Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
Wizard World touches down in Minneapolis for the first time — and from the looks of the stellar guest list, it won’t be the last. The inaugural edition is decidedly smaller than its San Diego and New York counterparts, but there’s a strong lineup of stars, comic artists and writers. After rumors of an appearance by geek idol Benedict Cumberbatch were unsubstantiated, we got the next best thing: a “Dr. Who” reunion featuring 11th Doctor dreamboat Matt Smith and his onscreen companion, Karen Gillan, who will take part in discussions and photo ops. Big gets for Joss Whedon fanatics include “Firefly”/“Serenity” stars Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, plus James Marsters (Spike on “Buffy”).
Other stars include Michael Rooker and Brighton Sharbino of “The Walking Dead,” Ian Ziering of “Beverly Hills: 90210” and “Sharknado” fame, the original “Hulk” Lou Ferrigno, “Karate Kid” Ralph Macchio, “Lord of the Rings” star Sean Astin, Freddy Krueger portrayer Robert Englund, and the king of Comic Con himself, William Shatner. Other programming includes sci-fi speed dating, parties on Friday and Saturday nights, a film festival, discussions with comic artists and a screening of the 1930 film classic “The Bat Whispers” with live soundtrack by Chris Strouth and Paris1919. (3-8 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. $35-$525. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls. www.wizardworld.com.) Jahna Peloquin
Festival of Nations
Take a global journey this weekend. Fancy a little Italian or Nepalese cuisine? Look no further than the Festival of Nations. This annual event entertains and enlightens guests on foreign cultures. Sip beverages at the international beer and wine cafe and see the world flag ceremony. Buy goods from the market. See live entertainment including African drumming, the Children’s Peace Choir and more. (4:30-10 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. $8-$13.50. St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 West Kellogg Blvd. 651-647-0191. www.festivalofnations.com.) Melissa Walker
MayDay Parade & Festival
For 39 years running, the annual MayDay has served as the unofficial kickoff to spring in Minneapolis. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is staying true to tradition with its usual smorgasbord of hand-built, 10-foot-tall puppets, papier-mâché masks and neo-pagan ceremonies. The parade travels down Bloomington Avenue in south Minneapolis from 25th Street to Powderhorn Park. It culminates with the Tree of Life Ceremony, told through dance, puppetry and a live orchestra, and a festival complete with live music, dance, spoken word, drum circles, canoe rides and food trucks. (Noon parade, 3 p.m. ceremony. Sun. Free. Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Av. S., Mpls. www.hobt.org/mayday.) J.P.