Minnesota Weekly Fishing Update

Credit to Explore Minnesota for the newsletter.

Fishing at sunset on Leech Lake  
 

Most species continue to bite despite recent above-normal temperatures. Bass and muskie action has kicked into high gear. The crappies are schooling and eager to bite. Walleye anglers are still taking nice numbers of fish.

The forecast for most of the state this weekend calls for mostly sunny skies with highs in the 70s — ideal for a fishing outing!

For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesota web page.

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central] [Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls – Rainy Lake

Walleye remain in a transition phase on Rainy Lake. They are beginning to show up on the main lake reef tops, breaklines and deeper points. Most of this activity is in 12 to 24 foot depths. Walleyes at the reefs are generally holding on the top or near the top of the structure. Jigs, lindy rigs and slip bobbers with a leech have been turning lots of fish. Many walleye remain shallow and continue to be caught in and around weedlines. Traditional spinner rigs with a crawler or minnow continue to be effective. More walleye will show up on the main lake structure in the coming weeks or even days.

While most smallmouth bass are done nesting, many remain shallow in 2 to 5 feet of water. Others are further along in the transition, holding in and around the deeper boulders in 5 to 10 feet of water. As always, weed growth and wind make good rock structure better.

​Some crappies continue to be caught on small jigs and slip bobbers in 4 to 6 feet of water. The weeds or a combination of rock structure and weeds are generally best. Other crappies are beginning to school up on the breaklines, points and sunken brush piles.

Like walleye, northern pike are transitioning out to the main lake structure, showing up at the deeper points and reef tops in 12 to 25 foot depths. Walleye anglers report that it is not uncommon for a pike to attack walleye as they are being reeled in. Other pike are still being caught when casting the weed structure, shorelines and points with spoons, spinner baits and larger stick baits. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Kabetogama

The sun is out and water is warm!  Blueberries and raspberries are starting to ripen. If you search the lake islands, you will find them first. The first major mayfly hatch is over on Lake Kabetogama so fishing should take a turn for the better. The next challenge is the abundance of forage as this year’s minnows are abundant. Water temperatures have risen into the high 70s which will send fish deeper on calm, sunny days.

Last week, 8 to 14 foot depths gave up lots of nice walleye, with live bait rigs and leeches and spinners with half of a crawler producing best. On days with wind and during low light hours, these tactics should continue to be productive. On sunny, calm days, check 20 to 30 feet of water using rigs and leeches. Walleye fishing has also been great at the windblown shorelines and muddy bottom weedlines. Anglers pulling bottom bouncers with a spinner and crawler are having lots of success. On bright days, use orange or chartreuse; on cloudy days, whites and pinks work better. The shallow weedlines on Lake Namakan are beginning to produce as well. Northern pike have been aggressive, responding to large, soft plastics and spinnerbaits worked at the rock piles and rocky shorelines. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes and Rivers

The walleye bite remains fairly consistent throughout the area. Most of the walleye are coming from 6 to 8 feet of water at the weed beds and windy shorelines. A jig tipped with a leech or half a crawler has been best. Shallow-diving crank baits are also worth trying. A few large walleye are being pulled from the sunken islands on spinner rigs tipped with a leech or crawler, as well as on a jig and leech worked in 12 to 15 feet of water. Blue, pink and gold remain the best colors.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains excellent as fish begin to stage on the edge of the first break. Anglers should continue to work the shoreline, fishing a bit deeper in roughly 10 feet of water for the bigger bass. Topwater fishing remains good early in the morning, but anglers will want to switch to spinner baits, jerk baits or senko rigs as the sun rises. Pink, white and chartreuse remain the top colors. Anglers are having to fight off the northern pike at times.
Crappies remain shallow in the weed beds. Anglers casting a simple jig and twister, close to thick stands of weeds, are catching lots of nice fish. During evening hours, crappies are hitting crappie minnows under a bobber, small crank baits, and jigs and twisters out on the weed edges. White, yellow and pink colors have been working best.

Lake trout fishing has been good, with anglers taking fish on flashy spoons and down riggers trolled through 40 to 80 feet of water. Stick baits trolled with 3 to 4 colors of lead core line out have also produced lake trout.

Northern pike remain very active, but most have been on the smaller side.  Spinnerbaits, buzz baits and suspended jerk baits fished in and around the weed beds have accounted for the majority of pike. Many large pike are now coming from the deep reefs where they are accidentally being caught by walleye anglers. Anglers targeting these fish are having luck with large minnow baits fished right on top of the humps. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids Area Lakes

The heat of the summer has kicked in and the muskie bite is heating up! Watch for muskie as they cruise the top of the cabbage weeds. They can also be caught in deeper waters on certain lakes. Many times the pike are suspended, awaiting whitefish and tullibee that may be feeding on bug hatches. The cabbage fish are often the most visible and active. Fast-paced cowgirl buck tails (double bladed) or noisy top water baits can be the key for hot summer muskie fishing. Lakes in the Grand Rapids area to chase muskie include Deer, North Star, Spider and Moose, along with the Mississippi River between the dams. Each of these have great habitat and abundant trophy-sized fish.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has also been good. Anglers will want to target the outside weedlines for consistent action. For smallmouth bass, use chatter baits and drop shot in areas with a mix of weeds and rocks. For largemouth bass, use swim baits with action tails and plastics over the top of the weeds and around docks. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

It has been an excellent week of summer fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Walleye are responding well to jigging with frozen shiners or leeches. Drifting spinners with crawlers is also working well. The best depths remain 29 to 32 feet of water. The basin is filling with walleye, and crank baits are turning fish.

Anglers are taking a mixed bag of fish from the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay. Spinners and jigs are both working well. Some walleye are coming from the river channel edge of Four Mile Bay. Smallmouth bass are being pulled from the rocky areas, weed beds and bridges.

At the Northwest Angle & Islands Area, a combination of eating-size walleye and slot-sized fish are responding to spinners drifted west of Little Oak. Hammered gold and silver blades remain strong. Some walleye can be found on the structure, while others are holding over the mud. Fishing is still strong for smallmouth bass, large northern pike and muskie. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Walker – Leech Lake

Some days have been good for walleye anglers on Leech Lake, but overall, walleye fishing has been inconsistent now that we’re in the midst of summer. There is still a lot of bait in the water as the yearly bug hatches drag on. Anglers having the most success are trolling crank baits in a perch or crayfish pattern over the 12 to 17 foot flats. Pay attention to your locator and fish the areas where bait is coming up off the bottom. In the evenings, slide up to the shorelines in 7 to 10 feet of water and continue to pull crank baits to catch actively feeding walleye.

Some of the weedlines are still producing some walleye. Pulling spinner rigs tipped with a crawler or leech has been producing walleye, as well as perch, northern pike panfish and bass. Green, yellow and gold spinners or a plain live bait rig are good choices. The cabbage and coon tail weeds in 9 to 15 foot depths are almost certain to produce some sort of action.

Muskie fishing is still a bit slow, but some anglers are starting to turn lookers into biters. Buck tails and jerk baits seem to be the best baits, and the cabbage beds are giving up a few more fish than the rock.

Panfish are being pulled from the cabbage beds on 1/32 ounce jig stipped with a leech, crawler or plastic. Please release the large 9.5 to 10 plus inch fish as they are the prime spawners — the 8 to 9 inches are perfect for a fish fry. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Park Rapids

Mid-summer crappie action is in full swing. Crappies can be found schooled in and around the heavy, shallow weed beds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Anglers using 1/16 ounce tube jigs about halfway down along the weed edges or through the weed tops are taking lots of fish. In the middle of the day, these fish can be grouped tight together inside the weeds.

Walleye are being caught on the weed lines and secondary breaks in water ranging from 12 to 25 feet deep. Fast-moving live bait rigs such as a crawler/spinner combination worked along the weed edges will put fish in the boat, along with some really nice bluegills.

Largemouth bass are also schooling on the deep weedlines found on the points or inside turns in depths of 15 to 20 feet. It’s hard to beat a black 7 inch power worm rigged Texas-style. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes

Walleye are holding in 13 to 28 feet of water in Detroit Lakes area lakes. The walleye are shallower on the stained lakes. The clear lakes are giving up walleye at the deeper weed edges. Long bars, extending points and sunken islands are all holding fish. Fish the windswept structure whenever possible. Rigging, jigging, pulling spinners and crank baits, and jigging raps have all turned fish.

Crappies have been roaming the flats in 9 to 13 feet of water, with many relating to the cabbage weeds. Sunfish are active at the weed patches, but some of the bigger bluegill are coming from water as deep as 24 feet off the sharp beaks.

Bass are also relating to the weeds out on the edges of the large flats or extending shoreline points.

Northern pike action remains mostly shallow, but some of the larger pike have come from deeper water off the edges and on the first breaks to deep water and basin areas. Muskie catches have improved over the last week or so with more summerlike temperatures. Fish are active and chasing high-action baits. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

Hot summer temperatures have kicked the bass action into high gear!  Lots of presentations, including stick worms on jigs, wacky rigs and swim jigs are turning fish on the deep weed edges on nearly every lake in the county. This is also a great time of year to try some topwater fishing. Frogs fished on top of the slop and in the lily pads will trigger bass.

Even some large bluegills are responding to the topwater lures, but the best way to catch them is by vertically jigging and casting bobbers at the deep weed edges. The points and inside turns at the deep weeds, cabbage and coontail are generally best.

Crappies are heavily related to the cabbage, especially on the main lake humps. Try working tubes over the tops of the cabbage leaves, as well as under deep swim rafts.

The walleye bite seems to be best when the wind blows. Walleye can be found stacked up on the main lake saddles, and at the deep weed edges. Spinner rigs and snells with a half a night crawler fished on a bottom bouncer is a great way to cover water and take your limit. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Area Lakes

Most species are biting in the Brainerd Lakes area! Despite the heat wave, the majority remain fairly shallow.

Walleye can be found in 6 to 20 feet of water on the larger lakes, and in 12 to 25 feet of water on the smaller lakes.  For the most fish, check the green weeds on the points and inside turns. Some fish can also 0be found on the tips of points on the gradual sloping areas.

Panfish remain very active, hitting crawlers and leeches worked in 10-15 feet of water. The largemouth bass are very aggressive in the shallows. Some of the best bites are early in the morning on top water lures.  Northern pike are active and feeding mostly during low light periods at the dense, weed-covered sharp edges. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

Late last week, roughly 17 people head out on a night launch on Lake Mille Lacs. The group took lots of large 18 to 20 inch bass, along with roughly 50 walleye. Crayfish-colored lures have been good for the smallmouth. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Three Rivers Park District – Carver, Hennepin, Ramsey and Scott counties

The Three Rivers Park District offers fishing at 18 parks in the Twin Cities area with a chance to reel in muskie, northern pike, sunfish, bass and walleye. Launch your boat at a lake access site, rent a boat or stay on land as you fish from a pier or on shore. There are also free fishing adventures. Learn more.

Stillwater – St. Croix River

A number of large catfish were pulled from the St. Croix River this week. For most, a 10 pound channel cat is a big cat, and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers are filled with them. These daytime fish are feeding heavily and they don’t play games when they strike. Fishing for catfish is always fun, especially when the cats are biting like they are right now. 651/351-1717; www.discoverstillwater.com

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country Rivers and Streams

Water temperatures near the springs in the spring fed streams are in the high 50s. The larger streams are in the mid- to upper 60s so it has been really refreshing to wade in the cold water at the end of a hot day.

Some areas did not receive heavy rainfall this week. Streams and rivers roughly 10 miles north and south of I90 had much less rain and not much runoff to spoil the fishing conditions. As always look for the small spring fed streams that don’t get as much runoff and that clear quickly. The North Branch Whitewater and South Branch Root River at Carimona are good examples.

Muddy waters have slowed many hatches but little midges, a few caddis, and an occasional large mayfly are still being seen. The trout fry are growing so larger crank baits and spinners are a more realistic mimic for the large bite items and frogs and toads are dropping into the streams attracting larger fish. The first grasshoppers are also being seen so hopper patterns should be considered as well.

Consider attending the Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Fish Camp at Whitewater State Park, August 2-4. Participants will enjoy fishing, as well as lessons and instruction, camping, children’s activities, snacks and four meals.

For years, the MN DNR has maintained assessable fishing sites in Whitewater State Park, near the Lanesboro Hatchery on Duschee Creek, and at the Lanesboro Park and Dam. Online maps are available.

