Your Minnesota weekend: Classics, caves and saints (real and imagined)

Irish bounce
The Saint Paul Bouncing Team lived up to its name during St. Paul's 2009 St. Patrick's Day parade.
Tim Post/MPR Photo

MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner says the St. Patrick's Day weekend will be a mixture of cloudy and sunny this year, with temps a little on the chilly side. No snow predicted yet — wait till early next week for that.

[Your weekend forecast | Check the live forecast | Sign up for weather text alerts: Text 'weather' to 677677]

So, while the sun's still shining and the snow count holds steady, perhaps it's time to take advantage of the many things happening this weekend across the state.

A sampling:

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• St. Urho's Day Festival: For the folks in Finland (Minnesota), this weekend belongs to a different saint of legend: St. Urho, who (folks say) drove the grasshoppers out of Finland. But they've only been saying that — and celebrating it — for a few decades. See what all the fuss is about with a trip to Finland. | Friday through Sunday [More on the festival]

St. Urho's Day welcome
A sign welcomes visitors to the 39th annual St. Urho's Day parade and celebration in Finland, Minnesota. Towns across the country with Finnish populations now celebrate the faux-holiday, the day before St. Patrick's Day.
Dan Kraker / MPR News

• Lowertown Classics: Doomtree rapper Dessa recommends the classical music event in St. Paul. | 8 p.m. Friday at Lowertown Lofts. [More on the event from the Art Hounds]

• Leslie and the Lys: Claudia Holt sung the praises of the Vegas-style glam dance band from Iowa. | 9 p.m. Friday at Minneapolis' Triple Rock Social Club [More on the event from the Art Hounds]

• Before Bach's Birthday Bash: Celebrate the composer's birthday — about a week early — for this annual daylong series of traveling organ concerts. | 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Paul [More on the event from Pipedreams]

• Kay Herbst Helms art exhibit: Artist and musician Amanda Wirig plugged Helms' photography exhibit "Inner Necessities," an examination of artists' hands, faces and spaces, on this week's Art Hounds segment. | Continues through March 30 at the Arts Center of St. Peter [More on the exhibit from the Art Hounds]

Icicles descend
Icicles descend from and visitors walk by one of the many ice caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2013 near Cornucopia, Wis.
Derek Montgomery / For MPR News

• Lake Superior Ice Caves: The much-lauded ice caves are set to close Sunday — or earlier, depending on the lake ice — so this is the final opportunity to see the wonder that's become more and more rare. | Through Sunday (or earlier), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wis. Check ahead before setting out. [Can't make it? Browse the stunning gallery]

• Movies: Cube Critics Euan Kerr and Stephanie Curtis talk Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel," which opens this weekend. | Stephanie's review on The Current [More movie reviews and notes from the Cube Critics]

Irish horns
These horns could be heard throughout St. Paul's 2009 St. Patrick's Day parade.
Tim Post/MPR Photo


Revelers might be celebrating St. Patrick's (or St. Urho's) Day all weekend, but the official St. Pat's parades in the Twin Cities are scheduled for the actual holiday — which, this year, falls on Monday. If you can't make it to the parades, you can at least tune in to The Current's live St. Pat's broadcast Monday morning.


• The Current's live St. Patrick's Day broadcast: Jill and Steve head to Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis for a live broadcast of the Morning Show, starting at 6 a.m. There will be limericks, live radio and festivities all morning long. [More on the event]

• St. Paul's St. Pat's parade: noon Monday, West Seventh Street to Rice Park [Details]

• Minneapolis' St. Pat's parade: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nicollet Mall [Details]

As a bonus, Metro Transit riders can travel for free Monday night on city buses, light rail or Northstar trains from 6 p.m. until the last run of the evening.

Drivers, be safe: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that more than 1,450 motorists have been arrested for DWI on St. Patrick's Day over the past five years. The department announced that police around the state will increase DWI checkpoints throughout the weekend in an effort to prevent alcohol-related crashes.

Bumblebee on a flower
Systemic insecticides may accumulate in pollen and nectar and harm pollinators, like this bumblebee.
Courtesy Scott Leddy

• Tastemakers: Save the Bees Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl talked with Tom Crann this week about pollinators on All Things Considered's Appetites segment. She highlighted a panel discussion early next week that promises to be perfect for foodies and gardeners alike. | Tuesday, March 18 at The Riz Theater in northeast Minneapolis [More on the event]

In the meantime, if you're looking for something Irish to eat...

Classical MPR's Movable Feast recommends Irish pubs and restaurants throughout the Twin Cities where you can find yourself a draught and a snack.

And that's only a snapshot. Here's to the adventures of the weekend!