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Freeloader Friday: 97 Free Things To Do This Weekend

ArtCars! A gay rodeo! Kate Bush Night! Millions of markets!


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.

North Star Gay Rodeo


North Star Rodeo

Featuring a variety of competitions and sportin events, drag shows, live music, family fun, and more from the North Star Gay Rodeo Association. Find more info at 5-10 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Dead Broke Arena, 5676 170th St. N., Hugo.


Film in Hmong with English subtitles. Fun fact: This is a locally made movie inspired by Lake Phalen. Dusk. Lake Phalen, 1400 Phalen Dr., St. Paul.

Great Midwest Rib Fest

Featuring live music from the Fray, Tommy Tutone, Rick Springfield, and others; competitive rib eating contests; BBQ competition; food; family-fun; and more. 4-10 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake.

The Collaboratory

Carnage the Executioner and DJ Piecemeal present this jam session with Unicus Harry, Jenny Klukken, and Soultru. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Gentleman Speaker, Valors, Loon Booster

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

Two Piece Suite

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

Capri Big Band

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

The Bad Guys

English with Spanish subtitles. 9:15 p.m. Franklin Steele Park, 1600 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Chaska River City Days 2023

Featuring live music, local crafters, cosplay, food trucks, kids’ fun, nonprofit resources, and more. 4-10 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Lions Park, 1300 Crosstown Blvd., Chaska.

Music on the Veranda: Matt Bedford

Acoustic Brit-pop. 5 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Crystal Frolics

Featuring live music, inflatables, food trucks, kids’ fun, pickleball tourney, and more. 5-9 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. Becker Park, 5530 Douglas Dr. N., Crystal.

Open Mic Night

Music and comedy. Keep is family-friendly, folks. 6-8 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Vinyl Friday in the B-Side Lounge: MN Made

MN artists and tunes on vinyl. 7-10 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

Penny Carnival

Featuring music, games, refreshments, and fun that only costs 2-4 cents. Noon to 2 p.m. St. Louis Park Rec Center, ROC, Aquatic Park, 3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park.

Joe Niccola, Skunk Hollow

7:30-9:30 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, 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: 2350 Helen St. N., North St. Paul at 7 p.m. on Fri.; Dayton’s Bluff Community Garden (683 E. North St., St. Paul) at 4 p.m. Sun.; and 7 p.m. Sun. at Valley Community Presbyterian Church (3100 Lilac Dr. N., Golden Valley). Through August 27–Jessica Armbruster

MN Sinfonia

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;



ArtCar + ArtBike Parade

Retro cars are cool and it’s fun to spot brand-new models on the street, but there’s something especially cool about ArtCars. Their make, model, and year are irrelevant; it’s their individuality that makes them special. This weekend, a parade’s worth of ArtCars (and ArtBikes!) will convene at the lake to create the best damn traffic jam of the summer. You never know what kind of vehicle is going to show up at these events, and that’s part of the fun. Past guests (and likely returnees) include cars covered in stuff like wine corks, dominoes, and baby dolls; cars that have been given new paint jobs, from giant peace signs to tiny little skulls; and even cars that are most likely not street legal, but are definitely parade legit (hey there, couch car). No matter who shows up, it’s going to be a wholesome and delightful time. You can follow the ArtCars and their shenanigans at Free. 5-7 p.m. Bdé Umáŋ / Lake Harriet, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

10 Years of Bliss

A celebration of Chase Bliss featuring a pedal vendor pop-up, a musical instrument petting zoo, beer collaborations, limited edition art, food by Animales BBQ, and tunes from Emily Hopkins, Courtney Swain, and Kid Koala X Lealani. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis.

Big Kahuna Bash 5

Featuring tiki artists, surf bands, vintage cars, scooter rally, tiki drinks, Polynesia food, and more. 1-10 p.m. Grumpy's Northeast, 2200 Fourth St. NE, Minneapolis.

