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Day drinking on the 4th, Pizza Camp says goodbye: This week's top happenings

Fireworks light up the night.

Fireworks light up the night. Star Tribune

This week's weird with a holiday on Hump Day; plan wisely.

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WEDNESDAY 7.4

Freedom From Pants Ride XII
Nicollet Island Park

For the past 12 years, this ride has been celebrating the birth of our nation the way we’re all born: naked and screaming. This July 4, riders will once again free themselves of pants, tops, and other regularly worn items of clothing as they make their way through Minneapolis. Some people wear swimsuits, some wear underwear, some keep their clothes on. There is no wrong sartorial answer here, as long as you feel free. Beers and other beverages will be enjoyed along the route, and usually there’s at least one beach stop. Bring sunscreen, bring drinks, and bring a bag for trash, but leave the fireworks to the pros—there’s too much exposed skin here for that to be safe. 6 to 11:30 p.m. Free. 2 Merriam St., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Red, White, and Boom 2018
Various locations

As our institutions crumble, families seeking asylum are torn apart, and white supremacy sweeps through the nation, it’s hard for many to feel patriotic toward America right now. But should you feel like celebrating what America could and should be, then Red, White, and Boom in Minneapolis is a place to do so. There will be pockets of entertainment at various viewing points. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park is more family-friendly, with roving jugglers, magicians, and more. Meanwhile, over by the Stone Arch Bridge you’ll find live music and DJ tunes. The fireworks will begin around 10 p.m., and can be viewed at both of the locations above. Other popular viewing points include over by the Mill City Museum, the Guthrie, the Aster Cafe, and the Soap Factory. Or walk along West River Parkway until you spot an open area. Find a map with viewing spots and other details at www.minneapolisparks.org. 6 to 11 p.m. Free. —Jessica Armbruster

Fourth in the Park
Langford Park

While Minneapolis sets fireworks off by the river, St. Paul offers a parade plus park and parking lot parties this Fourth of July. Things kick off at 11 a.m. with a parade featuring color guards, marching bands, floats, politicians, and more making their way down Como Avenue to Langford Park via Knapp Avenue. Following that, in the park you’ll find picnicking, music, lawn games like horseshoes and corn hole, sporting tournaments, and plenty of kids’ activities. Should you get hungry, food trucks will be stopping by, and after the party ends at Langford around 4 p.m., Sunrise Banks’ parking lot (corner of Como Avenue and Doswell Avenue) will have live music from the Rockin’ Hollywoods and beer from Rush River Brewing Company. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. 30 Langford Park, St. Paul. —Jessica Armbruster

Laurie Kilmartin

Laurie Kilmartin Image courtesy the standup

THURSDAY 7.5

Laurie Kilmartin
Acme Comedy Co.

Laurie Kilmartin is a standup comedian as well as a writer for Conan. While it seems like her life couldn’t be anymore ensconced in showbiz, she actually leads a pretty normal existence—we caught up with her by phone as she was about to take her son to the orthodontist. Indeed, she’s not like a lot of her peers. “I don’t build a new hour every year,” she explains, “but then I haven’t had a Netflix special either. If I’d had a Netflix special, maybe I would. I don’t want this to turn into me grumbling about that,” she adds with a laugh. “I just keep writing jokes and dropping jokes I hate or am sick of. That’s sort of my process. I don’t know how people keep writing brand new hours every year. It actually stressed me out.” Describing herself as more of a joke writer than a storyteller, she reasons, “I improve my set 30 seconds at a time, and it’s painfully slow.” In addition to her shows at Acme, Kilmartin will also be at Magers & Quinn for a reading from her new book, Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. 18+. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393.Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty
DoubleTree by Hilton

For the past 20 years, folks have gathered in Bloomington over the Fourth of July weekend to make friends, cosplay, share fan theories, and bond over their favorite movies, books, games, and series. In 1999, attendance was at 1,500. This year, event organizers expect around 6,000. Revelers will find plenty to see and do, as the four-day gathering has a packed schedule. There will be panel talks covering various fandoms, including Sense8Deep Space 9Death Note, Terry Gilliam movies, and The Handmaid’s Tale. There will be gaming for all, whether you’re a My Little Pony gal or a zombie apocalypse gal. There will be dealers rooms where you can check out rare merch, and an artist alley if you’re looking for original artwork. A book swap, movie screenings, LAN parties, and more round out the happening. Find tickets and more info at www.convergence-con.org. $35-$125. 7800 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington; 952-835-7800. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Hatch

