May 2018's Out and About Arts and Entertainment Picks

The members of Mixtape Side B posing on the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Mixtape Side B

photo by Bill Cameron


Festival of Nations 5/3-6 

For four days, almost 100 ethnic groups fill Saint Paul Rivercentre for performances, food, and bazaars, with goods from Bolivia, Russia, Thailand, and more. Dozens of traditional demos show how to make African warrior bows, raffia costumes, and Mongolian yurts.

Cinco de Mayo 5/5 

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with an explosion of life, color, and, if you’re brave, a jalapeño-eating contest on the day of a parade, live entertainment, family activities, history, and more in West St. Paul.

Grillfest 5/5-6

It’s all-you-can-eat at this ode to summer grilling, and as a bonus, some wine and beer samples are thrown in, too. Take a minute to stand in CHS Field and inhale the aromas before you start exploring.

Tony Bennett 5/10

The celebrated jazz and pop vocalist’s most recent album, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, just won a 2018 Grammy, which is only the latest accolade in his 70-year career. You’ll leave your heart with Tony Bennett when he takes the stage at the State Theatre.

Annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour 5/11-13

In a log home in the woods, a barn made into a gallery, a hilltop studio with a river view, and four other rural hideaways, more than 60 potters along the upper St. Croix River invite you to see and buy their ceramics.

Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival 5/11-13

Sheep are the stars in Lake Elmo, but a mix of other fiber-producing animals share the spotlight during animal shows, family activities, and demos on herding dogs, blacksmithing, looms, and more.

Fantastic Tales 5/13

The Saint Paul Civic Symphony’s annual Mother’s Day concert features four pieces, including Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” and Saint-Saens’ “Cello Concerto in A Minor” performed by cellist Cicely Parnas, the winner of the 2016 Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artists Competition.

Shania Twain 5/15

There’s nothing like letting your hair down and belting, “Man! I feel like a woman!” at Xcel Energy Center. This is Twain’s first tour since 2015, so you can bet she’s ready to party with new songs off her 2017 album, NOW, as well as her Billboard chart-toppers from 1998.

Caroline Smith 5/17

This Minnesota-bred singer-songwriter’s style has evolved from folk to pop and soul, but her music’s common thread is heart. Hear her perform at the Cedar Cultural Center with Eric Mayson.

Mixtape Side B 5/18-20

B-boy J-Sun and krumper Herbert Johnson III are bringing urban choreography to the stage at The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts to examine inequality, acceptance, and appropriation.

Duluth Dylan Fest 5/19-27

Meander along the 1.8 miles of Dylan Way to learn about the artist and his hometown, Duluth, before catching the fest’s concerts, Bob Dylan-themed art show, poetry, and more.

Into the Woods Through 5/20

See what happens after “happily ever after” on Lakeshore Players Theatre’s new stage at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center. In true fairy-tale form, it’s a musical.

Memorial Day Weekend 5/26-28

Walk through Historic Fort Snelling’s stone barracks to hear how our armed forces had a hand in United States history, and on Monday, see a “living timeline” of our military through the ages.

The Head and the Heart 5/30

After a two-year break, the Seattle indie-folk band released its acclaimed third album, Signs of Light, fleshing out their folk-rock sound with brighter guitars and mature lyrics. Add Grouplove’s indie pop to the show at the Armory in Minneapolis, and you’ve got a night of six-stringed timelessness and downright catchiness.

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