Aquatennial dominates weekend
The annual Minneapolis Aquatennial offers entertainment and activities that celebrate the rich heritage of the City of Lakes. Billed as the "10 Best Days of Summer," this 65-year tradition kicks off, as always, with the Subway Aquatennial Block Party Friday, July 16 and runs through Sunday, July 25.
This year, the kick-off party moves to Washington Avenue, stretching between Hennepin and 3rd avenues South. Why the move? -- "More space to party!" according to Molly Mulvehill Steinke, an event spokesperson. Friday's free gathering runs 6-10:30 p.m. and includes plenty of food and music. The BoDeans headline this year, featuring songs from their first new album in eight years, "Resolution." Check www.aquatennial.org for more performers and attractions.
This year's Grande Day Parade, sponsored by U.S. Bank, is themed "Many Worlds, Past and Present." The Saturday, July 17 event will feature Veterans
of Foreign Wars members as well as performers with the citywide arts and
culture festival Minneapolis MOSAIC. The parade will run along Hennepin Avenue 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Aquatennial's other big parade, the Torchlight Parade, sponsored by CenterPoint Energy Minnegasco, is Wednesday, July 21, 8:30-10:30 p.m. This year's theme is "A Night of a Million Stars."
However, the Aquatennial isn't all parties and parades. About 50 events are either planned as part of the official Aquatennial or by other organizations working with the festival. In Downtown, a variety of Aquatennial events are everywhere (and take place every day).
Athletic events, such as the Aquatennial Plaza Tennis Invitational (at 2nd Avenue South and 5th Street beginning Friday, July 16) are an integral part of the Aquatennial celebration.
More whimsical events also dot the Downtown landscape, including the TCF Penny Frenzy, an event showcasing a mural made of over a million pennies -- and a hunt for special pennies that could lead to prizes -- on Saturday, July 17, 1:30-5:30 p.m. at the IDS Crystal Court, 80 S. 8th St.
Next week features the crowning of the Queen of the Lakes, American Iron Metal Sculpture Contest and Exhibit (Monday, July 19 and Tuesday, July 20, respectively) and the Block E Children's Film Festival, 600 Hennepin Ave. S. More about those in the July 19 Skyway News.
It's impossible to list all the events here, so call 376-7669 for more information or check out the festival's very complete Web site, www.aquatennial.org.