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Great Northern, Winter Carnival, Powderhorn Sled Rally: This Week’s Best Events

Plus the Green Room Opens in Uptown, Arbeiter turns two, and more Lake Chipotle fuckery.

Breathwork: Cold Plunge and Sauna Experience at Silverwood Park for Great Northern |

Hmmm. Is this fun?

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Second Anniversary and Lunar New Year Celebration

Arbeiter Brewing Company

Arbeiter Brewing’s second anniversary (and third Lunar New Year celebration) means five days of new beer releases, food trucks, and festivities. On Tuesday, enjoy a Foundation 2023 (a Blanton’s Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout) while snacking on La Tortilla and playing trivia; on Wednesday, you can drink Wee Heavier (Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel-aged Wee Heavy), eat food from Amazing Momo, and play some free pinball. Thursday’s beer is Decadence (a chocolate bourbon pecan Buffalo Trace barrel-aged Wee Heavy), with food from Grumpy Claude’s, a pinball tournament, and a vinyl raffle with Down In the Valley. Then on Friday, the new beers are Botany (a wine barrel-aged Brett imperial Pilsner with hand-picked plums from Botany BrewFarm) and Tokki (Korean rice lager), the food is from PARRALILY, and there’s a special owner’s DJ set. Finally—phew!—Saturday is for origami and crafts from noon to 5 p.m., Korean dance performances from 2 to 5 p.m., and a Hanji paper activity from 3 to 5 p.m., plus food from Union Hmong Kitchen starting at 2 p.m. Free. Find the full info here. 3038 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. Through Saturday—Em Cassel

"Iregular: Our Common Home"


The Great Northern

Various Locations

Yes, it’s a cliché, but this sprawling, multi-city festival offers a little bit of everything. There will be a sauna village, there will be concerts (pow wow singer Joe Rainey), there will be art installations (Seitu Jones, Aaron Dysart), and there will be festivals within festivals (the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Out There, and the U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament are all part of this fest). Orfield Labs will once again invite people to sign up for sessions in its anechoic chamber, billed as one of the quietest places on Earth. K’óoben’s pop-up will feature guest chefs who will prepare meals under the theme of Minnesota in the dead of winter. And a little snow won’t stop Minnesotans from watching a movie outdoors, apparently, as the David Bowie biopic Moonage Daydream will screen at Malcolm Yards. Find the complete schedule here. Through February 5Jessica Armbruster

A Vulcan Snow Park creationLew Vogel


Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Various Locations 

Is this the best carnival born out of spite? Probably! For the past 137 years, St. Paul has been celebrating winter, proving to the world that the weather here isn’t so scary. So bust out the hand warmers and get in on the fun. This year’s multi-day, multi-event party returns with more free stuff to do than ever before. That includes parades like the nighttime Moon Glow Parade and the daytime march for King Borealis. Rice Park is home to beautiful ice sculptures, trivia nights, live music, and a warming house offering beer, seltzers, wine, and warm mulled drinks. Other locations loaded with fun include the Landmark Center (family fun!) and Xcel Energy Center (cat and dog shows!), and the Vulcan Snow Park at the Minnesota Fairgrounds, which is stacked with things to see and do: snow sculpting contests, a giant snow slide, and sporting events and competitions. For a complete schedule of events, click here. Through February 5—Jessica Armbruster

Joe Rainey

Cedar Cultural Center

A pow-wow singer and member of the Red Lake Ojibwe, born in Minneapolis, based in Wisconsin, Rainey has been collecting recordings of Native singers (including himself) for years. An Eaux Claires performance that overwhelmed Justin Vernon and expanded the singer’s creative network led to this crafty collaboration with the ever-versatile Minneapolis producer Andrew Broder. Electronic producers have drawn on indigenous sounds plenty in the past, sliding along a wide scale from appreciation to exploitation. But Rainey and Broder are equal partners, aiming at a genuine fusion beyond novelty, with live singing from Rainey as powerful as anything in his sample bag. Tonight, backed musically by string quartet Owls and featuring visuals from experimental filmmaker Isaac Gale, Rainey will celebrate his debut album, Niineta, one of our favorite local releases of 2022. $27/$32. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Robert Glasper


