Skip to Content
Events

State Fair Week 2, 5 Minute Films, the Hold Steady at the Grandstand: This Week’s Best Events

Plus lots of farewells to summer.

11:23 AM CDT on August 28, 2023

Provided by the artist|

SYM1 is headed to the fair

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

Minnesota State Fair

MONDAY 8.28

Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Held every year through Labor Day weekend, the Minnesota State Fair is the swan song of the summer. But hey, what a way to go out. This year’s new foods and drinks are decidedly pickled, and, for the most part, are pretty dang good. We especially liked the Dill Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos, the Pickle Paletas, and the Pickle Fries. (Check out our complete findings from this year here.) In between novelty beers, melting desserts, and fried foods on a stick, you can peruse a ton of charming creations in the Fine Creative Activities building, pet the baby animals and giant gentle beasts in the barns, and spot underwear on rooftops while riding the delightful sky buckets. The Midway will be all flashing lights and loud sounds, and free music will abound across multiple stages throughout the grounds, whether you’re looking for a tribute show (Tom Petty! ABBA!) or a great local act (Gully Boys! Kiss the Tiger!). The Grandstand is where the big acts belong; this year’s lineup includes Duran Duran, The Hold Steady, Yung Gravy, Brandi Carlile, and, uh, something for kids called “Blippi.” Hey, there’s something for everyone here! Find more info at mnstatefair.org. $15-$17. Daily gate hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Labor Day. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul. August 24-September 4—Jessica Armbruster

Let Freedom Ring: The 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Northrop

The Northrop celebrates the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington with what sounds like an impressive and worthy event. G. Phillip Shoultz III, the associate artistic director of the invaluable local choral music organization VocalEssence, put the evening together; he’s assembled an array of talent that features singers as well as artists from other disciplines: Jovonta Patton, Eshay Brantley, Thomasina Petrus, Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora, Threads Dance Project, and members of the Twin Cities Choral Consortium. Prior to the concert, a “commemorative procession” will leave Coffman Union Plaza, move along Northrop Mall, and conclude at an outdoor stage in front of Northrop, where there will be the usual comments by dignitaries. Free. 6:30 p.m. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis. Registration is required; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Chloë Bailey

TUESDAY 8.29

Chloë 

First Avenue

Judging from her solo debut, In Pieces, Chloë Bailey’s love life has hit more than its share of rough patches. After a gospel choir introduces the young R&B star with celestial grandiosity, she immediately begins fuming over some no-good man and heads to church to "Pray It Away" before she does something dumb. From there, she’s asking “Do you ever wonder… who else is fuckin’ your man?” Damn, girl. Bailey rose to fame with her sister as half of the Beyoncé-anointed duo Chloe x Halle; when the younger Bailey was off filming Disney’s live-action overhaul of The Little Mermaid, Chloë took on a brand new umlaut and got back to work on a shelved solo project. The critics who’ve largely concurred In Pieces is merely a conventional vehicle for Bailey’s talents aren’t entirely off base, but I think they underestimate the rewards of conventional R&B and overestimate Bailey’s gifts a smidge. Though hardly a consistent artistic statement or a redefinition of the genre, In Pieces is the kind of solid R&B album that’s never unwelcome—even if one of the best tracks here is with (oh well) Chris Brown. With DJ Rosegold. $36/$40. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

THURSDAY 8.31

Slider Pop-Up

Fulton Taproom

We love sliders, don’t we, folks? “What if we made a regular burger small and scarfable?” The innovation! Fulton is putting its own spin on the State Fair food fun this week with an all-slider pop-up in their North Loop taproom. There will be no regular menu during this time, just an array of snack-sized burgers and recommended beer pairings to help stave off the late summer blues. 414 Sixth Ave. N., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through September 6—Em Cassel

