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

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags