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Freeloader Friday: 104 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Fireworks, festivals, free beer, and more.

Ingo Doerrie

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.

Movies on a bike.


Bike in Movie: My Neighbor Totoro

9 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

Sun Bear, Controversial New Skinny Pill, Covergirl Hot 100

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

Paul Barry Blues Band

7:30-9 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Dumb & Dumber

9 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Bryan Odeen

Chill tunes in the beer garden. 7 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Ghost Wagon

Tunes on the patio. 7 p.m. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Birds in The Wind

“Floating harmonics of ancient woodwinds.” 7-8:30 p.m. 7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls Bandshell, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.


9:15 p.m. Sumner Field, 901 N. Aldrich Ave., Minneapolis.

Friday Art-Making in the Garden Summer 2023

Art-making fun for kids four and up. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through August 25. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Warehouse District Live

Enjoy a closed-off street open to pedestrians, with food trucks, tables and seating, activities, and added restrooms every Friday through Saturday through Halloween. Find more info on the official website, but in general events start around 7 p.m., with the street closed from 9 a.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday. First Avenue North, between Fifth and Sixth streets, Minneapolis.

Wailing Loons, Cat Tales

21+. 10 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Much Ado About Nothing

Classical Actor’s Ensemble is heading back to the parks this summer to bring free Shakespeare to the unwashed masses, as it was originally intended. This year’s production is Much Ado About Nothing, a 1600’s romcom that pulls out all the greatest hits: mistaken identities, unwanted flirtations, masquerade shenanigans, raging small town gossip, and, ultimately, love. Sorry to spoil it for you, but we all know these things usually end in marriage (if it’s a comedy) or mass death (if it’s a tragedy). The plot: A group of rowdy soldiers end up in a small Sicilian town. Will the evil Don John succeed at cockblocking? Find the list of dates and locations at All shows start at 7 p.m. This weekend’s locations: Newell Park (900 N. Fairview Ave., St. Paul) on Friday; Lake of the Isles (2500 Lake of the Isles Pkwy. E., Minneapolis) on Saturday; and Water Works Park (333 S. First St., Minneapolis) on Sunday.—Jessica Armbruster

Joel Itman

The 45th Parallel Revisited: From MXP to MSP

Art by Joel Itman. The title of the show plays off of the artist being from Twin Cities and experiences in a long term residency in Milan, Italy–both on the 45th parallel. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. MidModMen, 2401 University Ave. W., St. Paul.

Richfield Lil Sparkler Celebration-Family Night

Featuring food vendors; police, fire, and public works vehicles on display; kids’ dance; Cosmic Skate at the Ice Arena; a movie in the park (DC League of Super-Pets); and a laser light show. 5-10:45 p.m. Richfield Community Band Shell, 636 E. 66th St., Richfield.

Miller's Fair Food Fest

Fair foods in the parking lot all weekend. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday. Spring Lake Park Hy-Vee, 8155 Hwy 65 NE, Spring Lake Park.

The Get Up, Stand Up Comedy Open Mic

Sign up at 6 p.m. 21+. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mortimers, 2001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, EBT hours 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thu.-Sun. June through Oct. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis;

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Minnehaha Regional Park

4-8 p.m. Fridays through August. 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr., Minneapolis; more info here

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Water Works

This market showcases Indigenous artists. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through August. Water Works, 425 West River Parkway, Minneapolis; more info here

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 27. 1225 S. Robert St., St. Paul;

St. Thomas More Friday Farmers Market

1:15-5:30 p.m. Fridays through August 25. 1079 Summit Ave, St. Paul;

West Broadway Farmers Market

Featuring local foods, arts, and community development, promoting healthy food access for North Minneapolis, with fresh produce, artisanal goods, grab-and-go eats, and locally grown plants. 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays, starting June 16. The Plaza @ the Capri, 2027 W. Broadway Ave. N. (Broadway and Oliver Street), Minneapolis;

Somali Independence Day


The Somali Independence Day Festival

Featuring live music, business expos, soccer, traditional food and music, and family fun. Find info here. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. West Lake Street, from Blaisdell Avenue to Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 

Tucker’s Robot

Open Eye Puppet Theater presents this kid-friendly tale of friendship and time travel. 1 p.m. Gold Medal Park, Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Midsommar Makers Market

The Society for the Strange and Unusual presents this spooooky cool market. 2-8 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Free First Saturdays, Walker Art Center

Free First Saturday: ’90s Never Left

Before 9/11, two subsequent and simultaneous wars, one Great Recession, a certain 45th president, and the endless pandemic, a halcyon decade known as the ‘90s existed, as it still does in the memories of exhausted millennials. The Walker’s family-friendly Free First Saturday series will revisit the era of Clinton and Tamagotchis this weekend, with activities like: arts ‘n’ crafts featuring pony beads and 16-bit video game inspirations, a decade-specific dance party with Carbon Sound's DJ Sanni, and certifiably rad dance performances from St. Paul’s Cypher Side Dance School. As always, family tours of the museum are on the docket. In a word? Tubular! Free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Family Fun Ride

Featuring a group family-fun ride, sing-a-long, storytime, bean-bag toss and more, all ending at the Walker Art Center. 9 to 11 a.m. Perennial Cycle, 3342 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Dance Around Minnesota

Learn about Minnesota history via these free, interactive, family-friendly outdoor performances with DanceCo. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls Park Pavilion, 4825 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Music & Food in Historic Irvine Park

Featuring live music, food trucks, and more. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Irvine Park, 251 Walnut St., St. Paul.

Red, White & Blue Party

Wear patriotic colors and drink. 2 p.m. Uptown Ties and Daisys Uptown, 1400 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis.

Life On A String

6-9 p.m. 612 Brew, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Movies in the Park: Dog

English with Spanish subtitles. 9:15 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

The Space Force

Live music celebrating Canada Day via tunes by Canadians. 7-10 p.m.  Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Minneapolis POPs

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

Ruben (album release), Cederwell

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

Early Show

With Jon Elconin, Francis Emil Johnson, and Better Devils. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Confucisaurus Saturday Night Residency Finale

With Time Stream, Jeff Goswitz. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Yoga in Gold Medal Park

Free yoga each weekend in the park. 9-10 a.m. Gold Medal Park, Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Ham Lake Freedom Festival

Featuring food and drink (including 500 free pork sandwiches), live music, inflatables, charity gambling, craft vendors, fireworks, and more. Find details here. 3-11 p.m. Ham Lake Lions Park, 1204 157th Ave. NE, Ham Lake.

Farmers’ Markets

Apple Valley Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 29. 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley;

Burnsville Saturday Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 200 Burnsville Pkwy. W., Burnsville;

Fulton Farmers Market

Traditional and heirloom vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastries. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 4901 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis;

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. 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through September 23. Find it on the northeast corner of Bottineau Blvd. (CR 81) and Lakeland Avenue in Robbinsdale, across from HyVee;

Lakeville Saturday Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through September 23. Lakeville Area Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke Ave., Lakeville;

Lowertown Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 19. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul;

Midtown Farmers Market

Urban market serving produce and more to Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct.; 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, through Oct. 2225 East Lake St., Minneapolis;

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;

Northeast Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring food vendors, local produce, and artisanal goods. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 14. St. Boniface Church parking lot, 629 2nd St. NE (corner of University and Seventh Ave. NE), Minneapolis;

Taste of MN


Taste of Minnesota

Welcome back Taste of Minnesota, the two-day free festival along Nicollet Mall that city leaders are framing as a Minneapolis-is-back victory lap. 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. Summoning his trademark peppiness, Mayor Jacob Frey hyped the rebooted event earlier this month to reporters: “This is not getting back to the old normal, we’re attracting new events, new talent, new kinds of experiences—and that's what this Taste of Minnesota is all about.” In practice, that'll mean top-billed acts—'90s rockers Third Eye Blind and Outkast's Big Boi, plus Motion City Soundtrack and Uncle Kracker—who, in terms of draw, seem to be more like First Avenue headliners than festival ones, but who are we to quibble with a free event that'll also boast fleets of food trucks (Animales, Red Wagon, Nixta, Soul Bowl) and wrestling (F1RST Wrestling featuring Colt Cabana)? Curiously, the whole shebang will be made possible by a one-time $1.85 million stipend issued by the state to co-sponsor the Minneapolis Downtown Council, a nonprofit civic booster org. The money is being designated exclusively for Taste of Minnesota, which is expected to draw 100,000 people over two days. Organizers hope to secure a “multi-year commitment” to bring the fest back to downtown following its debut. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday. 250 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Fat Beach Day

[Editor’s note: This event was rescheduled from last weekend to this one due to rain.] Cake Plus Size Resale’s Fat Beach Days are back in 2023! There are two meetups planned at Nokomis this year—the first is this one, on June 25, with another to follow on August 13. Same vibes as last year: Expect a casual, low-key hang, no formal RSVP or ticket necessary. BYO everything, from snacks to sunscreen, and get ready to hang out with Cake’s staff and a whole bunch of fat babes while soaking up some sun or cooling off in the shade. (Cake is also bringing back the Fat Splash pool parties this year; find more info on those slightly less low-key swimming sessions here.) Free. 1-4 p.m. Lake Nokomis Main Beach, 5001 Lake Nokomis Pkwy. W., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Early Show w. Sean Cosgrove, Bryan Odeen

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

Squirrel Chess Club

Bring a board and your chess friends. 5 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

JACKET, Moviehouse, Rosie, Timisarocker

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

Manitou Days

Weekend festivities include a pet parade, a water ski show, a boat parade, and fireworks in White Bear Lake. Find locations and the schedule here. Sunday through Tuesday

Eagan Fun Fest

July Fourth Funfest

Featuring family fun, carnivals, bike parade, fireworks, music, beer, and more. Find the full schedule here. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; 4-11 p.m. Monday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday. Sunday’s events are at Viking Lakes, 2685 Vikings Cir, Eagan; Central Park Festival Grounds, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan hosts events Monday and Tuesday.

