The Best Days of Summer 2014: Family Fun Twin Cities’ FREE Guide to the Aquatennial


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In January, St. Paul celebrates our frigid winter temps and the tough Minnesotans that we are.  Six months later, Minneapolis takes center stage and celebrates our numerous lakes and the crazy Minnesotans we are.  That’s not to say we aren’t crazy in January, but it’s a whole easier to goof off when we can move our faces.  And since it takes until July to warm Minnesota back up, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the 75th Aquatennial.

Running from July 18-July 26, the Aquatennial is great fun with so many family activities. You won’t be disappointed.  The three most popular events are the Xcel_Energy_Sandcastle_CompetitionStar Tribune Beach Bash on July 20,

CenterPoint_Energy_Torchlight_Parade Centerpoint Energy Torchlight Parade on July 23 and

Target Fireworks closing out the festivities on July 26. There is so much more to Aquatennial, though, and we don’t want you to miss out on something that may be right up your alley.

All of this fun is FREE unless otherwise noted.

Friday, July 18

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show 7:00 pm
Broadway Avenue Bridge (watch Star Wars on the Mississippi River)

Minneapolis_Aquatennial_LogoSaturday, July 19

Creative City Challenge Play Day 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza (go and play.  And I do mean PLAY together)

Midtown Global Music Festival 2:00 pm-8:00 pm
Midtown Global Market

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show 3:00 pm
Broadway Avenue Bridge (watch Star Wars on the Mississippi River)

Keylog Rolling Invitational 3:00 pm
Lake Calhoun, Thomas Beach (how fast can their feet really go as they work to stay up on their log?)

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show 7:00 pm
Broadway Avenue Bridge (watch Star Wars on the Mississippi River)

Star_Tribune_Beach_Bash_Logo_-_v6.19.14Sunday, July 20

Star Tribune Beach Bash 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Lake Calhoun, Thomas Beach

  • Sandcastle Competition
  • Milk Carton Boat Races
  • KeyLog Rolling Invitational Finals
  • Blood Drive
  • Minneapolis Fire Department celebration
  • Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoe Rides

7th Annual Minneapolis International Sister Cities Day Celebration and Ice Cream Social 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Nicollet Island Pavillion (one word freeicecreamsundae.  Translated as free ice cream sundae)

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Broadway Avenue Bridge (watch Star Warson the Mississippi River)

Tuesday, July 22-Saturday, July 26

Best Days of the Bakken 10:00 am-5:00 pm
The Bakken Museum (visit the Bakken for free.  Each day they have different themes.  One word of advice.  Don’t volunteer for anything if you don’t know what they are going to do to you!)

CenterPoint_Energy_Torchlight_Parade__photo_credit_Richard_Westley_Wong_Wednesday, July 23

Centerpoint Energy Torchlight Parade 8:30 pm-10:30 pm
Hennepin Ave. from Dunwoody College of Technology to 5th St.

Thursday, July 24

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show 7:00 pm
Broadway Avenue Bridge (watch Star Wars on the Mississippi River)

Star_Tribune_Beach_Bash_-_Milk_Carton_Boat_Race__photo_credit_Richard_Westley_Wong_Saturday, July 26

Tour de Camden 9:00 am
Creekview Park (easy ride around the seven neighborhoods of Camden)

The Salvation Army’s Most Amazing Race  Qualifying Races at 10:00 am
At various places around town (main part of the race at Stone Arch Bridge around 2:00 pm)

Twin Cities Carifest  10:00 am-10:00 pm
West River Parkway between Plymouth  Ave. and Broadway Ave. (enjoy a taste of the Caribbean)

Global Smoothie Smackdown 12:00 pm-2:00 pm ($5 donation requested)
Midtown Global Market (Sample more than 10 different restaurants)

Midtown Phillips Festival 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Stewart Park (two music stages and a children’s area with pony rides and carnival games)

Plaza Presents! A Day of Music 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Marquette Plaza’s R ichard & Annette Block Cancer Survivors Park

Target Fireworks 6:00 pm-10:30 pm
West River Parkway, along the Mississippi River


photo images courtesy of Richard Westley Wong

logo images courtesy of Aquatennial

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids--Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at www.giannaraekordatzky.blogspot.com .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.

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