Minneapolis' annual celebration of summer is once again filled with activities. Watch the nimble aquatic antics of the Twin Cities River Rats in their water ski show on the Mississippi. Pick-Up Truck Opera performs a musical retelling of "The Odyssey." Saturday's Carifest fills the riverbanks with the sights, sounds and smells of the Caribbean with costumes, food and dance. The weekend ends with live music performances by Dred I Dread and Annie Mack before the sky lights up with fireworks. (Today-Sat. See schedule at aquatennial.com.)
Nur-D & Finding Novyon
Two of the Twin Cities' hardest-buzzing rappers before the pandemic are pairing up for a post-quarantine blowout. Rosemount native Nur-D raised the bar on topical/reactionary music with his pair of albums following George Floyd's murder, "38th" and "Chicago Avenue," but he's still having fun on stage like he did with a small army at First Ave's Best New Bands night in January 2020. Minneapolis' Novyon Dix is dropping new tunes again, including "Zombies." Viral TikTok rap star Xavier Goodman opens with fellow newcomer s. (9:30 p.m. Fri., Fine Line, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls., $15, axs.com)
OK, maybe you've already seen "Mamma Mia!" but have you seen the beachy show next to an actual body of water? Zephyr Theatre is staging the ABBA musical, about a woman searching for her father, in a park in downtown Stillwater, within spitting distance of the St. Croix River. (7 p.m. July 22-25, North Lowell Park, 201 N. Water St. , Stillwater, $22-$75, stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org.).
One of Minnesota's longest-running music fests, the Leech Lake area classic-rock campout returns with a couple of enduring '70s-era Rock & Roll Hall of Famers for its weekend headliners. Todd Rundgren, newly announced as a 2021 hall inductee, will top off Friday's bill before Cheap Trick and its still-golden-voiced singer Robin Zander finish off the fest Saturday. Latter-day lineups of Foghat and Grand Funk Railroad round out the weekend along with Lit, ex-Eagle Don Felder and local pioneers Crow. (4 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 07050 39th Av. NW., Walker, Minn. $150 or $240/three-day, moondancejam.com)
'Volvemos (We Return)'
Flamenco dancers descend on the Como Lakeside Pavilion for an evening of the Spanish art form presented by Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, featuring local flamenco artists. It's rare to see these different Twin Cities flamenco groups all together, so it will be a treat to catch Anda Flamenco, directed by Kristina de Sacramento, as well as Sachiko "La Chayi" Flamenco and others throughout the evening. Grab nachos or cheese curds and order a beer or other beverage from Dock & Paddle, and wander the beautiful Como Park grounds before or after the show. (7-9 p.m. Fri., Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, free, zorongo.org.)
Salsa del Soul
Co-helmed by second-generation Cuban singer Gloria "La Niña" Rivera, this veteran Twin Cities big band could change its name to "del Sol" this summer, since it fully embraced post-quarantine gigging and has already played numerous outdoor sets under the hot sun. Next up is the Lowertown Sounds series in Mears Park, where there's plenty of flat ground for dancing to the salsa, son, cha-cha-cha and other Caribbean grooves. There's also a lot of shade to save you from the sun. Local jazz greats the Atlantis Quartet open. (6-9:30 p.m. Thu., 5th St. E. & N. Sibley St., St. Paul, free, lowertownsounds.com)
'Operetta Under the Stars'
Minnesota-bred, Vienna-based soprano Anne Wieben comes home for her second summer of Opera on the Lake presentations after 2019's successful "Die Fledermaus." A cast of current and former Minnesotans finding success in the opera world will perform scenes from comic operettas beside Como Lake, then offer opera by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini on the shore of Lake Harriet. (7:30 p.m. July 28-30, Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, $25; 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Mpls., free, operaonthelake.com)