Festival season in Minnesota kicks off in earnest in June. There are plenty of things to do in every corner of the state.
Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff
One of four annual festivals run by the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association, the Homegrown Kickoff offers live music, jam sessions, music classes, camping, and crafts and food.
Grand Old Day
St. Paul’s Grand Avenue welcomes the entire family for entertainment, kids’ activities, food, drink, art fair, parade—pretty much everything you need.
Twin Cities Pride
Parade, queer prom, concerts, family fun day, a night out with Chelsea Handler, an art show—this is one packed event.
Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival
A windsurfing championship combined with an indie music festival. Makes sense. See the website for this year’s musicians.
Why swim when you can portage and canoe?
Caramel Roll Ride
Go on a beautiful bike ride—and eat caramel rolls along the way. Could it get any better?
Visit the Cities after hours, and see what kinds of creativity take place.
Wizard of Oz Festival
The festival features live music, free “Land of Oz” kids activities, a Dash for the Ruby Slippers 5K Run/Walk, “The Wizard of Oz” outside on the BIG SCREEN, a community picnic, and more.
A celebration of all things Rochester, this is a busy week: lumberjack championships; volleyball and fishing tournaments; cemetery walks; music and dancing; treasure hunt; historic walking tours; parade; and even a hot air balloon race.
Stone Arch Bridge Festival
It’s hard to imagine a more scenic location for this jack-of-all-trades festival: juried art show, Art of the Car display, and live music.
Land of the Loon Festival
A celebration of the various ethnic groups that settled into northeastern Minnesota. Food, music, arts and crafts from around the world.
Twin Cities Jazz Festival
Enjoy a (hopefully) beautiful visit to Mears Park while soaking in the musical stylings of the McNasty Brass Band, the Nelson Devereaux Quartet, the Dave Brattain Quartet, and a Scat-Off, among many others.
St. Cloud Granite City Days
Celebrate the Granite City’s heritage at this annual festival, complete with fly-in pancake breakfast, tours of historic homes, a 5K run, and bike races.
Great River Shakespeare Festival
June 22-Aug. 5
The annual Shakespeare Festival offers two of the Bard’s plays: All’s Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. The festival also offers Shakespeare in Love and Venus in Fur. See website for schedule and ticket information.
Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival
A joint Scandinavian festival presented by local Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Swedish groups, this annual celebration includes a Scandinavian music groups, puppet shows, and of course—lots of Scandinavian food. This year’s focus is on Sweden.
Parades, tournaments, food and music—and a sauerkraut eating contest. Are you up to the challenge?
Held at the lovely Gammelgarden Museum, this festival offers Swedish music, a pig roast smorgasbord, Swedish Hambo dancers, and all manner of crafts and activities (butter making, hoop rolling). Or just enjoy a beautiful summer day at this living history site which features several original immigrant homes and buildings.
31st Annual Winona Dixieland Festival
Live Dixieland bands, all day, outside. Perfect summer event.
Note: A huge variety of events and festivals are listed on the website of the Minnesota Historical Society.
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.