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Freeloader Friday: 111 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Movies in parks! Racket turns two! Sexy book releases! Bike rides!

Kia Universe

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.


Music & Movies: Ka Lia Universe and Grease

Now look, I don’t work in public relations for the Star Tribune Media Co. (I tried working in alt-weekly news there, but they canned my ass!) Point is, each year the Strib curates a top-notch August concert/film lineup, and, each year, it’s woefully underpublicized. Five people have RSVP’d to this installment! And that’s no fault of Ka Lia Universe, the 26-year-old local musician who has taught herself songwriting, guitar, piano, ukulele, and sound engineering since she began recording as a teen. “Oh my!” Racket’s scandalized Keith Harris wrote of her June single, “One Last Fucc,” “St. Paul's Hmong pop star gets raw on this one, cooing singsong invitations over diaphanous synths and trap beats. And yes, the video is just as sexy.” (Speaking of sex, Racket’s Jerard Fagerberg spoke with Universe in 2021 about her work on OnlyFans.) Summer lovin’ will be in ample supply with Grease, the 1978 musical about a nice Australian girl who is inspired by a friend's pregnancy scare to slut it up for a local hoodlum. Free. 6:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Bethany Larson and the Bee’s Knees, Ruben, Thieves for Kings

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

Phantom Loss Workshop Performance

Check out three scenes from a marionette show/work in progress by local artist Oanh Vu. 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. The Avalon Theater, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Native Authors Program Summer Reading Series

Featuring readings from An Garagiola, Kyle Hill, Melissa Olson, and Sarah Wheelock. 5:30-7 p.m. All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

Alex Sandberg

Alex Sandberg

Beatles, Dylan, and other classic tunes. Noon. Water Works at Mill Ruins Park, 425 West River Parkway, Minneapolis.

Mario Movie

What is Mario Movie? We’re unsure; I never heard back from event organizers. Could be the latest Mario Bros. movie, could be the Bob Hoskins’s one from the ‘90s, or it could be something else entirely. Attend and find out! Dusk. Edgcumbe Recreation Center, 320 Griggs St. S., St. Paul.

Open Mic Night

Family-friendly music, readings, comedy, and spoken word. 6-8 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

An Evening of Yacht Rock on the Rooftop

With DJ Jake Rudh. 7-10 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Bryan Odeen

Songwriter tunes. 7 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Skunk Hollow

Folk tunes. 7:30 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

The Collaboratory

Featuring performances from Just Wulf, Mac SPILLZ, Taiyamo Denku, B-Boy Juice, DJ ReallyFresh97, and hosts Carnage the Executioner and DJ Piecemeal. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Harlow, in colder times


Folk rock. 7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.


Native rock and blues. 7 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

A&K Vintage Garage Sale

Shop clothing, housewares, and more. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fri.-Sat. A&K Vintage, 1406 Palace Ave., St. Paul.

Back to School Blaster Battles 2

This one’s for the kids, folks. Bring eye protection glasses, goggles, or sunglasses; and a dart blaster (Nerf, Buzz Bee, Prime Time, are okay). No modded blasters; darts will be provided. 5-7 p.m. Andrews Park, 7200 117th Ave. N., Champlin. 

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.

Driveway Tour Theater: Molly and the Magic Boot

In the summer, theater troupes take to the parks, lawns, and lakes of the cities to perform free shows for the sunburned masses. That includes productions for kids, thanks to Open Eye Theatre, which heads to your neighborhood driveways, backyards, and front lawns each year. Molly and the Magic Boot is about tech-free adventures on a farm. Open Eye estimates that they visited around 51 communities in 2022, and that number continues to increase. Do you have a rad backyard? You can even sign up to host a show. All events are free and open to the public (donations are accepted). You can find the complete schedule at Locations vary from week to week; this weekend they’ll be popping up at: 7 p.m. at 1803 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis on Fri.; 1 p.m. at Farview Park (621 N. 29th Ave., Minneapolis) on Sat.; 4 p.m. at 3409 18th Ave. S., Minneapolis on Sat.; 1 p.m. at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis (3400 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis) on Sun.; 4 p.m. at Turbo Tim’s (815 Dodd Rd., St. Paul) on Sun.; and 7 p.m. 6005 McKinley Place, Minnetonka on Sun.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Free, once you’re inside the fair:

The Bacon Brothers

8:30 p.m. Leinie Lodge Stage.

Mike Hosty

8 p.m. Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater.

Jamecia Bennett

8 p.m. International Bazaar Stage.

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;

Slow Roll


Slow Roll: Urban League Family Day Edition

Enjoy a friendly ride through tree-lined areas including North Commons, Theodore Wirth, the river, and more on the North Side ending with a community meal. 10-11:45 a.m. UROC, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Northeast Minneapolis Pop-Up Family Pride 

Featuring drag story time, craft tables, live music, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and lots of fun for families. Hosted by Northeast United Methodist Church. 10 a.m. to noon. Windom Park Northeast, 2251 NE Hayes St. Minneapolis.

Milkweed Books Birthday Bash

The indie bookstore, publisher, and press celebrates the one-year anniversary of re-opening its brick-and-mortar shop with special sales, snacks, and refreshments.  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis.

You could say Racket's 2021 launch at Fair State looked a little something like this.

Racket’s 2nd Birthday Party

Happy birthday to us! Two years ago, Racket published its first story: "24 Hours in Uptown," for which the four of us fanned out through Minneapolis's most over discussed not-a-neighborhood and noted what we saw, heard, and endured over the course of a day. We've grown a lot since then. Not staff-wise—there's still just the four of us. But in terms of our readership (you!) and the features we offer, we're no longer the squalling, red-faced infant we once were. We are a squalling, red-faced toddler, thank you very much. Since debuting, we’ve managed to slowly build our little newsroom almost entirely by word of mouth. Paying subscribers make the enterprise possible, and, at press time, 3,600 of 'em are pitching in to help make our dream of an alt-weekly-style Twin Cities news, arts, and culture publication a reality. In ways that are not depressing, we’ve hosted the same low-key reader hangout at Fair State for our launch and our first anniversary, so it should come as no surprise that’s what’s going down Saturday: Grab some union-brewed beer, snag a seat on the patio, and chat with us about all the stuff you loved and/or hated about our two years as a local news publication. Will the Salsa Collaborative food truck be slingin' their elite smash 🍔 right next to the patio? You better believe it. Arrive with a better fundamental understanding of Racket by checking out our year-two report, but the point isn't to give you homework. The point is to have some fun! Free. 6-9 p.m. Fair State Brewing, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; RSVP here.—Staff 

17th Annual Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Festival

Featuring food, cultural performances, short films, church tours, bazaar, book exhibit, and more. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun. St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, 501 6th Ave. S., South St. Paul.

Celebrate Little Mekong

The name Little Mekong was hatched in 2012, though the business/cultural district it represents—located between MacKubin and Marion streets along University Avenue—has been a vibrant hub of St. Paul’s Asian community since the ‘70s. Today’s mission? Celebrate it with an arts ‘n’ crafts fair, live music and dancing of the traditional and modern varieties, book readings, spoken-word poetry, communal mural painting, and loads of killer food from places like Thai Garden, Wonders Ice Cream, and Peking Garden. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Springboard for the Arts, 262 University Ave. W., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Summer 2023 End of the Season

Jam out with School of Rock Eden Prairie. Noon to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Keg and Case Market, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

National Dog Day at AxeBridge Wine

National Dog Day

Featuring a barkuterie board, adoptable dogs from Save a Bull Rescue, and more. 1-5 p.m. AxeBridge Wine Company, 411 Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Machinery Hill & Troy Richardson

2-5:30 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Back to School 

Featuring free haircut giveaways, backpacks with supplies for kids while supplies last, storytelling, crafts, free popcorn, and more. 2-4 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Bend it at Brit's

Bend it at Brit's

One hour of yoga on the rooftop lawn. 10 a.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

9 Years of Urban Growler

Featuring live music from Dos Guys, UG trivia, giveaways, and more. 3-8:30 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.


Featuring beer and food specials, live German tunes, and more. 4-11 p.m. Fulton Taproom, 414 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis. 

Desire Book Launch Party 

Authors Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy and Dr. Jennifer A. Vencill discuss Desire, An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships. 6-8 p.m. Smitten Kitten, 3010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Come on Barbie, Let's Go Party

Minnesota Bride Magazine hosts this event with wedding vendors, food, drinks, deals, and more. 7-10 p.m. Ivory Bridal Co., 4400 Excelsior Blvd., Minneapolis.

The Question 

Tunes on the patio. 7 p.m. 612Brew, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Gaia Market
Artist ArtJuice hosts this nature-fueled makers’ market. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Caydence Coffee + Records, 900 Payne Ave. S., St. Paul.

LAB Mpls Shop Small Series

Featuring hands-on activities, food and drink, and more supporting a local business. 10 a.m. to noon. Jenny in the City, 4504 France Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN Makers Market
Shop from BIPOC and queer vendors and allies. Noon to 6 p.m. Modist Brewing, 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis.

We Are Starborne

We the Starborne Back Alley Sales 

This monthly event features crystals, aromatherapy, vintage items, upcycled threads, tarot readings, plants, and more. Noon to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Aug. 26-27, Sep. 23-24, and Oct. 28-29. We the Starborne, 593 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul.

Stillwater Flea & Crafter Market

Find antiques, household items, furniture, garden art, clothing, tools, sports, jewelry, collectibles, vintage, food, arts and crafts, local fresh produce, and more. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays August 26-27 and September 23-24. Washington County Fairgrounds, 12300 40th St. N., Lake Elmo.

Nine Keys Summer Market

Shop local vendors, get a tarot reading, and pick up witch-friendly items. 4-8 p.m. Nine Keys Salon + Metaphysical, 4549 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Solidarity Festival

Who are we to quibble with the concept of solidarity? Great concept! And you’re encouraged to celebrate it at this second annual block party organized by City Council Member Robin Wonsley. More specifically, per the event details: “A common theme at the 3rd Precinct listening sessions this spring was that the city of Minneapolis is once again failing to listen to residents on public safety… We're bringing people together to create a vision for what public safety could look like in Minneapolis.” The backdrop of the charred 3rd Precinct will provide a stark visual reminder of that, but today’s fest is mostly about having fun via live music, food trucks, and family-friendly entertainment. Free. 3-5 p.m. Moon Palace Books, 3032 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller  

The Great Went, The Muatas, M.A.Y.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Black Adam

Dusk. Morris Park, 5531 39th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Wild Vintage Market

Shop from over 50 vendors. With food trucks and music. Noon to 4 p.m. 7274 Commerce Cir. E, Fridley.

Open Studio Saturdays

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

The Early Show

With Joe Hysell, Joe Anderson, and Jeremy Johnson. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Saturday is Instrumental

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

Linus, Losing Hope, Attractive Giant Monster

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

Master Prints

Featuring rare prints from from over 40 internationally renowned artists. 4-7 p.m. Douglas Flanders & Associates, 5025 France Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Cars and Caves

Cars and Caves 

See cool retro, rare, refurbished, and specialty cars. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chanhassen AutoPlex, 1740 Motorplex Court, Chanhassen.

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.

Free, once you’re inside the fair:

Naturally 7

8:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Leinie Lodge Stage.

Kiss the Tiger

8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater.

Free & Easy

8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. International Bazaar Stage.

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;


Fairly Dusted After Dark

An after hours drag and burlesque show hosted by The Other Jeannie Retelle, with performances and pop-ups from Black Garnet Books and Smitten Kitten. 21+. 8-11 p.m. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. 

Sheffield United vs Manchester City FC (PL)

8 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 

Cars and Coffee

Gaze upon cool cars are the break of dawn. 8-11:30 a.m. Keg and Case Market, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Shop Small Sunday

Shop local makers. Noon to 3 p.m. OMNI Brewing Co., 9462 Deerwood Ln., Maple Grove.

Game Night

Play board games with friends. 4-10 p.m. Fire & Nice Alehouse, 2700 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The Lost Golden Toads

Acoustic rock, traditional country, and R&B. 4 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Mpls Vintage MarketDarin Kamnetz

MPLS Vintage Market

Noon to 4 p.m. Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Cole Diamond

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

Jeff Ray

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

Sunday Market

Shop this weekly farmer/cottage food and artisan market through Oct. 15. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dancing Bear Chocolate, 4367 N. Thomas Ave., Minneapolis.

Early Show 

With Fairy Boat, Said Kelly, Lulu and the Shoe, and Gustavo Villegas. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds

With Leslie Rich, Anthony Ihrig, Dan Gaarder, Haley Rydell, and Maura Dunst. 7 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Music in the Parks: Killer Prophets 

With 5Cent Reality. 2 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 Market8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

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