Juice Lord

FRIDAY 9.1

First Ave Goes to the Fair 

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

A tip o’ the hat to whoever books the free fair music acts, since this year’s lineup is especially great. Nowhere is that more apparent than with First Avenue’s two-night, genre-sprawling showcase of local sounds both new and Replacements-era. Singer-songwriter Becky Kapell kicks things off Friday, followed by sets from rapper/poet Juice Lord, saxophone looper turned rootsy singer-songwriter Laamar, Minnesota rock legend Tommy Stinson, and Gen Z multi-hyphenate XINA. On Saturday, you’ve got alt-R&B man Barlow, soul singer Jaedyn James, country artist Monique Smaz, rowdy '80s rockers Run Westy Run, and Racket fave SYM1. Scene staple Al Church will hold things down with his house band throughout. It’s hard to imagine a better crash course on local sounds than this sampler at the Schell's Stage. Free (fair entry required). 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Peter Weir

Trylon

Though it’s hard to sum up the career of a director who’s worked comfortably across genres for nearly 50 years in a simple phrase or two, the films of Peter Weir are, for the most part, thematically consistent. Weir tells the stories of people who find themselves in places where they don’t quite fit in, whether that’s Harrison Ford as a Philly cop embedding with the Amish in Witness or the early 20th century Australian schoolgirls of Picnic at Hanging Rock who go missing during a class trip. This seven-film selection shows how flexible that scenario can be. Four of the movies come from the ’70s, when Weir emerged as part of the Australian New Wave: his debut, The Cars That Ate Paris, about a town in the Australian brush whose inhabitants survive off car wrecks; Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is sort of an ur-text for Sofia Coppola’s career; The Last Wave, a poetic examination of a colonialist legacy; and The Plumber, Weir’s class conscious Ozploitation anticipation of Haneke's Funny Games. Weir made the transition to Hollywood in the ’80s, and this series includes the two films he made with Ford: Witness and The Mosquito Coast, about an American who rejects the modern world and relocates his family to Central America. The latest film in the series is Fearless, from 1993, with Jeff Bridges as the survivor of a plane crash who finds himself alienated from anyone who hasn’t endured what he’s been through. Personally, I’ve got plenty of gaps in my Weir viewing, and I’m looking to remedy that this month. $8. 2820 E 33rd St, Minneapolis; find times, dates, and more info here. Through October 1—Keith Harris

Fire & Ice Cream

Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach: Even when hosting a community ice cream social they gotta keep it a little weird. So come for the free scoops of Sebastian Joe’s with your Kenwood neighbors, and stay for the fire. DJ Pretty Tony will be spinning vinyl during the party, and before things go up in flames there will be a hula hoop dance party. At 8 p.m., fire dancers will entertain guests as the sun sets. Day-glo attire is encouraged. Free. 6:45 p.m. 2000 S. Uptown Ave., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Dillinger Four

SATURDAY 9.2

The Hold Steady, Bob Mould, and Dillinger 4

State Fair Grandstand 

The State Fair’s Grandstand lineup typically features a whole lotta Alabama-adjacent Boomer throwbacks, but this year’s lineup is more or less stacked. You’ve got, among others: performances last week from Black Keys, the Chicks, and Boyz II Men with Chaka Khan, and upcoming ones from Brandi Carlile (Tuesday), Yung Gravy (Wednesday), and Duran Duran (Thursday). And then along comes 89.3 the Current's Music On-A-Stick showcase this Saturday, featuring locally inspired Brooklyn rockers the Hold Steady, St. Paul-launched punk legend Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü, and Minneapolis punk greats Dillinger Four. If you checked out on the Hold Steady after their two dud '10s records, we beg of you: Check back in. Craig Finn’s band has been back in a major way since 2019, having released three albums that take the group in exciting musical directions while laying the platform for Finn’s still-sharp lyrical meditations on the once-wild characters who’ve aged with him. The last two Hold Steady LPs, 2021's Open Door Policy and this year's The Price of Progress, lack the urgency of those first three, though they showcase an older, wiser group that’s thankfully not content becoming a legacy act. It’s a good time to be a THS fan. $22-$37. 7 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Carinda Rae Larson

