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

Cannons going off at Pipestone's Civil War Days.
Pipestone Civil War Days

photo courtesy pipestone civil war days

Legends and Logging Days (Aug. 9-12)

On closer inspection, Park Rapids’ Legends and Logging Days doesn’t really dive into the culture of lumberjacks. But hey, their Jack and Jill lumberjack competitions are pretty fun to watch, as folks go head-to-head on challenges that test their proficiency at stacking log cookies, their bow saw speed, and hammer-striking power in the hammerschlagen. Plus, there’s history to discover in the family-friendly programming.

Between events, watch master chainsaw artists, check out Civil War cannon exhibits, plug your ears for black powder demonstrations, and taste some Dutch-oven cooking samples. Schedule in downtime at the sip-and-paint class on Friday. The beer garden opens Friday and Saturday, and there’s a free beach concert on Sunday (with donations going to the Kinship of the Park Rapids Area). If the lumberjack games get your competitive juices flowing, play it safe at the bean bag toss tournament on Saturday.

Irish Fair (Aug. 10-12)

Don your kilts, bust out your bagpipes, and show your shamrock flair at the 39th annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. This celebration of Irish heritage turns Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul into a little slice of the Emerald Isle for the weekend, drawing approximately 100,000 shamrock supporters. It’s full of family-friendly entertainment for lads and lasses—including the Celtic Kitchen, a children’s area, shopping, and more that you can read about in detail here.

Pipestone Civil War Days (Aug. 11-12)

Every town has its big celebration, and for Pipestone, in southwest Minnesota, it’s the Pipestone Civil War Days, taking place this weekend at Hiawatha Pageant Park. The two-day event pays tribute to the town’s past: Reenactors transport visitors back to the 1860s with daily battle reenactments, cannon demonstrations, and vintage baseball games. Plus, there’s a Civil War tea party and ball. Attendees can snap a selfie with a statue of Union champ Abe Lincoln, grab food from one of the many vendors, and browse collections of 200-plus Civil War guns on display.

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