Check out the DNR’s Stream Flow Report for the most current conditions. Before you go, check out the “Area Highlights” section of the Lanesboro Area Fisheries web page for stream maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Weekly Events in Minnesota

Credit to Explore Minnesota

Don’t miss the Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival at Mears Park in St. Paul, July 19-20 / Minnesota Blues Society

 

Event highlights this week include:

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast

July 18-21, Stillwater
Stillwater Lumberjack Days

July 19-21, Battle Lake
Art of the Lakes Studio Tour

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam

July 20-21, Duluth
Duluth Airshow, presented by St. Luke’s

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 30 – July 21, Winona
Minnesota Beethoven Festival
The Minnesota Beethoven Festival offers a broad range of concerts to satisfy a variety of musical tastes. There are 11 concerts planned including headliner Joshua Bell. Other guest artists to perform include clarinetist Julian Bliss, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Parker Quartet, and 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo. Various venues in Winona. 507-474-9055

July 5-20 (Fridays & Saturdays), Walnut Grove
Wilder Pageant
The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove. Nightly live performances feature all the characters from the Walnut Grove area. Laura narrates the story, reflecting on her life in Walnut Grove in the 1870s. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. 507-859-2174

July 17-21, Kasson
Dodge County Free Fair
The Dodge County Free Fair is Minnesota’s oldest county fair. The 162nd Dodge County Free Fair will feature carnival rides and games, the Bull Riding Challenge, Thunderbird Stock Car Races, truck and tractor pull, demolition derby, Kiddie Power Wheels Demo Derby, Dodge Mayhem Trailer Races, great fair food, a dance party, live music, and hula hoop, cow milking and other contests. Dodge County Free Fair grounds. 507-634-7736

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast
In its 14th year, Bavarian Blast returns to celebrate Bavarian heritage and culture. Surround yourself with all things German and enjoy a wide variety of German food, German-American music under big top tents, Schell’s Beer, 1919 Root Beer, the famous Bavarian Blast Parade and uniquely German contests such as the stein holding contest, sauerkraut eating competition and barrel rolling races. On Sunday, don’t miss the Polka Service. Brown County Fairgrounds. 507-233-4300

July 24-28, Madison Lake
Paddlefish Days
Madison Lake’s Paddlefish Days features a wide array of fun activIties and events including Bands & Burgers at Lucky Lure, Kiddie and Grand parades, Sheephead Fishing contest, a Foam Party, 5K race/walk, children’s games, car show, kiddie tractor pull, Kiss-A-Fish contest, street dance, live music by IV Play, food vendors and much more. 507-243-3216

July 26-27, Wabasha
Riverboat Days
Join in the fun at the biggest party of the summer on the Upper Mississippi! Highlights include live music acts, the Rubbery Ducky Derby, bouncy houses, parade, children’s activities, performance of Jack & the Beanstalk, the Grumpy Old Men Walleye Tournament, Yoga in the Park, Wabasha Sings, tractor pedal pull, volleyball tournament, 10K, 5K & 1K runs, firemen’s chicken feed, beer tent, farmers market and more. Heritage Park, under the bridge. 651-565-4158

July 26-28, Montgomery
Montgomery Kolacky Days – Czech Festival
Kolacky Days celebrates Montgomery’s Czechoslovakian heritage and culture by blending the Czech traditions of the past with today’s festival favorites. From authentic Kroj costumes, Czech dancing, Bohemian tractor pull and classic car show to a Grand Day Parade, U.S. National Prune Spitting Championships, Tour de Bun Bicycle Classic and 5K Bun Run Road Race, there’s something for everyone! Complete list of events. Memorial Park and downtown Montgomery. 507-953-0094

August 2-4, Red Wing
River City Days
Red Wing’s annual summer festival is tons of fun for all ages! Events include live entertainment by the Fabulous Armadillos and other popular bands, a large arts and crafts fair, 43rd annual Drive-In/Fly-In Pancake Breakfast, River City Ramble 5K & Kids’ Fun Run, River City Days Parade, Mystery of Chemistry Family Show, performances by the Royal Order of Klondike Kates, beer gardens, vintage car & truck show, antique boat & motor show, Cookies on the Cannon Valley Trail, Kids’ Treasure Hunt, sidewalk sales, Human Foosball Tournament, children’s games and activities, the Taste of Red Wing and fun activities such as archaeological dig boxes, dunk tank, climbing rock wall, goldfish pond, environmental games, dunk tank and so much more! Bay Point Park & Levee Park. 651-388-5934

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

July 13-21, Hopkins
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival has become a Twin Cities institution as a family friendly event. Highlights include the Hunt for the Golden Raspberry, Raspberry Festival of Bands, street dance, marketplace and craft fair, children’s activities, big wheel races, ice cream social, car show, Grande Day Parade, Raspberry Run, fireworks and so much more! Sites throughout Hopkins. 952-931-0878

July 18-21, Stillwater
Stillwater Lumberjack Days
Stillwater Lumberjack Days is filled with fabulous events such as Lumberjack competitions and demonstrations, live music concerts by numerous bands, Grand and Little Lumberjack Days parades, medallion hunt, vendors, gondola, pontoon & helicopter rides, Karaoke contest, minnow races, petting zoo, fly fishing demonstrations, games and activities for all ages. Lowell Park/St. Croix Riverfront. 651-351-1717

July 19-20, Eagan
Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games
Visit Scotland in your backyard, where the “Highlands Meet the Prairie.” Enjoy everything Scottish such as Highland & Country Dancing, a living history area, Scottish vendors & clans, pipers, traditional athletic competitions, non-stop music, children’s activities & prizes, sheepherding demonstrations and hands-on curling activities. Great food, both ethnic and American, will also be available. Kids should bring their swimsuits and visit the splash pad. This fair and the parking are free. Eagan Central Park festival grounds. 952-994-8355

July 19-20, St. Paul
Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival
The Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival returns with a night of soul and funk on Friday, July 19, followed by a night of blues on Saturday, July 20. This is the Twin Cities’ largest free blues festival (with an extra dose of funk). Mears Park. 612-308-5785

July 19-21, Hastings
Rivertown Days
This citywide festival includes many great events including Rivertown Days carnival rides & games, Heavy Metal Rodeos sponsored by Extreme Sandbox, Machinery Hill, Rivertown Days Arts & Crafts Fair, Fishing for Life Trout Pond, River of Life Kiddie Carnival, Model Aircraft Flying demonstration, Bubble Park, Black Dirt Improv Show, Daisy Dillman Band, Rivertown Days Grand Parade, Giant Duck Race on the Vermillion River, Hastings Sings Competition, sidewalk sales, petting zoo and fireworks display. Levee Park and Jaycee Park along the Mississippi River. 651-437-6775

July 20, Chanhassen
American Soul – A Tribute to James Brown, Ray Charles & The Blues Brothers
This is the show that never happened, but should have! Get on up with the most electrifying tribute to soul music with Ty Stone! Celebrating the legendary Ray Charles, Blues Brothers and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Hear hits like “Unchain My Heart,” “Georgia On My Mind,””Soul Man,” “Living In America,” “Super Bad,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” and many more! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

July 20, Burnsville
International Festival of Burnsville
The annual International Festival of Burnsville celebrates the city’s rich cultural diversity. Enjoy a wide array ethnic foods and vendor tents, ongoing performances and cultural displays. Kids’ Village will feature craft projects, games, crazy hair, face painting and henna tattoos. Nicollet Commons Park. 952-895-4509

July 20, Anoka
Anoka Food Truck Festival
More than 45 food trucks will be selling their special concoctions with global cuisines ranging from Indian to British to Japanese to locally grown pork. Also enjoy live music by various bands, games, give-aways and handcrafted beers. Proceeds from all wristband sales will benefit a local charity. Downtown Anoka. 763-220-2380

July 24-27, Minneapolis
Minneapolis Aquatennial Festival
Join in the fun during The Best Days of Summer and enjoy activities for the whole family, Minnesota’s largest night-time parade, the Top 5 Fireworks Display in the nation, Loring Park Art FestivalTwin Cities Carifest, AquaFest, Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoe Rides, Life Time Torchlight Parade After Party, Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show, Go Outside Trivia Night, great local food and so much more! Sites and venues throughout Minneapolis. 612-376-7669

July 25-27, Prior Lake
The Great Midwest Rib Fest
Summer sizzles as The Great Midwest Rib Fest returns with three days of food, music and fun! Get your groove on with free outdoor concerts by national and local acts. Bib up and chow down on ribs from the country’s top pitmasters competing for bragging rights and thousands in prizes. Mystic Lake Resort & Casino. 952-445-9000

July 26-28 & Aug. 2-4, Minneapolis
2019 Minnesota Family Fringe
Adventurous art, family-sized. Don’t miss this made-for-families festival of adventurous performance. With relaxed seating accommodations, accessibility services and more, all will enjoy the adventure of Fringe in an environment for adventurers of all ages. Shows are geared toward young people 12 and under and their families and caretakers. Barbara Barker Center for Dance on the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus. 612-872-1212

July 26 – Aug. 11, St. Paul
Circus Juventas presents Twisted
Comedy, magic and romance abound this summer at Circus Juventas as the renowned youth circus presents Twisted – a return to the world of international fairy tales for the first time since 2011. Circus Juventas. 651-699-8229

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include: 
Lynyrd Skynyrd at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 19
Backstreet Boys at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, July 20
Khalid Free Spirit World Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, July 23
Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the Xcel Energy Center, July 25
Jon Bellion at The Armory in Minneapolis, July 28
Tony Bennett – The I Left My Heart Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, July 28
Fiddler on the Roof at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, July 30 – Aug. 4
O.A.R. at Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake, Aug. 2
Santana: Supernatural Now at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 3
Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Aug. 3
John Mayer at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 5
Justin Hayward – All the Way at Ames Center in Burnsville, , Aug. 6
Kid Rock at Treasure Island Ampitheater in Welch, Aug. 10
Queen + Adam Lambert: The Rhapsody Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 10
Zakk Sabbath at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, Aug. 13
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Aug. 14
Rent (Touring) at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Aug. 14-18
Bill Maher at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Aug. 17
Reba McEntire at Treasure Island Ampitheater, Aug. 17
Small Town Murder Podcast at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, Aug. 17
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Aug. 18
The Stray Cats – 40th Anniversary Tour at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Aug. 18
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

July 18-21, Sauk Centre
Sinclair Lewis Days
Sinclair Lewis Days is four days of fun for everyone with parades, fireworks, a craft fair, Family Day in the Park, ice cream social, 5K and kids’ one mile run, Miss Sauk Centre Pageant, soap box derby races, raffle and more. Sinclair Lewis Park. 320-352-5201

July 19-21, Battle Lake
Art of the Lakes Studio Tour
The Art of the Lakes Studio Tour is a scenic, drive-yourself tour of 56 artists in 24 studios on curvy, hilly roads around lakes and through valleys with views that go on for miles. Many of the artists are tucked away on gravel roads scattered throughout Ottertail, Douglas and Grant counties. Look for the yellow signs to help guide you to your destination. Not all studios are open on Sunday. 218-864-8606

July 20, St. Joseph
HIKE@Night
There is nothing like viewing nature at night, especially with glow sticks, bonfires and specialty s’mores! Explore a Stearns County Park through night vision and enjoy a night out for less than the cost of a movie and popcorn! Kraemer Lake and Wildwood Park.

