The Minneapolis Aquatennial is a festival designed to pay tribute to the water, lakes and rivers that have helped to define the city. The event occurs over an entire week in July. More than 70 different events take place during this time including a milk carton boat race, a sand castle competition and a triathlon. There is also a beauty contest to name the Queen of the Lakes. The entire event ends with a massive fireworks display. Visitors should book lodging far in advance since the event draws attention from nearly every part of the state.
The Minnesota Fringe Festival is a two-week celebration of performing arts. The event attracts nearly 50,000 people who watch some of the over 150 performances each year. The performances are given in a range of venues around Minneapolis. Visitors can expect to see a wide range of performing arts from irreverent comedies to serious operas. The acts are chosen by lottery. Anyone who wants to attend the festival in Minneapolis should purchase tickets in advance and secure a hotel room since it is a very popular event.
The Uptown Art Fair is the largest fair in Minneapolis. It attracts nearly 400,000 visitors annually. The event showcases the works of local artists in nearly every visual and sculptural medium. People who attend the fair have the option to purchase many of the pieces on display. Millions of dollars in sales occur at each fair. No tickets are required although the venue changes every year. This event draws more people than any other fair in Minnesota except the State Fair. Hotels fill up quickly if reservations are not made in advance.
The Twin Cities Marathon is held in early October and is renowned for the scenic views along the course. The main marathon is a 26-mile course winding through the city and along the Mississippi River. There is also a shorter 10-mile course and a fun run that is not competitive. A number of fun and short races are held for children of different ages. Visitors who want to participate should register in advance.
The Holidazzle Parade occurs every weekend between Thanksgiving and New Years in downtown Minneapolis. The event includes lighted parade floats, buses covered in lights, celebrities, marching bands and choirs. Over 300,000 people regularly attend the parade each year. Families in the area who want to see the parade can attend for free. Parades closer to the holidays tend to be more crowded. It is important to dress very warmly since it will be dark for all or part of the parade.