May 2018 Minnesota Event Calendar

Art-A-Whirl, the Minnesota Lynx Opener, Skyline Mini Golf, and more make May’s events a hole-in-one

A drag car racing at Brainerd International Raceway during Wednesday night drags.
The only legal way to race a cop: Take on retired state trooper Larry White and his fast cop car at Brainerd International Raceway this summer.

photo by Steve Kohls, Brainerd Dispatch

Wednesday Night Drags 5/2-8/29

Up north, Brainerd’s drag-racing organization is just “BIR,” but for pretty much everyone else, the official name is Brainerd International Raceway & Resort. On May 2, the semi-regular Wednesday Night Drags 2018 season begins. It’s basically the legal version of The Fast and the Furious with normal cars. So, yes, that means for $25 and a helmet, you can, in fact, drive your Suburban on BIR’s world-class drag strip as many times as you want. You can also opt for autocross (a speed course), drifting, or just hanging out to watch.

Digital Extra: Suburban Circuit

Normal cars take to the Brainerd International Raceway for Wednesday Night Drags. Watch them peel out and consider taking your Suburban to the max (helmet required).

100-Mile Garage Sale 5/4-6

Spanning from Hastings to Winona (and across the river to Wisconsin’s Fountain City and Prescott) are 100 miles of second-hand treasures. All sales are listed at, but you’ll still have to do some sifting—last year’s sale had 282 postings. For a breather from rummaging through wedding dresses, furniture, clothes, exercise equipment, man-cave must-haves, vintage video games, and so much more, there are plenty of small-town eateries and inns along the way.

Heart of the Beast Theatre's MayDay Parade in Minneapolis' Powderhorn Park neighborhood.
MayDay Parade

photo by Max Haynes

Mayday 5/6

Puppets tower above, dragons roam the streets, humans become animals, and the beat of the music keeps everyone going at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre’s MayDay parade. Spectators line Bloomington Avenue in south Minneapolis as the procession heads to the Tree of Life Ceremony in Powderhorn Park. There, hundreds of dancers, puppets, and a live orchestra help awaken a sacred tree as a bright-red boat ferries a sun puppet across the lake. It’s an unusual party with entertainment, food, and community booths.

Digital Extra: Mad on May Day

See highlights from last year’s MayDay Parade, by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, featuring creative, huge puppetry and the annual Tree of Life Ceremony.

The Symphony Ball: Sounds Of The Cinema 5/12

The Minnesota Orchestra has collaborated with other non-classical acts, like Boyz II Men, Dessa, and Cloud Cult, and now they’re teaming up with Twin Cities indie darling Jeremy Messersmith. He’ll perform two songs with the ensemble before launching into a 30-minute set sans strings. The night, which doubles as a fundraiser, also features the orchestra’s performance of memorable movie scores. Tickets include a pre-party, post-concert dance party, and complimentary refreshments, so the night doesn’t have to stop after the encore.

Art-A-Whirl 5/18-20

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association’s annual local-art spectacular expands every year. Artists take over Northeast Minneapolis’ many warehouse spaces, including the Grain Belt Brewery Complex and the Northrup King Building, to show off and sell paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and all sorts of art for all budgets. Many area music venues, craft breweries, restaurants, and other local businesses plan block parties and special events for the weekend, as well.

A team photo of the Minnesota Lynx after winning the WNBA Championship.
Minnesota Lynx

photo by NBAE/Getty Images

Minnesota Lynx Opener 5/20

The Minnesota Lynx are a dynasty, making it to the last six out of seven WNBA Finals and taking home four championships. After Target Center’s renovations, they’re back on a home court that looks better than ever. The season starts with a rematch of last year’s finals against the Los Angeles Sparks.

Skyline mini golf at the Walker Art Center.
Skyline mini golf

photo by Gene Pittman, Courtesy Walker Art Center

Skyline Mini Golf 5/22-9/2

The Walker Art Center’s artist-designed mini golf is a warm-weather staple. Across 10 holes, aim your ball into all sorts of contraptions on the Walker’s outdoor terrace, and grab a beer. Choose your own adventure at hole one, live out your lingering Winter Olympic fantasies at the curling hole, and get playful at a literal (toy) block party—and those are just the first three holes. Even if you aren’t much of a putter, it’s a chance to play on and around some creative works of art with stellar city views.

Minnesota American Indian Stories & Storytellers Film Festival + American Indian Music Fest 5/26-27

One weekend trip to the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post gives a mere hint of the stories and artistry of Minnesota’s native peoples. On Saturday, the Onamia museum showcases films by and about the state’s Native Americans, with stories of Standing Rock, Native American veterans, and the Dakota War. Stick around for post-screening Q+As with directors or the films’ subjects. The next day, watch five of Minnesota’s talented indigenous musical acts span forms from traditional hand-drum songs to rap.

Soundset 5/27

About 35,000 hip-hop fans assemble at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the Soundset Festival, one of the largest music events in the state. Local independent label Rhymesayers curates the lineup with a mix of old and new names—this year including Atmosphere, Erykah Badu, the Wu-Tang Clan, Migos, and Tyler, the Creator. The hip-hop deluge also features a custom-car show, a skate park, breakdancing battles, merchandise tents, food vendors, and artists painting live.

An Enemy of the People Through 6/3

For a play that holds a mirror up to society, try Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at the Guthrie. Written in 1882 in response to outrage over an earlier Ibsen play that uncovered Victorian immorality, An Enemy of the People follows Dr. Stockmann, who, like Ibsen, tries to shed light on his society’s problems. Instead of a hero, Stockmann becomes an outcast, and his efforts to expose the truth reveal hidden agendas on all sides. The play reminds us to listen to one another, not only to understand our problems, but also to effect change.