July 2018's Out and About Arts and Entertainment Picks

Comedy, plenty of wine, and a taste of the Caribbean at your front door. It doesn’t get any better than these out and about entertainment picks.

A cowboy roping a calf at the Park Rapids Rodeo and Bull Ride.
Park Rapids Rodeo and Bull Ride

photo by Dan Hubbell

The Thunder of Drums 7/2 

This Drum Corps International show features eight of the nation’s best drum corps—marching band and color guard—in Mankato, including teams from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Texas.

PRCA/Xtreme Bulls Rodeo & Bull Ride 7/4-7 

The 40th annual Park Rapids rodeo and bull ride wrangles world-class rodeo stars competing in seven events. As a bonus, take in motocross, nightly dances, and kid’s sheep riding.

Digital Extra: That’s Bull

Watch bull riders in Park Rapids rough it during the Xtreme Bulls Rodeo & Bull Ride, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Michael Che 7/12 

A Daily Show vet and actor who appeared alongside Chris Rock in Top Five, Che is best known for co-anchoring Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” since 2014. His summer tour stops at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis.

Lakefront Music Fest 7/13-14 

Lakefront Music Fest in Prior Lake is half rock, half country, and 100 percent summer indulgence. Friday night’s rock lineup includes Young the Giant (“Cough Syrup”), COIN, and the Revivalists, while Saturday features country co-headliners Hunter Hayes (“Wanted”) and Gretchen Wilson, plus Chris Hawkey and Thompson Square.

Family Concert: Courage and Triumph 7/14 

The Minnesota Orchestra’s first full sensory-friendly (inclusive for all ages and abilities) concert at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall includes a 16-year-old cellist and excerpts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, West Side Story, and the finale of Stravinsky’s “Firebird.”

Agate Days 7/14-15 

Moose Lake has the world’s largest agate, plus the biggest mineral show in the region. For the Agate Stampede, two dump trucks empty thousands of rocks, agates, and some $400 in quarters along Elm Avenue. How fast are your fingers?

Dragon Festival 7/14-15 

Watch dragon boat racing—with 18-20 rowers per giant canoe-like craft—at this pan-Asian festival in St. Paul’s Phalen Regional Park. The weekend’s activities include a lion dance, martial arts, food, and community booths.

American Barnstormers Tour 7/15-17 2018 

Vintage plane enthusiasts can inspect 10 biplanes at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport in a weekend of aviation history. Sessions led by period-dressed crews, demos by aerobatic pilot Mike Rinker, and a Model T car exhibit add to the nostalgia.

Mamma Mia! 7/17-8/5 

Abba’s pop hits, from “Dancing Queen” to “Take a Chance on Me,” hit the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul. Local theater lovers can catch Caroline Innerbichler as bright-eyed Sophie after her recent stint as Sandy in Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest 7/20-21 

The Ohio Players, famous for their hit “Love Rollercoaster,” and New Orleans pianist Marcia Ball lead a funky weekend in St. Paul’s Mears Park. Free and reserved seating is available.

Trevor Noah 7/21 

The host of The Daily Show—named one of the world’s most influential people by Time—brings his acerbic wit live to Mystic Showroom in Prior Lake.

Fine Spirits Classic 7/26 

Sample cocktails from many of Minnesota’s best mixologists, take home cocktail recipes, and enjoy gourmet small bites to go with the refreshments at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Waconia Wine Festival 7/27-29 

Three Waconia wineries within a five-mile radius—Sovereign Estate, Parley Lake Winery, and Schram Vineyards—host a mini tasting tour that features music, food, and art set in Minnesota’s wine country.

Twin Cities Carifest 7/28-29 

A family-friendly weekend devoted to Caribbean culture, including a parade, live music, and festive food, takes over West River Road along the Mississippi in Minneapolis.