Weekend Best Bets: The No-State-Fair Edition

As we round out August, here are a few ways to steal back the State Fair, plus other weekend picks


The spread at Potluck, as part of the Minnesota FARE
The spread at Potluck, as part of the Minnesota FARE

Courtesy of Potluck

This summer, we’ve been thinking about the Great Minnesota Get-Together and ways to recreate it piecemeal. There are restaurants that match the indulgence, events that come close, fair-exclusive beer pop-ups, and the stray manifestations of vendors going their own way. (Tickets to the State Fair Food Parade are unfortunately sold out.)

Our Best Bets this week feature a few more substitutes, in addition to other weekend things to do in the wake of the Great Minnesota Stay-at-Home Order:

A Fair Riff at Potluck Food Hall

What: The Minnesota FARE
When: Aug. 27-Sept. 7
Where: Potluck food hall, Rosedale Center, 1595 MN-36, Roseville

The Rosedale Center mall unveiled the shiny, elevated Potluck food hall last year, with a lineup of diverse, buzzy local restaurants—Smack Shack, Obachan, Grand Ole Creamery. So, why not throw a mini fair of their own? For 12 days, all seven of the Potluck vendors debut inspired takes on the classics we’re missing this year. To name a few: lobster corn dogs (Smack Shack), cream puffs and chocolate-chunk cookies (Betty & Earl’s), Mediterranean mini donuts (Chickpea), burger curds and White Claw floats (Burger Dive), plus Nordic Waffles, a recent fair inductee. Adding to the ambience? Food art submitted by locals, cut-outs of musicians who couldn’t make it to the Grand Stand, and chances to win kitschy swag.

Midtown Global Market Get-Together

What: Great Global Get-Together
When: Aug. 27-Sept. 6
Where: Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Some of the fair’s best bites are taken in the International Bazaar. This year, you’ll find a selection of those global flavors at Midtown Global Market: sambusas and camel burgers (Safari Express), Kentikka fried chicken and bhel puri (Hot Indian Foods), non-alcoholic piña coladas and al pastor blue tacos (Manny’s Tortas), pizza by the slice (Jakeeno’s Trattoria), and more. Read our full write-up here.

State Fair Shopping

What: The Great Minnesota Sale
When: Aug. 27-Sept. 7, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Wedge Co-op, 2105 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis; Linden Hills Co-op, 3815 Sunnyside Avenue, Minneapolis

Wedge & Linden Hills Co-op and Twin Cities Co-op Partners (TCCP) are hosting a fair-size sale. That means 25% off Minnesota-made brands throughout the Wedge and Linden Hills stores (think: Larissa Loden, HiBar, Intelligent Nutrients, Wood from the Hood, Seven Sundays Muesli, Forage Kombucha, JonnyPops, Bogart’s Doughnuts). Fair-inspired food vendors will show out, too (Gerhard’s Brats, Blue Barn Little Blue Food Truck, El Burrito Mercado, Birchwood Cafe).

Black Entrepreneur State Fair

What: Black Entrepreneur State Fair
When: Through Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Father Hennepin Park, 420 Main St. SE, Minneapolis

The inaugural, weeklong Black Entrepreneur State Fair wraps up this weekend. About 50 local Black businesses have come together in the gap of this year’s Minnesota State Fair to sell their products at Father Hennepin Park. Some used to sell at the fair, others are just healing from the killing of George Floyd and the impact of the uprisings.

Mississippi Voyage for Charity

What: “Hope on the River”: S.S. Hail Mary Launch
When: August 27, 10 a.m.
Where: Harriet Island, 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul

Setting off from Harriet Island on a homemade raft, Erich Mische, executive director of Spare Key, is on a voyage to raise awareness of his St. Paul nonprofit’s mission to crowdfund care for families with critically ill or seriously injured family members. As COVID-19 has cut into charitable giving, Spare Key is struggling, and this 10-state, two-month venture down the Mississippi is Mische’s Hail Mary. Learn more.

MSP Virtual Cinema Series Continues

What: Mr. Soul! Virtual Screening by MSP Film Society
When: Aug. 28-Sept. 3
Where: Home viewing, via Eventive

As part of the MSP Film Society’s social justice–themed film series, Mr. Soul! screens virtually on Friday. The documentary dives into the TV show Soul!, which aired in the late ’60s and early ’70s in celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics, helmed by Ellis Haizlip, the father of this film’s director, Melissa Haizlip. A discussion with Melissa will take place Monday, August 31, at 7 p.m.

Corn Like You Remember It

What: Untiedt’s Summer Celebration
When: Sunday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Barnes & Noble, 8040 Wedgewood Lane, Maple Grove

Fairgoers have their favorites, and if yours is the corn, Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm, Inc., is looking out for you. In the parking lot of the Maple Grove Barnes & Noble, the cobs will be there, roasted—as well as frozen, so you can take some home (as long as you order ahead of time).

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