July 25-28, Glenwood
Waterama
Glenwood Waterama, located on the beautiful shores of Lake Minnewaska, features a 100-unit parade, kiddie parade, lighted pontoon parade, water shows, pageants, dances, sporting events, running races, great food, Crazy Days sales, an arts & crafts fair, fireworks and more! Learn why this is the largest community celebration of its kind in West Central Minnesota. Glenwood and Lake Minnewaska. 320-634-3636

July 26-28, Hutchinson
Orange Spectacular
The Orange Spectacular is considered the largest all Allis-Chalmers tractor show in the world, and it is dedicated to preserving the Allis-Chalmers name and its legacy. Don’t miss the many field demonstrations, lawn and garden demonstrations, all Allis-Chalmers Tractor Pull, seminars, swap meet & flea market, toy farm scene displays, large toy vendor show and children’s activities area. McLeod County Fairgrounds. 320-587-5252

Aug. 2-4, Pennock
Pennock Fun Days
Pennock Fun Days festivities include a hog roast, street dance, Movie in the Park, Grand Parade, antique tractor pull, craft show, kiddie parade, bean bag tournament, vendors, musical entertainment, children’s activities, classic car cruise-in, tractor parade, beer garden, scavenger hunt, bingo and more. 320-599-4546

Northwest Minnesota

July 17-21, Thief River Falls
Pennington County Fair
The very popular Pennington County Fair includes a concert by Hairball, huge midway, Thunder On Hooves P.B.R. Bull Rides, the demolition derby, parade, fireworks display, grandstand acts, Talent Show, Beard & Mustache competition, chainsaw sculpting, raffle, wide variety of food and vendor booths and much more. Pennington County Fairgrounds. 218-681-5922

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam is a classic rock and roll music festival held annually on the 300-acre Moondance Fairgrounds. This event features open festival seating, camping, well-kept facilities, two indoor regional stages, excellent security and an organized staff so fans are treated to great music and camping in a clean, safe and friendly atmosphere. Headliners for the 2019 Moondance Jam include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Train, Rick Springfield, The Sweet, Skillet, Goo Goo Dolls, Gov’t Mule and Molly Hatchet! Moondance Fairgrounds. 218-836-1055

July 20-21, Bemidji
Art in the Park
Art in the Park features over 100 artists, live entertainment and a dozen food vendors, all within walking distance of downtown art galleries, including the premiere Watermark Art Center. This juried fine arts and craft fair is held on the shores of Lake Bemidji in the beautiful, tree-lined Library Park. 218-444-7570

July 26-27, Nevis
Nevis Muskie Days Music Festival
This annual celebration honors the big lunker that once ruled the waters of Lake Belle Taine. Highlights include music on three stages, parades, the 5K Muskie Race, fish fry, inflatables, children’s games, kids’ money dig, kids’ fishing contest, street dance, beer garden, lots of food stands and more. 218-652-3115

July 27-28, East Grand Forks
Cats Incredible Catfish Days
The 32nd Annual Cat’s Incredible Catfish Days will once again be held on the banks of the Red River of the North in East Grand Forks. The tournament is a two day event with cash paid to the top 15 teams. There will also be door prizes, beer gardens, food vendors, live entertainment and a Kids’ Fun Zone. Great fun for participants and spectators alike! Downtown East Grand Forks, adjacent to Cabela’s. 701-746-0444

Aug. 1-3, Detroit Lakes
WE Fest
WE Fest is considered by many to be America’s best camping and country music festival! Headliners for this year’s WE Fest include Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Jake Owen, Big & Rich, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Currington and Jimmie Allen. Soo Pass Dude Ranch. 800-493-3378

Northeast Minnesota

July 19-21, Ball Club
Mii Gwitch Mahnomen Days Traditional Pow Wow
Just some of the highlights of the Mii Gwitch Mahnomen Days Traditional Pow Wow include Grand Entries, Flag Raising Ceremonies, parade, the open fire frybread contest, parade contest, Rez Car contest and walk/run. Ball Club, west of Deer River. 218-335-8395

July 20, Duluth
Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
The 14th Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival showcases internationally touring performers, along with ethnic foods, beverages and a variety of artisans displaying their wares. This celebration of world music whose artists spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide — bring your flag and wave it proudly! Bayfront Festival Park. 218-525-8099

July 20, Pine City
Art Fest 2019
The annual Pine City Art Fest is a unique outdoor arts and crafts fair. In addition to quality artwork and hand-crafted items, enjoy a Children’s Corner, music by Freeway Jam, a petting zoo and great fair food. Robinson Park and downtown Pine City. 320-322-4040

July 20-21, Duluth
Duluth Airshow, presented by St. Luke’s
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels headline the largest airshow in Minnesota! Arrive early to take in all of the static displays, a host of other aerial acts, and rides such as a 36′ inflatable turbo shuttle slide, an inflatable aircraft carrier obstacle course, a Blue Angels bounce inflatable and the extreme air power jump ride at the Duluth Airshow Kids Zone! Additional charges may apply. Duluth International Airport. 218-628-9995

July 26-28, Ely
Blueberry Art Festival
This three-day event in beautiful Ely features more than 260 artists and crafters, 30 food vendors, activities for the children, a variety of musical entertainment and fresh blueberry pies. Whiteside Park. 218-365-6123

July 26-28, Grand Rapids
Northern Minnesota Car Show & Swap Meet
This car show & swap meet is considered the largest in Northern Minnesota with lots of vendors, morning breakfasts and free admission at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. On Sunday, July 28, don’t miss the 35th Annual Northern Cruisers Weekend of Wheels Car Show at the IRA Civic Center. 218-326-6470; 218-259-3799

July 31 – Aug. 4, Grand Marias
Fisherman’s Picnic
The 88th Annual Fisherman’s Picnic is filled with crazy days sales, a craft show, daily contests and prizes, live music, food trucks, children’s activities and so much more! Also enjoy Cutest Puppy, log rolling and loon calling contests, demonstrations, the Fish Toss and the Fisherman’s Picnic Trail Run 5K. Downtown Grand Marais & Harbor Park. 218-387-2524

Birding Update

Credit to Explore Minnesota for this Birding Update.

Trumpeter swans with cygnets / Travis Novitsky

July Nature Notes

This is a special time of year when abundant warm and sunny days are enhanced by the sights and sounds of birds with their fledglings. Birders and non-birders alike are delighted by the sight of common loon parents with chicks on their backs. While loon chicks can swim just after hatching, they usually ride on their parents’ backs where they are most safe. Listen for the distinctive calls echoing across large Minnesota lakes. Haunting wails are used to communicate and relay location, and the laughter-like tremolos are used as an alarm call and to defend territory. Hear these and other calls at All About Birds’ Common Loon Sounds.


Common loon with chick / Don Dammert

Minnesota lakes, rivers and wetlands offer the sights and sounds of many waterbird species and their young. Look and listen for ducksgrebesswansgeesemergansersherons and egrets. Also enjoy the interesting antics of the American white pelican. These graceful fliers work together to corral fish into the shallows of southern and western Minnesota’s prairie pothole lakes. Some of the better locations to view pelicans are within the Western Minnesota Prairie Waters region such as the spillway on Marsh Lake near Appleton, the dam near Watson and the Minnesota River dam in Granite Falls.


Great blue heron / Liz Stanley

If you find yourself near a floodplain forest (low-lying areas at the bottom of river valleys), look upward and scan the tree canopies for rookeries where great blue herons, great egrets and double-crested cormorants nest. The Friends of the Mississippi River explain more about rookeries and great blue herons at Now Showing at a Rookery Near You.


Little blue heron / David Cahlander

Consider renting a row boat, canoe or kayak to get close-up views of shorebirds, waterfowl and wading birds. This is an excellent way to introduce a child to birding. Explore Minnesota offers a list of businesses and sites that offer boat rental. For watercraft rental at Minnesota’s state and regional parks, check out Minnesota’s Great Outdoors.


Green heron / Al Ferber

Did You Know?

Each summer, following nesting season, most waterfowl lose and replace their feathers. During this molting process, ducks, geese and other waterfowl species are unable to fly. They are also much more vulnerable. But towards the end of July, these birds will be able to fly once again. This is also when their young will be attempting to fly for the first time.


Great egret / Stanley Adrian

While the fall migration seems a long way off, a few shorebird species are already heading to wintering grounds in Central and South America. Some of the earliest species to migrate include lesser yellowlegs, short-billed dowitchers, least sandpipers, solitary sandpipers and pectoral sandpipers. Many of these birds have completed their short nesting period and their young are now self-sufficient. A second migration occurs in September when the young begin their journeys south. To view these early migrants, check the shallow wetlands and mudflats.


Roosting egrets / Liz Stanley

According to The Birding Wire’s Water Attracts All Birds, the best way to draw a variety of birds to your backyard is to provide a reliable source of water. Not only do birds need a consistent source of water to drink from, they need water to maintain healthy feathers. Partially filled bird baths offer a supply of shallow water so all birds, including smaller bird species such as finches and warblers, can drink and bathe. Try to place your birdbath in a shady area near trees and/or shrubs to keep the water cooler on hot summer days and to provide the birds an easy escape if threatened.


American white pelican / John Morrison

Birding Events and Programs

July 6, 13, 20 & 27, Ely
Birding at Bear Head 
Enjoy a guided walk to listen and look for the variety of bird species. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout — please bring your own if possible. Insect repellent is recommended. Bear Head Lake State Park. 218-235-2520


Swans in a row / Wayne Bartz

July 10-24, Minneapolis
Bird Watching: Summertime Songbirds
Get up with the birds during this Wednesday morning series to discover what to look for when identifying birds in the field. Learn about bird songs, calls and other behaviors while strolling through prairie, woodland and along the river with a naturalist and keeping eyes and ears open for our feathered friends. Binoculars available. Coffee, tea and treats provided. Kroening Interpretive Center, part of North Mississippi Regional Park, at 4900 Mississippi Court. 612-230-6400


Canada geese and goslings / David Cahlander

July 13, Altura
Live Eagle Program
Want to see a live bald eagle up close? Staff from the National Eagle Center in Wabasha will be at Whitewater to share the tremendous comeback story of our national bird. They will introduce the bald eagle’s life history and why the Mississippi River and the blufflands are so important to the eagle’s survival. Whitewater State Park. 507-312-2300


Western grebe / Dan Tallman

July 13, Marine on St. Croix
Bird Nest Mystery
Head to the nature station for a chance to see and hear some of the incredible feathered creatures that live at William O’Brien State Park. A naturalist will take you on a journey into the secret lives of these mysterious animals. Binoculars provided. William O’Brien State Park. 651-539-4986


Female hooded merganser / Danielle Porter Born Photography

July 18, Minneapolis
Nightime Nature Fun
Join park ranger Sharon Stiteler and entomologist Jessica Miller as they use black lights and sheets to see what moths and insects visit Coldwater Spring at night. Also look and listen for other night active critters like deer, owls, raccoons or even coyotes. Take the trail from the main entrance at Coldwater toward the dog park. Head toward the big lights. Coldwater Spring, part of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area. 651-291-8164


Male hooded merganser / Danielle Porter Born Photography

July 20, Meadowlands
Bog BioBlitz: Bog to Ridge BioBlitz VII
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog have made this a populra annual summer event. In 2018, more than 40 folks went in the field to learn about birds, orchids, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders, moths, wildflowers, fish and bog ecology. Over 400 species were recorded on that single day in July! Sax-Zim Bog. 218-341-3350


Cormorants at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge / Cristine Nicholson

July 20, Taylors Falls
Guess That Bird: Investigation Station
Minnesota is filled with a variety of birds of all colors, shapes and sizes. How well do you think you know them? Can you guess based on their looks or their songs? Some of them even sing their own name. Drop by the investigation station near the visitor center and test your skills with a naturalist. Interstate State Park. 651-465-5711


Lesser yellowlegs / David Cahlander

July 20, Roseville
Birds and Trees
Join the staff at Langton Lake Park for a stroll to observe and identify birds and trees, and consider their interactions. Meet at the parking lot on County Road C2 at the west side of the lake. Langton Lake Park. 651-636-6475

Least sandpiper / Larry Sirvio

July 23, Bloomington
Bass Ponds Bird Walk 
Attend a bird walk with Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist, and search the Bass Ponds area for birds that call the Refuge home for the summer. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars and favorite field guide. Preregistration is not required. For a map of the location and information on the numerous sites within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to view birds, check out Birding Spots. Bass Ponds at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. 952-240-7647


Solitary sandpiper / Bruce Lees

July 27, Taylors Falls
Who Soars Here?: Investigation Station
Look up above the river and you’ll see a variety of birds soaring in search of food. Who are these birds. Drop by this ongoing investigation station to find out. Interstate State Park. 651-465-5711


Pectoral sandpiper / Larry Sirvio

4th of July Firework Shows

Credit to Explore Minnesota: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNEXPLORE/bulletins/24f0647

Fireworks during the Spicer 4th of July Celebration, July 4-7

 

Event highlights this week include:

July 3-4, Worthington
Beach Bash & Old Fashioned 4th of July

July 4-14, Lakeville
Pan-O-Prog

July 3-4, Pequot Lakes
Stars & Stripes Days

July 4, Park Rapids
Hometown 4th of July

July 4, Ely
July 4th Parade & Fireworks

And be sure to check out Where to Watch Fireworks in Minnesota!

