Where to see fireworks
Freedom, in addition to being synonymous with nothin’ left to lose, is also closely tied to fireworks. The explosions that birthed and expanded this nation will light up the downtown Minneapolis riverfront at Red, White and Boom! Expect ample oohs and aahs at Veterans Park in Richfield and Aquila Park in St. Louis Park. Excelsior shoots ’em over Lake Minnetonka, while road-ready independence likers can peer over the St. Croix in Stillwater or Hudson. Here’s a full list of metro ’works. Jay Boller
Chanhassen: 10 p.m. City Center Park, 7700 Market Blvd.
Eagan: 10 p.m. Central Park, 1501 Central Pkwy.
Eden Prairie: 10 p.m. Round Lake Park, 7550 Constitution Av.
Excelsior: Dusk. Excelsior Commons, Lake St. along the south shore of Excelsior Bay.
Forest Lake: 10 p.m. American Legion Post 225, 355 Broadway Av. W.
Lakeville: Dusk. Lakeville North High School, 19600 Ipava Av.
Maplewood: Dusk. Hazelwood Park, 1663 County Rd. C.
Minneapolis: 10 p.m. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, 100 6th Av. SE.
Minneapolis (Powderhorn Park): Dusk. 3400 15th Av. S.
Mystic Lake Casino: 10 p.m. 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake.
Northfield: Dusk. Northfield, Minn.
Richfield: Dusk. Veterans Memorial Park, 6335 Portland Av. S.
St. Louis Park: 10 p.m. Aquila Park, 3100 Xylon Av. S.
St. Paul: Dusk. Harriet Island, Plato Blvd. & Justus Ohage Blvd.
Stillwater: 10 p.m. Lowell Park, Water and Myrtle Sts.
Waconia: 10 p.m. Lake Waconia Regional Park, 8170 Paradise Lane.
Hudson, Wis.: Dusk. Lakefront Park, 1st and Walnut Sts.
To the casual observer, CONvergence may look like just another giant four-day debaucherous costume party. But beneath the surface, a broader slice of geek culture gets carved out and served. Attend screenings of rare sci-fi/fantasy films from around the world. Roll with tabletop gamers or catch Nintendinitis with a pack of pixel junkies. Meet local and national celebrities from the sci-fi community, get their autographs and hear their behind-the-scenes stories. Enjoy expert panel discussions on such wide-ranging topics as Joss Whedon, “Firefly,” “Buffy,” “Dollhouse” and “The Avengers.” Or just go for the party if that’s more your thing. (Thu.-Sun. $100. DoubleTree by Hilton, 7800 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. www.convergence-con.org.) Rob Callahan