Minnesotans love the summer. After the long winter ends, locals tend to get outside more and plan activities in the sun. This summer, several anticipated festivals pull communities together and lend themselves to a world of outdoor fun. Check out these fun events and summer festivals.

Credit: CBS

Twin Cities Pride Festival
Loring Park
1382 Willow St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 255-3260

Date: June 28-29, 2014

An annual celebration in downtown Loring Park, the Pride Festival brings the community together to celebrate diversity and equality. The GLBT population in the state and throughout the upper Midwest welcome everyone to a weekend of fun and togetherness along with a parade and featured events throughout the weekend. The Pride Festival is dog friendly, kid friendly and welcoming of anyone who wishes to hang out with some of the coolest people in the state.

Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Stone Arch Bridge
117 Portland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
(952) 473-6422

Date: June 14-15, 2014

This year, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival will take place on Father’s Day weekend and will welcome a wide range of bands, artists, musicians and entertainers. With three performance stages surrounding the beautiful park by the Stone Arch Bridge, locals will enjoy quality entertainment and fun. A classic car show is scheduled for Father’s Day, and an art show rounds out the fun. Family events and activities will feature face painting, juggling and a birdhouse construction booth.

(credit: Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission)

Basilica Block Party
The Basilica of St. Mary
88 N. 17th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 333-1381

Date: July 11-12, 2014

What started 25 years ago as a fundraiser to help remodel and preserve the architectural masterpiece known as the Basilica of St. Mary has become a two-day party locals look forward to all year. Rock stars and bands come out to play on the three stages surrounding the Basilica to help raise funds for community projects and services sponsored through the Basilica. Last year, big names such as Matchbox Twenty and Matt Nathanson performed along with many other popular acts. Get ready to party and support the community this year at the Block Party.

Related: Best Upcoming Art Festivals In Minnesota

River Song Music Festival
West River Park
N.W. Bank of the Crow River
Hutchinson, MN 55350
(320) 587-2599

Date: July 18-19, 2014

Taking over the beautiful Masonic/West River Park in Hutchinson, Minn., the River Song Music Festival is a celebration of music and the arts in the community. Featuring a long list of grassroots bands and performers, many from Minnesota, the River Song Festival brings in fans from all over the Midwest. Camping areas are bursting at the seams with travelers in town for the fun and families with kids are welcome to participate in kid-friendly activities. Enjoy the food and fun all weekend long.

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota State Fair
State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 288-4400

Date: Aug. 21 – Sept. 1, 2014

The most anticipated and attended festival all year is the Minnesota State Fair. Taking place annually over the last week of August and ending on Labor Day, people travel from all over to attend the fair. There is so much to do that one day is usually not enough. Experience rides, games, entertainment, daily parades, contests and many other events. The fair is also known for its overwhelming selection of fried foods and Midwestern delicacies only eaten on a stick. Check out the Grandstand for a concert while you’re there as many popular bands come to town during fair season.

Best Summer Vacation Activities In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.