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 28 – July 4, Austin
Freedom Fest
Celebrate our Independence Day with parades, sporting events, games, food, an arts and craft fair, vendors, live music, fireworks display, contests, street dance, Hog Jog 5 Mile Run, Mini Piggy Fun Run, 25-mile bike race, free kids’ fishing contest and more! Band Shell Community Park. 507-437-4561

June 30 – July 21, Winona
Minnesota Beethoven Festival
The Minnesota Beethoven Festival offers a broad range of concerts to satisfy a variety of musical tastes. There are 11 concerts planned including headliner Joshua Bell. Other guest artists to perform include clarinetist Julian Bliss, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Parker Quartet, and 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo. Various venues in Winona. 507-474-9055

July 1-4, Cannon Falls
Cannon Valley Fair
The Cannon Vally Fair 4th of July celebration features a midway, grandstand demolition derbies, harness races, 4-H and Open Class competitions, livestock exhibits, and all the things you would associate with a real hometown fair. The Cannon Valley Fair culminates with traditional fireworks at dusk on July 4. Cannon Valley Fairgrounds. 507-263-3548

July 3-4, Worthington
Beach Bash & Old Fashioned 4th of July
On July 3, don’t miss the Beach Bash at Centennial Park with fun activities, games, great fair food, beer garden and country music by The Chris Hawkey Band! On July 4, see history come to life at Pioneer Village’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Pioneer Village is a historical attraction located next to the Nobles County Fairgrounds. Also on the 4th, enjoy a Boat Parade near the old power plant on the east end of Lake Okabena at 8:30 p.m. Decorations and lights are encouraged. Then at dusk, “ooh and aah” during the fireworks display over Lake Okabena! 507-372-2919

July 4, Mankato
Red, Hot & Boom! – Mankato
Celebrate the 4th of July in Mankato and enjoy a giant fireworks display, as well as performances from City Mouse and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra! Free admission. Vetter Stone Amphitheater. 507-385-6660

July 4, Luverne
4th of July at the Lake
Enjoy a great day at the lake during Luverne’s 4th of July celebration. Festivities include games for children, fair food, beer garden, triathlon, log-rolling, a dock dog contest, sand castle contest, bingo, Quaddleball tournament, inflatables and a fireworks display! The lake at West Edgehill Street and Walnut Street S. 507-283-4061

July 4, St. Peter
Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
St. Peter’s old-fashioned 4th of July celebration includes a 90-unit parade on Washington Ave., live music, 8K run and 5K walk event, food vendors, beer tent, children’s games and activities in Minnesota Square Park from noon until 4 p.m., and a fireworks display at the Nicollet County Fairgrounds at 10 p.m. 507-934-3400

July 5-20 (Fridays & Saturdays), Walnut Grove
Wilder Pageant
The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove. Nightly live performances feature all the characters from the Walnut Grove area. Laura narrates the story, reflecting on her life in Walnut Grove in the 1870s. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. 507-859-2174

July 12-13, Madelia
Madelia Park Days, Blues Festival and Arts & More Fair
Family fun in Madelia! Highlights include a kick-off Grande Parade on Friday, followed by live music, fireworks and more live music. Saturday features all-day fun with 70-plus vendors at the 5th Annual Rivers Edge Art & More Fair, the 7th Annual Watona Park Blues Festival, 7th Annual Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic 5K Run/Walk, Kids’ Fun Zone, giant inflatables, food vendors, Schell’s Beer & Wine Wagon, Carp Classic Fishing Tournament, bean bag tournament, Kids’ Tractor Pull and much more! Watona Park on the Watonwan River. 507-642-8822

July 12-13, Edgerton
Edgerton Dutch Festival
The 70th Annual Edgerton Dutch Festival features two parades, a fun run, fishing contest, kids’ mutton busting, helicopter rides, street dance and a concert by Hairball! 507-442-7891

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast
In its 14th year, Bavarian Blast returns to celebrate Bavarian heritage and culture. From the moment you arrive at this weekend-long festival you will be surrounded by all things German. This festival has something for everyone with its wide variety of German food, German-American music under big top tents, Schell’s Beer, 1919 Rootbeer, the famous Bavarian Blast Parade and uniquely German contests such as the stein holding contest, sauerkraut eating competition and barrel rolling races. On Sunday, don’t miss the Polka Service. Brown County Fairgrounds. 507-233-4300

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

May 25 – Sept. 2, Apple Valley
Llama Trek
You ‘herd’ right… Llamas are at the Minnesota Zoo! This summer, get a taste of South America right here in Minnesota. Llama Trek is an immersive outdoor experience that gives you the chance to walk freely among some of the coolest characters of the Andes Mountains. Get up close and wander, without barriers, among free-roaming llamas and some of their mountain dwelling neighbors. Located along the Northern Trail, Llama Trek also features guinea pigs, flightless birds known as rheas, and highlights conservation efforts being made to help endangered wild chinchillas. Llama Trek is included with general Zoo admission. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9200

July 2-4, Chanhassen
City of Chanhassen’s 4th of July Celebration
Head to Chanhassen for this three day, fun filled event for the whole family. Event highlights include Midwest Carnival rides and concessions, pony rides, Family Night at the Carnival, the Taste of Chanhassen, a street dance featuring the Fabulous Armadillos, kids’ fishing contest, The Medicine Show featuring Vaudeville, 4th of July parade, live music, face painting, Wacky Hair, Fireworks Spectacular and more. City Center Park & Lake Ann. 952-227-1100

July 2-4, Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids 4th of July Community Celebration
Enjoy the 2019 Coon Rapids 4th of July Community Celebration featuring family fun for everyone. A parade kicks of the celebration on July 2. Other highlights during the festival include carnival games, rides, live music, bingo, a car show, the Firecracker 5K, 10K and Kids’ Sparkler Dash, food trucks and drink vendors, and some of the best fireworks in the Twin Cities. 763-767-6582

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA
Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs — from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino — display astonishing innovation and technical mastery. The New York Times calls this exhibition “much-anticipated” and ArtForum says it’s “groundbreaking.” Minneapolis Institute of Art. 612-870-3000

July 3, Bloomington
Bloomington Summer Fete
Summer Fete is a family-fun festival that kicks off Independence Day in the Twin Cities. This year’s fun starts with a Kids’ Carnival Area, live music at the Kid’s Stage and Main Stage featuring a great line-up of performers, a wide array of food vendors and food trucks, and of course, a fantastic fireworks display just after dusk. Normandale Lake Park. 952-563-8877

July 3-4, Eagan
July 4th Funfest
Be sure to bring friends and family to the July 4th Funfest for thrilling rides, carnival fun, the colorful parade, live music by The Gear Daddies and Transit Authority, DJ music throughout the day, the Royal Brain Freeze, a car show and more. And don’t miss the region’s largest display of fireworks at dusk on July 4th. Central Park Festival Grounds. 651-675-5546

July 4, Afton
Afton 4th of July Parade and Celebration
Afton’s annual 4th of July celebration is bursting with fun for the whole family. In addition to the parade, enjoy live music, a bounce house, food vendors, crafts, vendor tents and a beer garden tent. Free trolley rides will be offered within the Village of Afton during the day. Afton’s Town Square Park. 651-436-8883

July 4, Minneapolis
Red, White and Boom
Celebrate America’s Independence Day at Minneapolis Red, White and Boom, a celebration hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. This annual event attracts more than 75,000 people to sites along the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, and features live music, the Red, White & Boom TC Half Marathon, Relay and 5K, great food, fun activities for the whole family, and the grand finale – fireworks! Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront. 612-230-6400

July 4, St. Paul
Independence Day Celebration
Spend the United States’ birthday at Historic Fort Snelling and explore the history of freedom in 19th-century America. Discover how many Americans celebrated the holiday nearly two centuries ago, complete with cannon and musket salutes, military dress parades, fife and drum music and much more. Visit interactive learning stations around the fort and learn about the struggles for freedom and independence for several different groups of Americans—such as enslaved people, Native Americans, and women—while exploring the question “What does freedom mean today?” Historic Fort Snelling. 612-726-1171

July 4-14, Lakeville
Pan-O-Prog
This festival begins with 4th of July fireworks. The following week includes numerous events including a carnival, Beer, Brats & Bingo, dances, the Grande Parade, picnics, classic car show, talent contest, car show, 32nd Annual Cruise Night, golf tournament, contests and more! Historic downtown Lakeville. 952-985-4400

July 7, Prior Lake
Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan
Celebrated artists and enduring forces in popular music Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan are bringing their co-headlining tour to the Mystic Showroom. McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” and the James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There.” Chaka Khan blazed onto the music scene as a solo artist with hits “I’m Every Woman” and “What Cha Gonna Do For Me?” She propelled to superstardom with the chart-topper “I Feel For You.” Mystic Lake Hotel & Casino. 952-496-6563

July 10-14, Maple Grove
Maple Grove Days
Maple Grove Days, a five day city festival hosting over 40 events for all ages, includes a car show, races, business expo, parade, live music, coronation, children’s run, kids’ parade, diaper derby, outdoor movie, inflatable rides, fishing, paddle boarding, Zumba workouts, garden tours, and much more. Various locations in Maple Grove. 763-494-5985

July 12-13, Minneapolis
Basilica Block Party
Don’t miss this two day line-up of premiere music with headliner acts such as Kacey Musgraves, Semisonic, The Jayhawks, Jason Mraz and CHVRCHES. The Basilica Block Party began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help pay for the structural restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Today, proceeds from the event benefit The Basilica Landmark, which preserves, restores and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. The Basilica of Saint Mary. 612-333-1381

July 13, Anoka
Anoka Riverfest & Craft Fair
The 21st Annual Anoka Riverfest & Craft Fair will be held in historic downtown Anoka with over 130 juried artisans and crafters, live music, plenty of food and much more. 763-421-7130

July 13-21, Hopkins
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival has become a Twin Cities institution as a family friendly event. Highlights include the Hunt for the Golden Raspberry, Raspberry Festival of Bands, street dance, marketplace and craft fair, children’s activities, big wheel races, ice cream social, car show, Grande Day Parade, Raspberry Run, fireworks and so much more! Sites throughout Hopkins. 952-931-0878

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include: 
3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, July 2-7
Kidz Bop World Tour 2019 & Fireworks at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 3
Carly Rae Jepsen at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, July 5
Billy Idol at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 6
Ozzy Osbourne at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, July 6
Ariana Grande at the Xcel Energy Center, July 8
Patton Oswalt Live: 2019 Tour at the Historic State Theatre, July 11
Chelsea Handler at the Historic State Theatre, July 13
Premier Boxing Champions at The Armory in Minneapolis, July 13
Tiffany Jenkins: This Show Is Awkward at Ames Center in Burnsville, July 14
The Raconteurs at The Armory, July 15
Lynyrd Skynyrd at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 19
Backstreet Boys at the Xcel Energy Center, July 20
Khalid Free Spirit World Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, July 23
Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the Xcel Energy Center, July 25
Jon Billion at The Armory, July 28
Tony Bennett – The I Left My Heart Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, July 28
Fiddler on the Roof at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, July 30 – Aug. 4
Santana: Supernatural Now at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 3
Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Aug. 3
John Mayer at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 5
Justin Hayward – All the Way at Ames Center, Aug. 6
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

July 3-4, Pequot Lakes
Stars & Stripes Days
Celebrate Independence during Stars & Stripes Days, and enjoy fireworks, a Grande Parade, live music and entertainment, games, fair food, beer garden, craft fair, water wars, bungee trampoline, kids’ climb, Money in the Haystack, Golden Bobber hunt, kiddie parade and other family-friendly events! Trailside Park. 218-568-8911

July 4, Hill City
Hill City 4th of July Celebrations
Enjoy small town 4th of July festivities in Hill City. Featured activities include a parade, all-day flea market, pudding eating contest, turtle races, Lefty’s Kids’ Games, 5K Fun Run, saw dust pile, children’s events, comedy acts, and of course, a fireworks display. 218-326-9607

July 4, Brainerd
Brainerd Fireworks & 4th of July Celebration
Just some of the highlights during Brainerd’s 4th of July Celebration include a parade, live music acts such as Salute to Kansas & Foreigner and A Tribute to Journey, and fireworks synchronized to music. Don Adamson Field. 218-829-2838

July 4-7, Spicer
Spicer 4th of July Celebration
Spicer’s popular 4th of July Celebration is filled with activities for all ages including an arts and crafts fair, amusing flea market, volleyball, basketball and softball tournaments, kiddie pedal tractor pull, a competitive 12-mile running race, and a street dance for ages 21 and older. On the 4th, enjoy a Grande Day parade including over 100 participants with lots of entertainment and candy. Venues throughout Spicer. 320-796-8066

