Friday, April 20
Irish Soul Meets MN Pride
What: “Beautiful Vision: The Essential Songs of Van Morrison featuring Mick Sterling”
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Ames Center Black Box Theatre, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville
You know him as the smoky-voiced, Joe Cocker-esque soul singer who has worked in the Twin Cities for some 40 years. Now, Mick Sterling, a Minnesota Music Hall of Fame inductee, performs with a 14-piece band in the Ames Center’s intimate, small-stage Black Box Theatre to recreate the rocking tunes of “Irish Soul” singer-songwriter Van Morrison, including such classic singalong hits as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Wild Nights,” and “Domino.” Learn more.
Women, Wine, and What to Wear
What: Spring Release
When: 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Where: Carlos Creek Winery, 6693 County Road 34 NW, Alexandria
Get your girls together for a wine night in Alexandria—and get the scoop on this year’s spring trends in fashion, hair, and health at the same time. Local boutiques, clothing lines, a salon, and a fitness club host this annual show on the grounds of Carlos Creek Winery, with wine by the glass, appetizers available, and a DJ. Spring cleaning is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to learn what’s in and what needs to go. Learn more.
Saturday, April 21
Gonna Be Epic
What: Epic eSports Tournament
When: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Mystic Lake Casino, Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake
Mystic Lake kicks off the first Epic eSports Tournament—meaning competitive video gaming in the hotel’s ballrooms. Truly skilled players will vie for $10,000 in cash prizes just by picking up a controller. Tournaments in such hot-right-now games as League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Fortnite, and Overwatch take place all weekend. You don’t have to be incredible, either. Opportunities abound for all skill levels. Learn more.
A New Beer for a Folksy Blend
What: Back 40s Beer Bonanza and Rock Fest
When: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: Day Block Brewing Company, 1105 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis
Catch local music and new brews at Day Block: The Back 40s band (referring to the age range) specializes in alt-country, Americana, and “Midwest rock ‘n’ roll,” while band Buffalo Sleeper streamlines its influences, from post-punk to mid-century pop. The new Back 40 IPA, Day Block says, goes great with its pizza and sandwiches. Hear new material from the Backs 40s and take home a growler. Learn more.
Sunday, April 22
What: Minnesota State University International Festival 2018
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Minnesota State University, Mankato, Centennial Student Union, 620 South Rd., Mankato
Join Mankato State University in celebrating internationality. Live performances, activities, and food reflecting global cultures come after an opening flag parade showcasing this year’s theme of “connecting borders.” Activities include a silent auction and a bazaar. Make paper-plate African masks, try out the hijab-wearing experience, learn your name in other languages, take up South Asian beading, and do much more. Learn more.
There’s No Place Like Home
What: Artistry Presents Home featuring artist Chris Willcox
When: 1-10 p.m.
Where: Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington
Chris Willcox’s exhibit, Home, closes this weekend, making this your last chance to glimpse how the artist exposes meaning in the ordinary world. Her paintings focus on overlooked objects, and the family-oriented collection stresses paying attention to the smaller details in life rather than always craving the big picture. Home explores forgotten living-room corners, humble nature, and the family and friends we might take for granted. Learn more.