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Freeloader Friday: 90 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Aquatennial by the river, pro-wrestling at Pryes, sidewalk sales, and more.

F1rst Wrestling

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 weeks best events, price be damned, click here.

Twin Cities River Rats


Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show 

7 p.m. (warm up starts at 6:30 p.m.) West Bank of the Mississippi River, between Broadway and Plymouth Avenues, Minneapolis. 

Park Market: Indigenous Market 

Shop from local makers. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Water Works Park and Pavilion, 333 First St. S., Minneapolis.

Alchemy 356 at Aquatennial

Free evening yoga in the park. Click here to RSVP. 6 p.m. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.


The seventh annual Artepils is a whole dang weekend of music, art, and more at Utepils’ sprawling taproom and patio. A bunch of local musicians will perform at this two-day festival, including Show Pony, Sarah Morris & Thomas Nordlund, Twine, and Grunge Unplugged, and participating artists include John Baille, Tex Beltz, Martha Floerchinger, and more. And, of course, there’s lots of beer! Find the whole rundown here. Free. Noon to 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave. N. #700, Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

Daily Dose Retro

Retro Sidewalk Sale

Shop vintage via this sidewalk market with Daily Dose Retro and nine other indie brands, vintage sellers, and more. Noon to 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Daily Dose Retro, 953 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

The Lost Golden Toads

Acoustic rock, traditional country, and R&B covers. 7 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

The Matt Arthur Contraption

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

birdhole, Blood Driver, Shadow Lake

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

Charlie Doesn’t Surf

Alternative, indie, pop-punk. 7 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Dusk. Corcoran Park, 3334 20th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Dusk. El Rio Vista Recreation Center, 179 Robie St. E.,  St. Paul.

21:12 RUSH Hour

Attention RUSH fans: at this happy hour you can enjoy RUSH music, beer, merch, and pinball. 5-6 p.m. Fulton Taproom, 414 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis. 

Sociable Summer Concert Series

With Grant Swift, Helen, and Sammie Jean & Friends, plus Unidos Food Co. 6-9 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Old Guys Play the Blues

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

Lojo Russo

Rhythm, roots, soul. 7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Funniest Person in Minneapolis

Acme Comedy Co. has thrown its Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest for decades, but it appears the (technically) newer comedy room at Sisyphus is only focused on the younger, better, bigger city for its contest. (Come at me St. Paul subscribers—it’s my birthright to talk this trash!) In any case, this month-long standup throwdown will feature 10 to 12 contestants performing three-minute sets that might advance ‘em in the tourney. At month’s end, a scrappy upstart will emerge from the heap with the titular honorific as their prize. Sisyphus is also booking nightly headliners to ensure this won’t be a total amateur hour. Arrive early to ensure you snag a seat at this no-cover event. Free. 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Ave. W. #100, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through July—Jay Boller     

Open Eye Theatre

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: 3421 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis at 7 p.m. on Fri.; Dancing Bear Chocolate (4367 N. Thomas Ave., Minneapolis) at 1 p.m. Sat.; and Sts. Luke and James Epsicopal Church (4557 Colfax Ave. S., Minneapolis) at 4 p.m. Sun. Through August 27–Jessica Armbruster

Dan Israel

Folksy rock. 7:30-9 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., 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;

Aquatennial Fireworks


Aquatennial Grand Finale Fireworks

10 p.m.  West River Parkway, recommended viewing spots include Gold Medal Park to the Third Avenue Bridge on West River Parkway, Minneapolis.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Open House

Featuring cool views, open visitor center, and ranger-led tours at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. starting in front of the Water Work Pavilion. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, 1875 W. River Pkwy., Minneapolis.


Featuring skateboarding demos, food, beverages, live music, and more (see below for a few nearby/related Aquatennial activities). 3-5 p.m. West River Parkway near Stone Arch Bridge, 100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis.

Mpls Craft Market/City of the Lakes Market

5-10 p.m. Chicago Mall, between the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 

Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities

Featuring tunes from Ozone Creations, Trevor & Mary Duo, Natania & Ticket to Brasil, and Black Velvet Punks. 6-10 p.m. West River Parkway near Stone Arch Bridge, 100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis.

Aquatennial Kids’ Zone

Games, performances, and more for kids. 6-9 p.m.  West River Parkway, near Portland Avenue, Minneapolis. 

Midtown Blues & Funk Fest

Midtown Blues & Funk Fest

Last Friday, KARE 11 asked Racket about the plight of Twin Cities music festivals, particularly the under-attended TC Summer Fest at Target Field. And ya know what? The apparent success stories continue to be free, community-driven events like the Midtown Blues & Funk Fest (fka the Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest). You’re not gonna get mega-dollar talent like the Killers here, but you will get a killer lineup that features blues guitar great Walter Trout of Canned Heat fame, Corey Stevens, Mick Sterling, Prince’s pal Jellybean Johnson, and Kendra Glenn plus Lisa Wenger. It’s family friendly, there’s great beer lineup, and you’re listening to gratis live music outside in the greatest metropolitan region on Earth—what more could you possibly want? Free; VIP options available. Noon to 10 p.m. Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Ave., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Rondo CLT's 30th Anniversary Block Party Bash

Organized by the housing advocacy nonprofit Rondo Community Land Trust, this bash will provide free food tickets to the first 150 attendees; they’ll get to choose from the two tasty, BIPOC-owned food trucks who’ll be on site—West Indies Soul Food or Jones n' Your Bones BBQ. The block party will also feature a beer garden, interactive art projects, vendors, and live music from the likes of Tarli & the Tribe, Big Kiaa, Solana, and Panasueco. Free. 1-4 p.m. Rondo Community Land Trust, 1041 Selby Ave., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Phantom Fields, James Eugene Russell, Tyler Haag

