Weekend Picks in Greater MN: Sept. 7-9

Todd about Town: Travel editor Todd P. Walker chooses his favorite events this weekend—and they’re full of fall festivity

1. Defeat of Jesse James Days

Downtown Northfield 

Through September 9


Northfield’s annual Defeat of Jesse James Days is a wild and wooly community festival that recreates one of the most dramatic episodes of the Old (Mid)West—the Great Northfield Bank Raid of 1876. Horses thunder down the historic main street and bullets fly during the many authentic bank raid re-enactments that tell this amazing story. It is street theater at its best. In addition, the celebration features a professional rodeo, the Northfield Arts Guild Riverfront Fine Art Festival, car shows, parades, great music, great food, and plenty of activities for the family. Learn more.

2. James J. Hill Days

Downtown Wayzata”‹

September 7-9

Free festival with a cost for beer bash concerts

Wayzata celebrates community tradition with the 43rd annual James J. Hill Days. Family-friendly activities all weekend long include a beach bash, carnival, street market, fireworks, beer gardens, live music, water-ski show, dachshund races, kids zone, food trucks, coaster cart races, classic car show, parade, and much more. Catch the Friday-night Beach Bash Concert—Johnny Lang, $40; with Toby Keith, $75, Saturday night. Learn more.

3. St. Paul Classic Bike Tour

Begins at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul

September 9, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: Adult, $50; student, $20; youth, $12

Discover traffic-free glee on Minnesota’s biggest bike tour—the 24th annual St. Paul Classic Bike Tour. Enjoy 15-, 32-, or 47-mile routes featuring great rest stops, ride support, delicious food and beverages, and live music. Learn more.

4. O.A.R. with Special Guest Matt Nathanson

Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake

September 7, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $39

Rootsy indie-rock band O.A.R. has released a brand new single, “Just Like Paradise.” Catch them at Mystic. Learn more.

5. Grape Stomp Festival

Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater

September 8-9, Noon to 5 p.m.


Enjoy stomping grapes the old-fashioned way with grape stomping competitions at noon, 2, and 4 p.m.; free tours at 1 and 3 p.m.; live music from noon to 5 p.m. Everyone will get a chance to stomp grapes between competitions. Enjoy a day of wine, grapes, music, and food. Free vineyard and winery tours take place at 1 and 3 p.m. each day (no pre-registration required). There’s live music from 12:30 to 4 p.m. each day—featuring the soulful sound of the Twin Cities’ own Funktion Junction. Wine sampling offered for $6 a person in the tasting room from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Learn more.

6. Sever’s Fall Festival

Sever’s Corn Maze in Shakopee 

Runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28

Admission $15

Since 1997, thousands have enjoyed the corn mazes at Sever’s, built by the family. Learn more.

7. Taste of Greece Festival

St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis

September 7-9


Taste of Greece will feature authentic Greek food and handmade Greek desserts, including gluten-free options. The Levendes and the Chris Kalogerson Band provides live Greek music while the St. Mary’s Hellenic Dance Troupe performs folk dances. Check out the church tours or browse the Greek Boutique. Send your kids over to the inflatables and don’t forget to check out the Courtyard Café—with wine tastings and mezes (Greek snacks). The sunsets are spectacular. Learn more.