Sue Z.’s Charitable Check-In: July

The best events that give back this month—plus Sue Z.’s hot tips on where to eat next
The Loring Park Art Festival
The Loring Park Art Festival

Photo by Brooke Nelson

St. Kate’s Creatives

WHAT: Art at St. Kate’s
WHEN: Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
WHERE: St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St Paul

The 12th annual Artists’ Circle summer art fair features 100 juried local artists’ works, including clay, painting, photography, fiber arts, sculpture, printmaking and more. There’s free admission and free parking, so come shop for various artifacts alongside strolling musicians and a multitude of food trucks. Munching, sipping, shopping to live music, and even viewing artist demonstrations—what a spectacular way to spend a summer Saturday afternoon.

Funk and Blues

WHAT: Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, 4:30-10 p.m.
WHERE: Mears Park, Fifth St. E., St. Paul

Two days full of soul, funk, and blues for all ages. The festival features local and national acts presenting the best of their genres alongside food and beverage vendors. Look for Boogie Wonderland, Sumo Seven, Popa Chubby, Thomos McClary, Jon Cleary, and lots more. Free entry, or purchase VIP tickets for preferred seating to help the nonprofit.

Food Trucks Galore

WHAT: Food Truck Festival in Anoka
WHEN: Saturday, July 20, noon-10 p.m.
WHERE: Jackson Street in downtown Anoka

For the third year, a culinary mecca opens to the public, with 50 food trucks featuring such cuisines as sushi and poke bowls, green papaya salads and wood-fired pizzas, New Zealand-style meat pies and gourmet mini donuts, Belgium Liege-style waffles—and more. There are 18 new trucks this year, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Expect games for all ages, live music, and non-food trucks, as well, such as fashion trucks, a men’s grooming salon, a photo booth truck, and a mobile escape room. Proceeds benefit Feed My Starving Children, which last year raised 100,000 meals and hope to do more this year.

Food and Art in Loring Park

WHAT: Loring Park Art Festival
WHEN: Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, July 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
WHERE: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis

For an urban oasis of art and culture—with ponds and formal gardens open, plus music, food, and entertainment—come to downtown Minneapolis. At the Loring Park Art Festival, you can enjoy the works of 140 visual artists selling original works; enjoy strolling musicians and scheduled stage performances; if you have kids, set them loose for children’s activities; and explore adventurous culinary options. This year will include a Lakes and Legends Beer Garden, serving craft beers, local craft soda, and kombucha, with seating and lawn games. Food vendors include HomeTown Creamery, KCM EggRolls, Best Way Gyros, Anchor Fish & Chips, Lu’s Sandwiches, Milton’s Bar-B-Que, and much more.

 Sue. Z’s Edible Hot Tips

Take a trip to Victoria for Marc Huebner’s the Noble Lion (7940 Victoria Drive), where he and chef Patrick Donelan are serving up the best Belgium pommes frites ever, plus a perfect creme brûlée and all things in between, in a beautiful atmosphere to top it all off.

Chef Jordan Swiler’s new menu at Café and Bar Lurcat, near Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis (1624 Harmon Place), highlights the D’Amico special crab cakes, Amish chicken, and Korean barbecue salmon—plus their warm cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and so much more.

Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.