Minnesota festivals events and celebrations offer residents and visitors year round opportunities to explore our diverse Minnesota culture and heritage.
Events and celebrations occur year round. Each year begins with Minnesota's celebration of winter, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, and progresses through our many summer festivals and on to the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
In between you will find special events where you can experience our wonderful music, food and fun as well as our rich cultural diversity.
There are Minnesota festivals and events that occur in almost all parts of the state and we will link to as many of those as possible on this page and other pages of this site.
Plan ahead to attend your favorite Minnesota festivals events by reserving a hotel near the festival.
**Scroll to the bottom of this page to add a Minnesota festival event or celebration that you want others to know about.
Every area of Minnesota has unique festivals, events and celebrations that feature their unique heritage and cuisine or a particular Minnesota activity. Unless you are a resident of a particular small town or area of the state, you may never hear of some of these wonderful festivities. We make it a practice to travel to as many of these local celebrations as possible to experience the wide diversity Minnesota offers.
Visitors are treated to a year round offering of Minnesota festivals events and celebrations. Below are some of the major annual festivities, fairs, & special events that take place throughout Minnesota.
Music festivals are highlights for many of us. Just a few of the annual Minnesota festival of music include Soundset in May, Rock the Garden and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June, the Basilica Block Party and Warped Tour in July, Music in Mears Park, June - August, and Minnesota Zoo summer music series June - August.
Check out the regular musical offering at venues like:
Saint Paul Winter Carnival: is called "the coolest celebration on earth." Plan now to attend the next annual January celebration of winter.
In 1885 a New York Times reporter wrote that Saint Paul was the "Siberia of America" and questioned whether it was fit for human habitation. Offended by this attack on their Capitol City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that Saint Paul was habitable but that it's citizens were very much alive during winter, So was born the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Each year the Carnival offers over 100 events including parades, cultural celebrations, ice and snow sculpting, and a giant snow slide.
The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower forty-eight states. Duluth is the starting points and dog-sledders race a 400 mile course. The John Beargrease in January is a qualifying race for the Alaska Iditarod.
The International Eelpout Festival in Walker celebrates what many call "the world's ugliest fish." Join 10,000 other people to this annual February party on the ice of Leech Lake.
Winterfest on Lake Bemidji in February includes pond hockey and many more family-friendly events on the lake.
Celtic Festival in March brings people to the Hjemkomst Canter in Moorhead for Irish dance, music, food, and fun. Wear your kilt and bring your bagpipes if you have them.
World Festival is an annual April is held in Rochester as a celebration of World Cultures. Enjoy food from around the world as well as stage performances, a fashion show, and parade.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates Hispanic/Latino culture in St. Paul every May. This is a family-friendly festival along six blocks of the District del Sol.
Festival of Birds is celebrated in Detroit Lakes each year in May. Headquartered at Detroit Mountain, you can participate in workshops, field trips, exhibitions and more during spring migration.
175 West Kellogg Blvd.
Downtown St. Paul
The Festival of Nations is one of the nation's largest and longest-running multi-ethnic events. It has been presented since 1932 by the International Institute of Minnesota. Enjoy one of our favorite of Minnesota festivals and events in May of each year.
Find more information about the Festival of Nations.
Water Ski Days in Lake City is a three day June festival that celebrates the invention of water skis in this town with water ski shows, and a parade.
Blueberry Art Festival takes place in June in Ely. Purchase original art and handcrafted items from more than 250 exhibitors. Feast on blueberry treats and blueberry pancakes. Bring the kids!
X Games take place in July at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Called the "Olympics of Extreme Sports" you can enjoy four days of skate boarding, BMX riding, Moto X jumping, and more.
Duluth hosts the Tall Ships Festival every year in mid-August. It's a stunning sight to see dozens of these historic ships gather near Canal Park. Tickets are sold in advance of the event and sell out quickly. Even if you don't score a ticket, you can see the ships by getting close to the shoreline in Duluth.
On Harriet Island on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul
A three-day August celebration of Irish heritage: with music, dance and family activities. Billed as one of the most family-friendly events in the Twin Cities and one of the most authentic Irish festivals nationwide. At Harriet Island on the banks of the MississippiRiver.
At the Soo Pass Ranch Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
World's largest outdoor country music festival!
A tradition every year since 1983---held every August in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Each summer, about 50,000 people camp out in one of the many campgrounds and listen to an all-star lineup of popular country singers and entertainers.
We loved being in Detroit Lakes for the very first WeFest and hearing Alabama play as well as many other top stars.
It was amazing that this tiny town could aspire to a major music festival. And what a success it continues to be.
Get more information and see this year's lineup of country stars.
This fall festival is held mid - August through late September just south of Shakopee off Highway 169. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is one of the largest attended themed events in the country, and features more than 275 merchants, live entertainment, games, food and fun in a 22-acre, 16th-century village. Additions to this year's festival include belly dancing, an Arabian horse show, and yoga lessons. To find out more, dial 952-445-7361, or visit Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Taste of The Root River Trail takes you exploring along the trail to towns that include Lanesboro, Fountain, Peterson, and Rushford. Sample local fare for three Saturdays in September. Take part in local activities and sample local food.
Ocktoberfest in New Ulm is one of the best Ocktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. Come for two weekends of polka dancing, German food, and Schells Beer.
The Twin Cities Marathon in October is one of the most beautiful marathons in the U.S. Come to run or come to watch. Twin Cities info.
Bentleyville Tour of Lights brings more than 200,000 people to Duluth between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Holidazzle is a European style family festival that takes place from late November to late December in Minneapolis. Purchase gifts, enjoy local food and watch the fireworks.
Minnesota State Fair: We call it "The Great Minnesota get-together." Some of my earliest memories are of the tastes, sights and smells of the state fair that is matched by no other!
As we raised our family the Minnesota State Fair days were set aside every year. No matter where we lived in the state, we traveled to "the cities" to attend. There were years when our kids were in 4-H and had projects entered. Our artist daughter won ribbons for her art and our sons for woodworking.
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Saint George Middle Eastern Festival
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Middle Eastern Festival
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