By Amy Rea
This is just the tip of the iceberg for festivals and events in Minnesota in July. I’ve avoided the more routine festivals, Crazy Days, Fourth of July celebrations and city parties. You can find more information about those over at Explore Minnesota. What follows is a list of the more unique possibilities this month. Be sure to check the event page; they’ve always got something interesting going on.
“Jeffers Outlaw Days: Bring Your In-Laws.” There you go.
Cities 97 Basilica Block Party
In an odd but amiable pairing, the Basilica of St. Mary and local radio stalwart Cities 97 present this “ticket to redemption.” Performers this year include Brandi Carlile, the Sins, and AWOLNATION.
Grand Marais Arts Festival
There are many arts festivals throughout the state, but not many of them get to boast about being located on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Juried art, live music, food and fun.
The ancient Dragon Boat tradition is the foundation for this Lake Phalen festival, which also offers martial arts exhibitions, music, makeup tips for Asian women, and food—lots and lots of food.
Tour of Saints
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.
Sinclair Lewis Days
A celebration of the community’s most cantankerous resident. Events include food, fireworks, live music, a treasure hunt, and yoga in the park, among many other activities.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant
July 14-15, 21-22, 28-29
If I have to explain who Laura Ingalls Wilder is and why there’s a pageant, this probably isn’t for you. But for you Little House on the Prairie fans (and that includes me), here’s your chance to experience an outdoor theatrical representation of the Ingalls family’s life on the shores of Plum Creek, now in its 40th year.
Bayfront Reggae and World Music Festival
Reggae and other world music, right on the waterfront. This year’s lineup includes Cham, Capleton, and Wayne Wonder.
Art in the Park
This is Bemidji’s 50th year offering a juried art program on the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji.
This annual celebration has a huge variety of events. Downtown tennis tournaments, Twin Cities River Rats water-ski show, classic car show, a torchlight parade, fireworks, and more.
It’s the 25th anniversary of this central Minnesota classic rock fest. This year’s lineup includes Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, and Melissa Etheridge.
Get into a tropical mood at this annual celebration of all things Caribbean. There will be plenty of live music and other kinds of performances, as well as delicious Caribbean foods.
Blueberry Arts Festival
Arts, crafts, ethnic foods, and live music, all in beautiful Ely on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Oh—and blueberry pie.
Little Log House Pioneer Village Antique Power Show
This annual event offers the only public access to this historical site each year. A thorough re-creation of Minnesota history, this festival offers quilting and spinning demonstrations, functioning lumber and shingle sawmills, tractor and truck pull, threshing demonstrations, and a hand printing press.
An annual festival in its 34th year, located by one of the two big black ducks in town, this event is a celebration of woodcarving as a past and present tradition. Don’t forget to try an Uffda Taco.
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.