Skip to main content

Minneapolis Aquatennial returns this month with parade, fireworks

The event runs July 21-24 in downtown Minneapolis.
minneapolis aquatennial

Aquatennial is back this year and will feature some new activities around downtown Minneapolis. 

The City of Minneapolis' annual official civic celebration will be held Wednesday, July 21, through Saturday, July 24, kicking off with some daytime events and the Torchlight Parade on July 21 and concluding with the annual fireworks display on July 24. 

“We are excited to welcome everyone to Aquatennial this summer, as we are leading the way back to enjoying collective urban experiences together,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external relations at the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “Whether it is the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, Target Fireworks (a top 5 annual display in the country), group fitness activities, shopping local makers, a Twin Cities River Rats show or listening to live music, we know there is something you and yours will love. We can’t wait to see you downtown.”

The event was canceled along with everything else in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (It did offer some online programming.)

The 82nd Aquatennial will be held at various locations in and around downtown Minneapolis, including at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Peavey Plaza, Midtown Global Market, Mississippi River and Mills Ruin Park. 

"Aquatennial is an annual tradition in Minneapolis, a time that offers fun ways to gather and enjoy outdoor spaces together,” Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Superintendent Al Bangoura said. “We enjoy having Aquatennial events in our park system each year, and we’re excited to welcome everyone back to enjoy their favorite events again this July."

Here's a look at some of the events (you can see a full schedule here): 

  • Torchlight Parade on Nicollet between 12th Street and 4th Street, 7:30 p.m. on July 21. 
  • Downtown Thursdays on Nicollet and throughout downtown, all day on July 22.
  • Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show on the Mississippi River (West River Road between Plymouth and Broadway bridges), 7 p.m. on July 22 and July 23.
  • Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam open house at 1 Portland Ave., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on July 24. 
  • City of Lakes Market at Chicago Mall on West River Parkway between Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum, 6-10 p.m. on July 24. 
  • Live music at West River Parkway near Portland Avenue, 6-10 p.m. on July 24. 
  • Fireworks at West River Parkway near Portland Ave., 10 p.m. on July 24.

Next Up

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

PepperSprayCopMPD

Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

cat

Minneapolis will waive pet adoption fees on Friday

Pet licensing fees still apply to adoptions at the event.

received_5642181912525380

Family who endured car theft ordeal surprised with trip to Universal Orlando

A father rescued his four children after a thief jumped in his car while he was getting something from his trunk.

UgstadRoadJunction

Charges: Teen speeding before crash that killed mother, injured her son

The teenager was driving at speeds between 72-89 mph at the time of the crash.

Related

Stone arch bridge aquatennial

Aquatennial still on – for now – despite earlier reports of cancelation

The July event is the latest summer festival facing an uncertain future.

Why this year's MayDay Parade in Minneapolis could be the last

The theatre group that runs it is making cuts, and needs help if it's to continue.

Screen Shot 2021-07-10 at 9.12.13 AM

Watch: The moment lost dog returns to family during TV interview

The dog ran away during a Fourth of July fireworks display.

minneapolis aquatennial

Minneapolis says Aquatennial will have 'significant' police presence

It follows safety concerns not just at major events in the Twin Cities, but nationally.

pumpkins 3

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular returns to Minnesota Zoo this fall

The event will feature 5,000 carved and illuminated pumpkins.