So much Pride, so many festivals on a busy summer weekend in Minnesota


Pride Weekend in the Twin Cities is lively every year, but the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender community has even more to celebrate this time, now that America's highest court has affirmed same-sex marriage in every state.

The festivities centered in Minneapolis' Loring Park will include lots of music, food and drink, a Saturday night fireworks show, and a Sunday morning parade. Find more details here or here.

Pride festivals are happening across the country this weekend but USA Today says only New York and San Francisco have bigger events than the Twin Cities one, which typically draws about 450,000 people.

While no other party in Minnesota this weekend will attract that many visitors, plenty of good times will be had – from jazz, Shakespeare, and horses to balloons, Vikings, and Beethoven. Here's an overview of some highlights:

– The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is in its 17th year but it's never been as big as this year's edition in St. Paul, which is headlined by a Dr. John concert in the city's new ballpark, CHS Field.

– Rochesterfest is in full swing and the Mayor's Cup Hot Air Balloon Race will get things started at 6 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday in Badger Ridge Park.

– For a faster-moving brand of aviation, there's the Minnesota Air Spectacular in Mankato. The Air Force's Thunderbirds landed on Wednesday and are the featured attraction.

– Over in Winona, pianist Garrick Ohlsson gets this year's Minnesota Beethoven Festival started on Sunday afternoon.

– White Bear Lake reaches even farther back in time, as Century College opens this year's Shakespeare and Company with performances of Twelfth Night. Hamlet and The Miser are also part of the festival, which continues on weekends through early August.

– "My kingdom for a horse?" For that you should head to Duluth, where the Gala of the Royal Horses will bring 14 equine breeds favored by European royalty to AMSOIL Arena, the News Tribune reports.

– If your kingdom is a Scandinavian one, though, set sail for the Red River of the North. Wood carving, runic writing, and a little outdoor battle are part of the Scandinavian Hjemkomst and Midwest Viking Festival in Moorhead.

– With so much going on in our state, you could almost be forgiven if it slipped your mind that Sunday is National Paul Bunyan Day. Fortunately, MPR News provided a reminder – along with tips on a baker's dozen places to find Paul himself.

Indeed, it's a weekend to be proud of Minnesota. You can always stay home and rest next weekend. Or is there something going on then, too?....

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