Hatch Galen Higgins

HATCH Dance and Poolboy: Isotope
Southern Theater

In this performance of contemporary dance and alternative music, the slow-burn atmospheric sounds of Poolboy’s Seth Conover meet the melding movement modalities of HATCH Dance’s Helen Hatch. The new collaboration, titled Isotope, explores the inner life and our shadow selves by pairing Hatch’s ballet-inflected rigor with Conover’s impressionist moods. Movers Berit Ahlgren, Kacey Hauk, Anton LaMon, Jadyn Reddy, and Christian Warner ignite the innovative performance. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 9 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20/$24 at the door; $12 students and seniors. Saturday’s later show is pay-as-able. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

Hamel Rodeo
Corcoran Lions Park

The rodeos in Texas are epic. And while we don’t quite have anything as large-scale as that here in Minnesota, the annual Hamel Rodeo in Corcoran is your next best option. This festival, now in its 37th year, features pro riders and wranglers from the U.S. and Canada. Each event includes a variety of entertainment, competitions, and free pony rides for little ones an hour before the show. All proceeds from the event benefit nonprofits in the area. For more info visit www.hamelrodeo.org. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday; 1 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. parade on Sunday. $10-$18. 19101 Cty. Rd. 10, Corcoran; 763-420-4546. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Art inspired by Magic: The Gathering

Art inspired by Magic: The Gathering L-R: Work by Angela Rizza, Rio Burton, Reiko Murakami

FRIDAY 7.6

Magic: the Gathering Tribute Show + the Ultimate Fantasy
Light Grey Art Lab

Light Gray Art Lab celebrates the 25th anniversary of Magic: The Gathering with two exhibitions honoring the role-playing fantasy card game. Created by Richard Garfield, Magic is a masterful blend of exquisitely created cards and social experiences, which for two and a half decades has inspired people of all ages. For the “Magic: The Gathering Tribute Show,” artists pay homage with fan art celebrating the wonder and adventure that the game has inspired in them. Meanwhile, “The Ultimate Fantasy Exhibition” highlights game designers’ artistry. Whether you played Magic: The Gathering as a young person, are part of a community that enjoys the game now, or you just want to see what the fuss is about, you should stop by to check out these shows. There will be a public reception on Friday, July 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. 118 E. 26th St., Ste. 101, Minneapolis; 612-239-2047. Through August—Sheila Regan

Ideation
Gremlin Theatre

In Ideation, contemporary playwright Aaron Loeb’s disturbingly credible dark comedy, corporate-speak serves the purpose of concealing atrocious intentions with mundane language. In the piece, a team of consultants are tasked with developing an action plan to address a hypothetical disaster that grows distressingly realistic with the revelation of each nightmarish detail. Sequestered in a conference room, each team member must measure groupthink against the pangs of individual responsibility. Directed by Brian Balcom, this Gremlin Theatre production is a comic thriller powered by gallows humor that mixes the tedious with the terrible, demonstrating how the former can be used as a particularly insidious means of obscuring the latter. Resounding with ethical conundrums and performed by a top-notch cast (including Kathy Kupiecki, Peter Christian Hansen, Nikhil Pandey, Brian P. Joyce, and Ben Shaw), Ideation intends to leave audiences pondering the presence of complicity every time someone suggests they “build a consensus.” 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, July 16; 3 p.m. Sundays. $28; pay half your age for 30 and under. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 651-228-7008. Through July 29 —Brad Richason

Sweet Songs and Flying Objects
Open Eye Figure Theatre

This summer, Open Eye Figure Theatre is hosting a series of garden parties showcasing a variety of quirky puppet troupes and artists, with each evening ending with cocktails on the lawn. This week’s installment features Paradox Teatro’s Migraciones, which follows refugees as they travel in hopes of finding a new home. The piece is a collaboration between Mexican and American artists. Liz Howls’ Short Stories in Miniature offers three tales presented with plenty of humor and tiny puppets. Music will be provided by the folksy Bella Yaga (Friday) and Coy & Daring (Saturday), a duo (Joey Ford and Jenna Wyse) whose past projects have included 7-Shot Symphony and the Poor Nobodys. The evening will return July 20-21 with a new mix of entertainment. Tickets and more info can be found at www.openeyetheatre.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, also July 20-21. $10. 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis; 612-874-6338. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Pizza Camp keeps campers fed.

