Skip to main content

Annual milk carton boat races in Minneapolis will be on land because of E.coli

Twin Cities Beach Blast has moved the races to dry land.

Milk carton boats competing in the annual Twin Cities Beach Blast on Sunday are stuck on land this year thanks to high amounts of E. coli in Bde Maka Ska.

The event is held on Bde Maka Ska’s Thomas Beach, with multiple milk carton races for various age groups and a sand castle competition.

Participants in the boat race will be “on-land portage racing” with contestants carrying their boats while on foot.

According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Thomas Beach, as well as North Beach and 32nd Street Beach at Bde Maka Ska are all closed due to elevated E. coli levels. 

"We are saddened to be out of the water, but safety comes first," said Beach Blast Executive Director Charlie Casserly.

"We worked with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to find another site for this iconic Minnesota race, but no other suitable location on any other Minneapolis lake was available."

Thomas Beach and North Beaches were closed due to having five E. coli readings over a 30-day period that exceeded 126 organisms per 100 mL. 32nd Street Beach was much higher at 2076 organisms per 100 mL, closing it automatically.

E. coli closures often happen after heavy rain, with beaches normally opening in 24 to 48 hours, according to the park board, though it's been more than two weeks since the beaches on Bde Maka Ska closed.

All categories for the on-land race will still take place, including adults, teens, kids and media personalities. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Next Up


Police: Teens 'careen recklessly' in stolen BMW, Mercedes in north metro

They ended up crashing the stolen vehicles, with two arrested and two others on the run.

fire truck

Fire table sparks blaze at Edina home

The fire remains under investigation, but fire officials believe it was accidental.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: California woman embezzled over $1M from MN employer

Mai Xiong faces several federal charges in the case.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Shot woman who sparked appeal found injured at Twin Cities hotel

Authorities began searching for Hsa Say early Monday morning.


Development may bring changes to Stonebrooke Golf Club in 2023

The popular southwest metro golf course offers scenic views of O'Dowd Lake.


Homeowners alert DNR to grouse hunting complaints in Northland

Some hunters are allegedly shooting directly in front of houses.


Charges: Teen couple tortured children while babysitting in St. Paul

A doctor called this "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."


New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.


Parks Board votes to rename parkways around Bde Maka Ska

The changes will go into effect as early as Thursday.

Minneapolis parks another step closer renaming streets near Bde Maka Ska

The park board has jurisdiction over streets and parks around the contentious lake.

Bde Maka Ska St. Thomas Beach

Rise in E. coli levels prompts closing of 3 Minneapolis beaches

Beaches usually re-open with 24-48 hours after bacteria-related closings.

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 8.50.07 AM

Pickup truck goes off I-35 bridge, lands on railroad tracks

The vehicle landed on railroad tracks below the bridge near Owatonna.

Lake Nokomis main beach

Beaches closed at Lake Nokomis after E.coli sickens 3 children

Both the 50th Street and Main beaches are closed indefinitely.

Tax forms

Owners of Minneapolis adult daycare charged with tax evasion

Two owners falsified financial documents, federal authorities say.

Why are Minneapolis schools losing students?

The decline is largely made up of students of color.

Charges: Man tied up, threatened teen in Minneapolis home invasion

The suspect will make his first court appearance Wednesday.