Mpls Lantern Fest, a 24-hour telethon and free beer

Minneapolis Television Network’s 24-hour Telethon Credit:

Mpls Lantern Fest

The Minneapolis Downtown Council recently announced that it will host the Mpls Lantern Fest on Feb. 21 in partnership with Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.

The inaugural event will take place at Cancer Survivors Park in downtown Minneapolis. A series of workshops throughout the city allow participants to create their own paper lanterns with assistance from Heart of the Beast artists. Participants can then pick up their lanterns on the day of the festival and take part in an illuminated movement.

“We’re excited to introduce the Mpls Lantern Fest and start a new tradition here in Downtown Minneapolis,” said Leah Wong, Minneapolis Downtown Council’s vice president of events and marketing, in a statement. “Activities and events are a big part of creating a consistently compelling downtown experience, an initiative of our Downtown 2025 Plan. The Mpls Lantern Fest will be a great way to bring our downtown neighborhood and Minneapolis community together.” 

The festival will also include food, drink and live entertainment. 

At the Mpls Lantern Fest, Heart of the Beast artists will lead participants and show their own giant lanterns inspired by constellations, including a bear, rabbit, loon, fox and cow. Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture as early as 200 B.C. and have spread all over the world. 

“At In the Heart of the Beast, our mission is to bring people together for the common good through the power of puppet and mask performances,” said Catherine Jordan, interim executive director of Heart of the Beast. “Mpls Lantern Fest not only brings people together, but it allows us to embrace the heart of winter while ushering in the warmth and illumination of spring. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to shine light on our great downtown.” 


Where: Cancer Survivors Park, Marquette Plaza, 250 Marquette Ave.

When: Saturday, Feb. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free



Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and there are a ton of romantic dinner options, whether you’re looking for couples’ dinner deals or unique dishes.

Here are plenty of special Valentine’s Day offerings, courtesy Open Table. For a lively evening, Herkimer (2922 Lyndale Ave.) is throwing “Our Cupid is Stupid” festivities with food and drink specials. Mutli-course tasting menus can also be a great way of expanding the dining experience and sharing dishes with a date. Our tasting menu picks are: Haute Dish, 119 Washington Ave. N. ($60 per person) Crave, 825 Hennepin Ave. ($89 per couple), Café Lurcat, 1624 Harmon Place ($75 per person), Borough, 730 Washington Ave. ($55 per person) and Basil’s, 710 Marquette Ave. ($89 per couple).

Our other picks for Valentine’s Day are restaurants that are offering special menus, either in place of or in addition to their regular fare: The Third Bird (1612 Harmon Place), Barbette (1600 West Lake St.) and Saffron Lounge (123 N. Third St.).

Finally, there are a couple restaurants with complimentary specials for Valentine’s Day guests. Seven (700 Hennepin Ave.) is giving away free roses and Lake & Irving (1513 W. Lake St.) will offer a sparkling rose toast for reservations before 6:30 and after 8:30 p.m.


I AM Kindness

I AM KINDESS is an art show unlike any other. While the art is for sale, money has no value. Instead, buyers must perform acts of kindness selected by the artists, and only then will they receive the artwork. The event comes from Sarah Edwards, head of local fashion and variety shows I AM MPLS and I AM ST. PAUL, and artist Jesse Draxler is curating artwork. Local and regional artists will have their work for sale for patrons willing to do some good deeds for good art.


Where: Burnet Gallery, Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Ave.

When: Saturday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.

Cost: Free



Betty Danger’s Best in Show

If you’ve seen the 60-foot Ferris wheel in Northeast recently, you may have wondered why it’s there. Well, Betty Danger’s Country Club recently opened, the newest concept from restaurateur Leslie Bock (Psycho Suzi’s, Donnie Dirk’s Zombie Den, etc.). Much like Psycho Suzi’s event, Betty Danger’s will host the first of many kitschy dog shows, but this one will be Westminster-style. Dress your dog — and your self — in over-the-top attire and compete for a trophy, or just take part in some photo ops and enjoy dog-themed drinks. The restaurant also has an 8-and-a-half-hole golf course and optional membership program for interested patrons.


Where: Betty Danger’s Country Club, 2501 Marshall St.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

Cost: Free



612Brew Second Anniversary Party

612Brew is releasing its first-ever beer sold in cans this month, in conjunction with the Northeast Minneapolis brewery’s two-year anniversary. To celebrate, 612Brew is hosting a party at its taproom where it will have free pints of peer from 4 to 5 p.m., live music from Kingsview and Justin Halverson and special firkin tappings. Liquor stores across the Twin Cities will begin sell 612Brew’s most popular beers, SIX, Unrated and Gateway Park, on Feb. 16. The cans were each designed with unique styles by local artist Adam Turman who will be on-site to print special edition T-shirts for the can release at the anniversary party.


Where: 612Brew, 945 Broadway St.

When: Friday, Feb. 13

Cost: Free



Minneapolis Television Network’s 24-hour Telethon

The Minneapolis Television Network is moving its studios from Main Street to Northeast Minneapolis this year and is throwing a 24-hour telethon to raise money. The program begins at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13 on MTN’s three cable channels, 16, 17 and 75, and will not stop until 2 p.m. Saturday. The telethon will hail the return of Ian Rans from “Drinking with Ian,” a beloved — and liquored — MTN program from the past two decades, and Freaky Deaky, the famed and freaky cult classic. Music from locals Mark Mallman, Alexei Moon Casselle of Kill the Vultures and — rumor has it — Martin Dosh will also being Friday evening. Donors can call in, donate and become a part of this local TV phenomenon.


Where: MTN channels 16, 17 and 75

When: Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. to Feb. 14 at 2p.m.

Cost: Free