Robert Glasper


A jazz pianist born late enough (1978) to come up on hip-hop and neo-soul, Glasper is probably best known outside of jazz for his keyboard work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, which was integral in defining that album’s sound. In the past two decades, he’s achieved crossover success at Blue Note with his feature-heavy Black Radio releases, the third of which, released last year, offered Killer Mike, Jennifer Hudson, Me'Shell Ndegéocello, Q-Tip, Esperanza Spalding, and many, many—many—more guests. It’s tempting to call Glasper’s music “fusion,” but that term implies the forced yoking of disparate styles; instead, Glasper  treats contemporary Black music as a smooth confluence of genres. This three-night stand should give him plenty of time to demonstrate his range of influence and abilities in a more jazz-centered context. $55-$70. 6:30 & 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through Sunday—Keith Harris

Samantha Ruddy

Comedy Corner Underground 

Ruddy describes herself as “Joe Rogan but for women who talk to their cats.” Which, of course, means she’s nothing like Rogan at all. The New York comic casually and confidently riffs on millennial-relatable topics—the perils of giving yourself a “Karen” haircut; the cultural joys and economic perils of coming out to your libertarian dad—and she’s getting noticed. Ruddy appeared on Colbert pre-pandemic, and made her Tonight Show debut last June. She was working full time at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee before that show's cancellation last summer. We anticipate she’ll be too big for CCU in the near future. $15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Powderhorn Sled Rally


Powderhorn Art Sled Rally

Powderhorn Park

At this adorable, absolutely charming annual event, folks build an art sled out of cardboard, glitter, and a lot of Elmer’s Glue, then send themselves down a hill in hopes of reaching speeds of (maybe?) upwards of 2 mph. Many won’t make it to the bottom, others may gently crash into spectators, some will need a push if they get stuck in a snowbank. But oh, what a delightful spectacle! Don’t miss this sweet event. You can find updates, including sled building sessions, here. Free. 2 p.m. 3400 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis.–Jessica Armbruster

Green Room Grand Opening

Green Room

Maybe you caught our peek earlier this month at the new venue opening in the former Pourhouse space in Uptown. This weekend, you can see the 400-cap room IRL. And for opening night, Green Room has lined up quite an introduction: Racket faves Gully Boys and Scrunchies, along with FènixDion, Denim Matriarch, and Colin Bracewell (who are not not Racket faves—we just don’t know their music as well yet). And if you can’t wait till Saturday, there’s a soft opening on Thursday with a “secret band of all stars.” Good luck, Green Room—we’d like a reason to visit Uptown a little more often. $15. 7 p.m. 2923 Girard Ave S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

HUGE Improv Theater 12th Anniversary Show

HUGE Improv Theater

Is the city's premier improv theater celebrating a dozen years of off-the-cuff yuks? Yes, and it'll be a true blowout featuring 20+ performers who've graced the artist-led nonprofit's stage throughout different eras. "We have improbably survived 12 years and will celebrate with a wonderful all-star cast," HUGE's Jill Bernard promises Racket readers. And settle down, historical nitpickers: HUGE was founded in 2005, yes, but tonight commemorates its run at the current Lyn-Lake venue. $20. 8 p.m. 3037 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Kite Fest

Bdé Umáŋ/Lake Harriet

If you read any of the local Reddit communities, the posts this time of year are littered with “Why do we live here?” laments which, inevitably, turn into free therapy sessions ripe with advice about beating the winter blues. Events like this one—where the bundled-up masses gather to gawk, eyes skyward, at fleets upon fleets of zany and/or beautiful kites—are a great reminder of why Minneapolis is the greatest place on Earth, regardless of season. I don’t really need to prime you any further; the Kite Fest is a reliable blast whether you’re a tot or a decades-long Kite Fest veteran. Logistical heads up: Some nearby streets will be unparkable, so organizers encourage folks to use the free shuttle located at Bde Maka Ska’s Executive Building (3033 Excelsior Blvd.). Free. Noon to 4 p.m. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Lake Chipotle


