August 2013 festivals around Minnesota

This is just the tip of the iceberg for festivals and events in Minnesota in August. I’ve avoided the more routine festivals, Crazy Days, and city parties. You can find more information about those over at Explore Minnesota. What follows is a list of the more unique possibilities this month. If there’s something I’ve missed, please let me know. And don't forget to check out the events page at the Minnesota Historical Society--there's always something fun going on over there.

Detroit Lakes
We Fest
Aug. 1-3
Huge country music festival, this year featuring Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Eric Church.

Northfield
Vintage Band Festival
Aug. 1-4
Outdoor concerts all over Northfield—for free!—and dancing, vaudeville, and old-time “base ball”.

Twin Cities
Minnesota Fringe Festival
Aug. 1-11
Original, independent artists and performers giving it all they’ve got during this non-juried 11-day festival.

Two Harbors
Two Harbors Kayak Festival
Aug. 2-4
All things kayak: races, demos, training, equipment swaps.

Red Wing
River City Days
Aug. 2-4
Red Wing’s annual celebration of summer, with a drive-in, fly-in breakfast, movies under the stars, Segway tours, arts and crafts show, and of course plenty of food.

Minneapolis
Metris Uptown Art Fair
Aug. 2-4
Powderhorn Park Art Fair
Aug. 3-4
Loring Park Art Festival
Aug. 3-4
One weekend, three big art festivals. Bring your wallet and your patience—the crowds can be heavy, especially if the weather is nice. Take advantage of Metro Transit’s ArtPass, a free service connecting the three events:
Target Art Hop
Aug. 3-4

Duluth
Bayfront Blues Festival
Aug. 9-11
Annual blues festival in a lovely location. This year’s performers include the Robert Cray Band, Shemekia Copeland, and Irma Thomas.

St. Paul
Irish Fair
Aug. 9-11
Held on Harriet Island, Irish Fair celebrates the city’s Irish heritage with music, entertainment, dance, family activities, and of course food.

Pipestone
Civil War Days 2012
Aug. 9-10
Battle re-enactments, educational programs, etiquette and ballroom dance lessons, a Grand Ball, children’s activities, and of course, food.

Walker
Leech Lake Regatta
Aug. 9-11
Multiclass sailboat races for sailors of all skill levels.

Brooklyn Park

Afrifest
Aug. 10
Live music and entertainment, fashion show, soccer tournament, children’s activities, comedy, all celebrating the varied African heritage present in the Twin Cities. Oh, and of course there’ll be food.

Hutchinson
Minnesota Garlic Festival
Aug. 10
Kite flying, entertainment, old-fashioned children’s activities, the Peculiar Pragmatic Promenade, and all things garlic. Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of garlic grown here? It’s pretty much guaranteed that vampires will not be present.

Minneapolis
Twin Cities Polish Festival
Aug. 10-11
All things Polish, old and new: polka and European disco, food, Chopin concerts, baking contest, and a Polish film fest.

Scandia
Spelmansstamma Music Festival
Aug. 17
Smorgasbord, traditional Swedish music and dancing, and children’s activities.

Shakopee
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Aug. 17-Sept. 29, weekends and Labor Day
Come lords and ladies! Followers of Sir Puke and Sir Snot! Lovers of turkey legs! Costumes, food, entertainment of the Renaissance style, at least by today’s standards. Come early, or you’ll be parking in South Dakota.

Roseau
Pioneer Village Festival 2012
Aug. 25
This lovely recreated pioneer village celebrates its heritage with pancake breakfasts, parades, children’s activities, and of course food.

St. Paul
Minnesota State Fair
Aug. 22-Sept. 2
The granddaddy of Minnesota festivals. Go for the cheese curds, stay for the rides, the animals being born, the crafts and arts exhibits, Machinery Hill, the stage shows, the cheesy giveaways, and of course, the food on a stick. Not to mention the cheese curds.

Barnesville
Potato Days
Aug. 23-24
Three words: mashed potato wrestling. I’m SO there. Plus lots of lefse.

Norwood Young America
Stiftungsfest
Aug. 23-25
Minnesota’s oldest festival, held annually for 152 years. Activities, arts and crafts, softball tournaments, bingo, and of course food.

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Amy Rea's picture
Amy Rea

Flyover Land , by Amy Rea, is about the best of Minnesota, and why you shouldn't just fly over.