Minnesota State Fair, makers on the North Side, 2D Con: A-List 8.21

The Giant Slide is celebrating a birthday this year.

The Giant Slide is celebrating a birthday this year. Image courtesy the Minnesota State Fair

Check out this week's top happenings.

Dulce Sloan

Dulce Sloan Gabriel Michael


Dulcé Sloan
Acme Comedy Co.

Dulce Sloan is probably most widely known as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. A performer since childhood, she mostly concentrated on acting and improv before trying standup at the behest of friends. It was comedian Big Kenny, along with Sloan’s mother, who finally convinced her to try it. “Kenny told me, ‘You know how to tell a story, and I’m sure you can learn to tell jokes.’” She wound up taking his standup comedy class, and has been a comedian ever since. “I usually talk about stuff that’s happened to me,” she says of her set. “In the beginning I was more observational, but I quit doing that when Big Kenny told me, ‘As soon as you start talking about yourself, your comedy will reach a whole new level,’ and that’s what happened.” Often, people she meets will express concern that they might end up in one of her bits. “I tell them, ‘Don’t worry, you haven’t done anything that interesting.’” 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $20. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday—P.F. Wilson

The llama costume contest is always a highlight.

The llama costume contest is always a highlight. Image courtesy the Minnesota State Fair


Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fairgrounds

“Our fair was founded on agriculture,” says Minnesota State Fair spokesperson Danielle Dullinger. “While that’s always going to be the heart of our fair... obviously we’re not all farmers.” The fair’s mission today, continues Dullinger, is “telling people about the best of Minnesota.” While the Great Minnesota Get-Together continues to innovate, it’s that good old jump-in-the-wagon community spirit that’s kept it an unmissable attraction for millions of Minnesotans—and for people who arrive from across the country, fascinated by Instagram images of politically charged seed art and strange snacks stuck on sticks. New this year is a building in the North End (the neighborhood formerly known as Machinery Hill, for you long-timers), promising interactive “museum-quality exhibits” free with the price of admission. The exhibits will change every year, to keep you coming back... just in case the rotating malt flavors, fresh Minnesota brews, and multiple stages of live music weren’t already doing the trick for you. 6 a.m. to midnight; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Labor Day. $9-$14. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-288-4400.Through September 2 —Jay Gabler

The Southern Theater

The intricate physicality of emotion as revealed through Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s movement methodology, known as Gaga, lives in the mind and body of Minneapolis dancer Berit Ahlgren. A practitioner and teacher of Gaga, Ahlgren had collaborated with Elena Hollenhorst on this evening of two dance works that focus on women’s experiences with change, reinvention, and our connection to the earth. The cast of remarkable women performers includes Natalie Gorg, Laura Osterhaus, Mirabai Miller, Elayna Waxse, Kelli Miles, and Juliana Johnson, as well as Ahlgren and Hollenhorst. Expect a powerful evening of performance with expressive resonance. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday. $12-$24; matinee is pay-as-able. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Images courtesy 2D Con

Images courtesy 2D Con


2D Con 2019: Wasteland
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Born of a LAN group named Digital Destruction in 2015, 2D Con is a gaming event that grows a bit each year, and has a focus on raising funds for charity. Highlights of the celebration include Indie Island, where gamers can explore releases from the local indie video game scene. Play a new game and chat up the makers. Over in the arcade, attendees can play old-school and newer releases to their heart’s content, as all machines are quarter-free. Table-top fans can make new friends at various stations, and the cosplay fashion show features some spectacular looks. Other fun to be had includes an artists’ marketplace, a concert headlined by a video game cover band, yoga classes, and even a spicy fanfic talk. This year’s event will be raising funds for AbleGamers, an organization that provides adapted equipment free of charge for those with different needs. Find tickets and more info at, and score a free MetroTransit rides online as well. $40; $10 kids; $100 VIP. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-370-1234. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster

Hipshaker Turns 17
Kitty Cat Klub

Hipshaker traditionally celebrates its b-day with a multi-day party, and this year is no different. The dance night showcases soul, from classic ’60s Motown to deep cuts from the ’80s. In addition to the usual crew—DJs Greg Waletski, George Rodriguez, and Brian Engel—they will be joined by a few other vinyl collectors, including Eric Silvenis (Detroit) and Dave Thorley (Berlin), spinning rare tunes. Expect cupcakes, giveaways, and a sweaty (but fashionable!) dance floor. 21+. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. $5. 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-9800. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Ramsey After Dark: Mental Illness & the Victorian Mind
Alexander Ramsey House

Organized by the Minnesota Historical Society as part of its Ramsey After Dark series, “Mental Illness and the Victorian Mind” exposes a facet of everyday life that was once shamefully secreted away. In an era when the common course of treatment involved locking sufferers away in “insane asylums” for prolonged confinement, sessions of freezing-cold hydrotherapy, and experimental surgery, it’s no wonder the notion of being branded mentally ill was a horrifying prospect. This insightful tour details the personal experiences of the Ramsey family, revealing that social prestige provided no immunity from the scourge of mental illness. Informed by newspaper clippings, letters, and journals, tour guides will discuss how one of Minnesota’s most prominent families struggled to find help for both Alexander Ramsey’s brother, Justus, and his son-in-law, Charles. In the sharing of their tale, the Minnesota Historical Society manages to not only empathize with past generations, but connect their experiences to those currently coping with the same afflictions. Find tickets and more at 18+. 7 and 8:30 p.m. $10-$12. 265 Exchange St. S., St. Paul; 651-296-8760. —Brad Richason

