Summer in the city

Looking for fun things to do? Most of the activities listed below are free.


Summer is upon us. Delight in the chance to leave home without mittens. Most of the activities listed below are free.

The new St. Paul Pride Festival in Rice Park celebrates more than a day of merrymaking on Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It celebrates the bright future of St. Paul. With comedian/host Ashli Henderson on board, as well as a food court and stage time, the festival plans to uplift the diversity of St. Paul. “We’ll be producing and organizing this event for the next 100 years!” quipped Kyle Ruck, lead organizer and producer of St. Paul Pride. “We’re happy to have a free and open event that features local businesses like Gambit Brewing, which has created a beer in Pride’s honor.”

You are cordially invited to the African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) 9th Little Africa Festival and Parade scheduled to take place on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 12-9 p.m. at Hamline Park, located at 1564 Lafond Ave.
This 9th Little Africa Festival and Parade is a family-friendly, one-day free event that showcases the rich, diverse, and beautiful cultures of different African countries, through trade/business, fashion, art, food, dance, music, poetry, crafts and more. For more information, visit www.littleafrica or or call 651-646-9411.

Pack a picnic and dancing shoes, spread out a blanket and attend free outdoor concerts and activities in front of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory Wednesdays in June and July from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hot dogs, ice cream treats, beer and wine will be available to purchase. If rain interferes, the concert moves inside the Visitor Center Porch.

Daddy Squeeze and Elizabeth groove on accordion and percussion (American and European Folk) 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29 at the Dock & Paddle at Como Lake Pavilion Legacy, a four-piece group, offers an engaging selection of traditional and contemporary Irish vocal music and instrumental tunes on Monday, July 4, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The annual Frogtown Art Festival “celebrates the amazing talent and culture of our neighborhood,” said Tyler Olson-Highness, VTAC Executive Director. “Featuring two stages, an arts market, workshops and food trucks, this outdoor gathering draws hundreds of folks each year.” Mark your calendar: Saturday, Aug. 19, from 2 to 9 p.m. at 833 University Ave.
Third Thursday Block Parties: The 90s-themed community events provide food, creative activities and opportunities for neighbors to connect at Model Cities’ Pocket Park, 833 University Ave. Dates: June 15, July 20 and Aug. 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“It’s a big summer for VTAC with our building renovation finally beginning May 22,” said Olson-Highness. “All our summer programming will happen out in the community out in the community and online.”
Minecraft Rollercoaster Contest: Contestants will have three hours to create the most wild and creative roller coaster VTAC’s in Minecraft Server and a chance to win free tickets to Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe! Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hope News: Kids 6-16 learn to work and play collaboratively as they create original content, interview community leaders and highlight their own voices. Mondays, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at West Minnehaha Rec Center. Register at Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.
Digital Arts: VTAC’s Minecraft Server is open every week for young builders of all skill levels to participate. Participants learn to work and play collaboratively with guidance from Minecraft artist leaders. Sundays, 2-5 p.m. online at VTAC’s Minecraft Server; Mondays 4-5:30 p.m. at West Minnehaha Rec Center.
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Walking Shadow stages Lucas Hnath’s “Red Speedo” June 10 to July 1 at an actual swimming pool. Red Speedo is a sharp and stylish play about swimming, survival of the fittest, and the American dream of a level playing field – or of leveling the field yourself. Red Speedo is a site-specific production at Hamline University’s six-lane competition pool (1537 Hewitt Ave.). Audiences can expect an intimate experience against this epic backdrop (with surprisingly good acoustics)! To be clear: actors may get wet, but audiences are safe. It is written by Lucas Hnath and directed by Natalie Novacek. Tickets available at

A Free Eco Fair powered by Donate Good Stuff will be on Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Como Park. There will be fun activities and learning for all ages.

Classical Actors Ensemble will be back in the parks for a 9th year this summer with “Much Ado About Nothing.” Over five weeks the free tour will perform in 14 outdoor locations across the Twin Cities, as well as a visit to Franconia Sculpture Park near Taylor’s Falls. See the production Friday, July 7, 7 p.m. at Como Park Lakeside Pavilion.


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