Pizza Camp keeps campers fed. Image courtesy event organizers

SATURDAY 7.7

Pizza Camp 2018
Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement

For the past five years, the MPLS Pizza Club has been celebrating pie with Pizza Camp, an overnight party filled with nature, beer, pizza, and friendship. The all-inclusive event brings pizza lovers together for 24 hours of fun. Sadly, their fifth installment will be their last. Pizza will be wood-fired and plentiful, with vegan and gluten-free options available if requested. In between gorging, camp-style fun will be had, with canoeing, archery, capture the flag (or “pizza” in this case), a dough-making class, and printmaking and light art sessions scheduled. Stay up late drinking beer and telling ghost stories around the fire, or get some quality sleep in your cabin followed by coffee and Glam Doll doughnuts in the early morning. Before leaving, you will be bestowed with a nifty swag bag filled with goodies. Get your camp ’za while you still can. 21+. Tickets and more info can be found at www.eventbrite.com and www.facebook.com/mplspizzaclub. 9 a.m. Saturday to 10:30 a.m. Sunday. $205.97. 4001 Cty. Rd. 24, Maple Plain; 763-694-7856. —Jessica Armbruster

Not Every Mountain
Guthrie Theater

Austin, Texas-based performance company Rude Mechs (aka Rude Mechanicals) is making its Guthrie debut with Not Every Mountain. The piece doesn’t follow a traditional narrative, and features no central characters. Instead, the work hinges upon the ever-evolving nature of existence, observing the process of change over the landscape of a stage-erected mountain. This centerpiece is a striking feat of engineering that uses adjustable geometric patterns to continually shift perspectives, giving audiences the sense of descending from the clouds or arising from the ground. Time and space are conveyed as moving pieces, emphasized by evocative lighting shifts, in an immersive landscape design by Thomas Graves. Underscoring the scenic designs is a mesmerizing soundscape by Peter Stopschinski that uses the frequencies of Earth’s atmosphere as inspiration. Adding one more layer of inspiration are the lyrical musings of Kirk Lynn, whose enchanting rhapsodies interweave the reverent with the playful. Factor in an open invitation for audience interaction, and Not Every Mountain becomes a fascinating reminder that the act of creation, in and of itself, can be a work of art. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays. $9. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through July 15 —Brad Richason

Little Mekong Night Market

Little Mekong Night Market Image courtesy event organizers

Little Mekong Night Market
Little Mekong

In 2014, the Little Mekong business district launched the Little Mekong Night Market as a way to draw visitors to all the splendid things the area has to offer. The festival features arts, culture, and dance groups performing traditional forms, hip-hop, and breakdance. There are plenty of kid-friendly art activities, and tons of delectable snacks: spicy tater tots, refreshing bubble tea, Twistatos chips, frozen yogurt, and towering Lu’s sandwiches. You’ll want to come with an empty stomach to take advantage of all there is to offer. More info can be found at www.littlemekong.com. 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday; 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free. 422 University Ave. W., St. Paul. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

SUNDAY 7.8

Play Matters Alley Cat Race & Fun Roll
Matthews Park

Biking and rollerblading elf Santa Erik Riese has designed a fun alleycat race at Matthews Park. The course takes about 45 to 75 minutes, and you’ll want to have your camera phone ready to complete some of the challenges. There’ll be prizes for the top finishers, plus swag for everybody who participates. For folks who aren’t into the alleycat, Santa Erik will throw on some rollerblades to lead a non-competitive slow roll through Seward and Longfellow. You’ll need to sign up for the alleycat race, but you can just show up for the slow roll. Find tickets at eventbrite.com. 9 to 11 a.m. $10 alleycat; free slow roll. Corner of East 25th Street and 29th Avenue South, Minneapolis. —Sheila Regan