To experience the true spirit of Cinco de Mayo, head to Cesar Chavez Street in St. Paul’s District del Sol. One of the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the U.S., the all-day street party honors the neighborhood’s rich Mexican heritage with a parade, food, live music, entertainment, a car, truck and bike show, family activities, and more.
May 4, St. Paul, cincodemayosaintpaul.com
After a lengthy, mostly monochromatic winter, this extraordinarily colorful annual celebration bursts forth around Powderhorn Park, like spring itself. Created by the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre and legions of volunteers of all ages, the May Day parade, ceremony, and festival bring more than 60,000 people to the South Minneapolis neighborhood for dancing, merrymaking, imagining, and other joyful activities.
May 5, 3400 15th Ave. S., Mpls., hobt.org
For readers, writers, and bibliophiles, the Wordplay festival promises to be an entertaining and inspiring weekend. The fun starts on Friday night at First Avenue with the Rock Bottom Remainders, who consist of Stephen King, Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Scott Turow, and other literary luminaries. The festival continues Saturday and Sunday at the Guthrie and the Loft with a Lit Crawl, classes, family-friendly storytime, and other events.
May 11–12, Minneapolis, loft.org
For a fast infusion of mission-critical business insights, round up your forward-thinking clients and colleagues and caravan over to Future Festival, an innovation conference at the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. Spend the day learning about megatrends and opportunities with Trend Hunter CEO Jeremy Gutsche, attending breakout sessions, and networking and partying with fellow participants.
May 23, ShowPlace ICON Theatre, St. Louis Park, futurefestival.com
Since Soundset made its debut 11 years ago in the now-vanished Metrodome parking lot, it’s morphed into one of the largest hip-hop and rap festivals in the country. This year, it’s taking over the Midway at the State Fairgrounds with four stages and more than 40 artists including Lil Wayne, SZA, DJ Spinderella, and local favorites Atmosphere and Dessa, plus a custom car show and a skateboard showdown.
May 26, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Falcon Heights, soundsetfestival.com