The Source // Summer festivities

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June 4, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie


Walker Art Center’s Open Field

From June to September, the Walker turns its big green open space into the Open Field — a creative commons devoted to all kinds of unique programming. 

New Belgium Urban Assault ride

The traveling bicycle obstacle course sponsored by bike-loving brewery New Belgium is returning to Minneapolis. Now in its 10th year, the Urban Assault Ride takes cyclists through the streets of Minneapolis on June 10 to complete challenges at checkpoints throughout the city.

Stone Arch Bridge Festival 


The festival will feature more than 250 artists and musicians on the riverfront June 15–17. Performers lined up include Romantica, the Evening Rig, Heiruspecs and A Wolf & Her Claws. 

NE Pedal Pub Race

The pedal pub races take place on Hennepin. It’s a lively event featuring food, music and more. This year’s race takes place on June 10.  

Nature Valley Bicycle Festival

The bicycle festival makes a stop in Uptown on June 15. The Nature Valley Grand Prix features a 0.88-kilometer course that has bikers racing past Calhoun Square.

Twin Cities Pride Festival


The 2012 Twin Cities Pride Festival is the 40th anniversary of the event celebrating the GLBT community. This year’s festival runs June 23 & 24. Highlights include the large festival in Loring Park and the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade on Hennepin Avenue. The festival is one of the country’s largest Pride events. 

UCARE City of Lakes Loppet

The event features an 8K paddle on the Chain of Lakes, a 5K-trail run and 11K mountain bike ride through Theodore Wirth Park. This year’s event is June 23.

Celebrate NE Parade

The Northeast parade along Central Avenue is chance to celebrate one of the most beloved areas of Minneapolis. This year’s event is planned for the evening of June 19. 


Basilica Block Party

The 18th annual Cities 97 Block Party will be July 6 & 7. Proceeds benefit The Basilica of Saint Mary and the Saint Vincent de Paul Outreach Programs.

Mill City 

Summer Opera

The inaugural season of the Mill City Summer Opera runs July 12–20. The opera will be performing “Pagliacci” in the Mill City Museum Courtyard. It’s the region’s only outdoor opera.

Midwest Tomato Fest

The region’s only tomato toss is coming to downtown Minneapolis on July 14. The 2011 event at Afton Alps had about 3,000 gather to throw ripened tomatoes plus listen to local music. 

Minneapolis Aquatennial

The 2012 Minneapolis Aquatennial is planned for July 13–21. It’s the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. It’s the 73rd annual event. Flagship events include the Star Tribune Beach Bash on July 15, the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade on July 18 and the Target Fireworks on July 21. 

Red Hot Art

Red Hot Art 2012 is one of the city’s premier grass roots arts festivals. Presented by the Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO), the event features about 100 booths dedicated to visual artists with 30 musical acts performing as well. This year’s event is July 28 & 29. 

NE Dog Parade

The canine-centric celebration features a gathering of pooches and their people. This year’s event is on July 27. It kicks off at 5 p.m. with a picnic at Chute Square. After the parade, there is a dogtail hour and flea market in front of the Red Stag and Key North.  


Walker’s Summer Music and Movies

The 2012 Walker Art Center’s Summer Music 

& Movies series theme is “In Dreams.” The music and movie events will be held Mondays, July 30–Aug. 20. The series kicks off with the band Night Moves and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.” 

Macy’s Glamorama

One of the signature events of the year for fashionistas, Macy’s Glamorama features a blend of high fashion and rock. The theme for this year’s event on Aug. 3 is “British Invasion: The Music Then. The Fashion Now!” 

National Night Out

Minneapolis consistently ranks number one in the country for National Night Out participation. In 2011, more than 60,000 Minneapolis residents attended neighborhood NNO events. This year’s event is Aug. 7. 

Minnesota Fringe Festival

The Minnesota Fringe Festival (Aug. 2–12) is an 11-day celebration of the performing arts. Shows are 60 minutes or less. In 2011, event organizers issued more than 48,000 tickets to 168 different shows.

Uptown Art Fair

Considered the number one art fair in the state, the event typically draws 375,000 visitors. This year’s art fair is Aug. 3–5.

Loring Park Art Festival

The Loring Park Art Festival (Aug. 4 & 5) features work by over 140 artists working in a variety of media — painting, photography, printmaking, jewelry and more. 

Red Stag Block Party

The block party will be Aug. 5, 3–10 p.m. It’s a zero-waste event featuring local music stars and local food vendors.

— Sarah McKenzie