Aquatennial, week two: fireworks, parades and scrap iron
The 64th Aquatennial celebration peaks Wednesday, July 23, when you can check out:
Thirty recycled scrap-metal sculptures ranging from the nature-inspired to abstract forms will compete in categories based on size, with large freestanding and small tabletop creations. Sculptures will also be for sale.
Queen candidates will speak about themselves and their communities while wearing Talbot outfits. The chosen queen and two princesses will be announced at the Queen of the Lakes Coronation on Friday, July 25, 8 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall (200 Ferguson Hall, 2128 S. 4th St.).
Stunt skating and show tunes played by the Valley Fair Band will entertain folks in front of the bleachers between 8th and 9th streets on Hennepin Avenue. Bleacher spots cost $7 per person.
Thousands of people will cheer on racers along the Torchlight parade route, crossing the finish line at Boom Island. Registration costs $15 in advance, $20 on racing day. Check-in is 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., behind the Basilica of St. Mary at 88 N. 17th St. See Aquatennial contact information below to register.
More than 100 illuminated floats, bands and specialty units suited for the theme "Red Hot, Cool Blue" will strut down Hennepin Avenue starting at the Basilica of St. Mary near Dunwoody Boulevard, traveling 1.5 miles to the finish point at Marquette Avenue and 3rd Street. Native Minnesotan Ann Bancroft, the first woman to cross the ice to the North and South Poles, will lead the parade as its grand marshal.
Parade units will use some form of light in this evening parade, whether it be a large searchlight or glow necklaces. Thirteen marching bands - more than ever before - will strut down the parade route. Participants will carry a 30-foot American flag. Military personnel and their families were invited to march in the parade.
Other events this week include the RiverBlast Saturday, July 26, 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m., near the banks of the Mississippi River at West River Road, featuring family activities, food and live entertainment, followed by the Fireworks Show, Saturday, July 26, 10 p.m.-10:30 p.m., on the banks of Mississippi River near St. Anthony Main and the Lock and Dam. The show is the fourth-largest in the United States.
The schedule is subject to change. For a complete listing of Aquatennial events throughout the city, call 376-7669 or visit www.aquatennial.org.