Check out the upcoming art festivals this spring and summer in the Twin Cities

By Claire Noack

Festival season is quickly approaching and you can bet that we’re getting excited with anticipation. Instead of getting out our flower crowns and heading to the desert to listen to music, we’re pumped to see our favorite local artists’ work displayed at art fairs throughout the Twin Cities. Get your art fix by attending a festival every month through spring and summer.

Join the masses at one of the largest open studio art events in the Twin Cities, the St. Paul Art Crawl hosted by the St. Paul Art Collective. Dating back to 1977, the art crawl has expanded from Lowertown in downtown to include surrounding artists throughout St. Paul. More than 300 artists open their studios and galleries to the public in this semi-annual, three-day event. The art crawl begins April 28 and continues through the weekend from noon to 8 p.m. on April 29 and noon to 5 p.m. on April 30. Check their website for a full map of participating artists and locations.

Celebrate art in both Twin Cities during the last week in April at Art in Bloom, presented by Friends of the Institute at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The four-day festival features fresh floral arrangements and fine art. More than 160 floral designs pair with artwork from Mia’s collection for a sweet-smelling, art-filled event. Visit the Cargill Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art on April 27 and 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., April 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Connect with local artists and purchase original work at Art-a-Whirl. Take part in this whirlwind tour of over 500 artists’ work from May 19-21. Visitors can tour private studios and galleries at multiple locations in Northeast Minneapolis. For the past 20 years, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association hosted what has become the largest open art studio tour in the country. Take a look at their website or download the Art-a-Whirl app for a full list of locations.

Art can come in many forms. Join in the revelry at the 43rd annual MayDay Parade and Festival on May 7 to see hand-built puppets and masks (some more than 10 feet tall). Local theater company In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre hosts the spring celebration around Powderhorn Lake in South Minneapolis. Music, performances and a Tree of Life Ceremony welcome in the warm weather in a fantastic way with crowds as large as 50,000 people.

Ring in the summer season with a weekend full of art and music on the Minneapolis riverfront at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. Located just beyond the iconic Stone Arch Bridge, booths of artwork by more than 250 artists are nestled along the Mississippi River. Enjoy free concerts, a car and motorcycle gallery, beer tent, food, family art activities and more from June 16-18.

Combine community and creativity at the Loring Park Art Festival. Located in Loring Park, a large public green space near the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the two-day art festival features art, music, food and fun. Spend July 29-30 strolling around the pond and gardens at the park, snack on summery treats and view fine artworks and crafts by more than 140 artists from all over the world.

Developed 54 years ago to draw more people to Uptown, the Uptown Art Fair has blossomed into one of the top 10 arts festivals in the country. From August 4-6, art patrons can view work from more than 350 artists, enjoy food and beverages from 20 different vendors, listen to outdoor music performances, participate in family activities, watch the culinary arts competition, and poke around the youth art fair.

Honorable Mention

Don’t forget to check out the Fine Arts Center at the Minnesota State Fair from August 24 through September 4. A variety of art demonstrations will be performed during the fair, along with a gallery filled with exquisite works of fine art.


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