Aquatennial Target Fireworks, Dusty Hoskovec Photography

Aquatennial and more

Updated: July 26, 2018 - 12:13 pm

The Get Out Guide features all the events to get you out and around Minneapolis

Twin Cities World Refugee Day

Celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Twin Cities refugee community during this day of art, performances, food and education. Thousands of refugees have made Minnesota their home, bringing with them so much that makes the state a better place. At this event, you’ll experience song, dance and storytelling and hear from speakers raising awareness around current refugee issues.

When: Noon–6 p.m. Sunday, July 15

Where: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St.

Cost: Free


Barbette Bastille Day Block Party Minneapolis, Image by the Bartman Group

Bastille Day Block Party

Jeremy Messersmith headlines Barbette’s 16th-annual Bastille Day Block Party this year, with other performances by Static Panic, Black Widows and the Brass Messengers. There’ll also be plenty of burlesque, by the likes of Nadine DuBois, Foxy Tann and others, fire and circus acts like Infiammati FireCircus and Circus Juventas, an appearance by the North Star Roller Derby and opera singers from the Picnic Operetta. Come for the entertainment, stay for the delicious food and local brews. Event proceeds benefit Be the Match.

When: 3 p.m.–10 p.m. Sunday, July 15

Where: Lagoon & Irving

Cost: Free


New Poets of Native Nations

New Poets of Native Nations

Join local Anishinaabe poet Heid E. Erdrich for the launch of a new anthology of Native poets she edited called “New Poets of Native Nations.” The book features 21 Native poets who have published work since the turn of this century. Birchbark Books and Native Arts and Graywolf Press are putting together the reading and reception, held at Bockley Gallery, where Erdrich will read work with Gwen Westerman and Meg Noodin. The event also includes a presentation by the Asiganaak Singers ladies hand drum group.

When: 7 p.m.–9 p.m. Wednesday, July 18

Where: Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st. St.

Cost: Free


Art Car Parade

Artcar + Artbike Parade

Musical notes, flowers, cats, skulls, trolls and colors, patterns and designs galore decorate cars and bikes for the annual Artcar + Arbike parade. Starting at the Rose Gardens, the bedazzled vehicles and cycles travel around the lake. So make yourself a picnic, make sure you have a camera and enjoy the show.

When: 6 p.m.–7 p.m. Saturday, July 21

Where: Lake Harriet

Cost: Free


Sister Cities Day

For more than 40 years, the Minneapolis Sisters City program has embarked on making connections with different cities all over the world. We are now Sister Cities with 12 different cities on five continents, and all 12 will be featured at this fun event with ice cream, music and children’s activities that highlight the diverse cultures of the program. At 2 p.m., there will be a special presentation recognizing Minneapolis’s Sister City relationship with Cuernavaca, Mexico, which turns 10 this year.

When: 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, July 22

Where: Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power St.

Cost: Free


2017 Aquatennial


For 78 years, the City of Lakes has gotten together for a big, wet party at the annual Aquatennial Celebration. Run by the Minneapolis Downtown Council since the early 2000s, it’s a four-day celebration of fireworks, parades, entertainment, family fun and more. Here are a few highlights we are looking forward to.

Aquatennial CPE Torchlight Parade, Dusty Hoskovec Photography

CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade

See the floats and meet your Minneapolis neighbors. Free canoe rides and kids activities at Loring Park before the parade starts.

When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, (6 p.m. pre-parade Family Fun Night at Loring Park)

Where: Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica of Saint Mary to 5th Street

Cost: Free


2017 Aquatennial

Fireworks finale

If you didn’t get enough Fireworks for Fourth of July, come see the show. There will be live music, a kids zone and food trucks before the main event.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, July 21 (pre-fireworks festivities 6 p.m.–10 p.m.)

Where: West River Road near Portland Avenue

Cost: Free


Skyline Fest Paddle Boarding

Aquatennial Skyline Fest

Try your hand and paddle boarding or canoeing, or just watch the expert paddlers race across the water.

When: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, July 21

Where: Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St. NE

Cost: Free 5K paddleboard race and paddleboard demos, canoe rides and yoga. Registration fees apply for other events.


Aquatennial River Rats

Twin Cities River Rats

See death-defying tricks on skis as the Twin Cities River Rats return to the festivities. These acrobats of the water are a must-see event at the festival.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19 and Friday, July 20

Where: West River Road between Broadway and Plymouth avenues