By Linda Cameron

Entertainment features prominently on this year’s Fourth of July agenda. Independence Day has come a long way since the Declaration of Independence and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. If still energetic after that celebratory 5k/10k road race, fill your July 4 bucket list with stimulating, but cool, local Fourth of July celebrations. As usual, there will be spectacular parades and fireworks. The best thing is, these events are free.

Salsa del Soul
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Date: July 4, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For a bit of soul on Independence Day, dance to the strains of Salsa del Soul. To commemorate the Fourth, this Twin Cities Latin Caribbean band, with the Tapestry Folkdance Center, celebrates the 19th anniversary of 9 Nights Of Music . Salsa has multiple dance variations. Learn more about traditional and new forms of salsa while dancing to varietal Spanish-Caribbean rhythms. Folks from the dance center will give lessons.

Rock And Rocket Fourth Of July Celebration 
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel  
2400 Mystic Lake Blvd.
Prior Lake, MN 55372

Date: July 4, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

This annual Fourth Of July event in Prior Lake is always a hit. Although festivities begin at 5 p.m., it’s better to arrive at least two hours prior for a chance at parking space. The outdoor fest kicks off with live music and concludes with an indoor post-fireworks dance party. Until the fireworks, and perhaps later, you can feast on food truck fare from some of the most popular vendors. To be sure, the eats will be plentiful. Live music keeps the celebration going.

City Of Duluth Fourth Fest Celebration 
Bayfront Festival Park
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802

Date: July 4, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Come for the music as well as the food and fireworks at the landmark Bayfront Festival Park. Marking this year’s Fourth celebration will be music from Kat Perkins of NBC, Glen’s Neighbor, Mark Rubin and the Dead End Friends. To entertain the youngsters, the Mighty Thomas Carnival will be in the nearby DECC parking lot. There will be craft booths to browse as well as food vendors to choose from. The fireworks start at 10:10 p.m.

Related: Best Fourth Of July Events In Minnesota

Delano Fourth Of July Celebration 
559 North River St.
Delano, MN 55328

Date: July 4, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Delano has a week-long celebration of Independence Day, beginning June 30. But if July 4 is your target date, there are plenty of activities for you and the family. Starting off the day is a 5k morning race. Afterwards is the grand parade. An afternoon carnival, a road show, live stage performances and family entertainment intermingle with a softball tournament. At 10:30 p.m., you should be ready for the fireworks. Did we say closing time is 10:30 p.m.? That’s when everything begins.

Apple Valley Freedom Days 
5800 140th St. W.
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Date: July 4, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Like Delano, Apple Valley celebrates The Fourth with an all-week fest. If planning to participate in the road race or attend the car and motorcycle show, you can register and arrive before July 4. Presumably, you’ll settle for the July 4th festivities. Children can enjoy the carnival until 11:00 p.m. Otherwise, the entire afternoon is filled with pre-fireworks music, dancing, games and family entertainment. Don’t forget the parade as the day counts down to the fireworks display.

Related: Best 4th Of July Parties In Minnesota


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