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Aquatennial Planner and Calendar of Events

Whats on When at the Aquatennial? Major Events at the Minneapolis Aquatennial


What are the dates for the Aquatennial?

In 2013, the Aquatennial starts on July 12, and runs through July 20. Special Aquatennial events are held all over Minneapolis, celebrating the city, the lakes and Mississippi river which are an integral part of the city's history and culture.

When is the Aquatennial Beach Bash?

The Aquatennial Beach Bash is at the start of the Aquatennial, on Sunday July 14. The Aquatennial Beach Bash is on Sunday July 14, on the shores of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Events including the Xcel Energy Sandcastle Competition, Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Races, Minneapolis Fire Department, Memorial Blood Centers Blood Drive, Wilderness Inquiry's Voyageur Canoe Paddling Instruction, and more.

When are the Milk Carton Boat Races?

The Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Races, part of the Aquatennial since 1971, are part of the Beach Bash. The Milk Carton Boat Races will be on Sunday July 14.

The milk carton boats launch from Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun. There are several categories to enter milk carton boats in, and races starts at 11 am until 3 pm, with awards at 4 pm.

When is the Aquatennial Sand Castle Competition?

The Aquatennial Sand Castle Competition is part of the Aquatennial Beach Bash, on Sunday July 14. The competition is held at Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun, with the sandcastle building between 10 am and 2 pm, and awards at 3.30 pm.

When is the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade?

The Aquatennial CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade is on Wednesday July 17. The evening parade has all kinds of illuminated floats and marchers. The parade starts at 8.30 pm until 10.30pm, and runs up Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, from Dunwoody College to 5th Street.

Before the parade, there is a family focused pre-parade party in Loring Park, with lots of child friendly entertainment and music. Loring Park, 5 pm - 7.30 pm, July 17.

When are the Aquatennial Fireworks?

The Aquatennial Fireworks are on Saturday July 20. The fireworks are launched from the West River Parkway in Downtown Minneapolis, near the Stone Arch Bridge. The firework show begins at 10 pm.

And before the fireworks, free pre-firework live music begins at 6 pm until 10 pm, between Portland Avenue and the 3rd Avenue Bridge, acts to be announced.

When is the Aquatennial Block Party? And What Bands Are Playing at the Aquatennial Block Party?

Is there a block party at the Aquatennial this year? For 2013, there's no Aquatennial Block Party. In previous years, a block party with national acts has been held on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. This year, there's no Aquatennial Block Party, but there's live music before the Aquatennial Fireworks on the evening of July 20 (lineup TBA) and also at the Midtown Phillips Festival during the day on July 20.

When is the Midtown Phillips Festival?

A new addition to events during the Aquatennial, the Midtown Phillips Festival on July 20 is a family-friendly event with live music all day, children's activities and games, stilt walkers, In the Heart of the Beast puppet and Mask Theater, and more. Admission is free, and there is a schedule of events at the Midtown Phillips Festival website. The Midtown Phillips Festival is at Stewart Park, from noon - 8 pm on July 20.

For more information on these events, and all the other Aquatennial events, visit the Aquatennial website.

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