No, it's not too late. Yes, summer is half over. But here are the glory days in Minnesota. And just in case you can't think of anything to do, how about a milk carton boat race, a sandcastle competition, or hunting for Joe Mauer? Or a parade? Everyone loves a parade. How about a lighted, night-time parade? Because you can do all of this and much more as part of the 2010 Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Best Days of Summer!
This beloved tradition continues in its 71st year, for a run that began on July 16 and goes until July 24. The events take place in and around downtown Minneapolis. The big events kick off tonight with the Aquatennial Block Party on Nicollet Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets. This goes until 11pm with plenty of live music and frivolity.
Most events take place in and around downtown Minneapolis. The Aquatennial Plaza Tennis Classic (at 2nd Ave S and S 5th St), which actually started on July 12, brings spectator tennis to the downtown area each day. People watch out their office windows and bring their lunches to the court. Or try the Dakota Jazz Fest on Saturday, July 17 from noon to 10:30pm on Nicollet Mall. The aforementioned Joe Mauer sightings? These are life-sized statues of the MVP placed around downtown, and known collectively as Twins Around Town.
Sunday, July 18, the big to-do is the Star Tribune Beach Bash from 10am to 4pm at Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun. You can watch the milk carton boat race or the sandcastle competition. The biggest milk carton boat was built in 1993, compiled of 25,000 milk cartons and modeled after an aircraft carrier. They don't get that big very often! This year you can do many other activities, including taking FREE rides on a 24-foot voyageur canoe.
Other events include the World Wakesurfing Championships over three days (new this year), Railroad Tours and Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tours, which both start at the Mill City Museum, and the Life Time Fitness Torchlight 5K (Wed July 21), from 7:30 to 10pm, leaving from the Basilica of St. Mary right before the Torchlight Parade. The grand tradition of the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade runs down Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica starting at 8:30pm that same evening. To top it all off, there will be fireworks on West River Road (near Portland Ave) on Saturday, July 24.