Lake Chipotle Polar Plunge

Lake Chipotle

Now, a Facebook event like this one raises as many questions as it answers. Is it a fake meme-based event, like “dress up like a bird and run into the glass at U.S. Bank Stadium”? Or is it a real meme-based event, like the candlelight vigil for the Lake Street Arby’s? Time will tell! All we know is that this Sunday, at 10 p.m., you’re invited to “gather around at closing time, strip to [y]our skivvies (or not—you do you), and purify [yourself] in the cleansing waters of Lake Chipotle.” That is, of course, so long as you don’t think the Lake Chipotle bit has already jumped the shark. Free. 10 p.m. 2600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

U.S. Pond Hockey


U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

Lake Nokomis

Every year, in the dead of winter, hockey teams convene to compete in one of the most epic amateur sporting tourneys in the nation. Players come from all walks of life and backgrounds; some are retired professional athletes, others have simply been playing for years at their local pond. Some are from the Twin Cities, and some are from outstate, Canada, and beyond. Divisions include youth, men, women, and rink rat, with the winner taking home the Golden Shovel. For those not competing, a warming tent offers beer, hot bevs, and eats, and there’s always a rink set aside for all ages open skating. For complete game schedules and more info, click here. Free. 5001 Lake Nokomis Pkwy. W., Minneapolis. Through January 29—Jessica Armbruster

January Music Residencies 

Various venues

‘Tis the season for residencies. In the fallow winter nights, when coastal cowards are spooked by our robust climes, local musicians pick up the slack, settling in at local clubs for a month at a time, with special guests every week. As usual, the Turf Club hosts weathered troubadour Charlie Parr (on Sundays) and harmonizing sibs the Cactus Blossoms (on Mondays). If your tastes are less rootsy inclined, you can check out the restlessly experimental Dosh at Icehouse; he’s been entrusted with January’s “Jazz Mondays” series, which the venue sets aside for one artist each month throughout the year. Next week, on January 12, Alex Schaaf’s Yellow Ostrich starts its own Thursday night residency at Icehouse. And the White Squirrel, which hosts Tuesday night residencies every week, turns its stage over to Labrador Wild in January. Did I miss anyone? Possibly—there’s a whole mess of these out there. Check our music calendar every Tuesday for the full picture.–Keith Harris

Into the 21st Century Dystopias


What’s dystopia like these days? The Trylon is offering up 12 variations on that theme this month, with a look at the grim futures some 21st century films have imagined. The series started yesterday with briskly selling anime standout Ghost in the Shell, which continues through tomorrow. From there on in, they’ll cover Japanese horror (Pulse), contemporary classics (Children of Men, Mad Max: Fury Road), a couple Spielbergs (War of the Worlds, A.I. Artificial Intelligence), and plenty more. Looks like they’ve got a punch card for anyone who plans on catching the whole series, with unrevealed prizes for the diehards. (Perhaps a ticket to the off-world colonies, where a new life awaits you?) Depending on your outlook, this series can be an opportunity to look on the bright side: Things could be worse! Or you could look on the darker side: They probably will be! $8. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis. See here for full schedule and showtimes. Through January—Keith Harris

the bull-jean stories

Pillsbury House Theatre

Although it got its start as a novel, Sharon Bridgforth’s the bull-jean stories is a piece that was made for the stage. It’s a fusion of storytelling, spoken word, history, and fiction. It’s also a love story, following the titular character as she navigates Black queer life in the Deep South of the 1920s. Bridgforth is known for shows that are much more than they appear to be; Pillsbury’s 2018 production of dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show was part book, part performance, part oracle deck/reading sessions, and part collaboration with Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association to mentor several artists toward homeownership. The return of Bridgforth’s work to the Pillsbury Stage, this time directed by Signe V. Harriday, is an excellent addition to the venue’s 30th season lineup. 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; Through February 5–Jessica Armbruster

