Gingerbread Wonderland, Leftovers Ride, Rick Steves: This Week’s Best Events
There's plenty to see and do before and after Turkey Day.
10:43 AM CST on November 20, 2023
Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond.
This Chicago rapper has such a daunting sense of responsibility—to her craft, to her people, to herself—that she often comes off as her own harshest critic. On her new song “Namesake” she not only calls out superstars like Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar for playing the Super Bowl halftime show (“propaganda for the military complex”) but then criticizes herself for playing Coachella. (I mean, we all gotta pay rent.) The success of her brilliant 2018 album, Room 25, had public repercussions, including an online tiff with J. Cole, and Noname pledged to retire and dedicate herself to activism. I hope she doesn’t regret her decision to get back in the game, because with its multilayered vocal approach, jazzy feel, and gospel choirs, her latest, Sundial, is a lush achievement, as generous musically as it can be demanding lyrically. It deserves to find the broader Black audience Noname has been yearning for; if not, at least white well-wishers like me can appreciatively learn a little something. With Stout. $32.50.-$50. 8 p.m. 318 N. First Ave, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
The biggest cookie village in town returns this winter to Norway House. Each year, 250 or so pieces come together, creating a sweet-smelling wonderland for all to explore. Creations range from cozy cabins in the snow to multi-story abodes topped with icing. There will also be familiar Twin Cities structures and incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and full time professional bakers, making this wonderland a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information online. $15; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4 p.m. Sun. and Tue.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through January 7–Jessica Armbruster
Minneapolis-launched, New York City-based comic Ben Katzner throws a homecoming show each year around Thanksgiving, and this year’s might be the biggest yet. Expect “a night of stand-up comedy so good you'll completely forget all the conspiracies you learned over Thanksgiving dinner,” teases the promo copy for a two-night comedy event featuring current and former locals Ruth Allen, Courtney Baka, Joey Hamburger, Max Hornstein, Gabby OK, Harshil Shukla, Ali Sultan, and "special guests!!!" Effortlessly charming and approachably political, Katzner manages to weave long bits about romance novels, ass eating, body image, adoption, and impending civil war into sets that make sense. "And like yeah, I don't like some white people, sure,” he once riffed at Sisyphus about growing up with white parents. “But other white people taught me how to jet ski, so what am I supposed to do?" Katzner—who, after the murder of George Floyd, wrote this powerful essay about growing up Black in central Minnesota—also happens to be an up-’n’-coming children’s author; his debut graphic novel, Hello, My Name is Poop, arrived two years ago via Simon & Schuster. $10. 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday. 712 Ontario Ave. W. #100, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Minnesota Pint Day
More like Black IPA Friday? November 24 is this year's Minnesota Pint Day, a statewide celebration of craft beer organized by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. More than 55 breweries around MN are participating in 2024, offering deals alongside a limited-edition glass designed by artist Lindsay Hendrickson. And nine MN breweries—Bad Weather Brewing, Foremost Brewing, Half Pint
Brewing Co., Karst Brewing, Montgomery Brewing, Sleepy Eye
Brewing, Snarky Loon Brewing, Spiral Brewing, and Storm King Brewing—even brewed a Golden Ale just for Pint Day. (Sorry if you're a black IPA fan! That was only for the pun!)—Em Cassel
Comedy Corner Underground
If you found the rantings and ravings of this Twins fan intriguing, you might just wanna catch his stand-up comedy. David Tveite is perhaps Bloomington Jefferson High School’s second most-famous alum (behind ex-Bella Thorne love interest Mod Sun), and his comedy finds a sweet spot between shouty aggravation, world-weary/witty self-deprecation, and, crucially, give-zero-fucks silliness. That contrast is visible via his Instagram, where you’ll find an existentially smoldering bit about an old fish next to a crudely rendered show poster depicting himself as axed Vikes mascot Ragnar. Currently based in Portland, Oregon, Tveite (full disclosure: a friend) once had a closer about DiGiorno Pizza that I still think about a decade later. St. Paul's own Zach Kagan opens. $15. 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday. 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
European Christmas Market
Okay, so most of us aren’t going to make it to Germany, Sweden, or Austria this season. We’re most likely heading to pop-up markets at breweries, Target, the Mall, and, if we’re feeling ambitious, maybe Dayton’s downtown. But, should you want to experience a little old school charm, the European Christmas Market has got it in spades. This huge holiday market event features local makers and crafters selling traditional gifts, including knit items to keep us warm, wooden toys for kids, and foodstuffs galore. There will be tons of entertainment, with live music, dance, and local choirs taking the stage each day. Santa will be stopping by, as will Krampus, sled dogs, and reindeer. There will also be plenty of food to snack on, plus traditional hot beverages, beer, and gluhwein. Santa’s post office will be stationed for children who have hand-written requests, and there will also be a new extended holiday market called Santa’s Village. Bonus: Score a free Metro Transit ride to the event at uniondepot.org/holiday. Free. 4-9 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8). 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul. Through December 17–Jessica Armbruster
Ninth Annual Leftovers Ride
Gold Medal Park
It all started nearly a decade ago, when a group of cyclists burning off their Turkey Day dinner stumbled upon a picnic table in the woods and decided to, uh, burn something else instead. Now, the Joyful Riders Club gathers every year on the day after Thanksgiving to pedal around the city (the route is roughly six miles), get a roaring fire going, and feast upon a bevvy of leftovers. It’s a celebration of “community, silliness, and a bit of low-key debauchery,” according to organizers, and it’s also a great way to get those legs moving after a holiday feast (without sacrificing the best part of the day after T-giving: the leftovers). BYO food, drinks, utensils, and plates; they’ve got you covered with the flammable stuff. Free. Meet at 3 p.m., ride at 3:30. Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Find more info here.—Em Cassel
