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Freeloader Friday: 72 Free Things To Do This Weekend

It's a holiday weekend, y'all: Things to do for Cinco de Mayo, May the 4th, MayDay, the Kentucky Derby, and so much more.


Chicken-shaped vehicles park for free!

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.

Michael Sommers


Michael Sommers: HUMANAPE

Art, performance, and fellowship comradery with Yahoo the Gorilla, the Hum, Darren Your Favorite Puppet, and more. 7:30-9 p.m. NE Sculpture/Gallery Factory, 1720 Madison St. NE, Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Farmers Market Opening Weekend

Featuring 50+ vendors. Find more info at 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Ramsay Garage Sale Trail

It’s that time of year again, folks: garage sale season. And while nothing beats the rush of seeing a hand-scrawled GARAGE SALE TODAY sign stapled to an electrical pole and slamming on the brakes, you can’t beat events like this one if you want to visit a bunch of secondhand sellers in one day. This is Ramsey’s second-annual Garage Sale Trail, and with nearly 90 participating homes and businesses selling everything, including toys, clothing, housewares and kitchen goods, and comic books. You’re bound to find something new (to you) at a steal of a deal. Find more info—including a handy map with info on each seller’s wares!—here. Free. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri.-Sun.—Em Cassel

Art for Shelter

Simpson Housing Services’ annual art sale for good returns for its 14th year, letting you browse donated works by emerging and established artists alike with proceeds from sales benefiting the nonprofit’s programs. Simpson calls it “a treasure hunt, a night of discovery, and a showcase of our massively talented creative community all in one,” plus you’re helping to support their work in housing, supporting, and advocating for those experiencing homelessness. There will be hundreds of pieces for sale, presented anonymously (artists only sign the back of their canvas here), and all are priced either $35 or $75, depending on the size. Free. 6 to 9 p.m. Glass House, 145 Holden St, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

KFAI's 46th Anniversary Community Celebration

Man, KFAI rocks. We’ve already declared Radio K the best radio station in the city, but let this blurb institutionally cement KFAI as our No. 2 overall pick in the power rankings. Tonight is a great opportunity—some say the best opportunity—to celebrate the community station’s 46th anniversary, though it’s also a fine excuse to check out Hook & Ladder for free. Genre-blending musician/artist/educator L.A. Buckner will be performing (click here for a recent Carbon Sound interview), as will the wonderfully named jazzy psychedelic outfit Shrimp Olympics and pop/rock/cumbia collective America y Los Sentimientos. Audio and visuals of the b-day bash will be recorded; you can expect them to eventually appear on KFAI. Free. 7 p.m. (registration required). Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Bryn Battani

Foxby, Sunsets over Flowers, Bryn Battani

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

Olio Vintage Monthly Happy Hour

Meet this month’s resident vendors. With bubbly, NA beverages, and snacks. 4-6 p.m. Olio Vintage, 21 Fifth St. NE, Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN’s May Market

Shop local makers at night. 6-10 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing, 1712 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis.

Century Gallery Grand Opening

It’s a new shop, featuring modern art, furniture, decor, and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Century Gallery, 2030 Saint Clair Ave., St. Paul.

Craig Clark Band

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

The Gated Community 

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

Fulcrum Market (formerly Bunside)

Vintage and handmade items. 2-7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 2756 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Cinco de Mayo festivitiesVisit St. Paul


Cinco de Mayo 

What’s one of the best signs of spring? Cinco de Mayo parties, which not only usher in the changing of the seasons but also mark the start of street-festival weekends. The big one is in St. Paul, over on Cesar Chavez Street on the West Side. As always, things kick off with a big parade in the morning, followed by a million things to see and do throughout the day. That includes three stages of local music (Sunny Sauceda headlines), all kinds of cultural performances, and roads lined with food trucks. There will be a dog show, a car show (yes, still featuring lowriders), and a beer garden. There will be a market featuring Minnesota artisans and makers, and a kids’ park with fun for all ages. The day’s possibilities are endless. Find more info online. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cesar Chavez Street, 478 S. Robert St., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Cinco de Mayo at Pajarito: St. Paul 

This family-friendly block party includes face painting, a bouncy house, a petting zoo, a special outdoor menu (cash only), and live music from Dusty and The Dirt Road Band (Sat.) and Ledfoot Larry (Sat.-Sun.). 1-9 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun. Pajarito, 605 Seventh St. W., St. Paul. 

Cinco de Mayo at Pajarito: Edina

Featuring a special menu of margaritas and street eats, plus music from Soul Shack Acoustic (Sat.) and the Jeff Gavin Band (Sun.). 5-10 p.m. Sat.; 2-8 p.m. Sun. Pajarito Edina, 3910 W. 50th St., Edina.  

El Taco Torro Grand Opening

Featuring live music and performances from Los Rebeldes, Mariachi Mi Tierra, and Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Derby Day on Brit's rooftopBrit's

Brit’s Pub’s Annual Kentucky Derby Party 

Watch the race on multiple indoor and outdoor screens with surround sound. Festivities include a live bluegrass band, Mint Juleps, a photo booth, cigar rolling, and more. Noon to 6:30 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Day at the Derby 

Watch the big race on the big screen (at 5:57 p.m.), with mini ponies, a Derby photo booth, a hobby horse competition, DJ tunes, open play pickleball, special drinks and food on the menu, and prizes for best hat, full suit, and dramatic dress. 1-7 p.m. Minneapolis Cider Company, 701 SE Ninth St., Minneapolis.

