Updated: 05/02/2016 10:07 PM | Print Story |  Email

5 Twin Cities Events: May 2 - 8, 2016

I was honored to spend my weekend as a chaperone for the Minnesota Boychoir on their tour to Alexandria. The quick overnight is a test run for a larger summer tour (I’ll be heading with them to Kansas City in June). I’m an alum of the organization, so I might be a bit biased, but these young men are extraordinary representatives of their generation. They’re kind, thoughtful, team players, and they sound good, too. Listen to them on YouTube and attend their Spring Concert at 7 pm on Saturday, May 21 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.
Turning to this week, Mother’s Day week is upon us, and there’s plenty to do with mom this weekend. Here are my five picks:  
1. GARAGE SALES EVERYWHERE: Community Garage Sales in the Twin Cities – Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, May 8
No matter where you live, there are HUGE community garage sales this weekend involving hundreds of families. Grab your mom and hunt for a bargain. In the north metro, the Johnsville neighborhood in Blaine has over 200 homes opening up their garage doors to do a little spring cleaning. A map is available online with who is participating on Saturday and their Facebook page has a growing list of addresses where you can find a deal on Friday.  On the south end of town, the Rosemount High School Marching Band is hosting a “garage” sale at the school on Saturday. The band was recently selected to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City this November. Goods are being collected from community members this week and funds from items sold will help the band purchase uniforms, instruments, and music. Finally, the 100 Mile Garage Sale is just that – a 100 mile stretch of Highway 61 from Hastings to Winona (and on Highway 35 in Wisconsin) with hundreds of homes taking part. The bulk of participating families participating are near Red Wing and on the other side of the Mississippi in Hager City. A well organized list has hours for specific houses along with what they’ll be selling so you can plan your trip.
What: Johnsville Neighborhood Garage Sales
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Where: Blaine. The Johnsville neighborhood is located north of Main Street (242) and west of Central Avenue (65) in Blaine.
Make a day out of it and head to Anoka for their Diva Days celebration. Businesses in their downtown will host sales May 5-7. When you’re in Anoka, celebrate your new purchases with a stop by Swedish Crown Bakery. Please do yourself a favor and get a slice of their Princess Cake. Please.
What: “Garage” Sale to support the Rosemount High School Marching Band
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Where: Rosemount High School
Time: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
What: 100 Mile Garage Sale
When: Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, May 8, 2016
Where: Hastings to Winona
2. ARTSY DRINKING: Symphony and Suds at Surly Brewing – Thursday, May 5
I am loving what the Minnesota Orchestra is doing with their Symphony and Suds series. Small ensembles of Orchestra members stop by a Twin Cities brewery to play, allowing you to enjoy a pint of beer at the same time. I hear a recent Symphony and Suds event at Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis was packed. This week, they’re at a much larger venue: Surly Brewing Co. near the University of Minnesota campus. Since this event is happening on Cinco de Mayo, you might have better luck finding a table for this one. 
When: Thursday, May 5, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis
Cost: Free (this is not a ticketed event, so you’ll need to get there early as Surly is always busy)
Parking: They have a surface lot available and the street in front of the brewery doesn’t have meters. If it’s too busy, try parking in the industrial park to the east of Surly. 
Food: Goodness, the food at Surly is fantastic. Get the Brussels Sprouts. The Pretzel (big enough for four people) comes with a tasty cheese spread. Any sort of meat/cheese tray is a choice you won’t regret.
3. EXPLORE DOWNTOWN EXCELSIOR: Bingo and Burgers by the Bay – Saturday, May 7
I know an event is worthy of a mention when it’s forwarded to me by at least three of my Twin Cities Live coworkers. That’s the case with the 4th Annual Bingo and Burgers by the Bay party happening on Saturday in downtown Excelsior. This rain or shine event features four hours of bingo with prizes donated by local businesses. Burgers and wine are from Kowalski’s Markets and beer is sponsored by the American Legion Post 259. The event raises money for the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka 4th of July fireworks celebration. 
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Where: Corner of Lake Street and Water Street, downtown Excelsior
Cost: Free admission (if you click the link above, ignore the fact it says that sales have ended)
Parking: You’ll want to plan some extra time to find a spot. If you’re willing to walk, park a few blocks away and stroll through downtown. 
Food: Go visit chef Eli at Coalition in downtown Excelsior. Please tell him I say hello.
4. CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO: Cinco de Mayo West Side Celebration – Saturday, May 7
Before I worked at Twin Cities Live, I had a part time gig at KSTP and 45TV on the promotions team. It was tradition for me to work at the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Saint Paul’s West Side neighborhood, which is actually more south of Saint Paul than west. Nonetheless, the event is a family-friendly, easy to navigate celebration of Mexican heritage. A parade starts at 10:00 am and runs along Cesar Chavez Street starting at Wabasha. Music begins at noon and there’s a jalapeno eating contest later in the afternoon.
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Where: Cesar Chavez Street, Saint Paul (from Robert Street to Highway 52)
Cost: Free
Parking: It can be tough. Neighborhood parking is scarce and there are a lot of closed roads. If you want to bite the bullet, there are two public parking lots that are a 10 minute walk from the festival. Each costs $5. Note there are two handicap parking lots in the middle of the action. MetroTransit is offering free rides.
Food: The MexiCorn served at El Burrito Mercado is well worth it. It’s buttered corn on the cob with the addition of chili powder and cheese. So worth it. If you haven’t explored El Burrito Mercado, this is a great opportunity to see what they offer. Take home fresh salsa and guacamole from their deli.
5. FARMERS MARKET SEASON IS BACK: Midtown Farmers Market Food Truck Fest – Saturday, May 7
Farmers market season kicks into high gear this weekend with the openings of multiple smaller gatherings around the Twin Cities. The Midtown Farmers Market takes place at Lake Street and Hiawatha on Saturdays and to kick the 2016 season off, they’re rounding up a bunch of food trucks. The list includes two personal favorites: The Moral Omnivore and Gastrotruck.
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm 
Where: 2225 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
Cost: Free
Parking: Street parking and shopping center lots are scattered about.
Food: I still haven’t tried out the nearby Hi-Lo Diner, but I’ve heard amazing things. Check out a guide to eating at this restored dining car from my friend Joy Summers at Eater Minneapolis.
Want more? Check out these additional events:
Do you know of an event happening this week that isn’t listed? Tell me about it! Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and email. Have a great week!