Patio parties, a naked bike ride, Little Mekong Night Market: 38 free things to do this weekend

Freedom From Pants Ride

Freedom From Pants Ride Star Tribune

Oh dang, here's some free stuff to do this weekend.


Freedom From Pants XIII
There’s not a lot to celebrate about America right now. But a holiday is always a good excuse to spend it with people you love doing something memorable. On the Fourth, the Freedom from Pants crew rides once more. People will meet under a bridge on Nicollet Island, and toast to body positivity, semi-nudity, and friendship before hitting the streets en masse. The route is usually kept secret until the day of, but typically includes stops at parks and beaches. Requested attire for this event is whatever you want: Many will be nearly nude/down to their skivvies, while others may ride fully clothed. The choice is yours. Don’t, however, choose to be an ugly American. Leave the fireworks and squirt guns at home, and don’t even think about telling someone to take off more clothes. We all still have the right to choose (for now, at least, in Minnesota). 6 p.m. to midnight. Free. Hennepin Bridge on Nicollet Island, 2 Merriam St., Minneapolis. --Jessica Armbruster

In Hamm's We Trust
Featuring $3 pints, merch, and a dog-friendly patio. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. Pat's Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612-822-8216.

4th of July Patio Party
Featuring an expanded beer garden, outdoor grill, outdoor bars, and MN Nice Cream. Dogs are welcome on the patio. The big fireworks show is within a short walking distance. Thursday, 1-11 p.m. Free. Pryes Brewing Company, 1401 W. River Rd. N, Minneapolis; 612-787-7937.

4th of July with Tramps Like Us
After the fireworks. 10:30 p.m. July 4; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Red, White, and Boom

Red, White, and Boom Star Tribune

Red, White, and Boom 2019
There are plenty of places to see fireworks for the Fourth. But if you’ve never seen them on the downtown Minneapolis Riverfront, you’re missing out. In addition to the live explosions, there will be food trucks, plus two stages of live music. That includes old school ska by the Prizefighters, classic rock fusion from Yesterdawn, pop-folk from Sawyer’s Dream, and country music artist Tre Aaron. If that’s not enough face-melting Americana, the night before you can catch Solo: A Star Wars Story at Boom Island Park, making it a double-decker action free of charge. As for Independence Day, fireworks will start promptly at 10 p.m. and the crowds will be massive, but the display is equally massive so you can catch them from almost anywhere in the city. Other related activities this weekend include a half-marathon, a 5K fun run, and family activities. 6:30 p.m.; fireworks are at 10 p.m. Free. 65 SE Main St., Minneapolis. --Patrick Strait

Twin Cities River Rats
Free water skiing shows on the Mississippi are back. This summer the crew will be presenting Ratty Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for free on the river. There will be stunts, leaps, lifts, and cool formations featuring Mr. Wonka, Charlie Bucket, and the Oompa Loompas.6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. 1758 W. River Rd. N. (between the Broadway and Plymouth Avenue bridges), Minneapolis.

4th in the Park
Featuring parade, fun run, music, games, volleyball, family events, happy hour, and horseshoe tournaments. Full schedule and more info at 8 a.m.-6 p.m. July 4; Free. Langford Park, 30 Langford Park, St. Paul; 651-266-6400.

July 4th Light It Up in Maplewood
Featuring food trucks, drinks, inflatables, live music by Good For Gary, bean bag tournament, and fireworks at dusk. 4-10 p.m. July 4; Free.

Summer festival held every Thursday, featuring live music, children's games and activities, petting zoo, classic cars, arts and crafts vendors, and more. For more info visit 6-9 p.m. Every Thu. from June 13-July 30; Free. Downtown White Bear Lake, 4751 U.S. 61, White Bear Lake.


"Curio" Katherine Kuehne


Light Grey Art Lab’s newest exhibition, “Curio,” consists of eight mini-shows, put together by a team of artists that recently travelled to Iceland and Norway through the gallery’s residency programs. Since 2014, Light Grey has programmed residencies in Norway and Iceland as a way of learning and inspiring the creative practices of the artists who participate. This year’s collection of pieces include ghosts, magic fire, and “vatn,” the Icelandic word for water. There’s also a Nordic runes collection, curated by the Norway Creative Residency team, which explores iconography, gods, and the messages of the 24 runes, dating back thousands of years. With illustrations, screenprints, watercolor postcards, buttons, pins, and zines, the exhibition bursts with inspiration from the Nordic region. At the opening reception on Friday, July 5, there will be food, refreshments, music, and a chance to meet the artists from 7 to 10 p.m. Light Grey Art Lab, 118 E. 26th St., Minneapolis; 612-239-2047. --Sheila Regan

With Jonathan Ackerman 9 p.m. Every 1st Fri.; Free. Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-9800.

Lowertown First Fridays
Featuring receptions, performances, and other fun around the neighborhood. For more info, visit 6-9 p.m. Every 1st Fri.; Free. Lowertown, 5th St. E. & Sibley St., St Paul.

With Highgraves and King Brown. 10 p.m. July 5; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Be Kind, Rewind: 90’s/00’s Bangerz & Jamz
9 p.m. Friday. Moxy Minneapolis Uptown, 1121 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-822-5020.