Comedy at the Crane

Like Mary Mack before her, Rae Larson was raised in northern Wisconsin, though the brash and brassy comic didn’t retain much of the folksiness. Instead, she dove into Chicago’s standup scene, where she fortified her act via open mics and roast battles. Rae Larson, who’s now partially based in Minneapolis, will record her first-ever comedy album, You People Like Me, inside Comedy at the Crane—aka the classic brick wall stage of Underground Music Venue. Also performing are Malory Manderfield, Dru Nustad, Jon Stannard, and Kimberly Ashlynne. $15. 8:30 p.m. 408 N. Third Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

Free First Saturday: So Long Summer

Walker Art Center

So long summer?! Well, probably not yet; we’re about to enter another week of 90-degree highs. But the kids are back in school and the fair’s winding down, so it’s the end in some ways. This Saturday, the WAC will be saying “so long” with a family-friendly party both in the Sculpture Garden and inside the galleries. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, known for their large-scale puppetry, will be outside giving pop-up performances. Or head into the museum and explore the whimsical/political/joyous Pacita Abad retrospective, which includes giant quilt-like pieces, party mementos, and a giant, tropical “aquarium” room. Free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

5 Minute Film Festival

Franconia Sculpture Park

Movies these days? Far too long. I loved Oppenheimer as much as the next guy, but should a person really have to schedule a mid-movie pee break just to see a summer blockbuster? Does everything from Babylon to the new Spiderman need to clock in at 180 minutes? That won’t be an issue at Franconia Sculpture Park’s 5 Minute Film Festival, which tells ya the kind of runtimes you’re dealing with right there in the name. Eighteen filmmakers from Minnesota and Wisconsin will screen their bite-sized flicks at this outdoor fest, with the top three taking home a cash prize. Snacks and bevs are available to purchase, or you can BYO, in addition to bringing your own blankets and chairs. Free with $5 parking. 8 p.m. 29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; RSVP and find more info here.—Em Cassel

Frogleg at the zoo

ONGOING

Wild Nights at the Minnesota Zoo

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. Upcoming highlights this summer include 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

Romeo and Juliet: A Pickup Truck Opera

Various Locations

For the past 15 years, Mixed Precipitation has brought accessible opera shows to parks, community gardens, and wineries throughout the metro and beyond. (The “pickup truck” in their name is a nod to the 2011 Ford Ranger Pickup that serves as their ride and, often, as part of their stage.) This year, they’re reimagining Romeo and Juliet via Vincenzo Bellini’s 1830 opera, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) for the modern day. In 2023, Juliet is a social media guru, helping folks live their best lives with DIY videos, recipes, and reviews while banished Romeo is sharing his carefully curated van-life from the road. Will the two manage to elope without creating a wave of murders and suicides? (We all know how this thing ends.) Despite the name, this isn’t an opera-only operation: Tunes will include hits from the Fugees, the Pixies, and Fleetwood Mac. Make reservations at mixed precipitation.org. $10-$20 suggested donation. July 29-September 10—Jessica Armbruster

The Nicollet xChange

Nicollet Mall

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. Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 901 Nicollet Mall (9th and Nicollet), Minneapolis. Through August 29—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

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Racket

Area Children Demand Ice Cream Shop at Nicollet & 43rd

Plus zombie fires in Canada, the hell of homebuying, and a Dunn Bros. lawsuit in today's Flyover news roundup.

OK, Fine, I Saw (and Reviewed) ‘Madame Web.’ Happy Now? Here Are Some Better Movies.

Pretty much every movie you can see in Twin Cities theaters this week.

February 29, 2024

Best Budget Bites: $5.49 Roast Beef Sandwich from Wally’s

Doing it better than Arby's since the purported moon landing.

February 29, 2024

Weed Weviews: 4 Things I Tried in February

Drink add-ins, phony negronis, a local collab, and an '80s throwback inspired by 'Ghostbusters.'