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6 Summer Events to Discover this Season

With Minneapolis summer in full swing, we want to highlight a handful of upcoming festivals and events to look forward to over the next couple of months. While some were cancelled or made virtual last year, we are excited to showcase these once again in-person, community-focused events. From free concerts to youth sporting events, here’s a taste of the summer activities offered throughout Minneapolis parks.

#1. Music and Movies in the Parks

Music and Movies in the Parks is back this year! A classic favorite of many, these free events offer a variety of opportunities to snuggle up for a summer evening watch-party, or jam out with friends and family in a beautiful green space. Bring your picnic blanket and snacks along for an evening to remember. Check out the full line-up of July concerts and movies throughout Minneapolis parks here.

#2. City of Lakes Summer Games

The City of Lakes Community Summer Games kicks off this Sunday, July 18 at 12pm at North Commons Park. This 3-week event, running through Saturday, August 7, is an inclusive, active, and community-centered tournament for third through eighth graders hosted at North Commons Park, North Community YMCA, and other local facilities. From handball to mountain biking and even chess, the roster of events brings a diverse range of activities for youth participation. Each participant will receive a summer games t-shirt, meal and a snack each day, and support from student-leader and coaches.

Additionally, bringing an extra level of excitement to the Summer Games, is the opportunity to participate in 4 Guinness Book of World Records this summer. These include: most bases run, most penalty kicks, largest game of catch, and most jumping high-fives. For information about registering, volunteering, attending, or donating, visit the City of Lakes Summer Games Facebook page here.

#3. Aquatennial

Twin Cities River Rats perform on the Mississippi River

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. Originating in 1940, the Minneapolis Aquatennial celebrates the city’s famous lakes, rivers, and streams. Back again this year, the festival offers an exciting line-up of fireworks, parades, races, and shows, including the famous water ski show team, Twin Cities River Rats. The full gamut of events can be found on the official Aquatennial website here.

#4. Cycle the Summer

September 2009 Minneapolis Bike Tour. Photo by Scott A. Schneider for MPRB.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board decided to transform their usual one-day Minneapolis Bike Tour with a series of smaller, bike-focused events throughout the summer. There are options for both experienced bikers and novice bikers looking to grow their skills in a fun, safe environment. Also be sure to check out the Passport Program and End of the Summer Party August 28th at Boom Island Regional Park. Find all the important dates and how to register for these upcoming cycling events here!

#5. Loring Park Art Festival

Image courtesy of the Loring Park Art Festival Facebook page.

The Loring Park Art Festival offers a weekend of arts and activities set against the lush back-drop of Loring Park. With beautiful ponds and formal gardens, Loring Park makes an idyllic spot to celebrate art, music, food, and entertainment for two days each summer in downtown Minneapolis. This year’s festival is set for July 31st and August 1st. Find out more about the arts-filled weekend here.

#6. Owamni Falling Water Festival

The Owmani Falling Water Festival celebrates Indigenous cultures along the Mississippi River with a free and family-friendly event full of music, art, food, and more. While last year this festival remained virtual, plans are set for an in-person event again this year near the end of September. Keep an eye on Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s event page for upcoming details.

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