The Twin Cities River Rats will perform ski shows during the Aquatennial. Submitted photo

Aquatennial to host skateboarding event at Boom Island

Updated: July 15, 2016 - 1:44 pm

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is bringing back Aquajam to this year’s festival — a celebration of skateboarding on Boom Island Saturday, July 23.

AquaJam is a skateboarding competition that was popular in the 1980s at the Aquatennial.

It will be held 3­–8 p.m. and feature veteran skateboarders demonstrating advance tricks 6–8 p.m.

Aquatennial — the city’s annual summer celebration — runs July 20–23.

Leah Wong, vice present of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said the festival features something for everyone and a mix of long-standing events and new ones like the Fulton Downtown Drag Race — bike drag racing and a bike party on Friday, July 22.

Wong said the events are clustered around Boom Island and the river to highlight that the city is one of the most walkable and bikeable cities in the nation.

“It’s a great time for the community to come together and gather,” said Wong. “We’re excited for all of these events being clustered at Boom Island, and providing offerings for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re the foodie, music enthusiast, adrenaline junkie or fitness fanatic, there is something for everyone.”

Aquatennial unveiled a new logo and new mark last year. This year Zeus Jones helped create a new website that is more accessible and encompasses iconic marks of the city with the Stone Arch Bridge, water and the north star.

“We are a city that prides itself on a healthy environment,” said City Council President Barbara Johnson during a kick-off event for the Aquatennial. “The Aquatennial brings a spotlight to these great activities that are happening in our city and makes for a fun and exciting downtown experience.”

Here are some of the highlights:

(For a full schedule, go to

Wednesday, July 20

  • Historic Aquatennial presented by Cambria, Cambria Gallery on 7th, 625 2nd Ave. S. (8 a.m.–6 p.m.)
  • Aquatennial Blood Drive in partnership with WCCO-TV & CBS Radio, IDS Center Crystal Court, 80 S. 8th St. (9 a.m.–3 p.m.)
  • Twin Cities Orthopedics Torchlight 5K, starts at Basilica of St. Mary, 7:30 p.m.
  • CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, starts at Basilica of St. Mary, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 21

  • Aquatennial Tennis Classic, Canadian Pacific plaza, 2nd Avenue & 5th Street, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Aquatennial Yoga with CorePower Yoga, Target Field Station, 5:30 p.m.
  • Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show, Mississippi River, West River Road (between Plymouth & Broadway) 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Friday, July 22

  • Aquatennial Zumba with YWCA, Peavey Plaza, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show, Mississippi River, West River Road (between Plymouth & Broadway) 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.
  • Big Waters Classic: Fulton Downtown Drag Race, North Loop (North 4th Street, between North 6th & 10th avenues), 6–9 p.m.

Saturday, July 23

  • Mess Hall (a foodie festival with local craft brews), Boom Island, 3–10 p.m.
  • AquaJam (open skateboarding and a skateboarding competition), Boom Island, 3–10 p.m.
  • Queen of the Lakes Scholarship Program Coronation, U of M Ted Mann Concert Hall, 4– 6 p.m.
  • Target Fireworks, West River Parkway near Portland Avenue, 10 p.m.