July 5-7, Brainerd
33rd Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go
The 33rd Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go includes Muscle Car Series drag racing, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road racing, a classic car show, fireworks display, on-site camping and live music. Brainerd International Raceway. 218-824-7223

July 6, Crosslake
Celebrate America 49th Annual Fireworks Display & Original Craft and Flea Market
Enjyo unique shopping opportunities at Crosslake’s Original Craft and Flea Market located at the intersection of County Roads 3 and 103. Later that day, head to the shores of Cross Lake to view the fantastic fireworks display from Sand Island beginning at dusk. Other highlights include Grandpa’s Run for the Walleye, the Ideal Farmers Market and outdoor music at Town Square. 218-692-4027; 612-597-1827

July 11-14, Isle
Isle Days
This city celebration is filled with fun events including a boat parade, street dance, Kiddie & Grand parades, kids’ 1 mile fun walk, craft vendors, car show, arts and crafts, flea market, launch rides, food stands, beer gardens and more. Various locations in Isle. 888-708-3669

July 13, Pierz
Pierz Freedom Fest
Four great country bands will perform at this year’s Pierz Freedom Fest, with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as the headliner! Much more than a music festival, Pierz Freedom Fest is committed to giving back to Pierz and the surrounding communities! Genola Ball Park. 320-468-6925

July 18-21, Sauk Centre
Sinclair Lewis Days
Sinclair Lewis Days is four days of fun for everyone with parades, fireworks, a craft fair, Family Day in the Park, ice cream social, 5K and kids’ one mile run, Miss Sauk Centre Pageant, soap box derby races, raffle and more. Sinclair Lewis Park. 320-352-5201

Northwest Minnesota

July 3-5, Warroad
4th of July Festival
Warroad celebrates the 4th like never before with an amazing fireworks display over the Warroad River at Kakaygeesick Bay, water wars, a street dance, kids’ foot, gunny and 3-legged races, a parade, inflatables, live music, pancake breakfast, food vendors, movie night, AC/DC Tribute Band and so much more! Rainbow Park. 218-386-3543

July 4, Detroit Lakes
Fireworks Display
Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display at dusk at the mile-long, city beach along Detroit Lake. Before and after the fireworks, check out the many fine, local restaurants, as well as live music in Detroit Lakes. Detroit Lakes city park and beach. 218-847-9202

July 4, Park Rapids
Hometown 4th of July
This classic 4th of July Celebration will feature dawn to dusk events and entertainment. Enjoy the Firecracker Foot Race, boat parades, picnics, pie baking contest and auction, Grande Parade, pre-fireworks concert and a fireworks display over the Fish Hook River. Main Avenue, Red Bridge Park and Heartland Park. 218-732-4111

July 5-6, Remer
Bigfoot Days
The annual Bigfoot Days celebration has been growing since Remer declared itself the Home of Bigfoot in 2016! Events include a family picnic, BBQ Contest, bingo, 5K run, information from the Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team, a pancake breakfast and more. Downtown Remer. 218-566-1680

July 7, Nevis
Nevis Pig Races
Pig racing has quickly become a crowd pleaser, and Gary Dauer knows how to put on a humerous and engaging show! Sponsor a pig to run in the race — each porker will be adorned in “dashing” capes. Besides the pig races, enjoy the beer garden, children’s activities, face painting, hamburger sliders, french fries and snow cones. Muskie Park, a.k.a. Muskie Downs. 218-652-3115

July 9-14, Hackensack
Sweetheart Days
The ever-popular Sweetheart Days is filled with activities for kids of all ages. Festivities include the Fabulous Fireworks display, Kids’ Fishing Contest, children’s games, Sweetheart Days Parade, 4th Annual Sweetheart Days Dachshund Derby, Sacred Heart flea market, Test Your Trivia, Spaghetti Dinner, horse racing at the Hackensack American Legion, Josh Duffee and His Big Band, Cornhole Tournament, Sweetheart Days Car Show and much more. Downtown Hackensack. 218-675-6135

July 13, Bagley
Bagley Art in the Park
Bagley’s 32nd Annual Art in the Park includes a wide variety of items created by many local artists, as well as food vendors, live stage entertainment and art projects for children. Bagley City Park. 218-533-0120

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam is a classic rock and roll music festival held annually on the 300-acre Moondance Fairgrounds. This event features open festival seating, camping, well-kept facilities, two indoor regional stages, excellent security and an organized staff so fans are treated to great music and camping in a clean, safe and friendly atmosphere. Headliners for the 2019 Moondance Jam include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Train, Rick Springfield, The Sweet, Skillet, Goo Goo Dolls, Gov’t Mule and Molly Hatchet! Moondance Fairgrounds. 218-836-1055

Northeast Minnesota

July 3-4, Nashwauk
Nashwauk 4th of July
No one does the 4th of July like a small town! Head to Nashwauk for live music by numerous bands, children’s activities, a flea market, rummage sales, craft fair, Grande Parade, Red Rock Run, races, car show and fireworks. 218-326-9607

July 4, Duluth
Fourth Fest 2019
Duluth’s annual Fourth Fest at Bayfront Festival Park is a free, family-friendly celebration of Independence Day. The evening will feature live music including headliner Junk FM, food, beverage and craft vendors, plus the spectacular fireworks display at 10:10 p.m. Bayfront Festival Park. 218-722-4011

July 4, Crane Lake
4th of July Parade & Fireworks
Celebrate Independence Day in Crane Lake with their famous parade at 7 p.m. beginning at Voyagaire Lodge. At dark, spectacular fireworks will be lit from a barge. Enjoy by boat or on shore at Voyagaire Lodge. 218-993-2901

July 4, Ely
July 4th Parade & Fireworks
The July 4th Parade is a true small town parade with a variety of floats, vehicles, music and more! Young Life will provide food and activities in the park, and there will be a flyover from the 148th Fighter Wing, live music during the afternoon at the Whiteside park band shell, and live music during the evening at the new Semers Park Picnic Pavilion. After sunset, join the town in celebrating July 4th with festive fireworks at Miners Lake. Venues throughout Ely. 218-365-6123

July 5 & 6, Chisholm & Side Lake/French Township
Northern Lights Music Festival: Girls Night Out & Music On The Beach
Don’t miss the Girl’s Night Out concert celebrating the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann at the Chisholm High School on July 5. And on July 6, enjoy Music On The Beach featuring fantastic choral and folk music concerts, as well as spectacular views on the beach at McCarthy Beach State Park. 218-780-2292

July 11-14, Two Harbors
Two Harbors Heritage Days 2019
Two Harbors Heritage Days is an annual 4 day event offering an arts and crafts show, stage entertainment, a street dance, two parades, medallion hunt, children’s activities, bungee jumper & slide, 5K run, car show, pancake breakfasts and more. Downtown Two Harbors. 218-834-6200

July 13, Duluth
Taste of Duluth
The 3rd Annual Taste of Duluth will be held at Bayfront Festival Park and features a wide array of amazing dishes, as well as live music, products and services, crafts, beer and many displays of interest. Taste of Duluth is taking on a new look and sound for 2019 with culture and cuisine at the forefront. Mainstage performers will reflect many of the ethnic origins that are a rich part of Duluth’s history, with plenty of ethnic and American food offerings, including sample sizes. Bayfront Festival Park. 218-727-1177

July 13, Grand Rapids
Grand Jam 2019!
Grand Jam 2019! is a music festival featuring We Ain’t Cowboys, Coyote Wild and country stars Little Texas! Camping passes are available. Itasca County Fairgrounds Midway. 218-327-5780

July 20, Duluth
Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
The 14th Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival showcases internationally touring performers, along with ethnic foods, beverages and a variety of artisans displaying their wares. This celebration of world music whose artists spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide — bring your flag and wave it proudly! Bayfront Festival Park. 218-525-8099

Adventure & Relax on a Minnesota Camping Trip

Credit to Erica Wachker of ExploreMinnesota.com: https://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/reconnect-on-a-camping-trip/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Camping with dogs in Superior National ForestCamping in the Superior National Forest / Alyssa Hei

Relaxation, adventure, escape, and quality time with family and friends are among the many reasons why camping is a beloved Minnesota pastime. Whether you’re ready to take on the Boundary Waters or prefer the comforts of an RV, a Minnesota camping trip will surely be one to remember.

BOUNDARY WATERS & BACKPACKING

View from a boundary waters bluff

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness / Gary Hamer

 

Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a badge of honor. There are no roads, buildings, motorboats, and definitely no cell phone service. The only mode of transportation is via canoe, with more than 1,500 miles of waterways to explore. When it’s time to set up camp, simply paddle to an open campsite and pitch your tent. Every campsite is private, so you’ll have a little piece of the wilderness all to yourselves.

Adjacent to the Boundary Waters, the Superior National Forest has a wide range of camping options, from primitive “dispersed camping” sites up to drive-in sites complete with bathhouses and electric hookups. Also in this picturesque part of the state, the Superior Hiking Trail covers nearly 300 miles of rugged terrain above the North Shore of Lake Superior, with more than 90 campsites along the way.

Lake Maria State Park camping backpacking

Backpacking at Lake Maria State Park

Another backpacking hot spot is Crosby Manitou State Park on the North Shore near Silver Bay, where challenging trails are flanked with spectacular views of waterfalls and forests. The secluded campsites are for backpackers only (though you may have to share them with moose, deer and other wildlife).

Similar camping experiences can be found in the northwest part of the state, in the Chippewa National Forest and along the North Country National Scenic Trail, which travels 800 miles across the northern half of Minnesota with multiple segments that stretch from the North Dakota border all the way to the Superior Hiking Trail.

Backpacking opportunities even exist near the Minneapolis-St. Paul area at AftonLake Maria and St. Croix state parks. Several state parks also have “walk-in” (less than half a mile) sites, with carts available to haul your gear in some cases.

CAMPGROUNDS & RV PARKS

Airstream Mille Lacs Mali Mish

Airstream at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park / Mali Mish Family

If you’re looking for a more laid back and family-friendly camping experience, Minnesota has about 500 privately operated campgrounds, most of which are on a lake or river, with sites for RVs as well as tents. Many are at resorts that also rent cabins and other indoor lodging.

These campgrounds usually feature an array of amenities, such as pools, playgrounds, game rooms, entertainment, boat rentals, Wi-Fi, and on-site laundry, groceries and restaurants. Many offer family-friendly activities like bonfires and other fun that make them a great choice for groups of all ages.

Many of Minnesota’s most scenic spots have been preserved as state parks, and most of the 75 parks and recreation areas have campgrounds with tent and RV sites. The settings range from forest to prairie; scenic hiking trails and access to a lake or river are among the highlights at these popular parks.

Camper cabin at Afton State Park

Camper cabin at Afton State Park / Kirsten Alana

Several state parks and some private campgrounds also rent camper cabins, an appealing alternative for those who don’t want to sleep in a tent. The majority have electricity and heat and can sleep up to six people. But without their own restrooms or running water, you can still say that you’re roughing it.

City and county campgrounds are another good option; in-town campgrounds are usually near shops, restaurants and attractions. If you don’t have your own camping equipment, various outfitters offer rentals of everything from tents and pop-up campers to top-of-the-line motorhomes complete with kitchens and master suites.

Five Ways to Enjoy Minnesota’s 10,000 Lakes

Credit to Explore Minnesota: https://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/five-ways-to-enjoy-minnesotas-10000-lakes/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

When you visit a place that’s nicknamed “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (make that 11,842, to be precise), it’s pretty much required that you explore one or two of them while you’re here. In fact, many would argue you haven’t had the full Minnesota experience until you’ve gone to the lake. After all, they’re not hard to find!

As you plan your Minnesota getaway, be sure to carve out some time at a lake—whether it’s a side trip for an afternoon or the focus of your whole vacation. Here are five great ways to do so.

1. PLAY AT THE BEACH

waconia7808-Lake-Waconia-beach-scenes-600x400.jpg

Sunbathing on Lake Waconia

It’s the classic way to spend a summer day. Spread out a towel, pull out a good book, make a sandcastle with the kids, and cool off with a dip in the lake. It’s easy to include a beach day (or several!) on a Minnesota getaway. Many cities have great beaches right in town, including Big Lake, Detroit LakesFairmontSpicer and Waconia. For a refreshing dip in our biggest lake, Superior, head to Park Point Beach in Duluth. You can even beach it at lakes Maka Ska and Harriet right in the heart of Minneapolis, and several other Twin Cities-area lakes.

