Soak up summer at local festivals


Not to jinx us, but I actually think spring is here. That’s right, I’m calling it. Put the winter boots and shovel away! The bad news is it seems like spring is too short. We can go from scraping our windshields to sweating out a t-shirt quickly, and almost go past the mild days of this in-between season. But the good news is we love taking advantage of the warm weather in Minnesota and there are a lot of fun activities happening around our neighborhood. Here are some in the upcoming months.
On Memorial Day weekend the Minnesota State Fair does its now annual Summer Kickoff. This was one of the good things that started as a result of the pandemic and is sticking around. From Thursday to Sunday you can enjoy the miniature version of the Great Minnesota Get-Together minus the enormous crowds as attendance is capped off each day. You can still enjoy rides, live music, food and drink- many of your favorite fair activities.
For the first time since 2019, Grand Old Day is back! On Sunday, June 4, you can meander down to Grand and enjoy the parade and food vendors. Rising security costs and the pandemic took a toll on many festivals, and it’s a good sign this one is returning.
Looking for a good old-fashioned 4th of July parade? If you’re in Saint Paul, the only one to find is the St. Anthony Park “4th in the Park” festival. The parade goes down Como Avenue, and features many of the businesses that give St. Anthony Park its smalltown feel. The day concludes in Langford Park with music and dancing 4-6 p.m.
The Little Africa Festival is also back, once again closing off Snelling Avenue north of University. The event is held in Hamline Park and on Snelling Avenue, with food, crafts, live performances, and a parade. Little Africa Festival will be held Sunday, Aug. 6, and appears to get bigger each year. Expect opportunities to engage with neighbors and learn about African cultures.
It may arrive at the very end of summer, but Chroma Zone returns Sept. 14-16. The festival, put on by the Creative Enterprise Zone, annually showcases new murals placed on many buildings in the area designated as the Creative Enterprise Zone. After this year’s murals, there will be over 60 in the CEZ. While the three-day festival itself can boast activities beyond the murals, people can take self-guided tours anytime and they can download a map of the murals from the Chroma Zone website.
As everyone soaks up the warmth, there will be many opportunities to enjoy the weather. And you don’t need an official reason like a festival or parade. Make a point to visit a patio of your favorite coffee shop/restaurant/taproom and more this summer. Take in a Minnesota United or St. Paul Saints game. Enjoy the warm weather when it arrives, and the added jubilation within the community.


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