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Freeloader Friday: 86 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Be free this three-day weekend.

Jessica Armbruster|

A cow, spotted outside the sidewalk of the fair.

Freeloader Friday is your weekly guide to having fun no matter what your budget looks like. Each week we have a list of 100% free events like gallery parties, music, and films in the park, as well as free admission events like special happy hours, markets, and more. For our picks of the week's best events, price be damned, click here.

Bike-In Movie Night!


Bike-in Movie: Office Space

MOAB hosts this free bike projector screening on the west side of Loring Park’s pond. Dusk. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

The Hold Steady Book Signing and Q&A

The band comes together to celebrate the release of their newest book, The Gospel of The Hold Steady: How A Resurrection Really Feels. With Steve Marsh. 5 p.m. Electric Fetus, 2000 S. Fourth Ave., Minneapolis.

Fire & Ice Cream

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. Hidden Beach, 2000 S. Uptown Ave., Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

Shaun Chosa

Sacred Klown

New art by Shaun Chosa exploring the intersection of traditional Native American imagery and contemporary pop culture. 6-8 p.m. Friedli Gallery and Studio, 943 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

The Get Up Stand-Up Open Mic

Sign-up starts at 6 p.m.; show at 6:30 p.m. Mortimer’s Bar and Restaurant, 2001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

NDSU vs E Washington Party

With DJ Liam Gerard in the Re:mix Lounge. 7-11 p.m. Aloft Minneapolis, 900 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis.


BOB! The Music of Dylan

7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

DC League of Super-Pets

9:15 p.m. Lake Hiawatha Park 2701 E 44th St, Minneapolis, MN, United States

The Matt Arthur Contraption

8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Prairie Fire Lady Choir

7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Labor Day Sidewalk Sale + Monthly Vendor Happy Hour

Meet this month's guests and do some shopping. With complimentary bubbly, NA drinks, and snacks. 4-6 p.m. Olio Vintage, 21 Fifth St, NE, Minneapolis.

Babie Eyes

Babie Eyes, Submarine Secrets, Caitlin and Alex

10 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Pop-Up Food Shelf

With hot coffee and meals too for folks in need. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. GMCC, 1100 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Bird Dogs

With Ginny Davis. 7-11 p.m. Hopkins American Legion Post 320, 10 12th Ave. S., Hopkins.

Warehouse District Live

Enjoy a closed-off street open to pedestrians, with food trucks, tables and seating, activities, and added restrooms every Friday through Saturday through Halloween. Find more info on the official website, but in general events start around 7 p.m., with the street closed from 9 a.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday. First Avenue North, between Fifth and Sixth streets, Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

21+. 10 p.m. The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

SYM1 is headed to the fairProvided by the artist

Free, once you’re inside the fair:

First Ave Goes to the Fair 

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 new and Replacements-era. Singer-songwriter Becky Kapell kicks things off Friday, followed by sets from rapper/poet Juice Lord, saxophone looper 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 Viraluae 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. Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Celebrating Meat Loaf

8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Leinie Lodge Stage.

High & Mighty

8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. International Bazaar Stage.

Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, EBT hours 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thu.-Sun. June through Oct. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis;

Signal Hills Farmers Market

Featuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables sold direct from producer to consumer, located in the lot of West St. Paul’s Signal Hills Mall. 8 a.m. to noon Fridays through October 27. 1225 S. Robert St., St. Paul;

West Broadway Farmers Market

Featuring local foods, arts, and community development, promoting healthy food access for North Minneapolis, with fresh produce, artisanal goods, grab-and-go eats, and locally grown plants. 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Oct. 6. The Plaza @ the Capri, 2027 W. Broadway Ave. N. (Broadway and Oliver Street), Minneapolis;

Jake Houle


Jake’s Celebration of Life Block Party

Black Label Minneapolis celebrates the life of their founder, Jacob Houle, who passed away recently. With DJ tunes, a friendly potluck (bring food to share; not nuts please), and bike friends. 2-9 p.m. 2610 30th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The Early Show

With Zippy and Leslie. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Johanna Mathews

With Joanie Rich, Katie Henry. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Dusk. Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

You Thrifty Bitch

You Thrifty Bitch/Wasted Retail Pop-Up Market

Shop vintage from two local sellers. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the corner of Park Avenue and South Second St., Minneapolis.

Slap Hazard, The Serfs, Cat People

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Tandem Turns 2

Shop vintage at this south Minneapolis store, with guests Bekah Worley, Pie and Mighty, and others plus bubbly and deals. Noon to 5 p.m. Tandem Vintage, 316 W. 38th St., Minneapolis.

North Star Blues Exchange

Featuring Cornbread Harris. Noon to 4 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Jessica Vines

Tunes in the taproom. 7 p.m. Modist Brewing Company, 505 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis.

