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:
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.
Cleveland Avenue S. & Ford Parkway, Saint Paul
Go here for the schedule of events
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
Downtown Minneapolis; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Check the schedule for more times (you can also watch online)
Saturday, July 19
Midtown Global Market; 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 20
Nicollet Island Pavilion; 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Along the shoreline of Lake Calhoun; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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
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.
Linden Hills Station, W 42nd St. and Queen Av. S., Minneapolis
$15 per passenger
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
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.
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:
How will you spend the weekend? Let us know in the comment section or by sending your photos or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back to see your photo attached to the Storify over the weekend.
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