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Freeloader Friday: 112 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Uptown and Powderhorn Art Fairs, beer parties in parking lots, movies in parks, and more.

Trevor McSpadden plays Minnehaha Falls this weekend

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.

River Circus Flotsam


Flotsam River Circus

How freaking cool is this? Follow-up: What the hell is this? Per SFGATE, “The playful, hour-long show features a cast of nine gallivanting around their makeshift vessel, performing circus tricks, aerial antics and puppetry to a vaudeville-style soundtrack provided by a band featuring violin, trumpet, percussion and accordion.” Formed in 2019 in the Pacific Northwest, the Flotsam crew have taken their floating circus down a couple West Coast rivers, and their current 30-city, six-week Mississippi River trek is their “biggest tour yet.” Can’t make this one? You can follow ‘em downriver for six more Minnesota dates in the coming six days. Free. 6 p.m. The location is listed as “semi-secret,” though the provided map coordinates seem to indicate the northern part of Bohemian Flats Park at 2150 W. River Pkwy. in Minneapolis; find more info here. Also in St. Paul on Sunday.—Jay Boller

Carbone’s Music Fest

Live music? Outside? At a pizza pub? With beers that cost below $10, which somehow became the going rate at venues around town when we weren’t paying attention? Carbone’s Music Fest has it all, folks. Co-presented by ​​Carbone’s and Fulton Brewery, this rain-or-shine, no-cover music fest features 16-ounce Fulton drafts for $4, food specials, prizes, and giveaways. And then there’s the music: Tori Evans and Dan Israel on Friday, followed by Aidan McMaster, Robert Everest & Michael Bissonnette, John Magnuson Trio, Trevor McSpadden, and J. Bell & the Lazy Susan Band on Saturday. Find the full rundown of set times here. Free. 7-10 p.m. Fri.; 1-10 p.m. Saturday. Carbone’s Pizza, 4705 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

Napoleon Dynamite

Dusk. Harriet Island, 151 Water St. W., St. Paul.

Tent Sale at Encore Consignment

Shop designer and vintage at 50-75% off. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Encore Boutique, 242 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul.

Monthly Vendor Happy Hour

Meet this month’s vendors and enjoy free cold press until 2 p.m., then bubbly after. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Olio Vintage, 21 Fifth St. NE, Minneapolis.

Nokomis Days

Events in the neighborhood include sidewalk sales, a markers’ market, family-fair, classic cars, pottery sale, and more from Fri.-Sun. Find more deets online.  

St. James Garage Sale

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri.; 9 a.m. to noon Sat. St James Lutheran Church, 4854 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Uptown Art Fair, now with less signage

Uptown Art Fair

See lots of art at one of the best attended art events of the summer. Find more info here. 1-7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hennepin Avenue, from about 28th to 31st, Minneapolis. 

National White Wine Day

Featuring flights and deals on apps. 2-11 p.m. AxeBridge Wine Company, 411 Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Community Roller Skate Party 

Featuring games, music, food, free skating, and community. It’s free, but please register online. 5-8 p.m. Phalen Recreation Center, 1000 Wheelock Pkwy E, St. Paul.

Nicollet & Alcohol Acoustic Happy Hour

Oasis tunes. 5 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

VillageFest 2023

Features fireworks, a beer garden, fun for kids, live music, artists’ market, and more. Check out the event site for a list of happenings (most events are in Central Park). 6-10 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. St. Anthony Village Central Park, 3503 Silver Lake Rd. NE, Minneapolis. 

Clare Louis Harmon

Clare Louis Harmon: Grand Tour

A multimedia sound art installation. The opening reception runs 6-8 p.m. Friedli Gallery, 943 7th St. W., St. Paul.

Closer to Indigo 

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

The Jugsluggers 

Pickin’ and harmony. 7 p.m. 612 Brew, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

The Skalectric Company

21+. 8 p.m. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Spirit of the Lakes Festival

Spirit of the Lakes Festival Boat-In Movie & Movie in the Park

This is a rescheduled event. Watch Despicable Me 2 via boat or on land. With live music before the show, family entertainment, and more. 8 p.m. Surfside Park, 5801 Bartlett Blvd., Mound.

The Matt Arthur Contraption

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

The Crimson Boys, Alley Mattress, Tony Sig & The Smokes

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

Phil Berbig

Noon. Water Works at Mill Ruins Park, 425 West River Parkway, Minneapolis.

Fenix Dion

Fenix Dion

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

Movies in the Park: Vertigo

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

The World Beat Connection

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

Trevor McSpadden

Solo acoustic tunes. 7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha 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.

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;

Powderhorn Art


Powderhorn Art Fair

It’s art fair weekend in south Minneapolis. Meaning, don’t even think about going to the Uptown Cub or Lunds. But you should think about venturing into the fray of these art fests. Uptown is a business district and a destination location for folks outside of the Twin Cities, so expect a slightly more corporate and/or suburban feel at the nearly 60-years-old Uptown Art Fair, where they’ll host tons of artists from around the country traveling the arts circuit. Meanwhile, the relatively younger 32-years-old Powderhorn Art Fair is a little more local focused, with slightly less intense crowds (though you’ll still probably want to avoid traffic around the area–hop on a bike or a bus). Both will offer food truck eats, family-friendly fun, and hundreds of artists working in pretty much every medium. Go to one, go to both (I think you can tell where I’m headed), but don’t expect to grocery shop. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Powderhorn Park, 3348 14th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through Sunday–Jessica Armbruster

Legalized It! Party

It’s Stoner Christmas this week thanks to Minnesota legalizing the Devil’s lettuce. Meaning, you’re not just limited to THC bubbly, cookies, or gummies; you can now go ham with your green thumb, shop for paraphernalia without shame, and get the green stuff delivered straight to your home like an Door Dash order (more on that last item later this week in Racket). To celebrate, Insight is throwing a party for weed. Legacy Glass will be stopping by, welcoming local glass artists to set up shop and give a few glass blowing demonstrations. Should you get hungry, El Jefe food truck will be serving eats, and Christian Kivrel will be showing up in the evening for a fire spinning performance. Add in free munchies, live music, and a tie-dye booth and you have yourself a proper party, whether you’re high or not. Free. 3-10 p.m. Insight Brewing, 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.–Jessica Armbruster

Ivonne Yáñez, Aaron S. Coleman

Double Show Openings at SooVAC

Opening this week is “Delicate and Filled with Dynamite” by Aaron S. Coleman and “Rosa Mexicano” by Ivonne Yáñez. Both shows explore the impacts of race and culture on identity and their implications on navigating contemporary society. 6-9 p.m. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Open Studio Saturdays

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

Anti-War Protest

In remembrance of the victims of the bomb droppings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 1 p.m. Meet at Vineland and Lyndale/Hennepin Ave. (near Minneapolis sculpture garden), Minneapolis.

"Rethinking Resistance"

Holding Up / Holding With: Rethinking Resilience

Group show features artists Rajine Williams, AK Garski, Talulah R.M., and Nikki McComb, curated by Betsy Alwin. The opening reception runs from 7-10 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 315 W. 48th St., 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 three different locations on Saturday: 1 p.m. at 1105 Greenbrier St., St. Paul; 4 p.m. at  16071 Goodview Ct., Lakeville; and 7 p.m. 2312 25th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through August 27–Jessica Armbruster

Anoka Vintage Fest

Shop 50+ vintage and antique vendors. Find more details at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Downtown Anoka, First and Plaze, Anoka.

Free First Saturday: Plant Teachers

Kids can learn about plants in the Sculpture or explore the galleries with free activities and more. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Limited Free Doga Series

Do yoga with your leashed dog. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.

National Mead Day

Featuring mead deals, special merch, ax throwing, special releases, and more. Noon to midnight. White Bear Meadery, 1320 County Rd. D Cir., St. Paul.

