Minneapolis heats up with summer fests

The Get Out Guide features all the going-ons to get you out around the city.

Red, White and Boom (July 3-4). Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

No one quite does summer like Minneapolis. Well much of the country frolics to outdoor fests year-round, Minneapolitans truly try to savor their few months of warm weather, and this means getting outside. Prepare for a jam-packed season of music shows, food truck dining and brewery celebrations.

Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Red, White and Boom

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is once again hosting its Red, White and Boom weekend of Fourth of July events. The two-day celebration begins with a half marathon, a relay and a 5K on Sunday, July 3 at 6:30 a.m. (registration required). Over July 3-4, riverfront parks will feature music and movies, like musicians Kern and the Hemispheres (7-8:30 p.m.) and “Field of Dreams” at Nicollet Island on Sunday. On Monday, bands will play at Father Hennepin Bluff Park and Mill Ruins Park from 6-10 p.m. and the Minnesota Orchestra will play Boom Island (8:30-9:45 p.m.). All the festivities lead up to a 10 p.m. fireworks show over Water Power Park that The Current will partially choreograph to a mix of Prince music.

Where: Father Hennepin Bluffs Park,
420 Main Street Southeast

When: Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4

Cost: Free and ticketed events

Info: mplsredwhiteboom.com

Photo by Josh Kohanek


The Minnesota Orchestra will once again combine classic music and summer festivals with its annual Sommerfest. The nearly month-long program of events will feature Artistic Director Andrew Litton and internationally acclaimed pianist Andre Watts. New this season is a concert exploring music composed for choreography and a night of original music from Orchestra trumpet player Charles Lazarus dubbed “A Night in the Tropics.” Sommerfest will get its traditional finale with a complete concert performance of Verdi’s “Otello.” Throughout the festival, audiences can enjoy food and drinks inside and outside of Orchestra Hall, as well as free entertainment in the Target Atrium and lobby before and after most concerts.

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall

When: July 8-23

Cost: Free and ticketed events

Info: minnesotaorchestra.org

Photo by Eric Melzer

Bastille Day Block Party

What better way to celebrate a historic day of revolution than with Babes in Toyland? Minneapolis’ own hardcore punk bank is headlining Barbette’s annual Bastille Day Block Party this year after getting back together in recent years. The outdoor music and food fest will also see up-and-coming locals Bad Bad Hats and indie rapper Astronautalis, who will likely be performing songs from his new album “Cut the Body Loose.” The revelry continues with entertainment from Les Folies Risqué, Nadine DuBois and Infiammati FireCircus. The free event features organic picnic foods, cold beverages and — if you sense the local theme — a market with work from local artists.

Where: Barbette, 1600 W. Lake St.

When: Saturday, July 17 from 3-10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: barbette.com

Photo by Nancy Sims

Basilica Block Party

Organizers of the Basilica Block Party have shaken up the mix of artists playing the music festival’s 22nd year. Rather than usual bands like Train, this year’s lineup features alternative country and pop rockers Death Cab for Cutie, Ryan Adams and The Shining, and Cold War Kids. The two-day festival will have three stages that will also see rising acts like Andra Day and and better-known musicians The Fray and Gary Clark Jr., as well as mainstream rocks bands like American Authors and X-Ambassadors. Fort Wilson Riot and Farewell Milwaukee also give the fest some local names.

Where: 16th Street & Hennepin Avenue

When: July 8-9 from 5-10:30 p.m.

Cost: $60-$400

Info: basilicablockparty.org

Photo by Heather Hanson Photography LLC courtesy of Boom Island Brewing Company

Boom Days

July is already packed with things that go boom, but for Boom Island Brewing Company, its always much-anticipated Cuvee de Boom beer is another cause for celebration. The Belgian beer-focused brewery is throwing its weekend-long party with the champagne-esque Cuvee de Boom — an unhopped ale consisting of 45 percent Pinot Grigio grapes and 55 percent Belgian-style blonde ale — on tap and in bottles, plus a whole lot more Belgian antics. Belgian rapper Too Tuff, known elsewhere for his song “Doedizziet” with Halve Neuro, will perform Friday night at 7 p.m. The weekend will also feature bands performing on an outdoor stage, an exclusive lineup of beers and a homebrewing competition.

Where: Boom Island Brewing Company, 2014 Washington Ave. N.

When: July 15-17

Cost: Free

Info: boomislandbrewing.com

File photo

Downtown Open Streets

Enjoy portions of Washington and 1st Avenues in the North Loop car-free on July 10. The event is one of several Open Street events in the city this summer. There will be live music, kid play zones and much more.

Where: Along 1st Avenue from 8th Street North to Washington Avenue; then Washington to 8th Avenue

When: Sunday, July 10 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: openstreetsmpls.org

Hollyhocks: Ambition by Amy Rice

Delightful 10

Track 29 Gallery, the art gallery inside the Uptown apartment community, is hosting its second exhibition of the year with work from locals Jennifer Davis and Amy Rice. “Delightful 10” gives a nod to the duo’s “Delightful” art show a decade ago with paintings and mixed-media pieces demonstrating 10 years of artistic evolution. Davis and Rice, who will have done four shows together as a pair with “Delightful 10,” explore their own styles, from Davis’ depictions of fantastical life and places, to Rice’s whimsical and nostalgic art.

Where: Track 29, 2841 Bryant Ave. S.

When: Now through Oct. 2

Cost: Free

Info: track29uptown.com


Bikers around the world know that France has the Tour de France, and even Australia has the Tour Down Under. Well, now Minneapolis — one of the country’s top bike cities — has the #TourDeNice. The Minneapolis Foundation and Nice Ride Minnesota are challenging a small group of cyclists from local charities to ride around the city to see who can visit the most Nice Ride stations in just two hours. During Saturday, July 9 the Minneapolis Foundation will donate $1 — up to $5,000 — for every Nice Ride trip taken around the Twin Cities. Each dollar will go toward a pot to be donated to the nonprofits of the top three bikers.

Where: Gold Medal Park, 2nd Street & 11th Avenue

When: Saturday, July 9 from 9-11 a.m.

Cost: Free

Info: minneapolisfoundation.org

A view of the Mississippi from a kayak near Boom Island. Photo by Sarah McKenzie

Share the River Nordeast

Everyone in Minneapolis commutes over the Mississippi River at some point, yet many have never really explored the river, let alone taken a picturesque canoe ride along the riverfront. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization is hosting free introductory canoe rides at its Stormwater Park and Learning Center in Northeast Minneapolis. National Park Service rangers and guides from Wilderness Inquiry will lead family-friendly rides and teach riders a little about the river’s history and the local fauna and flora. Plus, there’s free ice cream.

Where: Stormwater Park and Learning Center, 2522 Marshall St. NE

When: Wednesday, July 13 from 5-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: mwmo.org