Memorial Day is past, and summer has commenced. Minnesota offers festivals all year round, but summer is prime time. You already know about some of the big ones, like the Aquatennial and, of course, the the Minnesota State Fair. But there are so many other festivals, some serious, some not, occurring around the state. Here are just a few examples.
The Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival takes place June 12-14. It’s a windsurfing championship combined with an indie music festival. Makes sense, right?
Cass Lake’s Chippewa Triathlon will be on June 13. The twist: instead of swimming, you’ll be paddling a canoe for that leg.
Who doesn’t love sauerkraut??? Certainly not the fine folks who put together Henderson’s annual Sauerkraut Days, this year June 26-28. Parades, tournaments, food and music—and a sauerkraut eating contest. Are you up to the challenge?
Winona’s Dixieland Jazz Festival will be on June 27. Live Dixieland bands, all day, outside. Perfect summer event.
Head to Moorhead for the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival on June 27-28. Visit the Hjemkomst Center to see the replica Viking ship that sailed to Norway, and then enjoy live music and other performances and Scandinavian foods.
The Tour of Saints takes place July 12. As the organizers say, this isn’t a race, it’s a heavenly little ride. Choose between a 35-mile and 50-mile course; the courses begin and end at the College of St. Benedict and includes stops at St. John’s Parish Center and the Cold Spring Bakery—because of course you need carbs for this.
Pie! Visit the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids on July 11 for the Great Minnesota Pie Extravaganza. Located at the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, this one-day event gives participants a hands-on 1900s baking experience.
Minnesota’s Nobel Prize-winning author is feted July 15-19 in Sauk Centre at Sinclair Lewis Days. A celebration of the community’s most cantankerous resident. Events include food, fireworks, live music, lots of tournaments (softball, disc golf), a treasure hunt, and turtle races.
Duluth’s Bayfront Reggae and World Music Festival will be on July 18. Reggae, right on the waterfront.
Head to Ely July 24-26 for the Blueberry Arts Festival. Arts, crafts, ethnic foods, and live music, all in beautiful Ely on the edge of the Boundary Waters.
The Vintage Band Festival takes place August 1. Outdoor concerts all over Northfield—for free!—and dancing, vaudeville, and old-time “base ball”.
August 7-9 has the annual Twin Cities Polish Festival. All things Polish, old and new: polka and European disco, food, Chopin concerts, baking contest, a pierogi-eating contest, and a Polish film fest.
2015 marks the tenth year of the Minnesota Garlic Festival, scheduled for August 15. Kite flying, entertainment, old-fashioned children’s activities, a garlic lover’s ball, and all things garlic, as well as Minnesota wine and beer. Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of garlic grown here? It’s pretty much guaranteed that vampires will not be present.
Barnesville’s Potato Days will be on August 28-29. Three words: mashed potato wrestling. Plus lots of lefse, potato pancakes, potato dumplings, potato sausage, and French fries.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Minnesota’s oldest festival, held in Norwood Young America August 28-30: Stiftungsfest. 2015 marks 154 years of this event, and you’ll find it full of activities, arts and crafts, softball and kickball tournaments, bingo, live music, a carnival, and of course food.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.