke’s Farmers Market

Locally grown produce, baked goods, plants, flowers, honey, pickles, and more. EBT, debit, credit cards, and Market Bucks accepted. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 5 (no market July 6). St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1807 Field Ave., St. Paul; saintlukechurch.org/farmers-market

Jacuzzi Puma

SUNDAY

Jacuzzi Puma

Cover tunes. 3:30-5 p.m. Surly Brewing Co. Festival Field, 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Lake Monsters Bluegrass Band Summer Residency

2-5 p.m. Lake Monster Brewing, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul.

Slow Oldtime Music Jam

2 p.m. Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, 3016 E. Lake St., Minneapolis. 

Odd Market

Featuring local makers and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Odd Mart, 2520 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Summer Market

A popup featuring Mother Co. Plants, Cool Trash, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Mother Co. Plants, 2400 N. Second St., Minneapolis.

Tom Feldmann

3 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Brass Messengers

7 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

1994 and More Dance Party

With the Scrunchies. 21+. Free. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Heavy for the Hawk

2 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Minneapolis POPs

5:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

FARMERS MARKET

Inver Grove Heights Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, June 9 through October 27. 8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Kingfield Farmers Market

Featuring a large selection of local produce, artisanal crafts, and prepared foods in a new location this year at MLK Park. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 27. MLK Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; neighborhoodrootsmn.org.

Woodbury Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 27. Red Rock Elementary, 3311 Commonwealth Ave., Woodbury; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring ethical meats, baked goods, ready-to-eat items, locally grown veggies and fruits, and live musical entertainment. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, through October 27. Settergrens of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis; lindenhillsfarmersmarket.org.

Market in the Valley

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays starting June 16 through September. 7800 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valley; marketinthevalley.org.

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Lake Harriet

2:30-6:30 p.m. Sundays right by the bandshell through August 25. Lake Harriet, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis; more info here

Savage Farmers Market8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 27. 4800 W. 123rd St., Savage; stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

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