Explore Minnesota Weekly Events

May 25, 2011

Southern Minnesota

Jackpot Junction Casino & Hotel in Morton, located near Redwood Falls, will host Styx on Friday, May 27. 507/697-8000; http://www.jackpotjunction.com/entertainment/styx

A Car Show & Shine will be offered by Spomer Classics & Museum in Worthington on Saturday, May 28, with a cruise around Lake Okabena at 2:45 p.m. Come early to tour the museum filled with automobile memorabilia – food stands will be on site. 1-866-450-6366; http://www.spomerclassics.com

Historic Forestville in Preston will present South Forestville in Territorial Times on May 28. Come board the horsedrawn wagon and ride back into the territorial days of South Forestville, with costumed interpreters sharing detailed information on the people, buildings and history of this once-thriving settlement. Regular tours of the site will also be offered. And while in the area, head to the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro for performances of ‘Over the Back Fence‘ and ‘Sylvia‘ on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 & 29. 507/765-2785; http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hf, http://www.bluffcountry.com

Family Fun Walks will be offered Saturday, May 28 at Rice Lake State Park in Owatonna, and on Sunday, May 29 at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park in the town of Nerstrand. These non-competitive walks are roughly 10km, but participants can walk whatever distance they choose. Rewards are available for a small fee. 612/529-0552; http://www.nstt.org

Wineries along the Great River Road Wine Trail, running along the Mississippi River, will host Local Foods, Local Wines from Friday through Sunday, June 3-5. Enjoy a long weekend of romance and adventure on the Great River Road Wine Trail. Each winery will feature their award-winning wines and ciders paired with an array of local foods designed with gourmet flair. Some wineries will also feature live music by local talent. In Minnesota, visit the wineries at Winona, Red Wing and Cannon Falls. http://greatriverroadwinetrail.org

A Rhubarb Festival will be offered on Saturday, June 4, at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. Everyone is invited to taste-test everything rhubarb, including pies, crisps, cakes, soups, chutneys, chili, jams, ketchup, leathers, drinks and more! In addition to free sampling, enjoy Rhubarb Olympics for all ages, the Rhubarb Rant Speaker’s Corner, live music and entertainment, prizes, local produce and plants at the Lanesboro Farmers Market, and children’s Rhub-Art activities. 1-800-944-2670; www.RhubarbFestival.org

Lake Winona and Unity Park in Winona will be the site of the Great Dakota Homecoming and Gathering from sunrise on Saturday, June 4 until sunset on Sunday, June 5. The Dakota Gathering celebrates the growing relationship between the people of Winona and the people of the Dakota Nations. Highlights include youth language & cultural events, a Blended Spiritual service, stage performances, the Bob Bone Native American Moccasin Tournament, Indigenous Nations Arts & Crafts Show, the Dakota History & Cultural Tent, Elder Genealogy Tent, a Wacipi with Grand Entries, Talk Circle, Covenant Ceremony, and Unity Feasts. Camping is available on site. 507/452-2278, 1-800-657-4972; http://www.dakotahomecoming.org/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5genie=294

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

The Whitson Family Farm in the town of Stanton, located five miles west of Cannon Falls on Cty. Rd. 19, will be the site of the Cannon River Rendezvous from Thursday, May 26 through Monday, Memorial Day, May 30. The Cannon River Rendezvous is a re-enactment of an early 1800’s fur trade rendezvous, with characters and activities of the time portrayed by over 150 re-enactors in historically accurate attire and camps. Enjoy music, food, demonstrations, contests, vendors, and games, as well as a beautiful, patriotic Memorial Day service. 763/780-4722; http://www.tcmlc.com/rendezvous/crr.html

The Cirque du Soleil OVO Big Top Tour will be held under a blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau at the Mall of America’s north parking lot in Bloomington, beginning Thursday, May 26 and running through Sunday, June 19. OVO is a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, play, fight and look for love in non-stop movement. The insects’ home is a world of biodiversity and beauty filled with noisy action and moments of quiet emotion. The production is jaw-dropping entertainment for the entire family. 415/274-2552; http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/ovo/tickets/minneapolis.aspx?cid=hadley/ovo/minneapolis/general/exploreminn

Historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul will open its gates for the summer, Saturday through Monday, May 28-30, with Memorial Day Weekend Programs and Activities, including military drills, cannon firings, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and lots of other hands-on activities. On Monday, the fort will host a Military History Timeline event where costumed staff and volunteer re-enactors portray soldiers from conflicts throughout history. 612-726-1171; http://www.historicfortsnelling.org

The 45th Annual Edina Art Fair will be held Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, at the 50th & France Neighborhood in Edina. This is the second largest art fair in Minnesota, featuring over 340 fine artists and crafters from around Minnesota, the U.S. and Canada. There will also be live music, lifestyle demos, a Kids’ Art Zone, food vendors, fashion shows, cooking demos, and more. 952/922-1524; http://www.50thandfrance.com/events.php?event=66

The Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake will offer its annual Canine Carnival on Saturday, June 4, in a tribute to dogs both wild and domestic, with presentations on the resident wolves, wolf-dog hybrids & foxes. Please check the website for an up-to-date list of presenters and vendors – bring your pet along for the fun! 651/464-3993; http://www.wildlifesciencecenter.org

The Flint Hills International Children’s Festival Family Weekend will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 4 & 5, at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. Inside the Ordway, performing artists from around the world will take the stage. In addition, downtown St. Paul will come alive, with free arts activities, arts exhibitions, and performances at parks around the Ordway. 651/282-3000; http://www.ordway.org/festival

Northern Spark is a new Minnesota rendition of the popular Nuit Blanche arts events held in other world cities. A full night of interactive arts throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul takes place from sunset on Saturday, June 4, until sunrise on Sunday, June 5. Experience music, illuminations, interpretative events and other unique experiences in parks, plazas and buildings in both cities’ downtowns, riverfront areas and arts districts. Northern Spark will include a diversity of art forms and projects: multi-story projections, audio environments with vistas, floating works on barges, houseboats and paddleboats, and the use of everything from bioluminescent algae and sewer pipes for organs to more traditional media such as banjos and puppets. It’s worth losing sleep over! http://www.northernspark.org, http://northern.lights.mn/connect

Historic Grand Avenue in St. Paul will be the site of Grand Old Day on Sunday, June 5. This is the largest one-day festival in the entire Midwest, with the Grand Old Day parade, an Entertainment District with nearly 20 local bands, an Art District showcasing regional artists, Family Fun District with inflatables,petting zoo, games, cultural arts performances and Teen Battle of the Bands, a Sporting District highlighting local sports teams and organizations, and over 140 outdoor food and merchandise vendors! 651/699-0029; http://www.grandave.com

Central Minnesota

The annual Awake the Lakes Celebration will be held Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, throughout the city of Alexandria. This kick-off to summer includes a Ribfest, live blues music & beer gardens, fireworks, sidewalk sales, live music at Carlos Creek Winery, Breakfast with Big Ole at Fort Alexandria, the Show N’ Shine Classic Car Show, the 5th Annual Habitat for Humanity Motorcycle Ride, Youth Fishing Challenge, Erickson’s Petting Zoo & Pony Ring, Viking Speedway Races, and a wide variety of family fun activities! 1-800-235-9441; http://www.awakethelakes.com

The Garrison VFW Pavilion and grounds will be site of the 19th Annual Garrison Invitational Art Fair on Sunday, May 29, with a large number of artists from throughout the Midwest exhibiting paintings, jewelry, metal sculpture, pottery, porcelain, paper art, concrete sculpture, photography, wood carvings and fiber creations. In addition, enjoy live music throughout the day. 1-800-346-7646; http://www.garrisonmn.com

A Memorial Day Spring Festival will be held Monday, May 30, at the Monongalia Historical Society in New London. Featured will be live music, lefse-making, baked goods, and other traditional foods. 320/354-2990; http://www.willmarlakesarea.com

Herington Park and venues throughout the city of Onamia will be the site of Onamia Days, Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, with a carnival, kid’s parade, games, food vendors, sidewalk sales, street dances, Grand Parade, classic car show, demo derby, and much more! Onamia is located at the junction of U.S. Hwy 169 and MN State Hwy 27, 3 miles South of Lake Mille Lacs. 320/532-3202; http://www.onamiamn.com

The Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff will be held June 3-5 at El Rancho Manana in Richmond. This three-day outdoor music and camping festival includes stage shows by twenty regional bluegrass, old-time, and related acoustic music groups. In addition, enjoy workshops, food vendors, jam sessions, and camping. 1-800-635-3037; http://www.minnesotabluegrass.org

On Sunday, June 5, the city of Little Falls will be the site of numerous Free Family Fun Day Open Houses, at venues such as the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Museum, Charles A. Lindbergh State Park, Lindbergh Historic Site, Minnesota Fishing Museum, Pine Grove Zoo, and Linden Hill Musser Mansion. In addition, enjoy a Dad’s Belgian Waffle Brunch at the Little Falls VFW, a Yard Sale at the Rosenmeier House, a Volunteer Yard Sale and Plant Sale Fundraiser at the Linden Hill Pavilion, and Animal Antics and Escapades – Canine Capers at the Pine Grove Zoo. 1-800-325-5916; http://www.LittleFallsMN.com

The Rum River Festival will be held Sunday, June 5 through Sunday, June 12, throughout the city of Princeton, with a Medallion Hunt, Miss Princeton Pageant, city-wide garage sales, a 5K Run, craft fair, children’s games, Fly-In Breakfast. and car and model airplane show. 763/389-1676; http://princetonmnchamber.org/RumRiverFestival.aspx

Northwest Minnesota

Itasca State Park and Two Inlets Resort in Park Rapids will host a Minnesota Migration Bird Watching Weekend & Package, Friday and Saturday, May 27 & 28. Included in this weekend birding package are appetizers and wine with professional bird guide and owner of Minnesota Backyard Birds, presentations on the natural history and birds of Itasca State Park, and guided bird watching tours at Itasca and other locations. Many neotropical warblers nest within Itasca State Park, and this is a great opportunity to view many warbler species such as Chestnut-Sided, Blackburnian and Redstarts. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboats are available at the resort to quietly view nesting Common Loons, Green Herons and Great-Blue Herons on Two Inlets Lake. Packages available; reservations required. 1-800-843-7453; http://www.twoinlets.com/rates/migrationBirdPackage.html

The Seven Clans Casino in Thief River Falls will be the site of the 7th Annual Memorial Day Pow-Wow, Friday through Sunday, May 27–29, with Grand Entries each day. In addition, enjoy singing contests, a 5-Man Hand Drum contest, and many dance contests for all ages. Everyone is welcome! 218/681-4062; http://www.sevenclanscasino.com

Weekly Pontoon Trips will be offered at Lake Bemidji State Park throughout the summer, beginning Saturday, May 28 – weather permitting. Choose from “Paul Bunyan’s Foot Print,” “Explore The Mississippi River,” and “Explore Lake Bemidji” pontoon tours, with fun and educational discussions along the way. Call ahead to check on days and times – reservations are necessary. On Saturday evening, May 28, head to the Sanford Center for a concert by Styx. And on Sunday, May 29, enjoy an All Camp Pancake Breakfast and Bog Watcher Program at Lake Bemidji State Park. 218/308-2300; http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_bemidji/index.html

The city of Detroit Lakes will be the site of numerous Memorial Weekend Festivities the weekend of May 28-30. Just some of the highlights include the Shady Hollow Flea Market, Becker County Sportsman’s Club Boat Parade, Island Steel Drums and Kick-Off To Summer Party at the Holiday Inn on the Lake, and the Avenue of Flags/Memorial Walk at the Oak Grove Cemetery. 1-800-542-3992; http://www.VisitDetroitLakes.com

A Spring Healer’s Retreat will be offered at Crow Wing Crest Lodge in Akeley, Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, with continental breakfasts, drum circles, sauna sweats, sunset and morning mist cruises around the lake, aromatherapy classes, on-site massage, healing touch, reflexology, intuitive readings, and myo-facial & cranial sacral work. A variety of lodging options are available. 1-800-279-2754; http://www.crowwing.com

