2012 Minneapolis Aquatennial
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Dates: July 13 to 21
The Minneapolis Aquatennial celebrates its 73rd year this year with a celebration packed full of fireworks and fun events for the entire family. The Best Days of Summer celebration, which has taken place since 1940, showcases tons of music, film, tennis and volleyball and other outdoor events. Special events such as the Lipton Ice Tea & Honey Aquatennial Plaza Tennis Classic and the Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show round out this amazing annual celebration.
Star Tribune Beach Bash
Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun
Hours: July 15 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Star Tribune Beach Bash includes the Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Races. Races for ages 12 and younger as well as 19 and older, to allow children and adults of all ages the opportunity for fun and creativity in designing their best milk carton boats. Spectators preferring to watch the races may also catch the Aquatennial race against the St. Paul Winter Carnival at 3 p.m. Various races take place throughout the day and close with an awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Other events at the Star Tribune Beach Bash include the Xcel Energy Sandcastle Competition and Wilderness Inquiry’s Voyageur Canoe Paddling Instruction.
Aquatennial Pre Parade Party at Loring Park
Hours: July 18 – 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for pre-parade parties, you’ll want to make sure you make it to Loring Park. Ice cream, food and beverages at reasonable prices as well as carnival games, pony rides and face painting will all be available that the Loring Park pre-parade party.
CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade
Hennepin Avenue between the Dunwoody College of Technology and 5th Street
Hours: July 18 – 8:30 p.m.
The downtown area will boom with the bands and floats of The CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade July 18. Watch as floats illuminate the entire downtown area with a celebrity grand marshal hosting one of the biggest parades in the state.
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West River Parkway along the Mississippi River
Hours: July 21 – 10 p.m.
The Target Fireworks display, known as one of the largest firework shows in the country, will light up the sky at 10 p.m. on the final night of the Aquatennial festivities. Live pre-firework music will begin as part of the festivities between Portland and the 3rd Avenue Bridge at 6 p.m.
Aquatennial Ambassador Organization Queen of the Lakes Coronation
Ted Mann Concert Hall, West Bank, University of Minnesota
Hours: July 20 – 7 p.m.
Price: $29 individuals/$27 per person in groups
The Queen of Lakes Coronation held by the Aquatennial Ambassador Organization features 50 women from various Minnesota communities competing for the chance to represent the festival and the City of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes, as well as two princesses, will be crowned at this event.
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112 North 3rd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Featuring masterpieces by one of the best chefs in the midwest, Isaac Becker, this place boasts dining like none other. Great for late nights especially, it’s the perfect place for a bite the night of the fireworks. Expect solid service, comfy ambiance and desserts that are just to die for.
30 N. First St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
More for the grownups, this place boasts some of the best sushi in the state with traditional Japanese cuisine and all-American favorites. Choose from a solid sake selection or imbibe in its full bar selection. Don’t miss late-night happy hour from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Christina Majaski is a full-time legal assistant and freelance writer for online and print publications. She has an obsession for all things related to social media and invites you to follow along with her on Twitter @cmajaski. She currently resides with her daughter in central Minnesota. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.