New State Fair treats, Open Streets and more

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August 12, 2014
By: Eric Best
Eric Best

Minnesota State Fair 

Few things are a better end-of-summer celebration than the Great Minnesota Get Together, and all its events, food on a stick, and concerts. Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a lot of free events, food and fun.

Free: For the thrifty, there’s plenty of free entertainment throughout the State Fair. Check out music at the Bandshell, the Bazaar and Schell’s stage, all of which feature live shows in the evening hours. A few standout shows include Dr. Dog (Aug. 27 and 28) local Chastity Brown (Aug. 21 and 22) and the 4onthefloor (Aug. 29 and 30). Of course, there’s always the daily fair at 2 p.m., animal exhibits like the CHS Miracle of Birth Center and horse shows in the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum.

Food: Of course, we all really come out to the State Fair for the food, and this year there will be some interesting new fair eats to look out for. Mancini’s Al Fresco (Carnes Avenue and Nelson Street) is serving up some beer gelato made with local craft beer. In Minnesota fashion, The Blue Barn (West End Market) will have deep-friend blue cheese and corn fritz served with herb chimichurri. For the ultimate dessert decadence, the Blue Moon Dine-in Theater (Chamber Street and Carnes Avenue) is bringing the SnoRibbons, a layered mixture of light cotton candy, shaved ice cream and creamy snow. It also comes with a rotation of mix-ins, from strawberry pretzel cream cheese to grasshopper pie to frozen hot chocolate. It appears this fair as moved on from the stick.

Fun: There’s a bit of something fro everybody at the State Fair. At the Grandstand, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Aretha Franklin will each have their own night on the State Fair’s biggest stage, which is good for music-lovers looking for a more memorable fair experience. There are also new attractions like the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show and returning favorites, such as the Giant Sing Along. Fairgoers can also check out new venues like the West End Market and dozens of new vendors.

Where: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave North

When: Aug. 21 to Sept. 1

Cost: $13 for adults, $11 for kids (5-12), children (5 and under) are free



Mill City Live 

Perfect for summer, The Mill City Museum is hosting live local music from Fort Wilson Riot and Erik Koskenin in its Ruin Courtyard. On Aug. 20, electro-pop duo Amy Hager and Jacob Mullis or Fort Wilson Riot will be playing songs from their new album “trIllIun,” filled with psychedelic, harmonic gems.  A week later, country singer and guitarist Erik Koskenin will bring music from his sophomore effort “American Theatre” to the historic courtyard. Admission also includes access to the museum from 4 to 9 p.m., a big chunk cheaper than typical admission.

Where: Mill City Museum, 704 South 2nd Street

When: Wednesday, Aug. 20 and 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $5



Discover Day on the Plaza

It’s nearing the end of the Minneapolis Convention Center’s summer plaza events, but there’s still plenty of time to explore and have fun. The plaza will be host to a Discover Day with a slew of interactive games, puzzles and events. You’ll be able to take crazy photos with the Big Red Party Button photo lab, which will send pictures directly to your phone. There will also be a giant interactive sidewalk board game for families and kids. Urban explorers can also find hidden art through an app-based interactive story. These events are good for a little diversion from weekend plans or errands. 

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, 1301 Second Ave. South

When: Saturday, Aug. 16

Cost: Free



Janet Burroway Reading

Critically acclaimed author Janet Burroway will be reading from her newest book, the memoir “Losing Tim,” at the Loft Literary Center. Many may be familiar with Burroway from her widely used text “Writing Fiction” or “Raw Silk,” which garnered her a National Book Award nomination. “Losing Tim,” published by Think Piece Publishing, explores the impact of combat on soldiers and military contractors, such as her son. 

Where: Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. South

When: Friday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free



Fifteen’s 5K

The third annual Fifteen’s 5K returns to Gold Medal Park and Target Field, featuring free game admission, finisher’s medals and a race T-shirt. Runners will have a scenic route from the park to nearly scoring a run Target Field, finishing near home plate, just like one of the Minnesota Twins.  For those who’ve already registered, tickets also come with free admission to the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals game. The run benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and ends with food and drink along the finish line.

Where: 1120 South 2nd Street

When: Sunday, Aug. 17, at 8 a.m.

Cost: $57.50



Open Streets: Franklin Avenue 

Franklin Avenue is hosting Open Streets, along with dozens of events involving live music, food and no cars. This will be the last Open Streets event of the traditional summer months, so it’s a good time to get out and take advantage of the weather to bike, board or whatever else you’d like. There will be dozens of bike- and pedestrian-friendly events along Franklin Avenue from outdoor food specials, free yoga in Triangle Park and a live puppet show from Open Eye Theatre.

Where: Franklin Avenue between Portland Avenue to 28th Avenue

When: Sunday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free



Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival 

Minneapolis’ Loring Park is one of three locations hosting Chipotle’s free, all-day Cultivate Festival this year, featuring music from five bands, cooking demos from high-profile chefs and local food. For the music-inclined, there will be tunes from The Mowgli’s, Grouplove, Portugal. The Man and other bands. The celebrity chefs include local Andrew Zimmern “Bizarre Foods America,” Sea Change’s Jamie Malone and Paul Berglund of Bachelor Farmer, among others. In line with Chipotle’s philosophy, there will also be exhibits on farming practices and processed foods — not to mention guacamole from scratch.

Where: Loring Park

When: Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free