A rundown of arts and entertainment options

This year's Bastille Day Block Party is July 13 at Barbette. Credit:

Editor’s note: This new Get Out Guide will be a regular feature in the Focus section highlighting our picks for notable festivals, concerts and fun activities in the city. Got ideas for the guide? Email smckenzie@southwestjournal.com or tweet us @swjournal.


Fourth of July Fireworks

Powderhorn Park will no longer have fireworks this year, but there’s still a fireworks display along the Stone Arch Bridge at Water Power Park. If you want more than jut a night of celebration, there will be “Red, White and Boom” kid-friendly events featuring food and drinks along the Minneapolis downtown riverfront.

Where: Riverfront between Stone Arch Bridge and Third Avenue Bridge

When: Friday, July 4 at 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.minneapolisparks.org


Salute to America

No Fourth of July is complete without the noisy bursts of fireworks. The Minnesota Orchestra, with conductor Courtney Lewis at the helm, is hoping to put your ears at rest the day after with traditional national songs and works form American composers at the newly remodeled Orchestra Hall. Music will feature trumpeter Charles Lazarus and pianist Tommy Barbella and the rest of orchestra playing both classics (“America, the Beautiful”) and upbeat tunes (“Mambo” from “West Side Story”). 

Where: Minnesota Orchestra Hall

When: Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $20–$50

Info: www.minnesotaorchestra.org


Books & Bars

The long-running Books & Bars series will grace Republic in Uptown with a lively discussion of this month’s book, Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” Moderator Jeff Kamin leads the spirited show, which usually includes food and drink specials. If you miss this one, Books & Bars will be at Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul on July 15. 

Where: Republic in Calhoun Square

When: Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.booksandbars.com


Summer in the City celebration

The Orpheum Theater’s parking lot is transforming into a pop-up park thanks to the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Summer in the City celebration. The “Parklot” unveiling will feature music, dancing, and other performances. To complete the night, Hennepin Theatre Trust is showcasing urban walking galleries by more than 50 local artists around Hennepin Avenue in its “Made Here” event. 

Where: Parking lot adjacent to the Orpheum Theatre between 9th and 10th streets

When: Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.hennepintheatretrust.org


Basilica Block Party

The Basilica Block Party is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with an ambitious lineup of 21 bands, including both national headliners (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Train) and local talents (Black Diet, Caroline Smith). The two-day festival started out as a fundraiser to restore the Basilica of Saint Mary and proceeds continue to fund restoration. As part of the anniversary, there will be a compilation for sale featuring songs from 10 artists who have played at the block party. 

Where: Basilica of Saint Mary

When: Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Cost: $55–$60 per day, $100 for both. $20 for kids 5-12, and those under 5 are free.

Info: www.basilicablockparty.org


Black Label Movement’s “Wreck”

Local dance company Black Label Movement is coming to the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio for its show, “Wreck.” Set inside a sinking boat at the bottom of Lake Superior, “Wreck” tells the story of 13 survivors grappling with cooperation, violence and destruction. The dance performance heightens the energy with an original score from local composer Mary Ellen Childs and vintage footage from a deceased Great Lakes boat captain. 

Where: Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio

When: July 11 at 7:30 p.m., runs through July 20

Cost: $22-30

Info: www.guthrietheatre.org


Bastille Day Block Party

The 12th annual Bastille Day Block Party returns to Barbette in Uptown with a thorough program of local music. Local up-and-comers Cloak Ox and Black Diet are sure to get partygoers dancing with exciting live music. Newcomer Hippo Campus, local indie-pop rockers, will also bring their beachy, upbeat sound to the day. Filling out the bill are hip-hop favorites GRRRL Party and Heiruspecs. The block party will also feature local art and organic snacks and benefits People Serving People. 

Where: Barbette

When: Sunday, July 13 at 3 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.bastilledayblockparty.com


Mark of Genius

Among all the outdoor activities Minneapolis has to offer, it’s nice to get inside to escape the heat. The Minneapolis Institute of Art has a new exhibition this summer that will feature a rare compilation of drawings spanning more than 500 years. The exhibition, “Mark of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Art,” includes artists like Midwesterner Georgia O’Keeffe and drawings typically unavailable to the public.

Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art

When: July 13 through Sept. 21

Cost: $13 on weekdays, $15 on weekends

Info: www.artsmia.org


Sun Kil Moon with Actual Wolf

With a new, critically acclaimed album, “Benji,” Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek) is one of today’s most intimate and profoundly moving folk acts. Kozelek will bring his nostalgic and personal sound to the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. Complementing Kozelek will be Grand Rapids Americana band Actual Wolf (Eric Pollard). 

Where: Varsity Theater

When: Wednesday, July 16. Doors open at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. for music

Cost: $22 in advance, $25 day of show

Info: www.varsitytheater.org


75th Minneapolis Aquatennial

The annual Minneapolis Aquatennial returns to for its 75th year with nearly a week of events and shows. At Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun there will be a Star Tribune Beach Bash with Xcel Energy Sandcastle Competition and Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Races. Dunwoody College of Technology is hosting the flagship parade on Wednesday, July 23 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Be sure to get to near the Hennepin Avenue Bridge early on July 26 between 6 and 10:30 p.m. for one of the largest annual firework shows in the country. 

Where: Throughout Minneapolis

When: Friday, July 18 through Saturday, July 26

Cost: Free

Info: www.aquatennial.com