Tony Ortiz

Tony Ortiz & the Guns of Soul

Rock. 7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Makers’ Market 

Shop from 15 makers outside. 1-7 p.m. Urban Growler Brewery, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Open Studio Saturdays

Open studios, sales, special receptions, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Walker Art Center

Free First Saturday: So Long Summer

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. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

NDSU vs. EWU Pre-Game Party

Music, games, drinks, food, and features from local food trucks leading up until kick-off. 9:30 a.m. The Longhouse/Downtown East Plaza, 425 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

5 Minute Film Festival

Movies these days? Far too long. I loved Oppenheimer as much as the next guy, but should I 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 festival, 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. Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; RSVP and find more info here.—Em Cassel

Excelsior Flea Market

Shop local makers at this weekly market. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 16. 10 Water St., Excelsior.

Yoga in Gold Medal Park

Free yoga each weekend in the park. 9-10 a.m. Gold Medal Park, Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Farmers’ Markets

Apple Valley Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 29. 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley;

Burnsville Saturday Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 200 Burnsville Pkwy. W., Burnsville;

Fulton Farmers Market

Traditional and heirloom vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastries. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 4901 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Lakeview Terrace Farmers Market

Formerly known as the Camden Farmers Market, this small market has teamed up with Robbinsdale to offer fresh produce and artisanal goods plus free fitness classes, chef cook-offs, and more. 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through September 23. Find it on the northeast corner of Bottineau Blvd. (CR 81) and Lakeland Avenue in Robbinsdale, across from HyVee;

Lakeville Saturday Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through September 23. Lakeville Area Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke Ave., Lakeville;

Lowertown Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 19. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul;

Midtown Farmers Market

Urban market serving produce and more to Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct.; 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, through Oct. 2225 East Lake St., Minneapolis;

Mill City Farmers Market

Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year round. 750 2nd St. S., Minneapolis;

Northeast Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring food vendors, local produce, and artisanal goods. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 14. St. Boniface Church parking lot, 629 2nd St. NE (corner of University and Seventh Ave. NE), Minneapolis;

An Iraqi and Afghan Festival


An Iraqi and Afghan Festival

Featuring traditional eats, tunes, cultural performances, art, and fun. 4-7 p.m. Como Midway Picnic Pavilion (East Picnic Grounds), 1199 Midway Parkway, St. Paul. 

Beats N’ Brunch

Featuring special cocktails, trippy local art vendors, selfie walls, DJ tunes, games, and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

NW Food Truck Mini Fest

Featuring all kinds of tasty food truck eats, local artists, acoustic tunes from Jake Stow, craft beer, and more. Noon to 8 p.m. Heavy Rotation Brewing Co., 9801 Xenia Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Hop Kingdom Release Party

Featuring prizes, special pint classes while they last, Trivia Mafia, and beer. 4 p.m. Fulton’s Taproom, 414 Sixth Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Cars and Coffee

Gaze upon cool cars are the break of dawn. 8-11:30 a.m. Keg and Case Market, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

The Jolly Pops

Kid-friendly tunes with dad vibes. 2 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Papa Roof and the Soul Villains

Southern soul and funk. 5:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Sunday Market

Shop this weekly farmer/cottage food and artisan market through Oct. 15. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dancing Bear Chocolate, 4367 N. Thomas Ave., Minneapolis.

Early Show

With Eric Carranza. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Uncle Jesse’s Comb, Drug League, Foe

8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Varsity Gaymes

Weekly event features spots on TVs, beer pong, and other bar games. 2 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. 

Soul Asylum

Free, once inside the fair:

Soul Asylum

7:30 p.m. Sun.-Mon. Leinie Lodge Stage.

Petty Comes Alive!

A Tom Petty covers show. 8 p.m. Sun.; 7:30 p.m. Mon. Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater.


8 p.m. Sun.; 7:30 p.m. Mon. International Bazaar Stage.

Somali Museum Dance Troupe

See shows at 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30 p.m. Cosgrove Stage.


Inver Grove Heights Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 8. 8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights;

Kingfield Farmers Market

Featuring a large selection of local produce, artisanal crafts, and prepared foods in a new location this year at MLK Park. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. MLK Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring ethical meats, baked goods, ready-to-eat items, locally grown veggies and fruits, and live music. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. Settergrens of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis;

Savage Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 4800 W. 123rd St., Savage;

Woodbury Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

Tre Aaron


Tre Aaron

Country, blues, and jam. 5:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

The Bussard
21+. 6 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

The Roe Family Singers
8 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

The Matt Arthur Contraption
10 p.m.  331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Sawyer’s Dream

Americana. 7 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Sciurus Sequencia: Jazz and/or Creative Music Series

With Alonzo, Rocky IV Band, Annie Shultz. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

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