Derby (May the 4th Be with You) Party

With a costume contest with prizes for Best Dressed Couple and the most innovative Star Wars/Derby mashup, a photo booth, races on the big screen, Mint Juleps and a special Star Wars-themed drink, a cigar rolling station, and fun on the patio. 2 p.m. O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co., 600 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Mmmmm!'The Last Jedi'

May the 4th Be with You at Insight

Featuring a Dangerous Man and Insight small batch beer collab, Blue Milk hard seltzer shakes, a flash tattoo pop-up with Ritual & Union Tattoo Collective, costume contest, themed art market, Star Wars Trivia Mafia at 5 p.m., Saber Legion duel, a galactic dance party with Sam of Transmission, and limited edition merch screen-printed live. 1 p.m. to midnight. Insight Brewing, 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Star Wars Day at Boom Island Cantina

Featuring Star Wars arcade games, DJ’d Star Wars remixes, Star Wars-themed crafts and goodies from local artists, a costume contest, and Star Wars beers (Light Side, a honey jasmine lager, and Dark Side, a Sith coffee stout). Noon to 11 p.m. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

May the 4th at Bent

Featuring a Death Star Old Fashioned, Dark Fatha Brewer's Reserve Hot Honey on tap, movies on the screens all day, and a Wookie call contest at 9 p.m. Noon to 10 p.m. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville. 

Mike Birawer

Michael Birawer: FlowerPOP! 

New work. 3-6 p.m. Michael Birawer Gallery, 1618 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

May the 4th Party

Celebrate Star Wars with costume contests for kids and adults, free face painting for all ages, 25% off mini golf for anyone dressed in Star Wars attire, and more. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nowhere Haunted House-Minnesota, 5300 S. Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights.

May the 4th Star Wars Party for Charity

Featuring a silent auction, exclusive beer releases, studio portraits with Star Wars characters, a costume contest, and DJ Jake Rudh. Proceeds and donations benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities, find more info at 3-8 p.m. 9 Mile Brewing, 9555 James Ave. S., Bloomington.

Star Wars Party at Pizza Lucé

With Star Wars trivia with Trivia Mafia, a special visit from Darth Vader, and specialty Star Wars-themed cocktails. 6-9 p.m. Pizza Lucé, 2200 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

Alexandra Beaumont

Alexandra Beaumont: Techniques for Ecstasy

This textile exhibition celebrates last March’s “Dancing with Friends” party hosted by the artist. 6-10 p.m. Public Functionary, Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Wheels and Bike Rodeo

OK, I am a little biased because this is my neighborhood. But when Minneapolis Parks moved to add a skatepark to Painter Park’s amenities some neighbors bristled, arguing that skateboarding was a dated activity only Gen Xers enjoyed or that it would attract hooligans to the area (uh, which is it guys?). Turns out neither of those things are true, as people started zooming around on it pretty much as soon as the concrete dried. In fact, I’ve yet to see the skatepark empty, with kids, teens, and grownups enjoying it at any given moment (shout-out to the middle-aged dads I spotted using it on their lunch hour). You can check it out for yourself at this little “open house” of sorts, which will feature demonstrations from 3rd Lair, a skill course for kids to ride their bikes through, food trucks, a bounce house, and more. And don’t worry if you’re missing the park’s super-popular basketball courts; they’re getting a glow-up along with the tennis/pickleball courts this month. Free. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Painter Park, 620 34th St. W., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Angry Catfish Spring Open House

Featuring a storewide sale, an employee garage sale, coffee and donuts in the morning, beer and tacos for sale, tunes from DJ North, demo bikes from Otso and Salsa, and more. 10 to 5 p.m. Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar, 2900 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis.

Zhi Kai Vanderford

The Art of Resistance Behind Bars

See work by trans artist, writer, and activist Zhi Kai Vanderford, who has been incarcerated for 37 years. With interactive stations where you can write a letter to him, write a postcard to officials about supporting gender-affirming care for him, and hear talks from supporters on the hour. Masks are encouraged. 1-4 p.m. Banana Leaf Collective, 1302 NE Second St., Suite 220, Minneapolis.

Porch Knights, Gladden, Grand Courriers

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

Early Show

With Scott Hefte and the Bury ‘Em Deep, Gentleman Speaker, Katie Marshall. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.


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

Spring Pop


Featuring local vendors, arts, crafts, music and dance performances, food, and fun. 11-4 p.m. Springboard for the Arts, 262 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 

Used Book Sale

Books priced at $1. Noon to 3 p.m. Moon Palace Books, 3032 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Free Comic Book Day

Stop by your fav store today for freebies and more. You can find more info about participating stores here

Boat Burning

Michael Sommer and friends set fire to a boat to mark the end of “HUMANAPE.” 4-4:30 p.m. NE Sculpture/Gallery Factory, 1720 Madison St. NE, Minneapolis.

