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Independence Jubilee: Fourth of July in the Twin Cities

A&E’s guide to bald eagle lovin’, flag-wavin’ good times.



Red, White and Boom!

It’s the classic two-day Twin Cities Fourth of July celebration anchored by the mighty Mississippi.  Wednesday features a morning fun run that starts at Nicollet Island, music by Rogue Valley and an evening screening of one of the most debonair American military movies of all time, “Top Gun.”

Thursday witnesses another morning run, this time a half-marathon; food, music and family fun in the afternoon; and fireworks at 10 p.m. between the Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island. 

For more details, go to

D4th, 5th and 6th of July

If hot dogs, relay races and kids with sticky faces don’t float your boat, why not go to three days of punk and hardcore shows?

The Triple Rock’s extravaganza is headlined by Dillinger Four on Friday, featuring performances from 16 other bands including The Riverboat Gamblers, A Wilhelm Scream, The Flatliners and Off With Their Heads. 

The festival starts at 6 p.m. every night from Thursday to Saturday at the Triple Rock Social Club (629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis). Each night is $15.

Twins play the Yanks

It is all too fitting that the Twins play the New York Yankees at Target Field this Fourth of July at 1:10 p.m. 

Lou Gehrig famously gave his moving “luckiest man”” address to Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 after finding out he had what we now know as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

Let’s hope that this year leaves Yankees fans equally upset but without the lingering heartache. 

7th Annual 4th of July Underwear Ride: Freedom from Pants

Freedom doesn’t need to be an abstraction; taking off your pants makes it real.  Midway through this bike trek, which starts in Northeast, there’s a chance to take a dip, cool off and then air dry on the final leg to Powderhorn Park’s 4th festivities. 

The Underwear Ride is a more natural, “Minnesota nice” spin on the naked rides that happen in more than 50 cities. 

The ride starts at the vacant lot at 616 SE 2nd Ave., Minneapolis on July 4 at 6 p.m.


CONvergence 2013: British Invasion

Damn lobsterbacks! No worries, this British invasion is of the sci-fi and fantasy sort.  Anyone from Doctor Who to Harry Potter is fair game for fans clamoring for something a little less gung ho American on the most patriotic of all days.  That’s not to say that your Trekkie outfit or Ghostbustin’ uni needs to stay at home: The Daleks and hobbits from across the pond are merely the theme. 

The 15th annual conference is held at Bloomington’s DoubleTree Hilton, goes for four days and is expected to draw over 5,000 people.

Visit for more information. 


U.S. History Quiz: Whaddaya know?

Test your knowledge. Answer key at the end.

1) Which of the following U.S. presidents did not die on July 4?

A. John Adams
B. Thomas Jefferson
C. Ulysses S. Grant
D. James Monroe

2) Which of the following was not one of the beach landing zones on D-Day?

A. Utah
B. Silver
C. Juno
D. Sword

3) A famous Civil War naval engagement pitted two ironclad ships against one another: the Southern “Merrimack” versus what Northern vessel?

A) “Monitor”
B) “Ticonderoga”
C) “Gladiator”
D) “Essex”

4) Washington famously crossed the Delaware in a surprise attack on what mercenary forces?

5) Benedict Arnold held what rank in the Continental Army when he famously switched sides?


Great Movies with Firework Scenes

1. “V for Vendetta”(2005)
2. “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989)
3. “The Godfather Part II” (1974)
4. “Mulan” (1998)
5. “The Castle of Cagliostro” (1979)
6. “Bottle Rocket” (1996)


Recipes for fireworks-in-your-mouth

Pigs in a pig blanket

These little guys are a succulent treat — crank up the oven and throw ’em in to snack on while the grill is heating up. 

1 pound package little smokies
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 pound bacon
1 bottle BBQ sauce of your choosing


Slice the strips of bacon into thirds.  Place a slice of water chestnut on a cocktail weenie, then wrap it with a strip of the bacon, securing it all in place with a toothpick through the middle.  Place on non-stick pan in a 400 degree oven.  Let cook for 30-35 minutes.  Remove and add the BBQ sauce.  Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the porky aroma gets too hard to resist. 

Cannon blast burgers

These behemoth burgers are just what the doctor ordered if you’re about to pop a squat to watch some pretty explosions.  You won’t want to move with this food baby in ya. 

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
3 button mushrooms, diced
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and form into patties (depending on your preference, anywhere from 3-5 burgers).  Grill them suckers.  Enjoy.

Flag Protocol

The American flag is a cool piece of history — a living symbol — and the Fourth of July is a great time to show your pride and respect for the United States of America. The key words here are “pride” and “respect.” 

While the Fourth is a raucous, celebratory good time, keep in mind that we can’t have the Fourth without the numerous sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. 

All too often a guy will be wearing a flag cape and it’s dragging on the ground.  Doesn’t anybody remember their time in the Scouts? The flag should never touch the ground. 


Remember folks, the Fourth of July is indicative of the whole summer when it comes to crime: There’s more of it.  People are hot, drunk and outside; that is a recipe for blood and altercations. 

Recognizing this in May, Minneapolis police increased the number of officers on the street for the summer. So beware the allure of illegal fireworks, or worse. 



Answer key: 1) C, 2) B, 3) A, 4) The Hessians stationed in Trenton, 5) Major General



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