Numerous state parks have terrific sand beaches, including Father Hennepin on Mille Lacs Lake, Zippel Bay on Lake of the Woods, McCarthy BeachLake BemidjiMaplewood and Lake Shetek. Most of Minnesota’s resorts and campgrounds are located along lakeshores, so look for one with a swimming beach.

2. PADDLE AWAY

A woman canoeing in the Boundary Waters

Kayaking in the Boundary Waters / Jillian DeChaine

Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all great ways to explore our lakes. Many state and local parks offer canoe and kayak rentals for easy lake paddling. In Minneapolis, you can rent a canoe at Bde Maka Ska and paddle through a chain of lakes via connecting canals. For more experienced paddlers, the ultimate adventure is a camping trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness; several outfitters provide equipment, provisions and tips.

Paddleboards are the newest wave of fun on the lake. Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are available for rent at several state parks, Minneapolis city lakes and at Bryant Lake, Fish Lake and Baker regional parks in the Minneapolis area. In the Brainerd Lakes area, MN Surf Company offers rentals and lessons.

3. GO FISH

A favorite Minnesota pastime, fishing is favored by some simply as an excuse to get out on a lake and relax. If you don’t have your own boat, many resorts offer rentals. And even better, they can hook you up with a fishing guide who can show you the ins and outs of area lakes. Fishing charters can take you out on the big waters of Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods, and fishing launches go out on larger lakes like Mille Lacs. What’s out there? Minnesota lakes serve up a variety of species: walleye, northerns, bass, muskie, various panfish and more.

4. TAKE A CRUISE

Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour

Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour on the St. Croix River / Lucy Hawthorne Photography

An easy and fun way to get out on a lake is to climb aboard a tour boat. In the north woods, a narrated boat trip in Itasca State Park explores the lake where the Mississippi River begins as a small stream, and tour boats explore the wilderness lakes of Voyageurs National Park. Elsewhere in the state, Gull Lake Cruises offers cruises with meals on the popular Gull Lake near Brainerd. Vista Fleet tours feature views of Duluth from the city’s harbor and Lake Superior.

Lake Minnetonka, a vast, meandering lake to the west of Minneapolis, has several tour boats: Lady of the Lakepaddlewheeler, Queen of Excelsior, and even the restored 1906 Steamboat Minnehaha. In southeast Minnesota, the Pelican Breeze plies the waters of Albert Lea Lake, and Pearl of the Lake heads onto Lake Pepin, a widening of the Mississippi River in a scenic valley of wooded bluffs.

5. SPEND THE NIGHT

Family on dock at resort in Grand Rapids

Resort stays make lake life a breeze

It can be hard to tear yourself away from the lake at the end of the day … so don’t! Find your own place at the lake for a few days, or even weeks. Reserve your stay at a lakeside resort, lodge or campground to really experience lakeside living. Watch the sun set amid vivid pinks and purples. Listen for the distinctive call of loons across the water.

After nightfall, roast marshmallows at a campfire, be amazed by zillions of stars twinkling above, see the moon rise above the lake and, if you’re lucky, catch the northern lightsdancing in the sky. It’s the perfect end to a relaxing day at the lake, with the promise of another to come.

Several Summer Events in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there’s always plenty to do, so here’s some great events going on to check out while you’re up here!

whitebirchresort.net Call: 218-835-4552

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Explore Minnesota Events Update – June 5, 2019
Downtown Excelsior, just blocks from Excelsior Art on the Lake at Excelsior Commons Park, June 8-9
Event highlights this week include:

June 6-9, Worthington
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA

June 7-8, Nisswa
Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival

June 7-15, Bemidji
Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

June 7-9, Grand Marais
Grand Marais Block Party

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 6-9, Mapleton
Mapleton Town & Country Days
This year’s Town & Country Days includes a wide array of entertainment including carnival rides, live music, a street dance, Kiddie and Grande parades, fireworks display, vendor fair, beer gardens, bingo, food stands, Demo Derby, Kids’ Pedal Pull, pancake breakfast, silent auction, Pie & Ice Cream fundraiser, petting zoo, walking tour, Make-N-Take model building class, and much more! Heritage Park. 507-524-3492

June 6-9, Worthington
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival
The annual Worthington Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival is considered by many to be the best windsurfing and music fest in the Midwest! If you enjoy windsurfing and/or live music, this event is a must. The Regatta strives to promote the windsurfing industry, racing and recreational sailing with participants from throughout the U.S. and beyond. Also enjoy live music by numerous bands and performers, as well as children’s art activities, great food and beverages. Admission is free. Complete schedule. Sailboard Beach on the shores of Lake Okabena. 507-372-2919

June 7-8, Albert Lea
Eddie Cochran Weekend
This annual tribute to Eddie Cochran includes Friday and Saturday Night Car Shows, a Car Cruise, Cruise-in Social, Swap Meet and 4 bands including the Whitesidewalls on Saturday! Downtown Historic Albert Lea. 507-373-2316

June 9-16, Montevideo
Fiesta Days Celebration
This festival celebrates city heritage. Just some of the highlights include a fly-in breakfast, block party, kiddie parade, ice cream social, Amazing Grace Revival Multicultural worship service, live music, Fiesta Speedway races, 3-person Golf Scramble, bean bag tournament, dinner and dance, and Fiesta car & motorcycle show. 320-269-9093

June 12-16, Winona
Steamboat Days
Winona’s summer festival features a wide array of live entertainment, treasure hunt, concerts, plays, arts & crafts, parades, great food, beverage gardens and fireworks over the Mississippi River! Various sites throughout Winona. 507-452-0735

June 15-16, Mankato
Minnesota Air Spectacular
The Minnesota Air Spectacular is flying back to Mankato! The world-famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds return as headliner of the Minnesota Air Spectacular, to be held at the Mankato Regional Airport, 3030 North Airport Road. Various performers and static displays will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The high-flying, adrenaline-rushing show is sure to be fun for all ages. Mankato Regional Airport. 507-385-6660

June 21-22, Harmony
60-Mile Garage Sale
Nine towns along the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley State Bike Trails are teaming up to put on a garage sale that is over 60 miles along. Each town will have a listing on google maps of all of the houses and businesses with garage and sidewalk sales. Be sure to stop at the many unique restaurants and stores along the way. Participating towns include Harmony, Preston, Fountain, Lanesboro, Whalen, Peterson, Rushford, Rushford Village and Houston. Map of towns along the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley State Trails. 507-886-2469

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

May 21 – June 9, St. Paul
Museum of the Moon
The Bell Museum’s Year of Apollo celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing continues with a showcase Museum of the Moon, by UK artist Luke Jerram. This installation also coincides with the anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 10 mission that orbited the Moon May 18-26, 1969, the “dress rehearsal” for the first Moon landing. Bell Museum. 612-626-9660

May 25 – Sept. 2, Apple Valley
Llama Trek
You ‘herd’ right… Llamas are at the Minnesota Zoo! This summer, get a taste of South America right here in Minnesota. Llama Trek is an immersive outdoor experience that gives you the chance to walk freely among some of the coolest characters of the Andes Mountains. Get up close and wander, without barriers, among free-roaming llamas and some of their mountain dwelling neighbors. Located along the Northern Trail, Llama Trek also features guinea pigs, flightless birds known as rheas, and highlights conservation efforts being made to help endangered wild chinchillas. Llama Trek is included with general Zoo admission. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9200

May 31 – June 16, Anoka
A Raisin in the Sun
Sixty years after its premiere, A Raisin in the Sun — the first play by a woman of color to debut on Broadway — is widely considered to be one of the best and most important plays ever written. Set on Chicago’s South Side, the play revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a timeless document of hope and inspiration. Lyric Arts Main Street Stage. 763-422-1838

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA
Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs — from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino — display astonishing innovation and technical mastery. The New York Times calls this exhibition “much-anticipated” and ArtForum says it’s “groundbreaking.” Minneapolis Institute of Art. 612-870-3000

June 6-8, Chanhassen
The Fabulous Armadillos Present One-Hit Wonders
For a brief period of time their songs ruled the airwaves and everybody knew their name… then they disappeared. Through the years, there have been countless one-hit wonders — great songs everyone knows and loves, but the artist never seemed to achieve that huge chart success again. The Fabulous Armadillos have compiled a two-hour show of those great one-hit wonder memories, with their own Armadillo sense of humor thrown in, and spot-on recreations of your favorites through the decades. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

June 7, St.Paul
Paula Poundstone
Comedian Paula Poundstone returns to St. Paul for an unforgettable show at the Fitzgerald Theater! Paula is known for her smart, observational humor and spontaneous wit. She is an accomplished comedian, author, lecturer, host and actress. Her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, debuted at #1 on Amazon best sellers list within the first 10 days of its release, and its audio book, read by Paula, was one of five finalists for the 2018 Audio Book of the Year. Paula has won numerous comedy awards over the years, and was the first woman to perform standup comedy at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Fitzgerald Theater. 651-290-1200

June 8, St. Paul
St. Paul Summer Beer Festival
This is St. Paul’s favorite beer festival dedicated to craft beer! This outdoor craft beer festival will feature sampling from over 100 breweries in a commemorative tasting glass, live music, tasty food, educational seminars and a silent auction benefiting the YMCA of St. Paul. International Bazaar at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. 612-234-1430

June 8, Apple Valley
Minnesota Zoo’s Beastly Bash
During Beastly Bash, enjoy exclusive viewings of rare animals, an extraordinary live auction, signature cocktails, delicious food stations and an inspirational program hosted by KARE11’s Minnesota Bound co-host Laura Schara. Guests will also be treated to a special mini-concert by Prince’s former band, the New Power Generation, featuring songs by Minnesota’s beloved musical icon. The party will continue into the night with desserts and a dance party fit for the finest nocturnal revelers featuring music by award winning DJ Shannon Blowtorch. This premier outdoor summer event supports the Minnesota Zoo’s mission and access programs for children and families. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9500

June 8-9, Excelsior
Excelsior Art on the Lake
Art on the Lake is an engaging creative experience that connects the artist’s personal story with a vibrant lake community and showcases a wide array of high quality arts and crafts, both contemporary and traditional. In addition to the artwork of 140 artists in 13 different mediums, enjoy folk, bluegrass and acoustic rock music, local artisan food creations and a beer/wine tent. Excelsior Commons Park. 952-474-6461

June 9, Golden Valley
Golden Valley Pride Festival
The Golden Valley Pride Festival is a celebration of Golden Valley LGBTQ individuals, families and friends, presented by a group of volunteer Golden Valley residents. There are fun activities for the whole family, including bouncy houses, community booths, games, Giant Jenga and the Brookview Playground, along with awesome food trucks, fantastic music by multiple acts and a beer and wine garden. All are welcome! Brookview Park. 612-735-4251

June 14-15, Winsted
Winstock Country Music Festival
This is the Upper Midwest’s premier outdoor country music and camping festival organized entirely by volunteers with all proceeds used to help fund private education for students from Winsted and surrounding communities. Featured headliners include Jason Aldean and Old Dominion with special guests Kane Brown and Brett Young. Also enjoy the music of Midland, Diamond Rio, Ashley McBryde, Little Texas and more acts! Winstock Festival Grounds. 320-485-4287

June 14-16, Minneapolis
Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Kick off the summer at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival and enjoy fine artwork by more than 2090 artists, specialties served up by local food trucks, live music, Family Activities Area, Makers Market, Art of the Car Show, ice-cold beverages and more! Along the Mississippi Riverfront. 952-473-6422

June 12-16, St. Louis Park
St. Louis Park Parktacular
Enjoy five days of free and affordable fun for everyone! Events and activities include the Grande Day Parade, free admission to the St. Louis Park Aquatic Park, outdoor concerts, food trucks, a petting zoo, free pony rides, inflatables for ALL ages, Kidtacular Activities, Parktacular Expo, Father’s Day Waffle Brunch, Tommy’s Fishign Clinic, Pet-A-Palooza with lots of adoptable pets and so much more! Wolfe Park. 612-470-7822

June 18-23, Chaska
2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
The Championship, which will be broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, provides a purse among the highest in women’s golf. This will be the first time the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is at Hazeltine National and only the second time a women’s major championship is played in the state of Minnesota. The Championship focuses on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course. Hazeltine National Golf Club. 612-337-1961

