Juneteenth Parties, Pride Fest, Cats of the Wedge: This Week’s Best Events
Oh yeah, and Taylor Swift. But you don't need us to tell you that.
11:27 AM CDT on June 19, 2023
Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Happy Juneteenth, everyone! Although we already highlighted a ton of great Juneteenth happenings in last week’s Freeloader Friday, today’s the actual day in history when General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery for people in Texas. To celebrate, West Broadway is throwing a big, day-long festival with lots of things to see and do. There will be a Black-owned business market where you can shop and meet local owners. A mini-carnival will offer activities and fun for kids, while roundtable forums cover topics like gun safety, prison reform, socioeconomic equity, and gentrification. There will be fresh food, two stages of music with entertainment throughout the day, and a wellness zone offering massages, yoga sessions, facials, and more. Find more info at juneteenthminnesota.com. Free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. West Broadway, from Lyndale to Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
Carbon Sound First Birthday Party
When I spoke to Carbon Sound content director Julian Green for my recent profile, he mentioned the lack of local showcases centered on Black music and told me, “I’m looking forward to being able to have new unique events that maybe people haven’t thought of.” The DJ-driven lineup for this birthday party, which doubles as a Juneteenth celebration, gives you a hint of what he has in mind. Headlining is Byzzara, the latest alias of queer Afro-Chicanx DJ Cristian Ybarra (previously best known as DIE/Aspora), who’s joined by pan-genre DJ Yhante and self-described “culture rapper” Fanaka Nation, as well as DJ McShellen, Kwey, Fluidtranquility, DJ Pin, and Green himself, as ech0astral. $15-$30. 8 p.m. 318 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Soul of the Southside 2023: Juneteenth Festival
Hook and Ladder
It’s not often that you see this deep of a lineup for a free event. Headlining is powerhouse gospel-tinged jazz drummer LA Buckner and his group BiG HOMiE, as well as the ubiquitous and indomitable rapper Nur-D. And then you got married R&B duo iLLism, Cedar-Riverside rap-rocker Huhroon, and JellyBean Johnson holding it down for the old heads. Rounding out the lineup are Ricki Monique, Jordan Johnston, Black Velvet Punks, Jada Lynn, Jazicality, the Culture, Brotha Ase, and Tenacity. In addition to music, there’ll be face painting, storytelling, yoga and meditation, a Black-owned marketplace, interactive art, drum circles, and food trucks. It’s a great way to spend the day if you’re off work, and a great spot to swing by later if you’re not. Free (with RSVP). Noon to 8 p.m. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Cats of the Wedge Tour
In Racket’s recent profile of John Edwards, the Wedge Live creator noted that his beloved annual cat tour is more than just a charming little walking tour celebrating neighborhood cats—it’s meant as a meta-critique of historical architecture tours that fetishize single-family properties. (And also: "People like cat photos on Twitter.") After taking a small hiatus in 2022, Wedge Live’s cat tour returns this week with the theme of “renewal and connection.” If you live in or near the Wedge and would like your five minutes of feline fame, you can register your cat to be featured on the tour here. Otherwise, register for your free tour tickets here. Free. 6-7:30 p.m. 2509 Colfax Ave. S., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel
The city isn’t just celebrating Pride this weekend, it’s also kinda a holiday of sorts for Swifties. So whether you have tickets to the show and want to do some pre-gaming or just want to reflect on your favorite basic babe, you’ll have options. One example: Eras Weekend at Inbound, a three-day celebration of all things T-Swift. Things kick off on Thursday with Swifty trivia hosted by Trivia Mafia starting at 7 p.m. Specials on tap that day include $12 pitchers of The Fuzz, an apricot pale ale. On Friday, there’ll be Taylor Swift-themed live karaoke from 7 to 10 p.m., thanks to the A Little Too Short to Be Stormtroopers backing band. Wild Witchery Co. will also be setting up shop to offer “forever bracelets” for purchase (think tiny gold bracelets with no clasps for removal). Finally, on Saturday, DJ Omaur Bliss will be spinning all your fav Taylor tunes from 7 to 10 p.m. During all of these events, you’ll find friendship bracelet making and, if you request your drink to be “nice,” they’ll mix in some edible glitter to make it extra sparkly. 701 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis. Through Saturday—Jessica Armbruster
PS! Be sure to check Racket tomorrow, when I’ll have a Freeloader Friday-style post of all the Taylor Swift-themed events scheduled around town.
Jost recently joked that his current tour is dubbed the Ferry Money Tour, a reference to paying back the $280,100 decommissioned Staten Island ferry that he purchased, while reportedly “stone-cold sober,” with fellow Staten Island native Pete Davidson last year. It’d be easy to root against Jost, a Harvard grad with a superstar wife, if the Saturday Night Live head writer wasn’t genuinely funny. Mr. Scarlett Johansson will likely mine his 2020 memoir, A Very Punchable Face, for material at the State. If you’ve never seen his dynamic with fellow SNLer Sarah Sherman (featured below), check out their hilarious ongoing “Weekend Update” bit. $45-$75. 7:30 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
Tiffany Haddish introduced the world to Rodriguez via Netflix’s They Ready in 2019, and now, four years later, she’s starring in and directing HBO specials. (Her PR rep sent us an email saying “Aida also partially grew up in Miami, so this is a hometown show for her,” which may be the first-ever time Miami was mistaken for our tundra-like metro.) In any case, the Boston-raised comic fought her way through the club circuit, eventually becoming a respected headliner. In her 2021 special, Fighting Words, Rodriguez mixes biography, including her recent trip to the Dominican Republic to meet her father for the first time, with cultural commentary, making for an engaging form of storytelling that’s still punchline-rooted. $17-$59. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. 60 E. Broadway, Bloomington; find more info here.—Jay Boller
51th Annual Twin Cities Pride
As weird as this may sound, the best part of Twin Cities Pride is actually the crowds. That’s because, even when the weather is hot as hell, the people who come to this fest are so damn friendly and nice. At the park, you’ll find all kinds of stuff to do, including sporting events, live music, a beer garden, and food truck eats. The fest this year is spilling over into the MInneapolis Sculpture Garden across the street, and that includes Friday night’s Beer Dabbler. The off-site, often unaffiliated happenings are usually pretty fun too, including the dance parties (we love Grrrl Scout, and the Klituation at First Ave is sure to be bomb), tons of drag shows (Sasha Colby is scheduled at the Pourhouse), and lots of good vibes at the Union Rooftop, the 19 Bar, and at Bryant-Lake Bowl’s free Pride Block Party, which is back after a brief hiatus. There’s no headline concert this year at the official Pride event, but with Taylor Swift at U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend that’s probably a wise move. If you can only make it to one event though, Sunday’s parade is always a good time (though be prepared: it’s super long!). For a full schedule of happenings, visit tcpride.org. Free. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (Sculpture Garden only); 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster
Haha, right, what are you, made of money? Even for the nosebleeds, resale tickets are stretching well into the four digits. Meanwhile, the entrepreneur-next-door has just re-re-released (I may be missing a “re-” or two there) her latest, Midnights, which is indeed mid by Swift’s high standards, with a phoned-in Ice Spice feature on “Karma” the supposed value added. But before we get too cynical, here’s a review of Swift’s recent Philly show from my teen niece, whose mom somehow scored some (relatively) reasonably priced tix: “It was the best day of my life.” The Eras Tour not only celebrates a songbook as deep as any 21st century popular musician’s but a series of considerable career achievements. Swift reclaimed mainstream country for women (if ever so briefly), crossed over adeptly into megapop, then relaxed into “indie” songwriter mode. Does it help that she’s a long-legged white woman who comes from two generations of Wall Street bankers? Sure, but even if you’re born on third base, stealing home is an achievement. With girl in red and Gracie Abrams on Friday and girl in red and OWENN on Saturday. Tickets are very sold out. 6:30 p.m. 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.—Keith Harris
A 2015 business meeting at a Cheesecake Factory would forever change the creative and financial lives of Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell. They were the only parties in attendance that day inside the glitzy Los Angeles mall The Grove, where the two comics met to gameplan a potential podcast. The setting proved prophetic. At the time, Wiger and Mitchell were members of two cult-loved improv troupes—A Kiss From Daddy and the Birthday Boys, respectively—that would collaborate monthly on a live show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The double-bill would draw around 100 comedy nerds, they report. Tonight, the chain restaurant review podcast Wiger and Mitchell hatched over those voluminous Cheesecake Factory menus, Doughboys, will headline the 1,500-capacity Fillmore. “Do you want us to be honest? Zero. There were zero business aspirations,” Mitchell says of Doughboys, his eventual hit podcast that features eps with celeb guests like Scott Aukerman, Nicole Byer, and Minnesota's own Chris Pratt; it’s among the 100 highest-earning podcasts on Patreon, according to Graphtreon. And it’s not just riffing on cheeseburgers; the hilarious interplay between its two hosts inspires comedic worldbuilding that has attracted a passionate listener fanbase—aka The Freaks. Tonight’s special guest, the effortlessly hilarious comic/actor Carl Tart, is a favorite of The Freaks. Wiger, Mitchell, and Tart just announced they’ll be reviewing Taco John’s which, while not a Minnesota-based chain, does have its largest footprint here. Will the Wyoming-headquartered Potato Olé vendor enter the hollowed hall of the Golden or Platinum Plate Clubs? If so, only one word would suffice: wow. $39. 7 p.m.525 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
There’s filthy-ass rap, and then there’s CupcakKe. Whether offering far too intimate bedroom play-by-play (“I thought I came but I peed on the dick” and, better yet, “Yellin’ out ‘arf arf arf arf arf arf arf’/Swallowing cum make me barf barf barf barf barf barf barf”) or dishing out disses (“His dick smaller than my toes/I'd rather ride Squidward nose”) Chicago MC Elizabeth Eden Harris earns her porny nom de rap. She could make Blowfly blush, while making generations of male rappers obsessed with their own pee pees sound like naughty little boys. And though she’s got a few collections to her name (I recommend Ephorize, source of two of those previous quotes) she’s the queen of the one-off single—she dropped seven in 2020 alone—and her latest, “H2Hoe,” is, yes, about being wet and how she can “make the pussy stretch like minimum wage.” As I mentioned in my Rico Nasty review recently, Amsterdam has made itself the home of brilliantly foul-mouthed women redefining rap these days, and CupcakKe fits right in there. $27.50/$30. 8 p.m. 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Twin Cities Jazz Fest
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival has been maintaining its annual St. Paul takeover since 1999. “It was meant to do something different,” says co-founder Steve Heckler, who’s retiring after this year. “I expected 300 people would show up to sell CDs and promote jazz, and thousands showed up—at least 3,000!” Nowadays, the fest draws upwards of 40,000 people over three days to its hub stages at Mears Park and satellite venues across the city, Heckler reports. Run as a nonprofit, the free Twin Cities Jazz Fest has lured talents like Curtis Fuller, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, and Grace Kelly over the years. (Heckler, a true jazz-head, becomes audibly overwhelmed when asked to choose favorites.) Artists are contractually obligated to participate in clinics with young musicians, adding to the community-first vibe that attracts hundreds of volunteers each year. For this year’s 25th anniversary installment, headliners include: Cuban saxophone great Paquito D'Rivera and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience, NYC composer/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Quartet, eight-time Grammy winner Christian McBride, local powerhouses Davina & the Vagabonds, and adoptive local/Pitbull tourmate Lucia Sarmiento. Free. Friday and Saturday; find the full schedule here.—Jay Boller
Six years ago, Sherman was opening for locally launched comedian Geoffrey Asmus down in Minneapolis's tiny Comedy Corner Underground dungeon as Sarah Squirm—her gory, grinning clown persona who splashes around in blood, piss, and any number of other bodily fluids. But today she's known to all your aunts and uncles as Sarah Sherman, the most exciting SNL cast member to arrive in years. Having just wrapped a second (strike-shortened) season, the 30-year-old New Yorker has already left her singular mark with weirdo sketches like "Meatballs," where a chorus of anthropomorphized meat orbs growing from her flesh sing a little ditty to the horror of her date. And, perhaps most famously, there's her "Sarah News" mini segment on "Weekend Update," where she cheerfully roasts Colin Jost with allegations of pedophilia and antisemitism. Sherman's live show might surprise fans who only know her from TV. "Now that I'm off work, it gets 25 times crazier because I'm being sooo good all year, so behaved and so polite," the magnetic comic told us by phone last month. Enjoy our full conversation about getting discovered, earning the admiration of Adam Sandler, and what she was loudly preparing for breakfast that day here. $30-$50. 7 p.m. (sold out) & 9:30 p.m. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.--Jay Boller
Jaws at the Drive-in
“Hooper drives the boat, chief.” “Here’s to swimmin’ with bowlegged women.” “That’s some bad hat, Harry.” “A whaaaaat?” Yes, Jaws is a masterclass in tension-building, a terrifying and emotional man-vs.-shark story. But it’s also endlessly quotable, and goddamn funny! Perfect for a pre-Fourth of July viewing at Union Depot, where it’ll be their first drive-in movie of the summer. Dogs are welcome if leashed (just cover their eyes during the black lab scene) and they’ll have concessions available, along with an in-car photo contest and quiz with prizes. $15; find tickets and more info here. 7:30 p.m. doors; 9:30 p.m. movie. 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.—Em Cassel
Okay, look, we know it’s kinda an odd choice not to have anything here. But look up and you’ll find that there’s good stuff to do on Saturday sprinkled throughout this Event Horizon. Saturday is a great day to stop by Loring Park for TC Pride Fest, and Grrrl Scout’s big Stoplight party is at the Fillmore tonight. If you managed to finagle T-Swift tix you know where you’re going this evening, but Inbound also has options (and glitter beer) for fans. There’s free jazz in St. Paul, and Aida Rodriguez is at MOA if you need a laugh.
Fat Beach Day
Lake Nokomis Main Beach
Cake Plus Size Resale’s Fat Beach Days are back in 2023! There are two meetups planned at Nokomis this year—the first is this one, on June 25, with another to follow on August 13. Same vibes as last year: Expect a casual, low-key hang, no formal RSVP or ticket necessary. BYO everything, from snacks to sunscreen, and get ready to hang out with Cake’s staff and a whole bunch of fat babes while soaking up some sun or cooling off in the shade. (Cake is also bringing back the Fat Splash pool parties this year; find more info on those slightly less low-key swimming sessions here.) Free. 1-4 p.m. 5001 Lake Nokomis Pkwy. W., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel
Much Ado About Nothing
Classical Actor’s Ensemble is heading back to the parks this summer to bring free Shakespeare to the unwashed masses, as it was originally intended. This year’s production is Much Ado About Nothing, a 1600’s romcom that pulls out all the greatest hits: mistaken identities, unwanted flirtations, masquerade shenanigans, raging small town gossip, and, ultimately, love. Sorry to spoil it for you, but we all know these things usually end in marriage (if it’s a comedy) or mass death (if it’s a tragedy). The plot: A group of rowdy soldiers end up in a small Sicilian town. Will the evil Don John succeed at cockblocking? Find the list of dates and locations at classicalactorsensemble.org. Through July 16—Jessica Armbruster
Proper, functioning cities should rock. With the annual, free, weekly, outdoor Lowertown Sounds program, St. Paul is privy to this in ways Minneapolis could really learn from. When this year’s lineup was announced, organizers noted that over half of the acts are new this summer. This week we’ve got homegrown hip-hop star Nur-D, who humored our silly hot take last year, and Afro-Caribbean group Malamanya. Non-musical offerings include great beer from Utepils and Wabasha Brewing Co., wine from Alexis Bailly Vineyard, and a rotating cast of 20 food trucks. Free. 6-9:30 p.m. 221 5th St. E., St. Paul; find more info here. Thursdays through August 24, excluding June 29 and July 6—Jay Boller
All Hail Parker Posey
Parker Posey’s dominance of a very particular slice of ’90s film defined an era as strongly as any non-star could, as this four-movie series shows. It begins with Party Girl, a glimpse of pre-gentrified Manhattan in which Posey is forced to work as a librarian (the shame!) after an illegal rave she organized gets busted. (The movie was shown online before it hit theaters, a pretty big deal for 1995.) That’s the only movie here fully centered on Posey. She could make her mark with just minutes of screentime in memorable character roles, whether terrorizing freshman girls in Richard Linklater’s classic hangout flick Dazed and Confused, or wielding a sword and wearing a huge curly blonde wig in Greg Araki’s The Doom Generation, which Ebert famously gave 0 stars for its nihilism. And she practically steals Waiting for Guffman away from the rest of the brilliant ensemble as a DQ worker dreaming (ever-so-vaguely) of success in New York. Oh, and we’re helping to sponsor this series, so tell ’em Racket sent ya. $8. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; find showtimes and more info here. Through June 27—Keith Harris
The Nicollet xChange
Our city leaders really want us to go to work in downtown from Tuesday through Thursday. Who knows if that’s going to happen; it’s ultimately up to your corporate overlords. But, if you are one of those people who has to sit at a desk in downtown for money, it’s nice to know that this cool weekly event is returning for the summer. Every Tuesday, the Nicollet xChange will turn the Mall into a mini street fest, with a focus on swapping goods and selling sustainable fashion and home items. Bring things to trade, from art to sports equipment, and take something new (to you, at least) home. There will also be live music, a market featuring local makers, freebies, and food trucks lining the Mall. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 901 Nicollet Mall (9th and Nicollet), Minneapolis. Through August 29—Jessica Armbruster
Wild Nights at the Minnesota Zoo
Imagine a zoo with nary a child, one where you can sip wine and watch animals do their thing as the sun sets. Impossible, you say? Nope! We’re talking about Wild Nights at the Minnesota Zoo, a summer series for grownups. During these events folks can explore all the trails and exhibits until 8 p.m. (hilariously, they note that food and drink is not allowed in the Llama Trek walk-through exhibit). Each installment will feature a variety of concerts, all themed that night around a specific genre–country, hip-hop, blues, ‘80s New Wave, etc. Tonight’s music is brought to you by Malamanya, which will play old-school Afro-Caribbean tunes. Upcoming highlights this summer include Chastity Brown (June 22), the Cactus Blossoms (July 6), Joyann Parker Band (July 20), Nur-D (August 3), Information Society (August 17), Frogleg (August 31), and Kat Perkins (September 14). Find tickets and more info online. 18+. $40. 6-10 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. Through September 14—Jessica Armbruster
Skyline Mini Golf
Walker Art Center
Are we a mini-golf town? Signs point to yes, as we have trendy bar mini golf (Puttery, Arts + Rec), campy mini golf (Can Can, Betty Danger), old school mini golf (Big Stone, Golf Zone), and, yes, museum mini golf. For over 15 years, the Walker’s Mini Golf has been a sign of spring, whether it’s popping up in the sculpture garden or its more recent home on the skyline terraces. This year’s installation features 10 holes total; highlights include a Hmong textile-inspired hole created in collaboration with the Asian American Organizing Project’s Youth Action Team, and two holes from Native Youth Arts Collective. Returning hits include the hot dog hole, the one where you have to bounce off of ping pong paddles, and the one where you become the obstacles and hazards. Find more info at walkerart.org. $12. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through October 1—Jessica Armbruster
Open Streets Minneapolis
East Lake Street
Summertime road closings kinda suck… unless we’re talking about Open Streets, where the lack of traffic just means there’s more room to party. This season’s installment will feature five neighborhood locations where the main drags will be closed to cars, but open to people on foot, on bike, or on other non-motorized modes of travel. Along the way you’ll find a variety of stuff to see and do, including parking lot concerts, sidewalk sales, middle-of-the-road yoga sessions, and pop-up beer gardens. Things kick off Saturday, June 10, on East Lake Street, followed by Glenwood (July 16), Cedar Riverside (August 20), West Broadway (September 16), and Lyndale Avenue (October 8). Free. All events begin at 11 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Find more details at openstreetsmpls.org. East Lake Street, from 2nd Avenue South to 22nd Avenue South, Minneapolis. June 10 through October 8—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, nationalphilistine.com. 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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