August 2018's Out and About Arts and Entertainment Picks

Sam Smith, a secret garden party, and cat video festival round out a purrfect lineup of August events

People at the Cat Video Festival at CHS Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Cat Video Festival

photo by hannah brugman

WE Fest 8/2-4 

Detroit Lakes hosts some of country’s biggest stars, including Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, and Florida Georgia Line. It’s an ideal weekend to sip beers and camp under the stars.

Cat Video Festival 8/8 

Watch the year’s best cat videos with 10,000 feline enthusiasts. Music, a kid zone with inflatables, fireworks, an artist alley, and food and drink from the St. Paul Saints’ concessions complete the night at CHS Field in St. Paul. 

Legends and Logging Days 8/9-12 

The festival kicks off with Water Wars in downtown Park Rapids, and also boasts archery and tomahawk demos, chainsaw art, and historic demonstrations. 

Irish Fair 8/10-12

Enjoy Irish culture, music, food, and performing arts with an expected 100,000 partiers on Harriet Island in St. Paul. The children’s area features native Irish dogs, Irish instruments to play, and more.

Steve Martin and Martin Short 8/10

Take in two legends at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch. Comedy Central ranked Steve Martin the sixth-greatest stand-up comic, and Martin Short’s career includes a memorable stint on Saturday Night Live.

Reba McEntire 8/11

Over the decades, Reba McEntire has won 12 American Music Awards for Favorite Country Female Artist and was the star of her own TV sitcom. Sit back at Mystic Lake Amphitheater in Prior Lake to familiar tunes including “You’re Gonna Be” and “Can’t Even Get the Blues.”

Square Lake Festival 8/11

Besides a lineup of local musicians including Night Moves, Lady Midnight, Erik Koskinen, Under Violet, and Pieta Brown at this Stillwater outdoor festival, indie films play between acts inside a converted barn.

Sam Smith 8/14

Since “Stay With Me” hit the radio in 2014, the British singer has become a favorite old-soul crooner who expertly mixes pop and R&B. Get ready for all of the feelings at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Rod Stewart 8/15

Known as Sir Roderick David Stewart to some, this British icon still makes listeners swoon with his bluesy rock and standards. See him at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Dollop 8/16-17

Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds’ hilarious podcast on American history stops in Minneapolis at the Cedar Cultural Center and the Pantages Theatre.

Minnesota Senior Games 8/16-19

Cheer on senior athletes—50 and better—as they take on archery, badminton, basketball, cycling, golf, swimming, volleyball, and many more sports in Mankato

Rhythmically Speaking 8/16-18

Rhythmically Speaking’s open call for choreographers who specialize in American vernacular dance means Southern Theater in Minneapolis fills with hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, African movement, and more for this annual production.

Secret Garden Party: Glensheen Gala 8/18

This year, the gala at the Glensheen Mansion’s 12-acre historic estate focuses on its gorgeous gardens. Take a trip to Duluth to explore normally off-limits spaces, find a secret bar (or two), and taste some British Isles-inspired refreshments.

Art in the Garden 8/18-19

In addition to the expected greenery, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska has a weekend of art planned. Peruse more than 30 art booths and hear musicians like Mary DuShane on American fiddle and Nick Jordan, who plays guitar, mandolin, and foot percussion.

Farm to Fair Weekend 8/25-26

The Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River teaches your family how the animals at the State Fair go from pen to prize—and lets you try judging yourself.