Saint Paul used to be home to the annual A Taste of Minnesota festival with food and fireworks at Harriet Island park in downtown St. Paul. But after years of financial trouble, the Taste of Minnesota organizers filed for bankruptcy, and the festival is no more.
But there will still be fireworks! The City of St. Paul will have a free firework display launched from the bank of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul.
The firework display will start after dusk, approximately 10.15pm, on Thursday July 4 2012.
Where is the best place to watch the St. Paul Fireworks?
The fireworks will be launched from just outside Harriet Island Park, on the west bank of the Mississippi, so you can get a great view of the fireworks from any vantage point along the Mississippi River. Kellogg Boulevard, the road that parallels the river through downtown St. Paul, has plenty of space for viewing the fireworks.
The High Bridge, carrying Smith Avenue over the Mississippi River, would be a great vantage point, There are two other bridges in downtown St. Paul - the Wabasha Street Bridge is very close to the launch site, as is Robert Street Bridge, two blocks further away.
Harriet Island, on the other side of the river, will be open, and will also have a great view, as will the high bluffs on the west side of the river in Westside St. Paul.
Where is the best place to park for the downtown St. Paul fireworks?
Downtown St. Paul has plenty of parking. There are plenty of ramps, and downtown St. Paul is nowhere near as busy as downtown Minneapolis is. Look for the closest ramp to the Wabasha Street Bridge for the shortest walk to the Mississippi River, less than 5 minutes walk. The Victory Ramp, and the Lowry Ramp, both on Wabasha Street near Fourth Street, are the closest ramps with the cheapest prices, maxing out at $10.
Is there free parking in downtown St. Paul? Downtown St. Paul can provide free parking. You don't need to feed the meters in downtown St. Paul on Independence Day, if you arrive early enough to find a space.
Construction in downtown St. Paul for the new Central Corridor light rail and other projects is likely to mean heavy traffic. The City of St. Paul recommends carpooling if you drive into Downtown St. Paul, or to cycle, or to use public transport instead.
This year, there will be no free street parking in the residential neighborhoods of Westside St. Paul.
The closest parking for Harriet Island is within a few blocks. Harriet Island is neighbored by a small industrial district, and several businesses in the neighborhood there will let you park in their parking lot for a fee. Plato Boulevard and Water Street, east of Harriet Island, are the main roads through the industrial area and parking is plentiful. The lots usually charge between $5 and $15 so it's best to carpool.
Alternatives to Parking in Downtown St. PaulInstead of parking in downtown St. Paul, you can ride the bus. Numerous bus routes serve downtown St. Paul. The 67, 68 and 75 buses serve downtown St. Paul and travel over the river and go close by Harriet Island.
Cycling into downtown St. Paul is another way to get to see the fireworks. If you don't have a bike, then you can borrow one at one of the new Nice Ride bike sharing stations installed around St. Paul.