Sounds of Summer – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Studio disclaimer

This—this—is the summer we finally reclaim the lost ones. So long, cancelled events and pushed-out shows. We’re ready to put on actual shoes (sorry, slippers) and get out on the town. Take a night—or make it a full weekend—and catch some of the hottest acts migrating north to casino stages for the summer.

Giddyup: All events and dog races at Canterbury Park, except Twin Cities Summer Jam, include live horse racing on the track.


Dierks Bentley

You might know him for being “Drunk on a Plane.” This flannel-wearing pro, who just received a star on the Nashville Walk of Fame (!!), is racking up QUITE a tab during his Beers on Me Tour. May 27. Treasure Island

Joe Nichols

Bring on the tequila and lose your tops, because the forecast is “Sunny and 75” up here in “Brokenheartsville” when country long-timer Joe Nichols takes the stage. May 27. Shooting Star Casino Mahnomen

Sweet Treats Festival

Watch out, blood sugar: lotsa locally made sugary bites. May 28–29. Canterbury Park


The Masked Singer

Singing celebrities disguised in over-the-top costumes—just another day at The Masked Singer. June 3. Treasure Island

Voices of Classic Rock

It’s a full-on world tour as the former lead singers of Boston, Asia, and Kansas bring back the ’80s. June 3. Shooting Star Casino Mahnomen

Nick Swardson

A homecoming for this Twin Cities native and avid Vikings fan. Expect many jokes about Aaron Rodgers and the Cheeseheads next door, plus a few aimed at our own purple people. June 3 and 4. Mystic Lake

Taste of Canterbury (Part 1)

The first bite in a three-part series serves up tacos and tequila for your early-summer cravings. June 4. Canterbury Park

Justin Moore

Making a stop in “Small Town USA,” Justin Moore is bringing his backwoods-lovin’ lyrics. June 10. Black Bear Casino

Lady A

Coming off their very pandemic album, this trio is hitting the road with new tunes and classics from 10-plus years ago to show us “What a Song Can Do.” June 11. Grand Casino Hinckley

Luck Be a Lady: RuPaul’s Drag Race

You’ve binged it all, now catch fave queens from Season 14 IRL. June 11. Treasure Island

Belmont Stakes Day and Seltzer Fest

Better than Derby Day, this race is the third leg of the Triple Crown. Watch with a thin cold can in your hand—seltzers are the new beer, after all. June 11. Canterbury Park

Gary Allan

A California native with classic twang gave us the soulful sounds of “Every Storm,” “Nothing On but the Radio,” and “Watching Airplanes.” June 17. Shooting Star Casino Mahnomen

Father’s Day Weekend BBQ Festival

Give Dad what he really wants: a big plate of barbecue (with a side of horse racing and live music). June 18–19. Canterbury Park

Chris Rock

Will there be knee-slapping Oscars jokes? Better show up to find out. June 23 and 24. Mystic Lake


Not an electric car fest, glam metal ’80s and ’90s band (with the hair to prove it). These “Modern Day Cowboys” show us “The Way It Is.” June 24. Treasure Island

Canterbury Uncorked

Just doing what we do best: wine-ing. June 25. Canterbury Park


Third Eye Blind

This West Coast rock band hits the road in celebration of 25 years with a lockdown-induced new album. July 1. Mystic Lake

Sam Hunt

Safe to say Sam Hunt is taking the “House Party” out of home. Equipped with hit breakup songs (a few love songs too!), he takes the stage with rising star Ryan Hurd—you may know him as Maren Morris’s tall guy. July 8. Treasure Island

Taste of Canterbury (Part 2)

The flavor of the day is bourbon and whiskey smokehouse. July 9. Canterbury Park

The Black Crowes Present: Shake Your Money Maker

You heard ’em: Slide into your skinny jeans and get to shakin’. After a six-year split, these brothers are back. July 11. Mystic Lake

The Mavericks

Country veterans with a mariachi- influenced sound, The Mavs want to be “Back in Your Arms Again,” touring on the tails of new album En Español. July 16. Mystic Lake

Twin Cities Summer Jam

Local rockers Hairball headline Thursday night; Kane Brown’s smooth sound brings his “Famous Friends” to “Heaven” on Friday; and Saturday features new-to-the-scene Elvie Shane (you’ve heard “My Boy” on radio waves), oldie but goodie Trace Adkins swinging it for the borderline boomers, and country mainstay Blake Shelton singing ’bout them “Boys ’Round Here.” July 21–23. Canterbury Park

Jeff Dunham: Seriously?!

Watch ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham have conversations with himself via a crew of characters. July 22. Black Bear Casino


They’re far from over, Florence. Canterbury Park’s dog racing days are filled with floppy ears, stubby legs, and overall fuzzy feels. We’re not going to convince you to go—we’ll just see you there.

Bulldog Races June 5.

Basset Hound Races June 26.

Unicorn and Llama Races OK, not technically dogs, but come on, llamas have floppy ears too. July 10.

Extreme Race Day Here for anything four-legged and fuzzy: Camels, ostriches, and zebras take to the tracks. July 17.

Corgi Races July 31.

Wiener Dog Races August 14.

Best in Show Championships The best of the fur babies return for a battle of the breeds. September 4.

Buddy Guy and John Hiatt & The Goners

Iconic blues guitarist Buddy Guy (applaud the name!) teams up with Van Morrison– like John Hiatt & The Goners. Have a little faith in this lineup. July 24. Mystic Lake

The Great Midwest Rib Fest

Ribs, ribs, and more ribs—do you need convincing? Don’t forget wet wipes. July 28–30. Mystic Lake

Taste of Canterbury (Part 3) and Food Truck Festival

The final part of the tasting series features Asian bites in tandem with a finger-food-on-four-wheels festival. July 30. Canterbury Park


Gabriel Iglesias

This comedian capitalizes on being “fluffy”—that COVID 15 is just a little extra feathering in your pillow. August 6. Treasure Island

Puzzle Derby

Grab your nimble-fingered friends and see which team can jig ’n’ saw fastest. The catch: Locally made PuzzleTwists aren’t exactly as they appear on the box. August 6–7. Canterbury Park

Grand Country Nights

Carrying on sounds of OG country, Brothers Osborne is on a first-name basis with Hank and Willie. Big and Rich is “Comin’ to Your City” to “Party Like Cowboyz” and bringing their horse-conservation efforts like always. Other voices include the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrating 50 years of “Fishin’ in the Dark,” Tyler Rich (you know “The Difference” and “Leave Her Wild”), and Mason Dixon Line. August 12–13. Grand Casino Hinckley

Minnesota Derby, Minnesota Oaks, and Beer Festival

Double-fisting is acceptable with 200 beers to choose from. Sound like a pro: The Oaks is a race specifically for fillies (3-year-old females). August 13. Canterbury Park

Duran Duran

The Brits are coming! They’re touring with their 15th studio album after more than 40 years in the biz, and fans are hungry like wolves for more tunes. August 19. Treasure Island

Indian Horse Relay

A step up from regular jockeying, these are bareback relay races. August 25, 27–28. Canterbury Park


Freedom Fest

Rallying behind our service members, this day celebrating duty includes a memorial 5K, a car show, and a country concert (still TBA at press time), all benefitting the Invisible Wounds Project, which supports the mental health of first responders and military members. September 24. Running Aces


For updated schedules and more live events, check out the full roster of Minnesota casinos.

Black Bear Casino Resort

1785 Hwy. 210, Carlton, 218-878-2327,

Canterbury Park

1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee, 952-445-7223,

Cedar Lakes Casino Hotel

6268 Upper Cass Frontage Rd. NW, Cass Lake, 1-844-554-2646,

Fond-du-Luth Casino

129 E. Superior St., Duluth, 218-720-5100,

Fortune Bay Resort Casino

1420 Bois Forte Rd., Tower, 800-992-7529,

Grand Casino Hinckley

777 Lady Luck Dr., Hinckley, 800-472-6321,

Grand Casino Mille Lacs

777 Grand Ave., Onamia, 800-626-5825,

Grand Portage Lodge and Casino

70 Casino Dr., Grand Portage, 218-475-2945,

Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel

39375 Cty. Rd. 24, Morton, 507-697-8000,

Little Six Casino

2450 Sioux Tr. NW, Prior Lake, 952-403-5525,

Mystic Lake

2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, 800-262-7799,

Northern Lights Casino

6800 Y Frontage Rd. NW, Walker, 1-844-554-2646,

Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort

5616 Prairie’s Edge Ln., Granite Falls, 320-564-2121,

Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack

15201 Running Aces Blvd., Columbus, 612-925-4600,

Seven Clans Casino

Thief River Falls, Warroad, and Red Lake,

Shooting Star Casino

777 Casino Rd., Mahnomen, and 13325 340th St., Bagley,

Treasure Island Resort and Casino

5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd., Welch, 1-800-222-7077,

White Oak Casino

45830 Hwy. 2, Deer River, 218-246-9600,

This article originally appeared in the June issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

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