We tend to celebrate Independence Day with more zest and gusto than any other holiday. Here are five particularly unique events going down in Minnesota this year.
Taste Of Minnesota
501 W. 3rd St.
Waconia, Minnesota 55387
Dates: Thur. July 2 through Sat. July 4, 2015 at 11 a.m. to 11p.m. and Sun. July 5, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. All four days, music begins at 11:30 a.m. on the Taste Stage and 2:30 pm on the Main Stage.
Price: $10 (includes $5 in food and beverage tickets and free admission for accompanying children 12 and under. Free admission before 1:00 p.m. Free admission July 4, 2015 for Military, Police, Fire and EMT with proper identification.
Trek to “Taste” in Waconia this year. Choose from any of 37 bands playing on one of two stages throughout four exciting days. Gear Daddies headlines Thursday, sponsored by 92 KQRS. See Foghat Friday, sponsored by KQRS. P.O.D. will sing on Saturday, sponsored by 93X RADIO. Phil Vassar serenades on Sunday, sponsored by BUZ’N 102. Sample the food and surf the booths between acts.
Brainerd Lakes Area Fourth Of July Celebration
213 S. 5th St.
Brainerd, MN 56401
Date: June 27, 2015; July 2, 2015; July 3 through July 5, 2015.
“Minnesota’s 4th of July Capital,” says the Brainerd Community Action of the Brainerd Lakes Area. Inflated claim or not, there are more Independence Day events in the area than in most. For example, catch spectacular fireworks displays every night at a different venue. Start with the Miss Brainerd United States Pageant on Saturday June 27 and Race for the Cure on Thursday July 2. The 29th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go runs July 3 through July 5, 2015 including Muscle Car Series drag racing, National Auto Sport Association and the previously popular Trans Am Series. On Friday, check out the Brainerd Battle of the Bands and Show n’ Shine classic car show. Independence Day events include Corn On The Cob Feed at noon, The American Celebration Parade, at 4 p.m. and the Pop Rocks Concert at 6:30 p.m. Arts in the Park follows on Sunday. Madden’s on Gull Lake offers family fun 4th of July Weekend with a cookout, beach party, adventure children’s program, a kids’ parade, bonfires, bingo and movies.
Lake Minnetonka 4th Of July Celebration
Chamber Welcome Center
37 Water St.
Excelsior, MN 55331
Date: July 4, 2015
Launch your boat on Lake Minnetonka and experience Francis Scott Key’s “bombs bursting in air” over the lake at Excelsior, Wayzata, Mound and Lafayette Club from any direction. Join the parade of boats all day around the bays and through the channels. Go to Excelsior in the morning for the Firecracker 1 mile run, 5K, 10K, Sculpture Contest, Kids’ Parade and Popsicle Social. See The Wolverines Big Band at 7 in the evening. Don’t miss Kate Raddatz’ stellar National Anthem in Commons Park at 9:55 p.m. and then sit back to enjoy what this proud city calls “The Best Fireworks on Lake Minnetonka.”
Independence Day Celebration
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55111
Dates: July 4, 2015 at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6 through 17; free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.
Directions: At the junction of Minnesota Highways 5 and 55, one mile east of the Twin Cities International Airport. Take Bloomington Road exit and follow signs to historic site St. Paul MN
Experience the rush of life in the early 1800s. The day is filled with cannon salutes, military dress parades and fife and drum music. Take a shot at playing any of several games of the day available at the grounds. The highlight of reenactment has to be a mock battle depicting Colonel Snelling’s victory at the Battle of Oak Woods in the War of 1812. Witness the more poignant part of human conflict and absorb the broader meaning of independence at Dred Scott quarters. The display chronicles slavery in Minnesota and Fort Snelling’s role in the sweep of history.
43rd Annual Music In Plymouth
Hilde Performance Center
3450 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55447-1448
Date: July 1, 2015 at 5:30 until after dark
Start the celebration three days early with fireworks and an exhilarating on-stage fire performance by the Enticing Entertainment Fireshow. Leading up to the climactic event are music-makers like The Minnesota Orchestra, an American funk band called The Droppers plus the banjo and strings group No Grass Limit. More mayhem throughout is provided by Medicine Show Music Company, Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Sound Factory, Uncle Sam, face painting, balloon makers, tattoo fun and crazy hair artists. Plan to picnic with 15,000 other revelers, as this is a popular venue.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.