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Minneapolis Aquatennial cut from 10 days to just 4 days

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There are major changes to this year's Aquatennial in Minneapolis, with "The 10 Best Days of Summer" being slashed to just a four-day event in July.

A year after marking its 75th anniversary, the annual civic celebration of everything Minneapolis will be held between July 22-25 in 2015, rather than being the 10 day festival it is known for.

According to the event's Facebook page, little explanation for the change has been given other than saying "it will allow us to refresh the Aquatennial experience and open the door for new and exciting opportunities."

One of the casualties of the shortened event is the Aquatennial Beach Bash on Lake Calhoun, which won't be taking place this year. But the flagship events of the torchlight parade, the Twin Cities River Rats display, and the famous fireworks will remain, along with "20+ additional associated events."

"After celebrating 75 years last July, we're planning for the next 75 years to come by bringing together events that take place in close proximity to downtown, allowing those who attend to better enjoy multiple activities."

You can find a list of the events confirmed so far for the weekend here.

The Star Tribune reports a spokesperson for Minneapolis Downtown Council, which funds the event, wasn't "immediately available to explain further" why the length of the festival has been cut.

It also points out the downtown council's other major annual event, Holidazzle, underwent major changes this past Christmas as the customary parade was replaced by a festive market that came in to some criticism.

The reaction to the changes to the Aquatennial has not been favorable so far on the Facebook page, with one commenter saying: "This makes me really, really sad."

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