Downtown Detroit Lakes will be the site of Street Faire at the Lakes, Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4, with six blocks of art, music, entertainment and food. This juried arts and craft show features more than 120 invited artisans from across the country, as well as a variety of food venues and live entertainment. 1-800-542-3992; http://www.VisitDetroitLakes.com

The Hawley Rodeo Fest will be held Saturday, June 4 through Saturday, June 11, in the city of Hawley. Just some of the many highlights include the 11th Annual Breakfast on the Farm at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher Grounds in nearby Rollag, a kids’ pedal tractor pull, Community Cowboy Church and Benefit Horse Show at the Rodeo Grounds, the Little Miss Hawley & Miss Hawley Scholarship Pageants, a health fair, Pitchfork Steak Fondue, Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, a Kiddie Parade, car cruise, and Rodeo Fest Parade. Rodeo Fest concludes with two nights of PRCA Rodeo performances. 218/483-3331; http://www.hawley.govoffice.com

Northeast Minnesota

The Duluth Dylan Fest will be held Monday, May 23 through Saturday, May 28, at various venues in Duluth. Featured will be a Guthrie/Dylan Dinner at Valentini’s Vicino Lago, Dylan’s 70th B-Day Party at Fitger’s Brewhouse, a Dylan Film Fest at Zinema 2, Blood on the Tracks Express on the North Shore Scenic Railroad, Duluth Does Dylan at Fitger’s Brewery Complex, and a Million Dollar Bash at Beaner’s Central. 1-800-438-5884; http://www.visitduluth.com, http://www.bobdylanway.com

Various venues throughout the city of Hibbing will play a part in this year’s Dylan Days celebration, held Thursday through Sunday, May 26-29, to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday and the 10th year of Hibbing’s citywide Dylan Days. Just some of the highlights include a Dylan Days Welcome Reception, Dylan Days Symposium, ’50s Sock Hop, the World Famous Dylan Days Singer/Songwriter Contest, the Bobby Zimmerman Bus Tour, the Dylan Days Farewell Brunch & Local Ojibwa Blessing, and a wide array of band performances to celebrate Bob Dylan. 1-866-305-3849; http://www.dylandays.com

Memorial Weekend on the North Shore will be offered Friday through Monday, May 27-30, in Lutsen, Grand Marais, and up the Gunflint Trail. Enjoy a holiday weekend full of events and activities, including ongoing live music & entertainment, an art crawl, photography walk, naturalists’ walk, Murray the Moose, the Gunflint Trail Trash & Treasures sale, family hikes to Artists’ Point and the lighthouse, sailing, fly-fishing demos, a shipwreck presentation, and more! 1-888-922-5000; http://www.grandmarais.com/memorialday

The 27th Annual North Central Minnesota Farm & Antique Association’s Swap Meet & Consignment Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 28 & 29, behind the Blackberry Store, located seven miles east of Grand Rapids on Hwy. 2. Come see antique, restored gas & steam tractors, a windmill, and other tools of early American farm life. 218/752-6592; http://www.theblackberryfarm.org

The North House Folk School in Grand Marais will be the site of the Boreal Birding & Northern Landscapes Festival, Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5. Come discover the birds, wildflowers and geology of this dynamic and rich northern landscape, and enjoy a series of inter-related, field-focused workshops and courses, unique field trips, classroom discussions, evening presentations and programs. 1-888-387-9762; http://www.northhouse.org/programs/events/birdingfestival.htm

The 33rd Annual International Polka Fest will be held Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, at the Black Bear Casino & Hotel Otter Creek Convention Center in Carlton, with 14 bands performing over three days. There will also be a World Championship Polka & Waltz Contest, Hall Of Fame Induction, and lots of dancing on a large wooden dance floor. 1-888-771-0777; http://funtimeband.com

The North West Company Fur Post in Pine City will present North West Company & the War of 1812 on Saturday, June 4, when costumed re-enactors will portray North West Company agents enlisting all able-bodied voyageurs to help defend the business of the fur trade in 1812. And while in Pine City on Sunday, June 5, head to Voyageur Park for the 7th Annual East Central Minnesota Pride Celebration. This year’s theme is “Out in the Country,” with vendors, a silent auction, food, homespun fun and lots of live entertainment. 320/322-4040; http://www.pinecitychamber.com

 This report is brought to you by Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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