Some of Minnesota’s major destination events take place in the spring, drawing people from throughout the region. You may already attend one of these every year. But if you’re not in the know, here is an eclectic collection of the five biggest gatherings of the season.

Spring Festival -– An Arts & Crafts Affair
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379
(402) 331-2889

Dates: April 12-14

The Canterbury Park show emphasizes national juried artists and crafters. Traditional and contemporary exhibitors feature art and handcrafted wares. Sunshine Artist Magazine voted this spring festival among one of the top 100 shows in the U.S. The organizers try to create a festive atmosphere promoting tents for each vendor, stage entertainment, drawings and delicious food.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Minnesota Horse Expo 2013
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(952) 922-8666

Dates: April 26-28

Minnesota’s largest horse event features rodeos, riding expos, breed demonstrations and stallion presentations with 300 horses and 50 breeds. Watch a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo with all seven competitions. Wonder at the art of riding at the spell-binding Ma’Ceo show, called the ‘Cirque du Soleil’ of the horse world. Catch a fast-paced, hour-long Parade of Breeds in the Coliseum on noon each day. Mingle among 800 booths filled with horse information, products and equipment. Hear nationally recognized clinicians and speakers. Find used tack buys at the 4-H consignment sale. Kids will love the free horse, pony and wagon rides.

2013 Festival of Nations
Saint Paul River Centre
175 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 647-0191

Dates: May 2-5

It’s the abundance of food, dance, ethnic art and gifts that make this one of the largest multi-cultural events in the United States. Thirty-five cafes feature food from around the world. Over 100 authentic ethnic dance groups in brilliant costume entertain continuously on three stages. Fifty-one bazaar booths feature treasures from other cultures, and 28 folk artisans demonstrate original crafts of their heritage.

Related: Best Books About Minnesota

(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rivertown Art Festival
201 Water St.
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 351-1717

Dates: May 18-19

Stroll along the St. Croix River with the historic lift bridge in the background inhaling the beauty of juried art. The 36th annual art event is about as good as it gets. Fine art aficionados will find drawings, paintings, photography, ceramics and glass. Shoppers will find clothes, leather and jewelry. Art specialties include fiber, paper and wood. Exhibitors must meet criteria of “originality; balance presentation; over-all quality, including skill and craftsmanship; attention to fundamentals, including color, texture and composition; creative use of materials and professionalism.”

Edina Art Fair
50th and France
Edina, MN 55424
(952) 922-1524

Dates: May 31-June 2

Never disappointing is the second largest art fair in Minnesota. Discover one beautiful exhibit after another while weaving in and out of booths along the streets at the 47th annual Edina Art Fair. Over 340 exhibitors come from all over Minnesota, the U.S. and Canada to show their fine arts and crafts. There is something for all ages plus a Kids Art Zone. Action includes live music, lifestyle demos, fashion shows, cooking demos and plenty of food.

Related: Best Free Art Activities In Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at