TC Weekend | Mpls. Aquatennial, Rondo Days, Highland Fest, Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Fest & more!

Updated 7/18/2014 12:45 p.m.

The All-Star festivities have wrapped up, but the Best Days of Summer are just beginning with the start of the Minneapolis Aquatennial and other big cultural and community festivals in the Twin Cities this weekend. So far the weather forecast looks bright — perfect for getting outdoors and enjoying the festivities! See what's on tap below:


Highland Fest, July 18 – 20

The 31st Annual Highland Fest offers something for everyone with a mix of new attractions and old favorites. Live music, a beer tent and an assortment of food and beverage vendors will make a return this year, along with a juried art fair, petting zoo, dog races, business fair, 5k  race, and activities for kids. Debuting this year are a community picnic, Wine and Canvas, a meat raffle/bingo, Zumba in the park, a pancake breakfast, wine tasting, a movie in the park, and an All Ford Car and Truck Show to commemorate 86 years of the Twin Cities Ford Assembly Plant.

Highland Village

Cleveland Avenue S. & Ford Parkway, Saint Paul

Go here for the schedule of events



Minneapolis Aquatennial, July 18 - 26

Fresh off the All-Star festivities, Minneapolis is on a roll with the start of the 75th Annual Aquatennial Festival, the official civic celebration of the city. The festival's flagship events include: the Star Tribune Beach Bash (this weekend), the Torchlight Parade (Wednesday), and the Target Fireworks (next Saturday), with nearly 70 events happening around Minneapolis in partnership with the festival. We’ve highlighted a few of the weekend events below (go here to download a full schedule):

Friday, July 18

Canadian Pacific Aquatennial Tennis Classic

Downtown Minneapolis; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Check the schedule for more times (you can also watch online)  


Saturday, July 19

Midtown Global Music Festival

Midtown Global Market; 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Creative City Challenge Play Day

Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Sunday, July 20

Sister Cities Day Celebration & Ice Cream Social  

Nicollet Island Pavilion; 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Star Tribune Beach Bash

Along the shoreline of Lake Calhoun; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Middle Eastern Festival, Jul 18 - Jul 20

The 7th Annual Middle Eastern Festival offers a delicious lineup of Middle Eastern cuisine, including roasted lamb, chicken kabobs, kafta, falafel,  gyros, beer and wine. There will also be live entertainment, a traditional marketplace, a silent auction, games for kids, camel rides and performances by the nationally renowned John Khoury Band, and the St. George Dabke Dance Troupe.

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1250 Oakdale Avenue, West Saint Paul

Fri 7/18: Noon - 10 p.m.                                                          
Sat 7/19: Noon - 10 p.m.                                                     
Sun 7/20: Noon - 6 p.m.

Admission is free


Murder Mystery Trolley, July 18 – 20

If you’re looking for something non-festival related, and a bit off the beaten path this weekend, how about a night of crime solving on a trolley? Bring a friend to help brainstorm and figure out who committed murder on the tracks and why during this 45 minute interactive trolley ride around the city. 
Como-Harriet Streetcar

Linden Hills Station, W 42nd St. and Queen Av. S., Minneapolis

9 p.m.

$15 per passenger


Rondo Days, July 19

Rondo Days is here again and so is the Rondo Grande Parade, one of the more lively and colorful parades of the summer, featuring drill teams, marching bands, and neighborhood floats to salute  Old Rondo Avenue and celebrate the new neighborhood. The festival returns to the site of the previous Rondo Days festivals at the Rondo Education Center’s Outdoor Field, which is north adjacent to the MLK center.

Rondo Grande Parade: 10 a.m. (begins on Central & Oxford)

Rondo Days Festival:  11 a.m.  Rondo Education Center, 560 Concordia Avenue, Saint Paul

Admission is free



Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Music Festival, July 19

Patrick’s Cabaret and Harriet Brewing invite you to the 4th annual Twin Cities' Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival Lineup. The all-day music marathon was recently honored with “Best Block Party” in the Star Tribune’s Best of MN issue and offers five stages of music with more than 30 local, regional, and national acts. The community event will also feature local DJs, dance performance, visual artists, performance art, craft foods and beverages. This festival is an annual fundraiser for the 28 year-old nonprofit performance venue and community arts organization, Patrick's Cabaret, and is entirely volunteer run.

3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis

12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
$20 Advance/Gate
Rain or Shine


Bastille Day Celebration at Alliance Française, July 19
The Bastille Day celebrations continue over at Alliance Francaise with a family-friendly gathering that will offer live French entertainment, family activities (including a Bouncy Castle, face-painting and a magic show), pétanque games, vintage French cars, French food/wine and more!

4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

110 N First Street, Minneapolis

(parking lot opposite from Alliance Française)
$10; Free for children ages 12 & under  



Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

Music & Movies in the Park - Minneapolis

Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul

Rooftop Movie Night at Solera Restaurant - Minneapolis




How will you spend the weekend? Let us know in the comment section or by sending your photos or comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net, and check back to see your photo attached to the Storify over the weekend.

If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or send an email to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net.

Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

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Paige Elliott's picture
Paige Elliott

(paigeelliott [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net) Paige Elliott was born and raised in south Minneapolis. She currently works as an Editoral Assistant with the Daily Planet, with emphasis on visual storytelling.