Edit ModuleShow Tags

Summer in the Cities: Festivals



Photo by Todd Buchanan

Whether you're looking to celebrate your heritage, mingle with award-winning chefs, watch artists showcase their talents, or catch a second showing of fireworks, with these festivals there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Highland Fest (July 18-20): Now in its 31st year, this family-friendly festival jam-packs the weekend with activity. Listen to live music, sample brews in the beer tent, play on inflatable rides and games or visit the petting zoo. New this year is fitness activities like Zumba, Cross Fit and yoga, plus Wine and Canvas, a movie in the park and a Ford car and truck show.

Aquatennial (July 18-26): Dubbed “the best days of summer,” the festival, now in its 75th year, celebrates Minneapolis with a myriad of events that take place throughout the city. Flagship events include the Star Tribune Beach Bash, which includes the beloved milk carton boat races, the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, which illuminates downtown with bands and floats, and the Target Fireworks show, one of the largest in the country.

Minnesota Fringe Festival (July 31-Aug. 10): This 11-day festival strives to connect artists with audiences, as 169 different productions are presented across 19 stages in Minneapolis. What’s unique is that performers are selected by lottery, not a juried panel, giving all eager artists an equal chance to showcase their talents. All shows are an hour or less, with 30-minute breaks in-between. Tickets: $12 plus $4 admission button, $5 ages 12 and younger.

Twin Cities Polish Festival (Aug. 8-10): Learn about “all things Polish,” including the huge part the culture has in Minnesota’s history. With Poland holding a reputation as one of the world’s most hospitable cultures, attendees of all backgrounds will enjoy this celebration, which includes folk dancing and other entertainment, food, beer and cultural and educational displays.

Irish Fair of Minnesota (Aug. 8-10): You’ll think its St. Patrick’s Day with all of this Irish pride. This is the largest celebration of the culture in the nation and rightfully so—it’s quite the affair, attracting some 100,000 attendees. More than 350 musicians will perform throughout the weekend, and you’ll have the chance to tryout Gaelic sports, shop a Celtic marketplace, view cultural displays and listen to speakers, as well as participate in or watch Irish dancing and sample authentic foods and drinks.

Cultivate Festival (Aug. 23): Chipotle’s all-day festival is in its fourth year, but this is its first stop in Minneapolis. Look for cooking demonstrations by awesome local chefs like Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods America, and James Beard Award nominees Jamie Malone, Jack Riebel and Paul Berglund, along with live music, local food artisans, breweries and wineries, and interactive experiences that focus on sustainable eats. Plus, you’ll get the chance to learn the secret to Chipotle’s famous guacamole.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags