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It’s time once again for the annual Minneapolis summer celebration, Aquatennial. This is the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. Everyone from city workers to those locals living in Minneapolis MN homes will be joining in the celebration and festivities. This year’s Aquatennial theme, The Best Days of Summer, will  live up to its name this July 18-21.

On the first day, some of the highlights include the Life Time Torchlight 5k along Hennepin Avenue, from the Basilica of Saint Mary to the Mississippi Riverfront. This family fun run finishes with a post-race party featuring musical entertainment and complimentary refreshments, including a refreshing beer.

To finish the first night off, don’t miss the 18th edition of the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade. Following the same route as the 5k, the community will enjoy a great show of floats, displays and bands marching through the heart of Downtown Minneapolis.

Throughout the whole Aquatennial celebration, there will be a wide range of events each day. Among them are the CorePower Yoga and Meditation Hike at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, canoe trips at Loring Park, picnics, lawn games, concerts and more at the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza, the Nicollet Farmers Market, and daily blood drives. There are events for all ages, such as the JB Hudson Family Fun Fest, which offers children plenty of fun, hands-on crafts. There’s also the Twin Cities River Rats’ humorous, family-friendly water ski show on the Mississippi River. Cycling enthusiasts will want to see the races at the Fulton Downtown Thunderdome, which offers a chance to watch amateur and experienced racers take part in this unique competitive setting.

On the last day, among the many festivities, there’s the Skyline Festival at Boom Island, a day-long series of paddle board races and so much more. There is a race for everyone including: a 5K Open race for any and all who want to test themselves on a board, a 10K for more experienced racers, and a 200M Fastest Paddler race. There will also be SUP Yoga, Board Demo Zone, food, beer, local merchant tents, and a raffle with great prizes.

The Aquatennial signs off for another year at 10 pm on Saturday with the annual Target Fireworks at the West River Parkway near Stone Arch Bridge. The best viewing spots are between Gold Medal Park and the 3rd Avenue Bridge on West River Parkway. Before the fireworks, there are music and other activities starting at 6 pm.

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is free to attend by everyone and requires no tickets, though you will need to register if you’re taking part in some of the races. In addition, if you choose to purchase the popular Skipper Pin, available through the Aquatennial website, you will be eligible for a variety of freebies and promotions from local businesses around downtown, including two-for-one entrance to the Walker Art Center, a variety of BOGO drinks offers from places like Finnegans Brew Co., Haskell’s, and The Local, along with other great deals such as one free week of unlimited yoga at any participating CorePower Yoga studio for new students.

Whether you’ve just moved into one of the Minneapolis MN homes or are a long-time resident, you won’t want to miss this fantastic city celebration. Check the schedules on the official website and mark your calendar for some fantastic Minneapolis summer fun.

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