Coon Rapids Fourth of July

Featuring live music, a community parade, games, and fireworks. Find the schedule here. Boulevard Plaza, 11002 Crooked Lake Blvd., Coon Rapids. Sunday through Tuesday

40th Fourth of July Celebration

This sprawling event features a variety of happenings, including carnivals, parades, street dance, and fireworks on the 4th. Find more info online. City Center Park in downtown Chanhassen and Lake Ann Park. Sunday through Tuesday

Cars and Coffee

Local car enthusiasts will be showcasing their classic and/or foreign cars, bikes, and scooters. 8-11:30 a.m. Keg and Case Market, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Society for the Strange & Unusual Society 

A July makers’ market. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Honky-Tonk Jump

“Jazz with a cowboy hat.” 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.

Varsity Gaymes

Weekly event features spots on TVs, beer pong, and other bar games. 2 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. 


Inver Grove Heights Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 8. 8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights;

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 Oct. 29. MLK Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring ethical meats, baked goods, ready-to-eat items, locally grown veggies and fruits, and live music. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. Settergrens of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis;

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Lake Harriet

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

Savage Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 4800 W. 123rd St., Savage;

Woodbury Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

Paddle with a Ranger


Paddle With A Ranger

Experts from the National Park Service will provide instruction and equipment for a wide range of experience and ability levels. RSVP here. 6:10-8:30 p.m. Pickerel Lake, Lilydale Rd., St. Paul.

Sciurus Sequencia: Jazz and/or Creative Music Series 

With Baldwin/Harris/Hennig. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

The Roe Family Singers

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

The Matt Arthur Contraption

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

Minnesota Orchestra

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

July 3rd Laser Light Show Celebration

Patriotic lasers and food trucks. 8-10:30 p.m. Boom Island, 724 Sibley St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Midnight Yoga

Full Moon Yoga

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


English with Spanish subtitles. 9:15 p.m. Whittier Park, 425 W. 26th St., Minneapolis.

Bloomington Summer Fete

Featuring music, food, family fun, and fireworks. 5-10:30 p.m. Normandale Lake Park, W. 84th St. and Chalet Rd., Bloomington.

Freedom From Pants, Eric Shoultz


Freedom From Pants Ride

Is the annual Freedom From Pants ride one of the longest running, kinda-off-the-grid Fourth of July traditions in Minneapolis? Maybe! The event, which started in the mid-aughts, is quickly nearing the 20-year milestone. That’s longer than other notorious 4th traditions 10 Second Film Festival (RIP, Soap Factory) and D4 Fourth of July (RIP, Triple Rock). Regardless of what event takes that crown, for (approximately) the past 17 years folks have been stripping to their skivvies, slamming a few cans of beers in a parking lot (usually Arby’s), and riding en masse to… somewhere. It’s the kind of goofy, feel-good disruptor event that makes friendships, gives you a no-line sunburn, and brings joy to the world. This year’s ride will kick off around 6 p.m. at Nicollet Island under the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, with folks heading out around 7 p.m., making their way to the Sabo Bridge–about a 20-minute ride in total. The evening will end with a DJ’d dance party of sorts (and if you still have beer in your backpack, more beer). Come in pasties and a thong, no shirt and jean shorts, or fully dressed–how much skin you show is up to you. But, uh, do spray yourself down with SPF, especially if you’re flashing body parts that rarely see the light of day. Don’t litter, don’t be handsy, and stay safe, folks. It’s the American way. Free. p.m. Nicollet Island, 2 Merriam St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jessica Armbruster

Fourth in the Park

The fests starts with a parade at 10:30 a.m., then features family fun all day (inflatables, lawn games, live music, picnicking) until 6 p.m. Langford Park, 30 Langford Park, St. Paul.

Doug Otto & The Getaways

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

The DL3 Swing Session 

A tribute to Hank Williams featuring Dan Newton, Dan Neale, and Dan Lowinger. 6 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Edina celebrates the 4th

Edina 4th of July Parade 2023

10 a.m. Parade starts at Edina City Hall and ends at 50th Street and Halifax. Find details at

Freedom and Free Beer

Come dressed in red, white, and blue and score a free wooden drink token with your first beer purchase. Score two tokens if you come in red-white, and blue underwear. With food trucks and tunes from Kid Dakota starting at 2 p.m. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Artist Showcase

Featuring three different artists. 7-10 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Rock and Rockets

Featuring food trucks, live music, and fireworks. 5-10:30 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard NW, Prior Lake.

Apple Valley Freedom Days 

The final days of the fest includes a parade at 1 p.m., a carnival, live entertainment, and fireworks at 10 p.m. Find more info here. Johnny Cake Ridge Park East, 5800 140th St. W., Apple Valley.

Fireworks in St, Louis Park

Featuring concessions, vendors, and tunes from DJ Bob . 7-10 p.m. Aquila Park, 3110 Xylon Ave. S., St. Louis Park.

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