Choreographers’ Evening 2023
Walker Art Center
Every year, the Walker Art Center invites a local talent to curate a night of local dance from a variety of troupes, choreographers, and movement makers. There’s a little of this, a little of that–think of it like a Thanksgiving sampler of sorts. This year’s installment is lead by Darius Strong, a 2021 McKnight Fellow who founded contemporary dance company STRONGmovement, has worked with the Guthrie as a movement director, and was a featured performer in the 2015 New Griots Festival. His work isn’t bound by a specific genre, but he often pulls from ballet and hip hop. For this evening of dance, he’ll bring talents like Gabrielle Abram, Rick Ausland, Zoë Koenig, Jim Lieberthal, Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies, Luna Medhanie, Ricci Milan, Anna Pinault, Asha Rowland, Julie Warder, and Taja Will together. $15. 4 and 7 p.m. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster
Eons ago, back in the golden age of blogs, Night Movies emerged from Minneapolis as a “buzz band,” which was a term we veterans of the blog era used to deploy rather indiscriminately to promising ‘00s and ’10s indie bands. Unlike many of their peers, Night Moves managed to forge a rock-solid discography of twangy, psych-tinged rock that carries frontman John Pelant’s mesmerizing voice. After 2019’s Pennied Days, their third LP, the band didn’t make much of a peep until the release of last year’s The Redaction EP via Domino Records. On single “Fallacy Actually,” longtime producer pal John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) coaxed perhaps the most danceable, mainstream-friendly sounds from Night Moves yet. Yet another local buzz band of yore, Solid Gold, opens alongside Ivers. $20-$25. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
The Fitzgerald Theater
Unproblematic fav Rick Steves—whose PBS travel show is the most-watched, longest-running such series out there—is at the Fitz this week with his “For the Love of Europe” tour. The soft-spoken host and prolific guidebook author is hot off a 100-day trip through the continent, and he’ll share updates on post-Covid travel and his latest tips and tricks. We hope he’ll get a little political as he heads through MN, too; a longtime lefty, Steves has been calling for sensible reform on cannabis and the decriminalization of marijuana since the ’80s (albeit under a pseudonym, way back then), and well, we all know what happened in our fair state this last legislative session. All ages. $30.50+. 3 p.m. 10 E Exchange St., St. Paul; tickets and more info here.—Em Cassel
Glow Holiday Festival
At the risk of questioning how The People’s Stadium is used, why doesn’t U.S. Bank Stadium stage seasonal fests like this when the Vikings aren’t bumbling around inside? Still, the $12.75-$20.75 entry fee for Glow Holiday Festival isn’t exactly an egalitarian use of the commons, though the event does seem fun. We’re talkin’ a loop around CHS Field featuring over a million holiday lights that illuminate something of a wintertime Candyland—enchanted forest, illuminated bikes, glowing critters, a 60-foot Christmas tree, maze, zipline, gift shop, and the so-called penguin playground. (Here’s a drone swoop of last year’s festivities.) Will there be up-charge opportunities? ‘Tis the season! The 150-foot Giant Snowy Slide is extra, as are s'more fixins and other concessions. The highly Instagrammable proof that you loaded up the kids and tapped into a shared sense of holiday magic? That’s priceless*. (*Holiday magic may be extra, we’re not sure.) $20.75 for adults; $12.75 for kids; free for kids under 24 months. 5-9 p.m. Thu.-Sun. 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul; find more info here. Through December 31—Jay Boller
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
With a forecasted high of 61 degrees (!) it’s not going to feel particularly wintry for the opening of this year’s Winter Lights display. Maybe a rebrand is in order? Autumnal Illuminations at the Arb? Or maybe it’s just a nice excuse to get outside and slow down—you’re free to wander the walking tour route at your own pace, and there’s live music from the Minnesota Chorale. $10-$15 members; $25-$30 non-members; $10 for ages 15 and younger. 6-9 p.m. opening night; 5-10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, plus additional holiday dates. 3685 Arboretum Dr., Chaska; find more info here. Through December 30—Em Cassel
Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s
Walker Art Center
What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster
In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Native photography past and present are showcased in Mia’s latest exhibit, “In Our Hands.” The collection, curated by Indigenous artists and scholars, covers over 130 years with imagery from First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American photographers, from early historical documentation to thoroughly modern photoshoots. “I truly believe that it is important for the legacy of all photographers to know this history, and it is the history of the land you are more than likely standing upon,” says consulting curator Jaida Grey Eagle. With over 150 images on display, the exhibition isn’t tied to time and place, rather in themes. The first section explores Indigenous connections to the natural world, with highlights from foundational, mid-century, and female photographers. The second collection explores Native leadership, past present, and future, while the final section celebrates perseverance. Related events include an opening party, group discussions, an educators’ evening, and meetups. $20; 17 and under are free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through January 14, 2024—Jessica Armbruster
Bauhaus Brew Labs
If you know jack shit about plants, nurseries can be super overwhelming. A plant sale at a brewery? That’s a much easier lane to drive in. With that in mind comes Haus Plants, a monthly event where folks can get a buzz via beer or THC bubbly and come home with some greenery. Much like a clothing or jewelry shop pop-up, Vida Plant Co. has eschewed ye olde brick-and-mortar in lieu of traveling to locations and setting up business. At this monthly series, they’ll play matchmaker, pairing folks up with flora with each person’s lifestyle and skill level in mind. Also “green” these evenings? Bauhaus’s Tetra, a canned bevvy with THC and CBD, available at a discount these evenings. Free. 6-9 p.m. First Tuesdays of October, November, and December. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
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