This huge, nine-day festival is in its 70th year. Some of the more unusual moments in the festival's history include a visit from then-Vice President Richard Nixon, Bob Barker hosting the game show Truth or Consequences out in Edina, and, in 1993, a Minneapolis packager building a milk-carton boat strong enough to hold nearly 150 passengers. Friday night marks the start with the Labor Neighborhood Block Party on Nicollet Mall, between Third and Fourth Streets, where from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. you can enjoy free music by the Gin Blossoms and Rocket Club. Though there are too many events to list them all, highlights include Sunday's Beach Bash at Thomas Beach at Lake Calhoun (Thomas Avenue South and West Calhoun Parkway), where from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can watch as artists create amazing sand castles, or check out the infamous Milk Carton Races. The Torchlight Parade is Wednesday, July 22, at 8:30 p.m. and runs through the heart of Minneapolis's theater district, up Hennepin Avenue starting at Dunwoody College (around North 17th Street) to 5th Street. Add in fireworks, a senior bowling tournament, a recycled-metal sculpture tournament, and dozens of other activities, and you have a mind-boggling list of potential things to do. For more info call 612.376.7669 or visit www.aquatennial.com. (photo by Richard Westley Wong)
July 17-25, 2009
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