Little Free Library Festival
Little libraries have inspired one big movement to connect people around books. The Little Free Library Festival will celebrate these tiny libraries with volunteers and Minneapolis police building 100 Little Free Libraries, a massive book swap, a dog parade, a “tutus on wheels” challenge and much more. The event at Minnehaha Park is especially connected to Southwest Minneapolis thanks to Kingfield resident and author Margret Aldrich who literally wrote the book on the Little Free Library movement. The first-ever festival will also feature live music from the Brass Messengers, random acts of poetry and pop-up puppet shows.
Where: Minnehaha Park, 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr.
When: Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Explore Downtown Living
If you’ve ever considered living downtown, now’s your chance to check out residential communities across the core of Minneapolis. The Downtown Council is once again hosting its Explore Downtown Living tour and this year includes tours of 29 communities, from Velo to Vue.
The free event allows potential downtown residents, or even downtowners looking for new housing opportunities, to tour buildings and units at their own pace. Last year, the initiative hosted approximately 8,500 tours in the Central Business District, Downtown East/Mill District, Loring Park, North Loop and Northeast areas around downtown.
There are plenty of new buildings downtown that are participating this year, including Edition near U.S. Bank Stadium, Mill City Quarter near the Mississippi riverfront and 700 Central near the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis.
Another Explore Downtown Living day on Sept. 17 will also bring a couple more newly built communities into the mix, including Encore in Downtown East and Nolo Flats in the North Loop.
Participants can walk or bike from building to building or park for free at select spots. They can also take advantage of discounts and free stuff from a couple dozen local businesses, including Red Cow, Whole Foods and Lowry Hill Meats.
Participants can register for the event at exploredtliving.com.
Where: Downtown neighborhoods
When: May 21 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Urban Farmer’s Almanac
Interested in a new crop of variety shows? Pianist and writer Dan Chouinard is bringing a live, written-for-ready variety show about raising food and living close to the ground in the city. “The Urban Farmer’s Almanac” features a new lineup of guests each show, from food writer Beth Dooley, Christopher MacLeod of Laune Bread and many more local business owners, performers and gardeners. The show, a part of Theater Latte Da’s NEXT Festival, is a new format for the local theater company. “This is a seed of a show, nourished by a desire to celebrate urban earthiness in its many forms. Here’s hoping it takes root and grows into something useful and beautiful,” Chouinard said in a statement.
Where: Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE
When: May 12, 14 and 15
Artist Ramses Alarcon-Sanchez blends photography and mixed media art, reality and dreams, and the self and image in Gamut Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Ineffable.” The series showcases the work of Alarcon-Sanchez, who took inspiration from his journeys with shamans and medicine men from Central and South American traditions, to manipulate and embellish photography from 11 collaborators to create something entirely new. The artist uses ink, beads, sewn materials and more to challenge the ideas of beauty, our obsession with perfection and our consciousness of self. Gamut will host an opening reception with live music on Saturday, May 14 from 7-11 p.m.
Where: Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St.
When: May 14 through June 11
Best of the Wurst
Best of the Wurst is a celebration of charcuterie, craft cider — and ranked choice voting. The celebration at Sociable Cider Werks, hosted by FairVote Minnesota in collaboration with the Northeast Minneapolis-based taproom and the Beer Dabbler, is a festival and ranked election of artisan sausages created by some of the Twin Cities’ top chefs. Best of the Wurst will have a sausage tasting featuring two-dozen local purveyors, in addition to live local music, cider and craft beer. Attendees will use ranked choice voting to select the winner of a people’s choice award and a panel will use the voting method to elect their choices for Best of the Wurst.
Where: Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE
When: May 15 from 2-6 p.m.
Cost: $35, includes tasting and one drink
Lake Street Bike & Brew Tour
Summer is fast approaching, and what better way to get in the warm-weather mood than a bike and brewery tour? The Lake Street Council is throwing such a tour across the breweries and distilleries of Lake Street in South Minneapolis. For 10 bucks, participants get a commemorative pint glass designed by local artist Luke Lieske, one free drink and access to drink specials and discounts at taprooms like Harriet Brewing and Du Nord Craft Spirits. The self-guided tour begins on the Midtown Greenway across from Freewheel Bike Shop and includes prize giveaways.
Where: Lake Street breweries and distilleries
When: Saturday, May 14 from 1-6 p.m.
612Brew Art-A-Whirl Bash
Northeast Minneapolis-based 612Brew is once again hosting an art and music bash during Art-A-Whirl weekend. The brewery’s party this year features two days of local music from the likes of Mac Irv, Nooky Jones and Hustle Rose, along with a healthy dose of food truck fare. The bash, presented by Go 95.3, also includes artists Dogfish Media, the Bow Tie Shoppe, Melinda Wolff, O’Briens Custom Metal Art and EmLavArt who will be showing off their creations. The brewery will be serving six of its most popular beers, including a re-release of its German-inspired Radler. Guests who present a receipt for art purchases at a gallery during Art-A-Whirl will receive a free pint.
Where: 612Brew, 945 Broadway St. NE
When: Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21