Presented by City Country Collective. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Early Show 

With Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves, The Daguerreotypes, Omaha. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Magenta Vice w. PLVS VLTRA, Gehenna Saga

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

Food Truck Fest at the Depot

7th Annual St. Paul Food Truck Festival

Food trucks are where you can get some of the best eats around town. This summer, the Depot is hosting a super big gathering of wheel-based food, as over 60 trucks will be parking in their lot from brunchtime through the late-night snack hour. A few items mentioned on the menu: lobster rolls, gourmet donuts, birria tacos, papaya salad, ribs, hand pies, fancy pizza, and deep fried ice cream. The trucks won’t be limited to food, however, as vintage fashion trucks, vinyl record trucks, and a photobooth truck will also be stopping by. Giant lawn games, rock bands onstage, and a lot of beer (pick up a free wristband at the gates) round out this tasty event. Find more details and the official lineup of trucks here. Free. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Union Depot, 390 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Art on the Edge Festival

Featuring 50+ vendors and makers working in art as well as holistic healing, plus food trucks. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everett & Charlie, 2720 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis.

Uptown Market

Featuring local vendors and special happenings at Legacy, Les Sól, and Combine. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 1609 W. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Queenie Flea

This month’s installment includes Melanie Art Co, Merely Maggie, Mint and Honey, and Made by Madalena Lou. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Queenie & Pearl, 5014 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN Makers Market
Shop from BIPOC and queer vendors and allies. 1-5 p.m. Indeed Brewing, 711 NE 15th Ave., Minneapolis.

Wilderness Inquiry Canoe Rides and Fire Building

Canoeing and paddling instruction open to all skill levels, as well as people with disabilities. All equipment will be provided. Click here for more info. Noon to 5 p.m. Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St NE, Minneapolis.

Tia Keobounpheng, 'THREADS no. 9' (detail).

Revealing Threads

This new exhibition by artist, designer, and maker Tia Keobounpheng, and features abstract tapestries influenced by traditional Nordic handwork. See it for free July 22-October 29. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

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. Through August 6—Jessica Armbruster

Summer Night Market

Featuring local makers, plants, and more inside and in the beer garden. 7-10 p.m. Fair State Brewing, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.


R&B and pop covers. 6 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

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. July 22-23, Aug. 26-27, Sep. 23-24, and Oct. 28-29. We the Starborne, 593 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul.

Coach Carter

Movie at dusk. Creekview Park, 5001 Humboldt Ave. N., Minneapolis.  

Virginia Street Church Open House and Celebration

The 150-year-old church celebrates its b-day with tours and entertainment. 1-3 p.m. Virginia Street Swedenborgian Church, 170 Virginia St., St. Paul.

Eleanor McGough

Branching Patterns

A mix of installation, paper cutting, and painting by Eleanor McGough. 7-10 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 315 W. 48th St., Minneapolis.

Excelsior Flea Market

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

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 July 22-23, August 26-27, and September 23-24. Washington County Fairgrounds, 12300 40th St. N., Lake Elmo.

The Comic Show

Minnesota Comic Exchange hosts a day featuring 30+ tables. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Valley Creek Mall, 1750 Weir Dr., Woodbury.

Beach House Party 

Featuring party hits from the ‘90s and ‘00s, special beach cocktails, yard games, and more. 21+. 7 p.m. Up-Down Minneapolis, 3012 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Minneapolis POPs

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

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;

F1Rst Wrestling


Pryes Free-For-All

Bauhaus’s Blood, Sweat, and Beers will always have a special place in our hearts, but we’re all for any event that brings F1rst Wrestling to a local brewery for an outdoor squared circle face-off. Plus, this brewery brawl is free! Pryes Free-For-All returns Sunday, so put on your Atomic Super ThunderFrog shirt and get ready to watch your favorite F1rst Wrestlers while sipping a Miraculum (sounds kind of like a cool wrestling name, when you think about it) and enjoying Pryes’ wood-fired pizzas. Find more info here. Free. 4 p.m. Pryes Brewing Company, 1401 West River Rd. N., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

Sundaze Makers Market

Juniper Lou Markets leads the way at this popup of 12 local vintage sellers. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Earl Giles Restaurant & Distillery, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Creator's Fair

Featuring healing vendors, arts, and crafts. Noon to 5 p.m. BlackStack Brewing, 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul.

Pop-up Market 

Featuring 12+ local markers (tarot, pottery, jewelry, and more), food from Bald Head Bakery & Tacos, and DJ tunes. 1-7 p.m. Insight Brewing, 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Drag Queen Story Time

Featuring Mr. Mom. Noon. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

DJ ShortScoff’s Day Party

12:30-3:30 p.m. AxeBridge Wine Company, 411 Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Gas Station Turkeys

Lady-driven country tunes. 5:30 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Hot Dog Summer

Bebe Zito’s hosts this dog fashion show (sign up your dog at 2 p.m.), followed by free pup cream for pets. 3-4 p.m. Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Poetry Night

With Carol Rucks and June Blumenson. 5 p.m. Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Gabriela Sweet

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

Early Show

With the 241’s, Jeffrey Robert Larson (acoustic set), and the Haws. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds

With Kiernan, Nikki Lemire, Rachel Bearinger, Eric Carranza, and KAAT, hosted by TJD. 7 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Minneapolis POPs

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

Twin Cities Brass Band

Twin Cities Brass Band

1 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;

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