Weekend Best Bets: September 1–3

Your to-do list this weekend includes nerdery, jazz, and pie in Grand Marais

Friday, September 1

Nerds Fall in Love on Nicollet

What: MetaCon 2017
When: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
MetaCon is a meta-convention—indiscriminately inviting all colors of subculture obsessive to the Hyatt Regency for panels and exhibits ranging from anime-inspired cosplay contests to video game tournaments, from Dance Dance Revolution to adorably conceived dating advice panels(!). Plus: nerdy hip-hop and table top games. Learn more.

Musical Gumbo at Dakota

What: Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band
When: 7 p.m., 9 p.m.
Where: Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
New Orleans sounds like Henry Butler. The pianist rounds up his blues-centered Jambalaya quartet for a night combining jazz, classical, R&B, Caribbean, and pop influences, delivered in a distinctive way critics have gushed about for years, reminded of Chopin and Thelonious Monk amid funk rhythms and percussive playing. Learn more.

Saturday, September 2

A Gangster Haven No More

What: Bars, Bootleggers, & Booze Bus Tour
When: 1–4 p.m.
Where: Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
Our small Twin Cities distillers might have led very different lives if they’d lived in St. Paul during its “gangster era” through ’20s prohibition, when Midwest bootleggers exploited police corruption to smuggle booze. Tour new distilleries—including 11 Wells and Du Nord Cocktail Room—and get to know our history with alcohol. Learn more.


What: A Nightmare on Elm Street Double Feature
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis
A “professional Freddy Krueger impersonator” hosts a 30th birthday showing of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3—a movie critics hailed as unintentionally funny and having special effects. Parkway screens the cult classic along with the original in 35 mm, plus ’80s toy commercials and oh-God-make-it-stop Freddy Krueger music videos. Learn more.

Sunday, September 3

Tips from a State Fair Contender

What: Blue-Ribbon Bake-Off
When: 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Where: 877 Grand Ave., St. Paul
State Fair ribbon winner Randi Madden shares baking tips (if you’d like to win a ribbon yourself) while making white-ribbon cherry chocolate walnut bars, cranberry orange crunch muffins, almond shortbread, and Mexican hot-chocolate brownies—which are just a lot of words to remind you that fall weather pairs well with baking. Learn more.

Pie in the Great Marsh

What: Old Fashioned Pie and Ice Cream Social
When: Noon–4 p.m.
Where: Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, 28 Moose Pond Drive, Grand Marais
Go north this weekend: Grand Marais’ Chik-Wauk Center will have a spread of locally homemade pies and ice cream, a suggested donation of $5 per slice. The annual “sidewalk sale” puts discounts on gift shop goods, and guest author Timothy McDonnell will sign copies of The Contemplative Paddler’s Fireside Companion. Learn more.