A synchronized celebration of summer

Throngs of Minnesotans made their way to Minneapolis each July for the Aquatennial Aqua Follies performances. The elaborate water show, combining synchronized swimming, theater and diving, was part of the first 1940 Aquatennial, and it remained a popular festival event until 1964. The first Aqua Follies performances were held in Cedar Lake, but in 1941 moved to Glenwood Lake in Theodore Wirth Park. There, a “marine theater” was installed, providing an Olympic-sized pool for performers, a grandstand seating up to 6,000 spectators and several diving towers. The new facilities made it easier for viewers to enjoy the water ballet of the “Aqua Dear, synchronized swimmers,” shown here.

Photograph from the collection of the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.