2020 Minneapolis Aquatennial Goes Virtual

The Minneapolis Aquatennial has been a constant source of summer fun since 1940. Though posed as a city celebration of the state’s bounty of lakes and streams, there’s a whole lot more than the standard festival, ballooning to heights greater than the Fourth of July celebrations. Among the most appealing parts of the Aquatennial include fireworks, parades, and unique competitions of sandcastles and milk carton boat races.

It’s a bit depressing that, due to our ongoing pandemic, the Minneapolis Aquatennial will not be held this year. The yearly event that brings great joy about Minneapolis with parades, fireworks, shops, marathons, and so much more has, unfortunately, been canceled. The Aquatennial website has issued a statement that they will not be hosting the summer event for July 21-24, 2020, but hope to do so in 2021. While it’s a downer to not be able to celebrate the warmest time of year in Minneapolis, there’s thankfully plenty of alternatives online.

minneapolis aquatennial
Photo Credit: Aquatennial Facebook Page

Life Time Torchlight 5K

For those seeking to enter the Life Time Torchlight 5K this year, it’s still happening although shifted to virtual. Entry is free and the event is still taking donations for Minneapolis Public Schools via registration. Early and top donators will also receive prizes of tote bags and pint glasses. Check their website for details on donating and participating.

minneapolis aquatennial
Photo Credit: Aquatennial Facebook Page

Minneapolis Craft Market

Though the live market won’t be available for shopping, buyers and sellers can still take their business online. Numerous arts and crafts can be showcased and bought from the Craft Market’s online website. Whether you’re a maker or a vendor, their market space has plenty of spots for Minnesota wonder and wears that are perfectly placed in categories spanning from jewelry to art to skincare products. Customers have such an easy option to shop locally when one can zip through the pages and easily purchase without worrying about carrying cash. Best of all, Minnesotans across the state can support local businesses without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Photo Credit: Town Hall Tap Facebook Page

View the Best French Fries in Minneapolis

What says summer better than some crispy fries? View our list of the best french fry spots in the city.

View the Best French Fries in Minneapolis

minneapolis aquatennial
Photo Credit: Aquatennial Facebook Page


For the younger crowd who could use a bit of Aquatennial fun, there’s plenty of interactive options and printable activities on the Aquatennial website under AquaTivities. Right in the browser, there are numerous puzzles that can be assembled, sure to please young and old. Print options include coloring pages, card game rules, origami instructions, bingo sheets, and various instructions for outdoor games. And, while not exactly a replacement for the real deal, numerous Zoom backdrop images are offered for download as friendly reminders of the event’s parades and fireworks.

Photo Credit: Aquatennial Facebook Page

What’s Happening Next Year?

While all of this may not seem like much of a replacement for the true excitement of the Aquatennial, plans are already underway for planning out next year’s event for July 21 – 24, 2021. Suggested by their website, the eventual return of the Aquatennial will include the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and Target Fireworks. Early sign-up for volunteers is currently happening on their website, which will include the usual perks of a prime viewing area at the Target Fireworks, a t-shirt, and much more.


Hopefully, the outdoor excitement of supporting Minneapolis through such a joyous event will return in 2021.


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