The name is new, but the traditions are the same at this year’s riverfront Fourth of July festival, dubbed “Red, White and Boom.” Billed specifically as a family-friendly celebration, the party will start at 3:00 pm in Father Hennepin Bluff Park (at the east end of the Stone Arch Bridge), where there will be free kids’ activities and programs. The stage at the park will also feature bands all afternoon: the Creekbones from 3:00-4:00 pm, Don Washington from 4:30-5;30, Friends of Yoder from 6:00 to 7:30, and Chris Lawrence from 8:00 to 9:30.
There will also be music on two other stages just west on Main Street: the Main Street Stage (in front of St. Anthony Main) will feature T Albert Lloyd and the Kingpins from 3-6 and the Senders from 7-10, and the St. Anthony Main Stage (between Vic’s and Tugg’s) will feature The Flaming Oh’s from 3:30 to 6:30 and Orange Whip from 7 to 10:30.
As always, the fireworks show will begin at 10 pm. This year there will be more spaces than ever from which you can watch the fireworks, so don’t fight the crowds on the Stone Arch Bridge. On the west side of the river, the new Gold Medal Park will provide an excellent and comfortable spot to sit, or if you want to be a little higher you can’t beat the Guthrie’s cantilevered Bridge to Nowhere. On the east side of the river, you can watch the fireworks from the very foot of St. Anthony Falls if you stroll out into the new Waterpower Park (the entrance is off Main Street across from the Aster Cafe). And if you like to enjoy a cold beer or an appetizer while you watch the rockets’ red glare, come early and grab a table at Vic’s, Tugg’s or Pracna on Main, or even up Hennepin at Bulldog NE or Whitey’s.
Unfortunately, when the fireworks are all done, you’ll be fighting thousands of other celebrants to get through the traffic jams so you can get home and start thinking about work the next day. But you can avoid those crowds and extend your holiday fun by hanging out at the riverfront for the third annual 10-Second Film Fest at the Soap Factory Gallery, located at 518 2nd St. SE. The films will be shown outside, against the back wall of the gallery, and you would be well-advised to either bring a chair or blanket, or drink enough beer that you don’t care if you’re sitting on scratchy dry weeds and decaying railroad tracks. One hundred 10-second films will be shown, 10 each in 10 categories, and winners will go home with a sash, a trophy, and a certificate for a free hamburger at Grumpy’s.
One last thing: freedom ain’t free and neither are the fireworks, which are said to cost over $1,000 a minute. Here are some of the many people and businesses who are paying for our entertainment this year: Ace Lock & Key, Paul Adelmann, Allied Waste Industries, Aster Café, Ard Godfey House, Arones, Bibelot, CSM Lodging, Churchill Apartments, Clear Channel Radio, Cuningham Group, Deacon Flats, Davis Frank, Diane & Tony Hofstede, Donovan Kemteck, East Bank Mills, Falls/Pinnacle Residences, Harmony Lofts, Gittelman Management, Lisa Heilicher, Mike Iberg, Alexis Irland, Jake Jacobson, Keegan’s Pub, Kikugawa, Kramarcuk’s, La Blac House, La Rive, Lappin Lighting, Let’s Cook, Lionel Gross, Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Assoc., Marriot Depot, Meet Minneapolis, Melrose Pyrotechnics, Melzer Investments, Millennium , Mike & Sandy Larson Import LLC, Rodger Mabie, Minneapolis Condo Guide, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, Minneapolis Police Reserves, Mintahoe Hospitality, Nye’s Polonaise Room, Origami, Padilla Speer Beardsley, The Phoenix, Picosa, Pracna on Main, Michael Rainville, Riverplace, River Towers Riverview Homes, Rock Island Lofts, Arik Rudoph, S.R. Hoffman & Assoc., Sawatdee, Shafer Richardson, Segway Tours, Saint Anthony Main, Six Quebec, Shane Stenzal, Stone Arch Creative, Superior Plating, Tuggs Tavern, University of Minnesota, Urban Currents, Vector Wealth Management, Vic’s, Village Brownstones, Corky Weisman, Winslow House, Womans Club of Minneapolis, and Xcel Energy.
Have a safe and happy holiday!