Art Shanty Projects

Bdé Umáŋ/Lake Harriet

One of the most unique festivals in Minnesota, the Art Shanty Projects returns this winter for wacky, wholesome, creative fun on a frozen lake. Actually, scratch that. This year’s unseasonably warm weather has made the ice too thin for the shanties, so they’re moving things to the beach and bandshell area of the lake. “We started off the new year celebrating 13” of good, clear ice,” says operations director Kerri Jamison via release. “Unfortunately the recent snowstorm created a warm cozy blanket over the whole lake, acting as insulation.” This year’s happening will feature 15 new shanties with three returning structures. Installments are leaning towards music and movement in 2023, with Booom Box providing DJ tunes, Klezmer on Ice doing just that, and tons of concerts from local artists. The Free Store Shanty will be back; pick up some free gloves or bring something warm to donate. The Winterized Chicken Coop will feature feathered friends and fortune-telling eggs, and American Ice Theatre will present ICE. COLD. JAZZ!, a modern ice skating show. If you’re 18 or older and looking to get hitched, the Chapsicle of Love will wed you and your beloved for free (and yes, it is a real, legal marriage). Walk-ins are welcome (very Vegas!). Other fun to be had includes frozen yoga, artsy parades, an ice sculpture garden, and climate walks. Find more deets about this rad event here. Free; $10-$20 suggested donation. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis. Through February 12–Jessica Armbruster

The Minnesota Ice Maze

Viking Lakes

Getting lost in a pile of ice and snow in nature? Potentially deadly! Getting lost in an ice maze during this ongoing party in Eagan? Potentially a lotta fun! This year, Vikings Lakes has brought in over one million pounds of ice to create an epic maze that will take guests through a half-mile of disorienting twists, turns, and beautiful icy spectacle. Oh, and there’s also a slippery ice slide, of course. Once you make it out, you can enjoy the trappings of Winter SKOLstice, a free festival featuring a warming house with drinks and food from Omni, plenty of bonfires, and free ice rinks for skating, curling, and pond hockey (just bring skates). Special events scheduled during the winter include trivia nights, live music, a winter princess gathering, and a Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce night where the maze will be lit red and orange and a special spicy menu will be offered. Find tickets and more info here. $14.14-$26.14. 4-10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  2645 Vikings Circle, Eagan. Open daily through February 19–Jessica Armbruster

Minnesota Ice Castle

Long Lake Regional Park

Folks, this is the big one. This is the ice castle that has more square footage than your own home. It starts as a single icicle, but by the end of construction it becomes an epic thing you can wander through and enjoy. There are architectural marvels, sparkling caverns, slick tunnels that funnel you to more adventure, and slides made of ice. In addition to the big frozen structure, there’s also an illuminated trail to explore and an ice bar serving up wintery adult beverages. The castle was supposed to be ready in mid-January, but our weather sucks so hard this year that the event was able to open a few weeks early. Lucky us! Click here to find dates, times, and tickets. $11-$15 weekdays; $15-$20 weekends. Wednesdays through Mondays in January; Thursdays through Sundays in February. 1500 Old Highway 8, New Brighton. Now through February 23’ish–Jessica Armbruster

Out There 2020: Sarah Michelson, /\ March 2020 (4pb)

Walker Art Center

For nearly 20 years, U.K.-born, NYC-based performer Sarah Michelson has created pieces often performed outside of traditional stages, tumbling about the Walker’s galleries and even the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. She works hard to create movements that may look impromptu or off-the-cuff, but are typically planned and practiced down to the breath. But her latest work, “Sarah Michelson: /\ March 2020 (4pb),” is an exhibition, not a performance piece. Here guests will be able to peruse a variety of ephemera, all laid out with the Walker in mind (the pieces are now part of the museum’s permanent collection). At the opening reception, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Walker’s weekly Free Thursday Nights party, Michelson will discuss her work with Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder of the two-woman dance troupe HIJACK. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through April 23–Jessica Armbruster

Paul Chan: Breathers

Walker Art Center
Can those inflatable tube guys used to drive people to sales be art? If it’s in the Walker Art Center then, yes, it can. But that would be oversimplifying the work of Paul Chen, a Hong Kong-born, Nebraska-raised, NYC-based writer, publisher, and artist. In the ‘90s and ‘00s, Chan garnered attention releasing videos, animations, fonts, and more, often for free on his website. These pieces explored pleasure, war, politics, and human interactions. But by 2009, he had burned out, tired of looking at a screen. Relatable. Five years later, after a brief, you know, “breather,” he found a new way to explore movement and meaning without a computer, instead using physics, fabrics, and fans to create shapes that move about in interesting ways (and, thankfully, won’t try to sell you a car).  You can see these kinetic sculptures at the Walker; the show will also include some video installations as well as pieces from his publishing company, Badlands Unlimited, which releases poetry, erotica, artists’ writings, and more. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023—Jessica Armbruster

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