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Weekend Outlook: Hot Rods, Viking Ships, Parades, Fireworks, and More!


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It’s officially summer on Wednesday, and with each Minnesota summer comes outdoor events and festivals. Honestly, no matter what time of the summer you visit, and no matter what part of Minnesota you’re in, there’s a host of events to attend—from parades and exhibits to live music and craft fairs. And the first official weekend of summer kicks things off; here are just a few events to add to your agenda.

Back to the ‘50s Weekend (June 22-24): Here in the Twin Cities, we always know it’s Back to the ‘50s weekend when we see shiny street rods cruising toward the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Peruse more than 11,000 hot rods, customs, classic cars, and restored vehicles, all dating 1964 or earlier. With more than 350 vendors, an area for kids complete with tractor pulls, a craft fair, an auction, and daily music concerts, it’s a perfect event for any car-loving family. $10; kids under 12 are free. msra.com

Back to the 50s Weekend

Back to the '50s Weekend
Photo Courtesy of MSRA

Twin Cities Pride Festival (June 23-24): Now in its 40th year, this is one of the largest GLBT celebrations in the country. Attend the festival in Minneapolis' Loring Park, see Destiny Child’s Kelly Rowland in concert, tour the juried art show at Aloft Hotel, and eat out at Sunday’s picnic, participating in races, softball, and other fun events. The biggest draw, the Pride Parade, can draw more than 125,000 spectators and takes place on Sunday at 11 a.m. along Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. tcpride.org

Svenskarnas Dag (June 24): One of the largest Swedish festivals in the country, Svenskarnas Dag (Swedish Heritage Day) brings Scandinavians together with the raising of the Midsommer pole, singing and dancing, crafts, and authentic food. In Minnehaha Park, free and open to the public. svenskarnasdag.com

Earle Brown Days Festival (June 21-23): In honor of the noted farmer who put down roots in the area, the city of Brooklyn Center hosts an annual parade (Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at 63rd and France), fishing contests, a petting zoo, and fireworks (Saturday at 10 p.m. in Centennial Park). ci.brooklyn-center.mn.us

Hjemkomst Ship

Hjemkomst Ship
photo courtesy of Fargo-Moorhead CVB

Granite City Days (June 21-24): If you’re in Central Minnesota this weekend, don’t miss this St. Cloud event, complete with a block party (featuring the band America), a parade (10 a.m. Saturday), a kids’ and adults’ triathlon, an outdoor expo, and a family fun day with plenty of free activities. granitecitydays.com

Scandinavian Hjemkomst & Midwest Viking festivals (June 22 & 23): These festivals join forces for one great weekend in Moorhead. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the voyage made by Bob Asp, who built a replica Viking ship, the Hjemkomst, over a period of six years. In May 1982, a crew of 13 men sailed the Hjemkomst from Duluth to Norway, in honor of the Vikings who made a similar (though reverse) journey hundreds of years before. In addition to seeing the ship, enjoy dancers, exhibits, food, and presentations of art and everyday Viking life. Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County, hcscconline.org

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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.

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