Movies in the Park: Ocean's Eleven

English with Spanish subtitles. Dusk. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Nokomis Makers Market at Nokomis Days

Shop local makers. Noon to 3 p.m. Shoreview Triangle, 5342 - 25th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

A Ride with Cycle Sisters

1 p.m. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Nokomis Days Beer Garden Dance Party

With DJ Rock the Monkey, chalk art, family fun. 2-5 p.m. Town Hall Lanes, 5019 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Healing Hearts Adoption Event 

Meet dogs! 2-4 p..m. Lakes & Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Jeffrey Robert Larson, Tyler Haag

Patio tunes. 2:30-4:45 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Dashed, Learn to Draw, Modern Wildlife

3 p.m. Hymie's Records, 3820 E. Lake St., Minneapolis. 

Kathryn Nobbe

Kathryn Nobbe 

New mixed media pieces. Check out the art at the opening reception from 5-8 p.m. Form+Content Gallery, Whitney Square Building, 210 N. Second St., Suite 104, Minneapolis.

The Serfs

7 p.m. Torg Brewery, 8421 University Ave. NE, Spring Lake Park.

Barstool Bandit

7-9 p.m. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

Kiernan, Jazicality, daycare

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

Michael Monroe

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

Early Show 

With Zippy and Leslie. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Johanna Mathews

With Joanie Rich, Katie Henry. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Twelfth Night

We’ve seen plenty of Shakespeare in the parks, but what about Shakespeare at a pub? This summer, Sociable’s patio will become a stage, as the Gray Mallard Theater Company will present a free show close to nightly over the next few weeks. You can grab a cider and some food truck eats and enjoy the antics of Twelfth Night, a comedy featuring mistaken identities, love triangles, and twin shenanigans. Click here for the complete schedule. 7 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Excelsior Flea Market

Shop local makers at this weekly market. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 16. 10 Water St., Excelsior.

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.

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;

Fourth Degree


Fourth Degree

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

Parking Lot Party

We’re noted fans of Bull’s Horn, the peerless south Minneapolis dive bar helmed by Doug Flicker, whose previous effort, Piccolo, was once the hottest fine-dining spot in town. “Bull’s Horn is obviously a keeper,” Flicker told us last month. “I don’t see a difference between Piccolo and Bull’s Horn, it’s just more sustainable.” In conjunction with Nokomis Days, da Horn is throwing a party that, in practice, will be just like it sounds: tunes from DJ Truckstache, special “smoked pork butt corn” (we also have no idea what this is; keep an open mind, folks!), and a flea market, all outside in the damn parking lot. Neighboring Venn Brewing even collaborated with Flicker & Co. on a “Nokomis lager” they’re calling Bull Brand, which’ll debut on the lot. Free. 2-5 p.m. Bull’s Horn, 4563 S. 34th Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Back Alley Bazaar

Shop slightly damaged items for cheap, with Olio Vintage and Moth Oddities. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Golden Pearl Vintage, 507 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Leisure World Sidewalk Sale

Vintage clothing, grilling, tunes, and beer. Noon to 6 p.m. Leisure World, 2457 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Manchester City FC vs Arsenal 

Watch sports. 11 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Society for the Strange & Unusual Society Brunch 

Shop from 15 strange makers. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Children First Ice Cream Social

Free ice cream, entertainment, interactive exhibits, and activities. 2-5 p.m. St. Louis Park Rec Center, ROC, Aquatic Park, 3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park.

Summer Pop Up

Shop local vendors and crafters. 2-6 p.m. Nonna Rosa's Ristorante Italiano, 4168 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale. 

Dog Days with Healing Hearts Rescue

Meet more dogs! 2-4 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

DayFunk: Daytime House Music Patio Party

With Eddie Amador. 2-8 p.m. Eat Street Crossing, 2819 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.

Open Mic 

4-6 p.m. Heavy Rotation Brewing Co., 9801 Xenia Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Beau Baker Band

5:30 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

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.

Cars and Coffee

Hang out with classic and/or foreign cars, bikes, and scooters. 8-11:30 a.m. Keg and Case Market, 928 7th St. W., St. Paul.

Joe Savage

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

Early Show

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

Uncle Jesse’s Comb, Drug League, Foe

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


Japanese Taiko drumming. 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 Market8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

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