Weekend Best Bets: July 26-28

This weekend around the Twin Cities: Aquatennial, Great Midwest Rib Fest, Circus Juventas, and more
Acrobats from Circus Juventas performing
Acrobats from Circus Juventas performing

Image courtsey of Circus Juventas

Rockets over Minneapolis

What: Minneapolis Aquatennial
When: July 24-27, 4-11 p.m.
Where: Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls, 500 Main St. SE, Minneapolis

One of the country’s top five annual firework displays, the Minneapolis Aquatennial will again burst over St. Anthony Falls at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. For the best seating, arrive early and claim a spot between Gold Medal Park and the Third Avenue Bridge on West River Parkway. Take advantage of the pre-firework festivities that include food trucks, a craft market, a Ferris wheel, and live music by Yam Haus, the HC/MC Band, and the Grateful Red. Ahead of the fireworks, enjoy canoe rides on the Mississippi River along with a Caribbean food, music, and arts festival on West River Road between Plymouth and Broadway Avenues. On Friday, July 26, catch a competition among top-tier Twin Cities restaurants to make the best French fry-inspired dish for Mayor Jacob Frey, from noon to 1 p.m. Learn more.

Ribs and Music

What: The Great Midwest Rib Fest
When: July 25–26, 5–10 p.m.; July 27, 11 a.m.–10 p.m
Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake

Back for its sixth year, the Great Midwest Rib Fest fills this weekend with mouthwatering ribs and live music. From across the country, 10 of the top rib chefs—including the defending champ Big Boned BBQ, from the Carolinas—will again compete for the top prize. Attendees can vote for the “Best of the Fest” people’s-choice award. And when they aren’t enjoying the music stars—Jessie G., Gretchen Wilson, the Tubes, Loverboy, Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, Emerson Hart (of Tonic)—they can check out the new World Rib Eating competition, on Saturday at 1.pm., featuring the world’s top-ranked Joey Chestnut. He will try to beat his own record of 3.76 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes. (We recommend a more even pace.) Learn more.

Pup Parade

What: North East Dog Parade
When: July 26, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: The Heart of the Northeast, 303 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

No matter your buddy’s breed, your dog will be welcome at Heart of the Northeast’s Dog Parade. Starting at the park across from Wilde Cafe on St. Anthony Main, pre-parade activities come with puppy treats local to the area. At 6 p.m., the parade will begin, looping around northeast Minneapolis, and the night will end with three contests: Best Look-Alike, Best Dog Costume, and Best Trick. Learn more.

Fairy Tale Fantasy

What: Twisted Circus Juventas Show
When: July 26–August 11, 1 p.m. or 7 p.m show times
Where: Circus Juventas, 1270 Montreal Ave., St. Paul

This summer’s Cicus Juventas show is Twisted, a magical mix of beloved fairy tale characters who struggle to complete their stories when Russian sorceress Baba Yaga and her sisters try to flip the scripts. Told in their revolutionary style (often compared to Cirque du Soleil), the Circus Juventas theatrical production will use Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Rumpelstilzchen, and other familiar yarns to ask new and relevant questions, like: What do we do when our stories (or our lives) get out-of-control? Learn more.

F. Scott’s Birthday

What: F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tour
When: July 27, Various Time Slots
Where: Commodore Bar & Restaurant 79 Western Ave. N. St. Paul

For the literary buff, celebrate the birthday of Minnesota’s own F. Scott Fitzgerald by taking a walking tour of his childhood haunts. Led by a James J. Hill House guide, participants will learn about Fitzgerald’s early years on a route that begins at the Commodore Bar & Restaurant and includes the Summit Avenue house where he wrote This Side of Paradise. Learn more.

Art for the Aquatennial

What: Loring Art Festival
When: July 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; July 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis

Also part of Minneapolis’ Aquatennial celebrations, the Loring Park Art Festival offers an opportunity to walk through the beautiful downtown park while browsing the work of Minnesota’s finest makers. The festival features 140 visual artists, stage performances of jazz, puppets, and dance throughout the weekend, a beer garden by local brewery Lakes & Legends, children’s craft activities, and a side of delicious food vendors, including Sara’s Tipsy Pies, Rollin’ Bolen’s BBQ, Naturally Delicious ice cream, and more. Learn more.

Vintage Market: July Edition

What: Minneapolis Vintage Market
When: July 28, noon-5 p.m. (general admission)
Where: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis

In reference to Swedish Loppis, or flea markets, July’s iteration of the monthly Minneapolis Vintage Market will be held on the grounds of the American Swedish Institute—for deals on apparel, accessories, home decor, books, furniture, vinyl, and more. (Serious shoppers can gain early access to 40-plus vendors with a $10 early-bird ticket.) Learn more.