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include:
Rob Thomas at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, June 8
Jamm Dance Companie Presents Recital 2019 at Ames Center in Burnsville, June 8-9
Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride Tour at the Armory in Minneapolis, June 9
New Kids on the Block at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, June 11
Hannah Gadsby-Douglas at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, June 12
Bat Out of Hell – The Musical at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, June 12-23
Middleditch & Schwartz at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, June 13
Father John Misty, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at The Armory, June 14
50 Cent, Ice-T, Too Short, Slick Rick, Biz Markie & Guests at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, June 15
Coheed & Cambria at The Armory, June 15
David Grey at the Historic State Theatre, June 15
Hillsong United – The People Tour at Excel Energy Center, June 20
Summer Skolstice: Rick Springfield at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, June 20
Summer Skolstice: Elle King and Joss Stone at TCO Performance Center, June 21
Summer Skolstice: St. Paul and the Broken Bones at TCO Performance Center, June 20-22
Shawn Mendes at the Xcel Energy Center, June 21
Carrie Underwood with Maddie & Tae at the Target Center in Minneapolis, June 21
Hugh Jackman at the Xcel Energy Center, June 22
Pentatonix at the Xcel Energy Center, June 25
The Try Guys at the Historic State Theatre, June 26
Latin History for Morons (Touring) at the Historic State Theatre, June 27
Chris Young at the Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake, June 28
George Lopez, Cedric The Entertainer & D.I. Hughley at the Historic State Theatre, June 28
Jennifer Lopez at the Xcel Energy Center, June 28
Seth Meyers at the Pantages Theatre, June 28
Jeremy Piven at the Pantages Theatre, June 30
Rhett & Link: Live in Concert at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, June 30
The Roots at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, June 30
3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, July 2-7
Kidz Bop World Tour 2019 & Fireworks at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 3
Carly Rae Jepsen at the Historic State Theatre, July 5
Billy Idol at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 6
Ozzy Osbourne at the Xcel Energy Center, July 6
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

June 7, St. Cloud
Downtown Art Crawl
Celebrate and experience the work of talented Central Minnesota artists while enjoying the warmth and charm of locally-owned shops, businesses and eateries in Historic Downtown St. Cloud! 320-251-4170

June 7-8, Kandiyohi
Kandi is Dandy Days
Join the town of Kandiyohi as they celebrate their annual festival. Activities include live music, a kiddie parade, street dance, antique tractor pull, pancake breakfast, children’s games, button drawings, grand parade, tractor pull and much more! Downtown Kandiyohi. 320-212-2978

June 7-8, Nisswa
Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival
Nisswa Stamman Scandinavian folk music and dance festival will celebrate its 20th year at the Nisswa Pioneer Village. This ever-growing event offers a celebration of Scandinavian and Scandinavian/American folk music in the northwoods. Performers travel from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland as well as various parts of the United States and the local area, to play at this festival on several stages. The event also offers singing and dancing workshops, a children’s activity area and Scandinavian foods. On Saturday, June 8th a fiddler’s parade on the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Nisswa kicks off the all-day folk music festival, which culminates with a smorgasbord feast. Don’t miss this annual gathering of fiddlers, nyckelharpers, hardingfele players, accordionists, guitarists, vocalists, dancers and general aficionados of Scandinavian folk music! Pioneer Village. 218-764-2994

June 10-16, Hutchinson
Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival
Started in 1942, Water Carnival has grown into a large celebration filled with a wide array of events including the Medallion Hunt, Music in the Park, Teddy Bear Band concert, Miss Hutchinson pageant, fireworks display, Run by the River runs & races, Kiddie and Grande Day parades, a car show, canoe races, paintball, Kids’ Day with inflatables and games, and lots of great food! Venues throughout Hutchinson. 320-587-5252

June 14-16, Onamia
Onamia Days
Onamia Days features a variety of activities and highlights such as Family Fun Show carnival rides and games, arts and craft vendors, live music, street dances, turtle races, Kid’s Float and Bike Parade, 5K Fun Run/Walk, food vendors, beer and brat tents, Grande Parade, Classic Car Show and much more. Herington Park and other locations. 320-532-3202

June 21-22, Milaca
Milaca’s Gateway to the Northland Festival
Gateway to the Northland Festival includes multiple events sure to please the entire family. Highlights include “Ninja Anywhere,” children’s games and vendor, Milaca’s Totally Amazing Race, food trucks, Floatilla Down the Rum River, Movie in the Park, and a performance by “The Groove!” Recreation Park. 320-983-3141

Northwest Minnesota

April 12 – June 9, Moorhead
The FMVA BIG Art Show
For two months each spring, the artwork of the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA) fills the 4th Floor Gallery at the Hjemkomst Center. Pieces from art educators, emerging artists and established artists make this one of the largest and most comprehensive local art shows in the region. Each piece is complemented with artist statements describing the creation’s influences, mediums used and process. Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5511

June 1-8, Hawley
Hawley Rodeo Fest
Take part in a full week of events, starting with Breakfast on the Farm at Kasin Farms. Rodeo Fest concludes with two nights of Rodeo performances, June 7 & 8. Other events throughout the week include a Country Cowboy Church Service, Variety Show, Miss Hawley Pageant, Health Fair, Space Cowboys, John Deere Day of Play for kids, Street Fair, car and tractor show, vendors and more. Hawley Rodeo Grounds on Hwy 10 between Detroit Lakes and Moorhead. 218-483-3331

June 7-15, Bemidji
Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
Virtually the inventors of rock ‘n’ roll, Leiber and Stoller’s songs provide the basis for this electrifying production that highlights the golden age of America in the 50s. The classic themes of love won, lost and imagined, blend with slice-of-life emotions in this idealized 50s environment. Featuring nearly 40 songs, Smokey Joe’s Café isn’t just great pop music – it’s compelling musical theater. Paul Bunyan Playhouse at the Historic Chief Theater. 218-751-7270

June 8, Cass Lake
Chippewa Triathlon 2019
This triathlon is a unique event that combines canoeing, biking, and running all through the Chippewa National Chippewa National Forest. The course follows the centuries-old Pike Bay connection. The Chippewa Triathlon is not solely a competitive event–organizers emphasize its value as a personal challenge and an opportunity to improve one’s fitness level through preparatory training. Approximate distances: 15-mile canoe, 29-mile mountain bike, 5-mile trail run. 218-335-2689

June 15, Longville
Community Garage Sale, Firemen’s Sandwich Day, Pie Social and Book Sale
Head to Longville on Saturday, June 15 for a great day of treasure hunting during the Community Garage Sale. Also enjoy art activities for children on the waterfront, firefighters’ famous BBQ sandwiches, a Pie Social and Sale, and Book & Bake Sale. 218-363-2630

June 15, Park Rapids
Author Fest – Celebrating Writers in Minnesota
Author Fest is an annual celebration of Minnesota writers. Meet and chat with more than 20 Minnesota authors, listen to readings throughout the day and discover new books. Hosted by independent bookstore, Beagle & Wolf Books & Bindery. Park Rapids American Legion. 218-237-2665

June 21-22, Moorhead
Scandinavian Hjemkomst & Midwest Viking Festival
The Midwest Viking Festival and the 42nd Annual Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival are joining forces again to present a celebration of Nordic culture from ancient times to today. This authentic Scandinavian event will feature dancing, a Nordic Marketplace, storytellers, fiddlers, Viking-era crafts, great food at Tastes of Scandinavia, Viking-themed drinks, and demonstrations, seminars and other activities at Viking Village. Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5452

Northeast Minnesota

June 7-9, Grand Marais
Grand Marais Block Party
There are so many events happening this weekend! Spend your weekend with Voyageur Brewing at their Voyage North 5 & 10K, party down with all of our retail and dining friends in Grand Marais at the Grand Marais Block Party, or head up the Gunflint Trail to the Boundary Waters Expo for demonstrations, expert instruction, amazing scenery and the latest in wilderness travel. Throughout the weekend, check out vendor booths and tents on 1st Avenue, and enjoy activities, live music, performances and lots of great food. Downtown Grand Marais. 218-387-2524

June 8, Grand Rapids
Wizard of Oz Festival
The Wizard of Oz Festival includes special activities and games for children and their families, including a youth stage performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Reif Center, a reading of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” Commemorative Pop Up Book by the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion at the Grand Rapids Public Library, a showing of the classic 1939 “Wizard of Oz” film (bring a blanket!), and an Emerald City Festival with a chance to meet and photograph characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” and take part in scavenger hunts, art exploration and tornado tubes! Judy Garland Museum & Children’s Discovery Museum. 218-327-9276

June 8, Two Harbors
Children’s Day
Children’s Day is a day of tours and activities geared toward children with free admission for ages 17 and under. Families will learn about the children who lived at the light station while enjoying special games, crafts and activities. Split Rock Lighthouse. 218-226-6372

June 15, Grand Rapids
Be a Lumberjack Family Day
Kids are invited to be a lumberjack for a day. At the logging camp, children can help saw wood, count beans, mix cookie dough, stamp a log, cross haul a sled and race “gray-backs.” Then it’s time for extra fun with games like “prune on a spoon” racing, musical stumps, raisin spitting and craft projects that bring out creativity. Forest History Center. 218-327-4482

June 15, Sandstone
50th Anniversary Open House
This 50th Anniversary Open House includes many free, family-friendly activities including a high ropes course, canoeing, archery, climbing wall, campus tours, forest hikes, and mores. Lunch is available for purchase. That evening, enjoy a special 50th Anniversary Dinner and presentation — reservations required. Come back Sunday, June 16 for additional activities. Audubon Center of the North Woods. 320-245-2648

June 15-16, Virginia
Northern Minnesota Craft and Vendor Expo
Don’t miss this indoor craft and vendor show featuring over 130 exhibitors! Free parking and free admission. Miners Memorial Building. 218-749-4056

June 22, Duluth
Grandma’s Marathon
Since the initial race in 1977, Grandma’s Marathon has grown larger than just a 26.2 mile race along the scenic North Shore of Minnesota. This is a time for runners of all calibers to come together and celebrate the vigor of the human spirit. Runners and visitors will enjoy lots of weekend festivities including the free Essentia Health & Fitness Expo, virtual racecourse tours, Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, Whipper Snapper Races for kids, demonstrations of the Lightspeed Lift, live entertainment under the Big Top Tent in Canal Park and the Awards Ceremony.

Be sure to visit the Deals section of ExploreMinnesota.com to learn of the latest discounts and specials!

Lots of Great Fishing Opportunity in Minnesota

Here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there’s tons of places to fish at, including Blackduck Lake!

whitebirchresort.net Call 218-835-4552 for the best deals!

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Explore Minnesota Weekly Fishing Update – June 6, 2019
Connor Schmidt’s 36-inch muskie / Dan Schmidt
 

June 7-9 is Take a Kid Fishing Weekend when Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing!

The bite is heating up as water temperatures rise. Walleye are moving deeper. Anglers are taking good numbers on jigs and rigs with minnows or leeches. Northern pike have become aggressive and are eager to bite!

Minnesota fishing opener dates for the 2019/2020 fishing season for most inland waters are as follows: walleye, sauger, northern pike, bass (catch-and-release) and lake trout, May 11; muskie, June 1. The fishing season for crappies, sunnies, perch and catfish is continuous. For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesota web page

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central] [Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls – Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake water temperatures have been in the high 40sto mid-50s so walleye remain slightly behind in their traditional movements. Walleye are currently coming from the bays where water temperatures are slightly above that of the main lake, and the windblown shorelines and points have been the most productive. The best presentation has been a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a minnow or plastic. A slow delivery is very helpful. Some anglers report that spinner rigs are starting to turn fish. With warmer temperatures, fishing is expected to continually improve.

Smallmouth bass have yet to begin nesting due to the cold water temperatures. Most fish are being caught near their traditional spawning areas where they can be found staging at the windy points, large boulders and other significant structure. The best approach is to suspending a twitch bait, along with a long pause. As always, plastics and hair jigs are great go-to options.

Crappies are in the shallows, hitting minnows under a slip bobber in depths of 3 to 5 feet. The turns and points in the bull rushes, as well as on and around the sunken rocks have been great locations.

