Summer in the Cities


Beer Dabbler

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with the perfect pairing of local beer and local food! The Beer Dabbler is teaming up with Twin Cities Pride to host a celebration of 20 local breweries and 20 local food trucks at Twin Cities Pride on June 22. This is the first time such an intelligent pairing of breweries and food trucks has been made, and the inclusion of local breweries and trucks makes this event a true celebration of Minnesota.

Though the official pairing list of breweries and trucks hasn’t been unveiled, there are some trucks that have created unique partnerships with local breweries. Nate Dogs makes homemade beer mustards using Minnesota beers. Gastrotruck usually offers a beer-braised protein on their menu. For the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival, Potter’s Pasties created a Pumpkin-Whiskey ice cream that was specifically made to be used in an Ice Cream and Oatmeal Stout Float. Finally, Stanleys on Wheels just unveiled their new truck featuring Grainbelt Nordeast graphics. Messy Guiseppe will be there with plenty of messy love requiring napkins.

If you can’t wait until Pride for perfect pairings, Harriet Brewing, Fulton Beer, and Lift Bridge Beer Company all feature local food trucks at their respective taproom hours.

But that’s not all! The event also features live entertainment from DJ Jake Rudh and Apollo Cobra on the Lavender Magazine Stage. People can silently rock out at Schell’s Silent Disco using wireless headphones, fool around at Stanley’s NE Bar Room’s Dunk Tank, or hunt for treasure in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Real Pirates Treasure Hunt.

Be sure to mark your calendars for a fantastic Pride Friday filled with food, drink, and friends. Tickets are onsale for $35, and a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit Twin Cities Pride. For more information and to purchase tickets, check out

Summer in the Twin Cities is bookended by art.  Kicking off the season in mid-May is Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis and the first weekend in August brings us the art triumvirate of the Uptown Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival, and Powderhorn Art Fair.  Not only separated by two months of steamy summer, the two weekend art events are also clearly horses of a different color.  All events are free and open to the public, but the first event is a sprawling experience that wends its way throughout Northeast Minneapolis while the second set in August promises a more concentrated art experience, just spread out between three locales in Minneapolis.  Each has its own flavor and draw.  None are to be missed.


Art-A-Whirl & Art Fairs

17th Annual Art-A-Whirl
May 18-20
Northeast Minneapolis

Sponsored by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Art-A-Whirl is the largest open-studio tour in the country. It’s a great opportunity to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with the artists, and purchase original artwork. Prepare to tour more than 50 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis, including studio buildings, art galleries, homes, storefronts, businesses, and restaurants.

49th Annual Uptown Art Fair
August 3-5
Lake St and Hennepin Ave,

An average of 375,000 people attend the Uptown Art Fair annually, making it second only to the Minnesota State Fair in statewide event attendance.  Concentrated on Lake, Hennepin, and “The Mall,” Uptown is ripe with professional works of art ranging from limited editions to one-of-a-kind treasures in each of 12 media including sculpture, painting, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, and more by over 350 artists from around the world.

13th Annual Loring Park Art Festival
August 4-5
Loring Park,

Set in this beautiful urban, tree-lined park, booths line the walkway and are surrounded by the tranquil pond, treating its guests to a virtual outdoor gallery of the best work being created. This festival features juried artwork thus assuring the highest quality provided by 140 artists in all media.

21st Annual Powderhorn Art Fair
August 4-5
Powderhorn Park,

Powderhorn Art Fair, one of the finest juried regional art fairs in the country, celebrates artistic expression and community engagement. Set in a pastoral, 66-acre city park, Powderhorn Art Fair features 184 regional and national artists of varied disciplines, as well as a Community Showcase and Group Exhibitors from the Powderhorn area.

For even greater ease in your art enjoyment in August, art lovers can download a Metro Transit Art Pass for free rides on Aug. 4-5. The pass can be used to take a bus or light rail from home or a nearby Park & Ride lot to all three fairs. The pass is also valid for travel between the three fairs, allowing art fair visitors to avoid parking hassles and traffic delays.   For help planning a trip on Metro Transit to any of the art fairs, call 612-373-3333 to speak with a transit representative or use the interactive Trip Planner at


Music in the Zoo Series

Enjoy exotic animals and exceptional music at the Minnesota Zoo’s 2012 Subway Music in the Zoo series. Starting with Feist on June 2  and ending with Little Feat on September 2, the Zoo will be hosting concerts with top-notch musicians in its outdoor Weesner Family Amphitheater.

Each ticket allows guests to enter the zoo at 4:00 pm to visit the animals and grab a bite to eat at the Grizzly Coast Cafe or Alton’s BBQ. Seating for most concerts starts at 7:00 pm. Concerts happen come rain or come shine, so be prepared to enjoy that unpredictable Minnesota weather.


River’s Edge

Be sure to check out GLBT musicians Brandi Carlile on June 20 and 21, Emmylou Harris on June 28, and Rufus Wainwright on August 11. With the May 1 release of Wainwright’s new cd, Out of the Game, this is going to be one concert you’re not going to want to miss.

Tickets for all shows are sold at all Ticketmaster locations, online at, and at The Electric Fetus. For a full list of musical acts and more information, visit Get your tickets today for what promises to be a wild and rocking concert series!

St. Paul’s Harriet Island will be rocking with the debut of the River’s Edge Music Festival the weekend of June 23-24.  Sure, we happen to know of another rather important event happening that weekend, but the two cities are close…and acts like the Scissor Sisters, Dave Matthews Band, Tool, Poliça, and An Horse are worth the commute between the Twin Cities.  How can you pass up the opportunity to see The Flaming Lips live?  Those guys are crazy!  Crazy good.

The City of St. Paul has partnered up with Live Nation for a 5-year run of such events, this being the maiden voyage with 30 bands in two days on an island in the Mississippi. Mayor Chris Coleman has said that  food trucks, beer, and four stages will keep fans busy at the tune of $110 for a wristband, with Silver and Gold VIP packages that include various parking, food, and beverage privileges, too.

Special efforts in making the event even more friendly to St. Paul will be made in terms of sustainability and community-building before, during, and after the event. There will be comprehensive recycling efforts, food composting, water hydration stations, ride share to support carpooling, bicycle valet stations, shuttles to the island, and an area designed solely to engage music fans in diverse environmental and communal not-for-profit organizations.  River’s Edge Music Festival will also partner with Children’s Cancer Research Fund to raise both awareness and funds in conjunction with the festival.

To read more about the River’s Edge Music Festival, check out the other 25 bands scheduled to perform, and buy tickets:

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