Lisa Anderson

Fifty by Thirty

New paintings by Lisa Anderson. 5-8 p.m. Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis.

StoryFest 2024

Story Arts of Minnesota hosts this day of story concerts, workshops, open mics, information tables, networking opportunities, and more–all centered on the enduring art of oral storytelling. Find details at 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 Shakopee Rd., Bloomington. 

Tibetan Dumpling Festival

Featuring Tibetan dumplings and other vendors offering tasty eats. 7 a.m. to noon. 6335 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Mill City Farmers' Market

Mill City Summer Farmers’ Market

The market moves outdoors for the warmer season. Featuring local farmers, artisans, makers, and artists. More info at: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

The Black Market

Shop clothing, beauty items, jewelry, food, and more from local BIPOC-owned businesses. Reserve a free ticket at 2-7 p.m. The Lab – Pilot Facility and Taproom, 767 N. Eustis St., Minneapolis. 


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

Trench Size Trio

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

Vehicle Day

Co-presented by the City of Edina and City of Richfield, this event offers a up-close look-and-touch at dozens of city vehicles and large trucks. With giveaways, spin-to-win prizes, children’s activities, and more. 10 a.m. to noon. Southdale Center’s Southeast Parking Lot, corner of York Ave. and 69th St., Edina.

Fulton’s Grand Fundo Block Party

This annual, super fun block party serves as a post-race gathering for the Fulton Gran Fondo bike race, sure, but don’t think you need to exert any physical energy to attend. On tap for this year: a decades-spanning lineup of bands DJs (attendees are encouraged to dress in era-specific 20th-century attire); oceans of beer and seltzer, including Fulton's award-winning 300 IPA; and food from the taproom kitchen. The first 250 attendees will be automatically entered into a raffle for a $250 Sun Country gift card; we’re no bookies, but that seems like 1/250 odds—not bad! Free (tickets are currently sold out). Noon. Fulton Brewing Co., 2540 NE Second St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Open Mic Comedy

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

Lowertown Winter Farmers Markets

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

Southside Battletrain 2022


MayDay Celebrations

Since 1975, folks have made their way to Powderhorn on May 5 to celebrate artsiness and the changing of the seasons. Once helmed by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, the event is upheld these days by a variety of groups doing their own friendly/collaborative thing. Crust punk extraordinaires (and longtime parade participants) Southside Battletrain are planning to make their way along Bloomington once again, delighting folks with their wild metal contraptions on wheels. Last year’s event also included folks from the ArtCar/ArtBike crew, stilt walkers, and kids wearing decorated cardboard boxes—we expect a return of similar spectacle. Meanwhile, over at Powderhorn Park, Heart of the Beats (great name!) is hosting a daylong drum jam welcome to all from 2:30-7 p.m. Reverie Cafe + Bar and Modus Locus are teaming up too, for a free block party with live music, art, and other fun starting at 3 p.m.—Jessica Armbruster

In the Spirit of Mayday Block Party

This block party promises all the good stuff (“music, art, bevs, and good vibes”), plus: stilters, puppets, art cars, and chow from Reverie. Billed in no particular order, the live music lineup includes America y Los Sentimientos, Betty Won’t, Magic Castles Dosh, Brass Solidarity, Brass Messengers, and the Royal Hiptites. Folks, this is what springtime in the city is all about—Minneapolis-is-burning shitheads will not be able to comprehend how much fun we’re having. Free. 2 p.m. Reverie Cafe + Bar, 1517 E. 35th St., Minneapolis; find more info here; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Mother's Day MarketDarin Kamnetz

Minneapolis Craft Market’s Mother’s Day Market 

Two floors of handmade goods by local makers. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

Art on Tap’s Spring Art Market

Featuring handmade goods produced by 30+ local artists and makers. Noon to 7 p.m. 9 Mile Brewing, 9555 James Ave. S., Bloomington.

Salsa Brava

Classic salsa, cumbia, bachata, and more. 21+. 8 p.m. James Ballentine "Uptown" VFW - Post 246, 2916 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Literary Bridges Reading 

Featuring authors A.E. Wynter, Erin Sharkey, Christian Avey, Penelope Simison, Jo Cassiday-Maloney, and co-host curator Stan Kusunoki, plus musical guest Carol Seline. 2 p.m. Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul.

Everyday Ejiji Vintage

Everyday Ejiji Monthly Pop-up

Shop vintage threads while downing coffee. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cafe Ceres, 4603 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Linden Hills Farmers’ Market

Another farmers’ market returns this weekend! Find more info here. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. Settergrens’s Parking Lot, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis.

Cinco de Carro

This outdoor party features vintage clothing from Wild Vntg Mrkt, a vintage car show hosted by Great Northern Region LGBTQIA car club, a pin-up photo contest, DJ tunes, a taco food truck, and more with drag queen Betty Bang. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wild Things Antiques, 7270 Commerce Cir. E., Fridley.

The Scarlet Goodbye

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

Jazz Outlaws

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

Early Show

With Sammie Jean Cohen. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Jeremy & KC McKee

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

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