2019 Kraftskiva Crayfish Party
American Swedish Institute

Lobster and shrimp might be elevated staples of seafood dining, but it’s the humble crayfish that has earned a place of distinction amongst the Swedish. The cultural craving for these delectable crustaceans is demonstrated by the popular tradition of Kräftskiva; crayfish parties that have come to signify the waning days of summer. Usually held in August, family, friends, and neighbors come together over crayfish cooked in crown dill brine, cracking open shells to obtain the seasoned meat within. The food itself, however, is just one facet of the festivities, as exemplified by the annual celebration at the American Swedish Institute. True to the customary practice, Twin Cities revelers will be encouraged to don bibs (as a sensible precaution against crayfish juices) and cone-shaped hats (for a nonsensical note of revelry) depicting the honorary entrée. Seated below warmly glowing paper lanterns amidst the Institute’s outdoor courtyard, diners will pair the shellfish with a selection of side dishes (most notably traditional Swedish cheeses) and beverages (including an optional shot of aquavit). 6:30 p.m. Tickets to this event are currently sold out. 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. —Brad Richason

Celebrate North Side art and community this weekend.

Celebrate North Side art and community this weekend. Awa Mally



Its World: Reimagine North Side Festival
Lowry Avenue North

This weekend, New Rules, First Avenue, and Juxtaposition Arts are coming together for a showcase featuring the best of the North Side. The afternoon will feature a variety of performances, activities, and things to see and do, all hosted by folks in the community. Stop by one of the makers’ stations to try your hand at arm knitting, printmaking, or zine making. Explore a trippy interactive sound installation inside New Rules, an event and co-work space. More than 30 local artists will showcase their work, and musical groups playing sets include Blu Bone, FruitPunchLoverboy, Arlo, Yoni Light, Ipso Facto, and many more. Food trucks will offer eats throughout the day. 2 to 9 p.m. Free. The celebration takes place on Lowry Avenue North, between Penn and Morgan Avenues, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

MySpace Emo Prom
The Pourhouse

The nostalgia will run high at this Saturday’s MySpace Emo Prom. Onstage, a live band (Taking Back Emo) will play anthems from the dark era, covering bands like My Chemical Romance, the Used, Taking Back Sunday, and Fallout Boy. Bust out your best Hot Topic threads and blot on a cloud of black eyeshadow, or go full scene and clip in some neon hair extensions, as an Emo King and Queen will be crowned tonight. Emo selfies (that you might want to delete later) are encouraged. 6:30 to 10 p.m. $10. 10 Fifth St. S., Minneapolis; 612-843-2555. —Jessica Armbruster

Rethinking Histories: Works from Mia’s Collection
Minneapolis Institute of Art

This survey of Mia’s contemporary holdings rethinks the meaning of what’s current and relevant in artmaking. Twelve artworks created in the past two decades, by nine artists, cast ideas about history into high political and cultural relief, challenging the status quo from a place of deep commitment to identity. Artists include Pao Houa Her, Chihiro Mori, Siah Armajani, Stan Douglas, Mickalene Thomas, and Pushpamala N. If you’re not familiar with their talents, now is the time. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through January 19, 2020 —Camille LeFevre

Peer Gynt
Norway House

Impossible Salt, a music/theater troupe that brings inventiveness and wonder to its storytelling, re-imagines Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in a collaboration with the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra. Impossible Salt’s version offers a more concise telling of the five-act play, serving things up in a one-hour performance. With trolls, mischief, world travels, and grandiosity, follow Peer Gynt’s madcap adventures in this darkly comic tale featuring original music by Erik Ostrom. The production includes returning Impossible Salt performers Sean Hansberry and Amber Lee Olivier, along with newcomers Gaia Mencagli and Stephanie Ruas. 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-871-2211. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

PolliNATION Festival

PolliNATION Festival Image courtesy event organizers


PolliNation Festival
Kieran’s Kitchen Northeast

Until recently, common honeybees have been easy to take for granted, hovering about gardens and fields as lifelong contributors to the pollination cycle. That lack of appreciation began to change when scientists found that an alarming decline in honeybee colonies (dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder) was already having a devastating impact on global agricultural production. The Pollinator Friendly Alliance is determined to raise awareness of the issue and advocate for habitat restoration, and has now organized the PolliNation Festival. The event offers a tremendous range of information related to the critical importance of protecting bees and other pollinators, whether by supporting sustainable farming practices, transforming standard turf lawns into bee-friendly neighborhoods, or planting backyard bee gardens. (It also coincides with the grand opening of Kieran’s Kitchen Northeast.) This being a festival, there will be ample activities to choose from, including an expo of pollinator-inspired products amid 22 interactive pollinator displays. In addition to playing host, Kieran’s will be serving up a delectable range of snacks, while event-exclusive beverages allow visitors to get their buzz on with a special honey-blended ale from Finnegan’s and a honey-infused mead from Sociable Cider Werks. Live music will also be provided courtesy of Brian Just, Chris Koza, John Munson and Friends, the Everett Smithson Band, and Lucy Michelle with Dylan Hicks. Noon to 6 p.m. Free. 117 14th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-354-2808. —Brad Richason