Friday, July 28
Big Midwest BBQ
What: The Great Midwest Rib Fest
When: 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
Where: Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake
It’s called the Great Midwest Rib Fest, so at the very least it’ll be large—outside, at Mystic Lake, where seven concerts will feature such acts as Ann Wilson of Heart(!), the Romantics(!?), and the Edgar Winter Group(!??). Also, barbecue, promised to be the best in the country—from Big Boned BBQ, Porky-N-Beans, and eight others competing for Best of the Fest, which you vote on. Learn more.
The Circus Meets Norse Mythology
What: Circus Juventas Presents: Nordrsaga
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Circus Juventas, 1270 Montreal Ave., St. Paul
Reconnect with the Scandinavian heritage you know nothing about: circus performers tumbling, swinging, glittering through the air as Vikings or giants or the Godesses of Asgard, or as Thor, the god of thunder—or as elves. It’s a blend of theater, dance, and circus acts with a Nordic twist because Minnesota. (Chris Hemsworth couldn’t have hurt.) If you know Juventas, you know it’ll be big. Learn more.
Saturday, July 29
One Woman, One Unicorn
What: The Pink Unicorn
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Illusion Theater, Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
It’s your last chance to catch this three-days-only, one-woman show from Ivey Award–winning Kate Guentzel, who plays Trisha, a woman living in a conservative town down in Texas whose teenage daughter has just come out as “gender queer.” While the daughter starts a chapter of the Gay and Straight Alliance at her high school, multiple characters weigh in. Trisha has to choose. Learn more.
Ice Cream & Puppets
What: Open Eye Figure Theatre Presents: The 15th Annual Driveway Tour
When: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis
You and your kids might not have had time to check out the three 30-minute puppet shows popping up around the Cities this summer through mid-August (where robots stop bullies, a cow turns into a boat, and a city girl befriends farm folk). Here’s your chance: Saturday’s the ice-cream social, featuring all three performances, ice cream cones, singalongs, face painting—too adorable. Learn more.
Sunday, July 30
How Elegant Is Your Ride?
What: 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance
When: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Excelsior Commons, 142 Lake St., Excelsior
More than 180 vintage cars roll up to the shores of Lake Minnetonka. But they’re not just any old cars. “Concours d’elegance” means “competition of elegance.” These are fancy, choosily picked old cars. A judges’ panel of auto aficionados will judge, and you, too, can contribute to the People’s Choice Award. Entertainers will perform and engage the audience through the day. Learn more.
A Place for Better Pottery
What: Minnesota Pottery Festival
When: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: 17614 240th St., Hutchinson
You want stronger personalities in the pottery around your home than “sale at IKEA” and “saw at Target.” So you drive an hour west of the Twin Cities, where 35 potters nationwide will showcase their wares this weekend, firing Japanese-style earthenware on site and teaching you about ceramics. Compete in the Pottery Olympic competitions. Let your kids get their hands dirty. Learn more.