Inside Out 2

Last year, Pillsbury House celebrated its 30th year with a big ol’ block party. This year, the party returns. Festivities this time are inspired by local actress/author Junauda Petrus's new children's book, Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? “[Junauda] visited Pillsbury House as a toddler, and we’re excited to continue to support her and her artistic work all of these years later,” says PH+T Senior Director Noël Raymond. Featured fun includes a roller rink hosted by Twin Cities Skate, an interactive photo booth, a bounce house, and food from Public Functionary Cafe. Friend of Racket KRSM 98.9 radio will provide tunes; the Phillips neighborhood-based station celebrated its 10th year at last summer’s party. Free. 1-5 p.m. Chicago Avenue, between 35th and 36th Streets, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

Remember Treehouse Records? It's briefly coming back to life.Provided

Treehouse Records Liquidation Sale

"THIS IS NOT JUNK!" shouts the ad for this one-day sale of 8,000 CDs that once populated the now-shuttered Minneapolis record shop Treehouse Records (né Oar Folkjokeopus). Owner Mark Trehus is unloading 'em Saturday for $0-$3 each to benefit the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, which is where the blowout sale will take place. Names like Leonard Cohen, Guided By Voices, Lucinda Williams, and Yo La Tengo are dropped to entice buyers to the Hook, where they'll also encounter a vast selection of blues, soul, jazz, indie, avant-garde, garage, psychedelia, and shoegaze. "This ain’t about making money, folks," organizers write. "This is mostly an excuse to get some music back out into the community at bargain prices and gather together some old faces. And to say thanks for 32 great years." Free. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Bend it at Brits

Free rooftop yoga. 10 a.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Wild Things Antiques’ Grand Reopening 

Featuring a WILD VNTG MRKT, a “Christmas in July” market, food truck eats, and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7270 Commerce Circle, Minneapolis. 

Twin Cities Record Show Jumpin' July Popup 

Noon to 4 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Summer Maker's Market

Featuring 10+ makers in the gallery and courtyard. Noon to 4 p.m. Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis.

Loring Park Art Festival

Loring Park Art Festival

Featuring hundreds of local artists, food, live entertainment, local orgs, and more in the park. Find more info at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

1850 Pop-Up Space

Featuring 10 local artists, art and gardening fun for kids and adults, local businesses, coffee, and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1850 E. 38th St., Minneapolis. 

Market Collective MN Makers Market
Shop from 25+ BIPOC and queer vendors and allies at this indoor/outdoor market. 2-7 p.m. Urban Growler Brewing, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Minneapolis Craft Market 

Featuring a variety of local makers each day. Noon to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Lakes & Legends Brewing, 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Flea-Market Treasure Sale

Featuring a little bit of everything: folk art, beads, CDs, books, art supplies, fabric, vintage items, and more. Noon to 7 p.m. ColorWheel Gallery, 319 W. 46th St., Minneapolis.

Joyce Lyon

Cooper’s Pond: Recent Reflections

A closing reception featuring work by Joyce Lyon. 1-3 p.m. Form + Content Gallery, 201 N. Second St., Minneapolis.

Latino Night 

Featuring tunes from Julian Franco, SOF (psychedelic alternative rock), ITZ JAIDA (neo r&b), and Bazuk (Spanish rock). 8:30-10:30 p.m. 202 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul.

Unattractive Giant Monster, Jacket, C.N.S.P. S/O/L/O

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

Cars and Caves 

See cool retro, rare, refurbished, and specialty cars. This month’s installment is all about cars 25 years and older. This weekend’s event benefits Special Olympics Minnesota. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chanhassen AutoPlex, 1740 Motorplex Court, Chanhassen.

Photo by Bre McGee for Uncommon Collaborative.

Midsummer Memory Mandalas 

See a grief mandala made from plants, rocks, and more inside the cemetery. 5-7:30 p.m. Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Beau Baker Band

Event description: “If Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, and Led Zeppelin had a baby, it would grow up to be Beau Baker.” 5:30 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Early Show

With Taylor James Donskey, Hana Fleur, and Bob Frey. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Saturday is Instrumental

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

Cole Diamond

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

Yoga at the Market

Kids Yoga With Miss Lydia

For kids 11 and under. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.


9:15 p.m. Fuller Park, 4802 Grand 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

Excelsior Flea Market

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

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;

Mpls Vintage MarketDarin Kamnetz


Minneapolis Vintage Market

Shop from local vintage vendors. Noon to 4 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis. 

The Chino Latino Jazz Project

4 p.m. MetroNOME Brewery, 385 Broadway St., St. Paul.

Empire Night

Soulful tunes. 2-5 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.

Phil Heywood

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

Early Show

With Emmy Woods, Kaylee Kitzman, Luke Lynell. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Kate Bush Homage Night

With Danger Pins, Rebecca Fritz, and Danny Sigelman. 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.

Erin Rogue

Irish tunes. 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 Market

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

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