Every fall, migrating creatures well known to Minneapolitans get out of Dodge for the coming winter. These include birds of all different kinds, monarchs and even bats. Minnesota monarchs emerge from their chrysalis, transformed into bright orange butterflies, and embark on a trek southward, all the way to Mexico. It’s quite a journey, and calls for a bit of a celebration to send these beautiful creatures on their way. This time of year especially draws attention because of the precarious state of the monarch butterfly population.
With the loss of milkweed throughout Minnesota, naturalist and environmental groups have taken the annual monarch migration as an opportunity to provide education about the importance of protecting this vital species, as well as the milkweed that provides their food. Many birds take flight in the fall, for warmer climates. Here are some events that will help you say goodbye, even just for a little while.
Minneapolis Monarch Festival/Festival de la Monarca
This annual event is a joyful party of all things monarch and includes a parade, arts activities, sales of plants that monarchs like to munch on, games and lots of food. Many artists will be on hand, offering opportunities to make your own screen or linocut block print, textile arts or even paper planes and other paper-folding creations. There’s also a four-acre butterfly and pollinator-friendly area called the Naturescape to explore and discover. Games include bingo, Jeopardy and a monarch migration game. For food, there will be tacos, tamales, ice cream, mini-donuts, burritos, paella and more.
When: 10 a.m–4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7
Where: 2401 E. Minnehaha Ave.
Fall Migration Guided Bird Walks
The Friends of the Roberts Bird Sanctuary invites visitors to watch migrating birds on this meditative nature walk.
When: 8 a.m.–10 a.m. Saturdays through Sept. 21
Where: 4124 Roseway Road
Puppet Show Series: Way of the Monarch
Laurie Witzkowski’s puppet production “The Way of the Monarch” follows the monarch’s transformation through its iterations as egg, larva, caterpillar, chrysalis and, finally, butterfly, and then follows it on its miraculous path south in this beautiful story told through artfully created hand-and-rod puppets made of recycled materials.
When: 10:30 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14
Where: Bloomington Education and Visitor Center Auditorium, 3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington
Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall
Theaster Gates’ multifaceted practice includes sculpture, installation, performance and architectural interventions. “Assembly Hall” brings a number of the artist’s collections into a museum context for the first time. The Walker’s galleries are transformed into a total work of art, transposing his collections and studio environment into four immersive rooms. A free opening day discussion between Gates and LAXART director Hamza Walker will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.
When: Exhibit runs Sept. 5–Jan. 12
Where: Walker Art Center
Cost: Included with museum admission
During the Night of the Long Knives, a brutal purge in 1934 Nazi Germany, a group of gay men struggle to survive. The BAND Group partnered with Out Front on this production.
When: Sept. 5–Sept. 15
Where: Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis Greek Festival
Also known as Taste of Greece, this three-day festival offers authentic Greek food, live music and cultural events.
When: Friday–Sunday, Sept. 6–Sept. 8
Where: St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S.
Linden Hills Woofstock
Animal nonprofits will share their stories alongside live music, pet demos, a dog fashion show, local artisans and food trucks.
When: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7
Where: West 43rd Street between Upton and Sheridan avenues
Music in the Chapel: Nirmala Rajasekar and Friends
Nirmala is known for her talents in exploring South Indian classical (a.k.a. Carnatic) music to create collaborative projects with other music traditions, including western classical and jazz.
When: 3 p.m.–4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8
Where: Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Building Bridges & Breaking Bread: East 38th Street Bridge Pop Up Feast
This second annual community dinner on the bridge is an opportunity for neighbors to meet and have intentional conversation around their unique stories and shared future. Local businesses will provide food for any dietary preference, and there will be kids’ activities.
When: 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11
Where: On the East 38th Street bridge, between 1st and 3rd avenues
Ride The Cyclone
After the lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short, a mechanical fortune teller in limbo invites each to tell a musical story and win a chance to return to life.
When: Sept. 11–Oct. 20
Where: Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S.
Fulton Fall Festival
Come for a bike parade with the Southwest High School Marching Band at 11 a.m., live music, food, a petting zoo, inflatables, a silent auction, carnival games, a marketplace, a used book sale and much more.
When: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14
Where: Pershing Field Park, 3523 W. 48th St.
Fuller Fall Fun
Families and people of all ages are invited to play outside games and activities including pickleball, badminton, cornhole and more.
When: 1 p.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14
Where: Fuller Recreation Center, 4802 Grand Ave. S.
Eat Street Food, Music, & Arts Festival
After attracting more than 6,500 attendees in 2018, this celebration of the Whittier neighborhood is back with live music, performances, international fare, and activities from the neighborhood’s many arts and cultural organizations.
When: 1 p.m.–8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15
Where: Nicollet Avenue, between 26th and 28th streets
Cafe Scientifique: Climate Change Solutions — A Trillion Trees
Professor Lee E. Frelich will discuss the possibility of curbing climate change with a global Trillion Tree Movement. Learn more about the underlying science and how Minnesota’s forests are already impacted by our warming climate.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17
Where: Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, 810 W. Lake St.
Cost: $6–$15, sliding scale