SUMMER IN THE TWIN CITIES EVENTS ROUNDUP
See what’s happening this summer around Minneapolis and St. Paul
By Claire Noack
During the summer months, the Twin Cities is buzzing with events from live music to festivals and block parties. Take a look at what activities are lined up through the end of the summer. And if you want even more fun, find out about the art festivals, music and movies in the parks, theater, date night ideas and other events happening this summer around Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Food Truck Festivals
June 25, July 22 and August 19
Who doesn’t like trying unique delicacies whipped up by some of the best chefs in town? With three food truck festivals this summer, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample wild and delicious grub. And with drinks and free live music, nothing can beat this food-tactic festival. The food trucks take to the streets in Uptown (Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue) on June 25 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., downtown Anoka on July 22 from noon to 10 p.m. and Mears Park in downtown St. Paul on August 19 from noon to 10 p.m.
Groovin in the Garden
Wednesdays through July 26
Get your groove on in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. These free concerts feature some of the best local bands in a variety of genres. Free kids entertainment is also available with a climbing wall, bouncy house and lawn games. Concerts are Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. in the Enchanted Garden. The lineup for the rest of the summer includes Dan Israel & the Cultivators (June 28), Ghost Wagon (July 5), Trailer Trash (July 12), Wild Colonial Bhoys (July 19) and The Jillian Rae Band (July 26).
The Science Behind Pixar
Through September 4
Imagine learning about the magic behind your favorite Pixar animated films and characters like Buzz Lightyear, WALL-E and Dory. The Science Museum of Minnesota allows visitors to explore the technology that brings these characters to life and creates some of our favorite movie moments. Don’t miss your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar’s filmmaking process. Museum admission and entrance into the Pixar exhibit cost $28.95 for adults, $22.95 for children (4 to 12) and seniors, and $9.95 for all museum members.
Twin Cities Jazz Festival
For the best jazz music in the Twin Cities, join the masses at Mears Park in downtown St. Paul’s historic Lowertown neighborhood. This free three-day festival showcases dozens of jazz bands and attracts more than 40,000 annually. Headliners for this summer include McCoy Tyner, Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Anat Cohen, Bobby Lyle, Emmet Cohen, Eric Kamau Gravatt and Oskar Stenmark. Check the Twin Cities Jazz Festival website for a full schedule and list of performers.
Twin Cities Pride
June 24 & 25
Show your support for our thriving LGBT community at Twin Cities Pride. The celebrations include a festival, parade, Rainbow Run 5K, family picnic, beer dabbler and more at Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis. For more information, check out our post about all things happening at Pride.
Basilica Block Party
July 7 & 8
Make sure that the largest outdoor music festival in the Twin Cities is on your bucket list this summer. The Basilica Block Party features 20 bands playing on 3 stages over a two day period at the Basilica in Minneapolis. The music blasts into the night and all the proceeds go to restoration of the historic landmark and to St. Vincent de Paul’s outreach program which provides services to those in need. For a full list of scheduled acts, visit the Basilica Block Party website.
The best days of summer return in July with the Aquatennial, held in locations around downtown Minneapolis. Gear up for this free, four-day festival chock-full of events, including a tennis classic, torchlight parade and 5K, River Rats water ski shows, Minnesota Twins games and much more. And, of course, the fun always ends with a grand finale fireworks show (one of the top five fireworks displays in the nation) over the Mississippi River. You won’t want to miss out on all of these family-friendly events that celebrate our city of Minneapolis.
Rock the Garden
The Walker Art Center rocks out at the annual Rock the Garden summer concert. Headlining this year is Grammy-Award winning Bon Iver, along with seven other performances featuring several Minneapolis artists. While you listen to the live music, make sure to take a look around the newly renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with 17 new installations, including Katharina Fritsch’s “Hahn/Cock,” an ultramarine blue rooster that stands 24 feet tall. General admission tickets for the concert cost $69.
Open Streets Minneapolis
July 23, August 6 & 27, September 9 & 24
Main thoroughfares are temporarily close down to open the streets to walking and biking at these block parties. Supporting local businesses and sustainable transportation, vendors line the streets at Open Streets with locally made products, food, art, performances, free giveaways and more. There’s still time to catch the fun on July 23 on Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue, August 6 in Northeast Minneapolis, August 27 in Franklin, September 9 on West Broadway Avenue) and September 24 on Nicollet Avenue.
Minnesota State Capitol Grand Re-Opening
After four years of major restoration, the Minnesota State Capitol is reopening in August with a huge celebration. Live music, dance performances, yoga classes, fireworks and kids zone are only a handful of the fun events planned. Get a glimpse inside the newly renovated Capitol by going on a tour, beginning every 30 minutes from the Information Desk. The celebration goes from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Minnesota State Fair
August 24-September 4
The 12-day extravaganza that is the Minnesota State Fair is the best way to end the summer. With demonstrations, live animals, art, music, rides and every food you could imagine on a stick, this event is an absolute must-see. Grandstand performances this year include Nickleback, Stevie Nicks, Jim Gaffigan, Toby Keith, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, John Mellencamp, Pentatonix, Usher, Garrison Keillor and Sam Hunt. There’s nothing better than the great Minnesota get-together.