Saturday night: Jumping the gun on the summer solstice, Minnesota's eager-beaver culturati are staging the Twin Cities' first-ever all-night performance-art fest next weekend. Northern Spark 2011 will place more than 60 artists and performers in parks, galleries, museums, on the Mississippi River and elsewhere for a night of light shows, films, video projections, poetry readings, puppetry, song, parades, concerts, daffy games, music and other divertissements. Highlights include a video horse galloping on the Mississippi, a photo show with ping-pong, a floating chautauqua on the Jonathan Padelford stern-wheeler and the "Egg & Sperm Ride," which is also billed as a hide-and-seek game. The "Nightmare" video shown here is by Andréa Stanislav. Festival organizer Steve Dietz adapted the idea from the "Nuit Blanche" (White Night) festivals held at midsummer in St. Petersburg, Paris and elsewhere around the world. Paid for by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the festivities will conclude with fresh doughnuts at sunrise at Walker Art Center. What's not to like?

  • 9 p.m. Sat.-5:30 a.m. Sun. Free. Various sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul.