Twin Cities Pride Festival, a downtown gallery crawl and more

Credit: Solstice River XIX

Twin Cities Pride Festival

The Twin Cities Pride Festival is far more than a parade. It’s a weekend-long celebration with concerts, performances, speakers — and, yes, one giant parade in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The festival returns on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 to Loring Park with an endless list of activities, booths and both onsite and offsite events. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly events or a night out on the town, here are a few picks for what to do to celebrate the Twin Cities Pride Festival.


Twin Cities Pride Parade

Where: Hennepin Avenue

When: Sunday, June 28 at 11 a.m.

Cost: Free


The annual Twin Cities Pride parade is a summertime staple for the city’s downtown and Loring Park neighborhoods. The family-friendly parade along Hennepin Avenue will feature dozens of floats, performers and music. Try grabbing some early along the parade route, and don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle. And if the kids are coming along, think about bringing a bag for candy and swag from the floats. Andrea Jenkins, a writer, artist and former City Council senior policy aide, will be this year’s grand marshal.


Uptown Pride Block Party

Where: Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St.

When: Friday, June 26 from 6-10:30 p.m.

Cost: Free


Bryant Lake Bowl will once again host the Uptown Pride Block Party, and this year’s lineup includes plenty of live music, cold brews and Pride activities. The party will feature performances from L’Assassins, The Lioness, Mistress Ginger and more. A mobile vintage photo booth from Blue Goose will also be on site for an impromptu photo op. A portion of the event proceeds go to OutFront Minnesota.


Lily Tomlin

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall

When: Thursday, June 25 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $40-99


With a new Netflix series and movie premier just this year, legendary actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin is as busy as ever. Tomlin will take the stage at Orchestra Hall to perform some of her stand-up comedy as an early kick off to Twin Cities Pride festivities. She co-stars with Jane Fonda in a new Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” and she had the lead role in “Grandma,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival. However, she’s most known for her television and film work on “Nashville,” “Nine to Five,” “I Heart Huckabees,” and plenty more.


Northeast Food & Brew Jam

If any trifecta could make a quintessential summertime event in Northeast Minneapolis, craft beer, food trucks and live music may be that perfect combination. In that spirit, The Broadway is hosting the third Northeast Food & Brew Jam. It will have craft beer: 612Brew, Insight, Fulton, Bauhaus and more. It will have food trucks: Anchor Fish & Chips, Green + the Grain, Taco Riendo, among others. And it will have music: GB Leighton, Ross Kleiner & The Thrill, Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band and Wain McFarlane. The best part of this kid-friendly event may be that proceeds will be donated to East Side Neighborhood Services.

Where: The Broadway, 945 Broadway St. N.E.

When: Sunday, June 21 from 12-5 p.m.

Cost: $10, Children under 12 are free



Taking Heart

As many Minneapolitans celebrate Ramadan this year, mosques around the city are hosting a series of open houses for non-Muslims to join in on Iftar, the fast-breaking meal at sunset. The “Taking Heart” series from the Minnesota Council of Churches, in partnership from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, has been bringing together Muslims and non-Muslims for the past four years. As part of the program, 14 mosques will host the meals around Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and other cities. Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. 

Where: Various locations

When: June 20 through July 10

Cost: Free, registration required



Kid Fest

Minnesota Parent magazine is bringing back the second annual Kid Fest at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. This family-friendly event will have live music from the Teddy Bear Band and Duke Otherwise, face painting and children’s yoga with Blooma. Kid Fest also has a ton of booths, each with activities for little ones, and copies of the magazine’s Family Directory, a massive resource for events, destinations and other going-ons in the Twin Cities metro area. The magazine is another publication from The Journal and Southwest Journal publisher Minnesota Premier Publications.

Where: Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 Lake Harriet Pkwy.

When: Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free




Six Minneapolis art galleries are hosting a gallery crawl across the downtown arts district. Guests can wander through exhibitions at SooVAC, Instinct, Circa, Groveland, Burnet and Gamut galleries, with each venue showcasing its own exhibitions. Groveland presents travel-themed “Pictures from a Trip” and “Letters from Artists,” featuring more than 75 letters from Twin Cities artists. Gamut Gallery is showcasing “Middle Class Aspirations” with prints, photos and paintings from three street artists shining a spotlight on class division and inequality. This is just a taste of all the work on display during this downtown art crawl.

Where: Downtown art galleries

When: Thursday, June 18 from 5-9 p.m.

Cost: Free



Solstice River XIX

As the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam closes, Global Site Performance will put on its 19th and last-ever performance, dubbed “Solstice River,” on the Stone Arch Bridge on the longest day of the year. The site-specific performance in collaboration with Global Water Dances brings colorful dancers to both rooftops and riverbanks alike, in addition transforming the iconic bridge above the Mississippi River into a 1,200-foot-long “Blue Highway” with some help from the audience. Global Water Dances is a biennial event that began in 2011. It focuses on water issues through dance and spans six continents and 60 countries.

Where: Stone Arch Bridge

When: Saturday, June 20 at 5 p.m.

Cost: Free



Omforme + Circa

The North Loop’s Circa Gallery is partnering with Whittier vintage furniture shop Omforme to present a new exhibition. The store, named after a Norwegian word meaning “to transform,” will have its eclectic mixture of home décor shown alongside Circa Gallery’s most recent artwork, including work from Minneapolis-based Ellen Richman and several artists from around the country. Omforme is known for its unique goods, which are usually reimagined, repurposed or recreated from old or discarded furniture.

Where: Circa Gallery, 210 N. 1st St.

When: Now through July 11

Cost: Free