Dances at the Lake

Dances at the Lake RayTerrill

18th Annual Dances at the Lake Festival
Shakespeare in the park is a common offering during the summertime, but how often do you get to see a dance performance? For the past 18 years, Dances at the Lake Festival has been bringing local dance groups together for a variety show at the Rose Garden. Presented by the Ray Terrill Dance Group, the evening will feature all kinds of movement from all kinds of movers. There will be students groups, kids, and professionals. You’ll see flamenco, African drum and dance, a Bollywood-style set, and modern dance. Troupes include Christoper Watson, Jawaahir, and Freshwater, among many others. Plan to picnic, or take a stroll through the gardens before the show. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free. Lake Harriet Rose Garden, 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis.  --Jessica Armbruster

Can Can Wonderland Karaoke
Hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. All ages. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Tappy Hour
Group tap dance lessons. 4-6 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

The Secret Life of Pets

Fri., 9 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell.

The Comedy Corner Open Mic Night
10 p.m. Every Fri. Free. The Corner Bar, 1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-4333.

The Merry Wives of Windsor
“We rely on catching the attention of people in parks who maybe weren’t planning on coming to see a show,” says Joseph Papke, artistic director of Classical Actors Ensemble. “They see a crowd, they wander over, and end up spending the next hour with us.” That generally means choosing a comedy for the company’s annual foray into local parks, and this year it’s going to be The Merry Wives of Windsor. Falstaff’s failed wooing, says Papke, holds up as humor. “It’s 400 years later, and it’s still funny on the page.” The company is setting the courtship-centered romp in the mid-1960s. “Just before Summer of Love, so there’s a lot of fun color in that period, a lot of fun fashion,” says Papke. Falstaff as a swinger? “It makes me think of a Peter Lawford type.” Last year’s Romeo and Juliet set audience records for the company, proving the Bard is still a draw—especially if you can BYO picnic spread. Find more times, dates, and locations at 7 p.m. Every Fri. and Sat. from June 14-Aug. 2; 2 p.m. Every Sun. from June 16-Aug. 2. Free. Show’s this week are at Wolfe Park Amphitheater in St. Louis Park (Fri.), Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis (Sat.), and Centennial Lakes Park Amphitheater in Edina (Sun.).


Little Mekong Night Market

Little Mekong Night Market


Little Mekong Night Market
Twin Cities residents love their farmers markets in the morning and their block parties in the afternoon. Fortunately, night markets have popped up in recent years to fill evenings. It’s impossible to discuss Little Mekong Night Market without focusing on the variety of foods offered from southeast Asia, whether it’s fried egg rolls and dumplings, savory sausages, sweet fruit, or ice cream desserts. Let loose while the belt gets a little bit tighter. In addition to the food, you’ll find vendors and displays creating an inclusive, diverse event that showcases Asian roots and the fusion of American and Asian cultures. All of this is done with a street-culture vibe—meaning it’s affordable (and often crowded). Performances include traditional dancers and a breakdancing competition. Expect to overeat and to see something you haven’t seen before. More info can be found at 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday; 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free. 422 University Ave. W., St. Paul. —Loren Green

For the Love Project 5
Community celebration featuring live music from Heiruspecs, Haphduzn, Lady Midnight, and Dwynell Roland, DJs Just Nine, Frank Castle, and Sarah White, dancing from New Black City and the Sampson Bros, live art installations, community vendors, food trucks, and family activities. 12-10 p.m. July 6; Free. Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., St. Paul; 651-632-5111.

Lazy Scorsese
With Kind Red Spirits and Go For Retro. 10 p.m. July 6; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Strider Cup Minneapolis

Strider Cup Minneapolis

Strider Cup Minneapolis
This weekend, downtown Minneapolis’ Commons area is hosting the cutest freakin’ bike event of the summer. During this mini-fest, kids ages two to six will be racing against each other on a variety of tracks. Cheer them on and enter your little one into a race. There will also be a practice area open to all tykes, and winners take home giant trophies. Sign up your kid and find more info at 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free to watch; $32 to race. The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-0910. --Jessica Armbruster

Free First Saturdays
Featuring visits from alpacas and bunnies, live music from Koo Koo Kangaroo, Pet Rock making, and more for kids and families. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Every 1st Sat.; Free. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.

Watch Party: MNUFC at Montreal Impact
Saturday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Howe Daily Kitchen & Bar, 3675 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-3663.

Sat., 9 p.m. Lake Nokomis Community Center.

Elision Playhouse Grand Opening Gala
Featuring drinks, music by Mill City Jazz, and an opportunity to meet the staff. 7 p.m. July 6; Free. Elision Playhouse, 6105 42nd Ave. N., Crystal.

Midtown Farmers Market
Featuring farm products, prepared and cottage foods, and ready-to-eat local cuisine, local artwork, and live entertainment. More info at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from May 18-Oct. 26; 3-7 p.m. Every Tue. from May 18-Oct. 29; Free. Midtown Farmers Market, 3032  Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-724-7457.

Mill City Farmers Market
Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce, with weekly cooking clinics and live entertainment. More info at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from May 4-Oct. 26; Free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-341-7555.

Saint Paul Chamber Music Institute Closing Concert
7 p.m. July 6; Free. Summit Center for Arts & Innovation, 1524 Summit Ave., St. Paul; 651-291-1144.


Welcome to Marwen
Sun., 9 p.m. Van Cleve Park.

Blues Jam
7-11 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Literary Lights Presents: 'Startled By Joy Anthology' Book Launch
Featuring readings by Thomas R. Smith, Michael Dean, Mark Connor, Suzanne Swanson, Laura Vosika, Sara Dovre Wudali, Tekkan, Carter Norman, and Donna Isaac (host). 2 p.m. July 7; Free. Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.

Mumblin' Drew
Weekly residency with a variety of special guests and opening acts. 7-9 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.