The Best Days of Summer

The Aquatennial is the ultimate way to celebrate the “city of lakes”

Here in Minneapolis, we have an enormous cherry perched on a spoon, one of the nation’s largest public-university populations, and the gorgeous limestone façade of the Twins’ home. Here, you can while away hot, sticky days with a cone of locally made Izzy’s ice cream, a spin around the lakes, and a late-night drink on the rooftop of Brit’s. Here, there are galleries, theaters, clubs, parks, and festivals enough to tempt you to call in sick everyday. Plain and simple, Minneapolis is fabulous. Luckily, there’s been an equally wonderful way to celebrate the city of lakes since 1940: the Aquatennial.

Early birds can get a jump on the celebration by heading to Nicollet Mall at 6 a.m. Friday morning to stretch into warrior’s pose with Jonny Kest, the national director for Lifetime Fitness’s LifePower Yoga, and sip on a cup of coffee provided by Equal Exchange and Organic Valley (bonus points if you can do it simultaneously). For everyone who would rather enjoy the sun later in the day rather than salute it as it’s rising, kick off the festival at 5 p.m. with hometown band the Irresistables and Grammy-nominated rockers, Tonic.

What else is there to look forward to during these nine fabulous days of summer? Let us whet your whistle:

  • Sunday is all about the beach as the famous milk-carton boat races take over Lake Calhoun, and all sorts of sandcastle creations crop up on shore
  • Wednesday, the celebration moves downtown for the torchlight parade, the largest nighttime parade in the state. Head down early to claim your spot on the curb and check out the Loring Park pre-parade party.
  • The festivities end with a bang—literally—Saturday night as over 10,000 pounds of explosives burst over the Mississippi River in one of the largest annual fireworks shows in the country.

So there you have it, just a few of the many things to look forward to over the next two weeks. Because when you live in a city as great as Minneapolis, you might as well celebrate it!

The Best Days of Summer: the Aquatennial
Friday, July 15- Saturday, July 23
For times and locations, see the schedule.

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