Summer is Hot in the Twin Cities

What's Happening Twin Cities?

June has arrived in the Twin Cities and the doorway to summer is wide open. We step through that portal and the whole glorious season awaits us, spread out like a canvas waiting for the artist’s brush to bring it to life!  If I sound a bit dramatic I’m not apologizing because summer has that effect on me and I am just going with it.

In the Twin Cities Metro, we celebrate summer in a grand scale with art, music, song, food, and drink. Festivals, fairs, and concerts abound from one end of the metro to the other and beyond. To inspire you as you plan your seasonal calendar, we have curated those once a year most popular events that highlight the summer season in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Northern Spark, Climate Chaos/People Rising

June 10 8:59 PM until 5:26 AM – Along the Green Line

This is a relatively new metro event began in 2011 but growing in popularity each year. It takes place with events in neighborhoods and public spaces along the Metro Green line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul. The grandest Northern Spark yet with 70 art projects planned in the neighborhood nodes: Cedar Riverside/West Bank, Weisman Art Museum/East Bank, Little Africa/Snelling Ave, Rondo/Lexington Ave, and Little Mekong/Western Ave. For more details on this fantastic free event please see the official Northern Sparks website. 

The 23rd Annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival

June 16-18, on the riverfront, Minneapolis

This festival featuring music, a vintage car show, and fun is becoming one of the summer’s top events. Congregate on the river with friends, family, and neighbors sharing good food, craft beers, and live entertainment. A sampling of musicians and band’s featured this year include the Zingrays, Jake Jones, Peter Wolf Crier, Radiochurch and more. 

The Twin Cites Jazz Festival

June 22-24, Mears Park in the heart of downtown St. Paul

This fantastic musical event created to celebrate American Jazz began as a free event in 1999. It’s still going strong and it’s still free! Mayor Chris Coleman summed it up perfectly. He said, “Culture, music, and vitality are inextricably linked, and the Jazz Fest is a perfect culmination of all three. I’m greatly looking forward to another year where the city comes alive with jazz, and all the excitement and vibrancy that comes with it.” This year there are so many great acts performing I will let you read about them yourself on the official

The Basilica Block Party

July 7 & 8, The Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis

Two days of parties and great music to celebrate. They have a great lineup and tickets are still available for this very popular annual event with proceeds going to preserve the Basilica Landmark. Check out the lineup, buy tickets or volunteer on 

The Aquatennial 

July 19-22, various locations in Minneapolis

The ultimate Minneapolis celebration of summer. This is just what you might expect from a city that appreciates the glorious days of warmth and sunshine after a long winter. Enjoy the best days of summer with The Torchlight Parade on July 19th and the Target Fireworks on the 22nd. In between there is the Aquatennial Tennis Classic, baseball with our own Minnesota Twins facing off against the New York Yankees, family events at Loring Park, a film festival, The River Rats Water Ski Show, and much more. 

Rock the Garden 2017

July 22 Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

One of the Twin Cities most popular summer concerts. This event is currently sold out!  Why include it you ask? So you can put it on the calendar for next year so you don’t miss out! 

The Loring Park Art Festival

July 29-30, Loring Park, Minneapolis

Thanks to its beautiful ponds and formal gardens Loring Park is the perfect urban oasis and no better place in the Twin Cities metro to celebrate art, music, and food.  This year's event will feature 140 artists offering their original work for sale, scheduled entertainment, and activities for the entire family to enjoy. 

The Uptown Art Fair

August 4-6, Uptown Minneapolis

There is a community party where Lake St. meets Hennepin in Uptown Minneapolis. What are we celebrating? The art of course! Winner of over 140 International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Pinnacle Awards, The Uptown Art Fair is listed as 8th best in the nation. Almost 400,000 annual fairgoers agree to make the Art Fair #2 in statewide event attendance, surpassed only by the Minnesota State Fair.

The Minnesota State Fair

August 24 – Sept 4, 1265 North Snelling Ave., St. Paul,

On the Grandstand this year Nickelback, Stevie Nicks, Jim Gaffigan, Toby Keith, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, John Mellencamp, Pentatonix, Usher, and The Minnesota Show with our own Garrison Keillor.

The Twin Cities Music Scene

Big name performers coming to the Twin Cities this summer include: 

  • Kiss – July 15th at the Grand Casino in Hinckley
  • Journey – July 1st at Treasure Island
  • Santana – July 13th at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake
  • Billy Joel – July 28th at Target Field in Minneapolis
  • Guns N’ Roses – July 30th at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
  • Chris Stapleton – August 3rd at the AMSOIL Arena in Duluth
  • Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – August 25-26, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul

There is the tip of the iceberg for summer events in and around the Twin Cities metro. Lots going on in the burbs as well. 

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