As the birthplace of the Mississippi River, Minnesota has an endless supply of natural beauty. Water plays a major role in the state; there are over 12,000 lakes dotting the landscape of Minnesota. However, visitors and residents don't have to restrict themselves to outdoor attractions; Minnesota plays host to an abundance of festivals, museums, cultural attractions and exciting events throughout the year.
For 70 years, the Aquatennial has been a ten-day, mid-summer event celebrating the numerous lakes within the city limits of Minneapolis. Intrepid competitors race their boats fashioned from milk cartons. Others compete with their artistic sandcastle creations. Water ski shows and beach parties add to the revelry. Enjoy classic cars and fireworks too.
- Duluth, Minnesota in Duluth, MN
Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, is the backdrop for what has become one of the very largest outdoor music festivals in the entire Midwest. Two concert stages feature non-stop performances by nearly 30 nationally-known acts. The Moonlight Mardi Gras Cruise is unforgettable for those that participate. About 20 local nightclubs feature live Blues throughout the event.
- Harriet Island Regional Park Saint Paul, MN 55102 in Saint Paul, MN
No other Irish festival in the United States surpasses this magnificent celebration of Irish culture that began in 2001. Don't miss the "Best Legs In A Kilt" competition. Enjoy those vying for the title at "Irish Got Talent." Bands, beer, and boiled beef are standard fare at this three-day celebration. The Jameson Whiskey Experience tent is a "must see" for many.
- Downtown Front Street Barnesville in Barnesville, MN
You say "Po-ta-to," I say "Po-tah-to," but we all have a blast at the kid-friendly Potato Days. The mashed potato wrestling event is a "can't miss." The potato peeling contest is good plain fun. The street fair is massive; it includes a flea market, arts and crafts, and endless vendors. The Food Court will satiate anyone and everyone.
- 1265 Snelling Avenue North Saint Paul, MN 55108 in Saint Paul, MN
This annual twelve-day event convenes the best of Minnesota's artisans, farmers, and entertainers. With the fair's attendance approaching 1.8 million, few other fairs or expositions on the planet can compete with the sheer magnitude and the popularity of the Minnesota State Fair.
There is no other larger renaissance festival in the country than the one in Skakopee that is in its 42nd year. You'll be transported back to medieval times amidst a dozen stages filled by 500 entertainers. Unique crafts are contributed by over 250 artisans and vendors.