Northern pike have completed their spawn but remain near their shallow spawning areas. The bays that are  protected from larger bodies of water are a good place to start since the water is warmer. Spinner baits, spoons, and most significantly, suspended twitch baits have been the most productive. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Kabetogama

Area guides report another great week on Lake Kabetogama! Walleye are being taken during the day on 3/8 ounce jigs tipped with a minnow worked in 30 to 36 foot depths.  Most have been “keeper” size, but many nice catch-and-release fish have also been reported.  During low light hours, walleye are being pulled from depths of 6 to 12 feet on 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with a minnow. The best technique is to either slowly troll or fan-cast from the boat. Water temperature range from 58 degrees (main lake) to 64 degrees in some bays. Crank baits worked along the shorelines are turning lots of bass. Northern pike seem to be active throughout the lake. The bugs are hatching and the water is warming, so the fish are becoming more active. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes and Rivers

Walleye fishing continues to be best for anglers fishing near shore or just off their docks or campsites. Areas around the creek mouths are no longer as productive now that the minnow spawn has ended, but walleye continue to be found in the shallows. The large shallow flats near shore have been the best area to fish.  Gold, blue and silver tinsel jigs tipped with minnow have been best. Anglers fishing from their docks or campsite are catching walleye on slip bobbers and leeches during evening hours and into the night. In fact, some real trophy-sized fish were caught this week by anglers using slip bobbers.

Crappies have started to spawn not that waters are consistently warmer. Anglers have been catching stingers full of crappies near the cattails and pencil reeds. Small slip bobbers and plain plastic tubes in pink, white, blue and chartreuse have been the top producers. Crappie minnows fished under a bobber are also turning crappies.

Lake trout fishing has been good for many anglers, but it has been challenging since some trout are coming from less than 10 feet of water on slip bobber rigs, yet others are coming from depths of more than 70 feet by anglers that are trolling. The most successful anglers are using deep-diving white crank baits over deep water. As water temperatures continue to rise, the lakers will move into deep waters and become easier for anglers to locate.

Stream trout fishing has been excellent for many anglers this last week. Rainbows are still being caught in the first 10 feet of the water column. Anglers are having success using cowbells, slip bobbers with baby crawlers, jigs with twisters, small streamers, and trolling small spoons or crank baits.

Smallmouth bass are still spawning so anglers have found them easy to locate, and some huge crappies have been taken. The most successful anglers are using pink, orange, chartreuse and white rigs and jigs. Wacky rigging has been the best way to trigger these fish to bite. Anglers have also been productive using suspended crank baits, and topwater baits such as poppers or flies.

Northern pike fishing is starting to slow as water temperatures rise and the big pike start moving deep. Still, anglers fishing early in the morning or on the edge of shallow bays near deep water are reporting lots of action. Large, heavy suckers and dead smelt fished under a bobber continue to turn the majority of large pike. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids Area Lakes

The walleye bite has heated up with the warmer temperatures. Some of the lakes giving up lots of walleye include Winnibigoshish, Moose, Bowstring and Trout lakes. A moon-eye jig and shiner is working well, but rig and leech are also consistently turning fish. Anglers that prefer to troll are doing well with shad raps on Pokegama and Sugar lakes during evening hours. During the day, look for walleye off shore, especially at the near-shore sunken islands.

Crappie fishing has been very good in the shallows now that they are moving into their spawning grounds. Anglers are taking fish on slip bobbers and minnows fished in just 2 to 5 feet of water. Bass fishing has also improved dramatically over the last week. Smallmouth bass are starting to move into and occupy spawning areas. Bluegills are on their beds on several area lakes. Please remember to release the larger fish. 800-355-9740; www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Walleye fishing has been on fire on Lake of the Woods Fish are sliding a bit deeper, holding in 15 to 30 foot depths with the most activity in 25 to 26 feet of water. Anglers that are anchored and jigging minnows or frozen shiners are taking the most fish. Gold combined with other colors have been the most productive. Nice reports are coming in all along the south shore and around Knight and Bridges islands. Water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 50s.

On the Rainy River, walleye and sauger are being pulled from the holes, current breaks and sand riffs. Smallmouth bass and northern pike anglers are finding lots of nice-sized fish, but most anglers remain focused on the walleye. Some anglers are taking a mixed bag of fish when casting at the river mouths, bays and rocky areas. The sturgeon season opens July 1.

Up at the Northwest Angle, large walleye are being taken by anglers trolling crank baits in less than 15 feet of water — some have been more than 28 inches long! Most of the keeper-size walleye are coming from 18 to 22 foot depths on orange and parakeet-colored jigs tipped with a minnow. Sauger, northern pike, perch and bass are also being reported by walleye anglers. The smallmouth bass remain deep but should slide up into the bays very soon. Water temperatures range from 55 to 59 degrees in the shallower areas. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bena – Lake Winnibigoshish

The water continues to warm on Lake Winnibigoshish so walleye action is also heating up. Anglers are now taking greater numbers of walleye, especially from the main lake bars and flats in 16 to 18 feet of water. During lowlight hours and on days with windy conditions, fish are being taken from the points and shoreline breaks. A jig tipped with a minnow or leech is working extremely well. Northern pike activity has also picked up at the emerging weed beds in 9 to 12 foot depths.  It’s time to fish Big Winnie! www.lakewinnie.net

Park Rapids Area Lakes

The crappie are on fire on lakes throughout the Park Rapids area. Crappies up to 16 inches in length have been caught this week. Anglers having the most success are using 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with a small white twister tail or a crappie minnow. The key has been to make a long cast and slowly swim the jig back to the boat in depths of 2 to 4 feet of water. Walleye action has also picked up nicely. Anglers trolling crank baits over the shallow sand weed flats in depths of 6 to 10 feet are doing well with the walleye. Shiner or perch patterns have been working best. The bass are spawning so they will hit almost anything thrown their way, but a senko worm rig has been extremely effective. Please remember to release the bass while they are spawning. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Water temperatures for Detroit Lakes area lakes are in the low to mid 60s and climbing. Some crappies are still on their shallow beds, and others have started to move to the weed flats and emerging bull rushes in depths of 7 to 9 feet of water. Trappers can no longer find shiners, but the shiner bite continues for walleye. Most walleye are coming from the emerging weedlines and shoreline breaks on Sallie, Melissa, Pelican and Big Detroit lakes. Anglers are having the most success in 12 to 17 feet of water when using jigs and minnows, but live bait rigs and leeches are also turning fish.

Northern pike have been very aggressive at the outside edge of the submerged weedlines. Bass are hitting small crank baits, spinner baits and jigs with plastics at the docks and shallow cover. Sunfish are in the shallow weeds, responding to small leeches, pieces of crawlers and waxworms on small jigs or hooks under bobbers. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Brainerd Area Lakes

The water temperatures are finally in the 60s, and the fish are loving it. Walleye are active at the thick cabbage beds throughout Gull Lake. Jigs with shiners and slip bobbers with leeches have produced the most fish recently. Anglers continue to enjoy a great night bite. For the most action, cast jigging raps and suspending jerk baits. North Long Lake is also kicking out some nice walleye for anglers using leeches in 14 to 24 foot depths. The walleye bite on the smaller are lakes has improved dramatically with the stable weather.  Bass are very active in the shallows. The bluegills are staging for their spawn. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers are having a blast on Lake Mille Lacs, with lots of walleye, smallmouth bass and large muskie being reported. The water temperature in the bays is 66 to 69 degrees, and the main lake is running 62 to 64 degrees depending on what side of the lake you are on. Most bass are on their beds all over the lake. The walleye bite is strong, with fish coming from the mud flats, sand and rock areas. Over the week, more walleye seem to be moving out to the mud flats and the deeper gravel/rocks in 24 to 30 feet of water. This time of year, jigs, rigs and jigging raps are best. Check out the Lake Mille Lacs webcams for great views of the lake. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Willmar Area Lakes

Fish are biting throughout the Willmar Lakes Area. Anglers are taking lots of nice walleye when trolling with bottom bouncers and leeches on Long Lake. Panfish are still active under the bridge and in the bays of Nest Lake. The Green Lake weeds are giving up crappies in roughly 25 feet of water. Diamond Lake is producing walleye, crappies and northern pike. For those that like to shore fish, look for active crappies and walleye on Foot, Ringo and Florida lakes. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Stillwater – St. Croix River

St. Croix River walleye are transitioning to their summer haunts. Walleye anglers are having lots of success with both eating-size walleye, as well as large walleye.

Anglers are also having fun with the amazing freshwater drum, a.k.a. sheephead, action.  The only problem is that when the drum are this aggressive, the other fish usually can’t get to the bait.

Smallmouth have been especially fun to catch right now since they are very willing to bite. Live bait has worked extremely well in depths of 11 to 14 feet, and in 22 foot depths in areas with a good flow. Pool 3 is giving up lots of fish at the current seams. 651/351-1717; www.discoverstillwater.com

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country Rivers and Streams

As of Thursday, May 30, Lanesboro Fisheries Staff reported that 2.5 to 4 inches of rain had fallen last weekend, but stream conditions were improving rapidly and were expected to continually improve. Check out the DNR’s Stream Flow Report for the most current conditions. Before you go, check out the “Area Highlights” section of the Lanesboro Area Fisheries web page for stream maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

 

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Be sure to visit the Deals section of ExploreMinnesota.comto learn of the latest discounts and specials!

Explore Minnesota’s Finest Cuisines, Wines, Beers and Spirits!

The Explore Minnesota drinking and eating guide lists and links to more than 1,500 restaurants throughout the state, as well as Minnesota breweries and wineries. Renowned chefs serve up an eclectic array of fare, ranging from international cuisine to dishes straight from the local farm. The state is seeing huge growth in craft beer and spirits, and Minnesota wines continue to win awards at international competitions. Keep checking back we’re adding new venues all the time. http://www.exploreminnesota.com/drink-eat

Did someone say Burgers?

Matt’s Bar & Grill, now a Minneapolis landmark, began in 1954 as a neighborhood burger eatery. Shortly after we opened, founder Matt Bristol explains how the “Jucy Lucy” was created when a local customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle. Upon biting into this new, molten hot burger, he exclaimed “that’s one juicy Lucy”, and a legend was born. Customer demand grew so quickly, we forgot to add the “i” and the “Jucy Lucy” has now become a local culinary hero. Remember, if it’s spelled correctly, you just might be eating a shameless ripoff!

Matt’s has received numerous awards, and has appeared in publications from Hamburgers Across America to the The New York Times. Matt’s has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Man Vs. Food and Food Wars, where we won the best tasting “Jucy Lucy” in town. Each “Jucy Lucy” is carefully handmade with the freshest, high-quality beef and filled with the molten hot cheese you can only find at Matt’s. Once you’ve had our “Jucy Lucy”, you’ll understand why our motto is “Fear the Cheese”!

Wineries & Winery Dining

Richwood Winery is the hidden star of the North Star State. Located on 9 acres of pristine land overlooking Lake Buffalo and just 10 miles North of Detroit Lakes, it is a destination for anyone and everyone. Whether you are an oenophiliac (wine-lover), vacationer, family looking to enjoy the scenery or just someone who could use a day to relax and unwind – welcome, you’re home.

Richwood began in 2007 as a location like no other. Convinced that the grape varietals created by the University of Minnesota could not only survive the conditions of northern MN but thrive to create a great wine, co-owner and founder Penny Aguirre purchased the location to put her notion to the test. Her vision for Richwood extended far beyond just the grapes. As she fondly remembers “I wanted to make a community gathering place where people in the area can meet each other and become friends.” Today the winery and grounds of Richwood are that vision personified: a place where family, wine and science play happily all day every day.

Starting in the spring of 2008 with LaCrescent, Frontenac Gris and Marquette grapes, the winery has expanded, bringing those cold weather loving, hearty vines and their delicious products together with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir grapes from California to bring the best of both worlds together in a glass. Your glass.

All grapes are crushed on-site and the wine made, blended and bottled in the wine “laboratory,” a converted garage combining the quality of any NAPA Valley winery with all the charm of northern Minnesota. Together with the log cabin tasting room overlooking the vineyards, the former-airplane-hangar storage facility and the rest of the gorgeous nine acre, southern exposure property and you have an experience not to be missed.

So if you are looking for the right space for your next event, excited about one of our annual shindigs or simply curious how beautiful and rewarding a day with us can possibly be, come join the community!  We love the Lake Buffalo life and can’t wait to greet you with a warm welcome to the Richwood Winery family.

Breweries

Klockow Brewery, This brewery and taproom is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Andy and Tasha Klockow. Andy is from rural Northern Wisconsin. Tasha is from the Grand Rapids area. Andy is also the resident brewer. He has been working at HammerHeart Brewing Company in Lino Lakes over the past 3 years and is excited to cultivate his own recipes for the people of the Grand Rapids area. We are basically open books so please feel free to reach out to us!

Minnesota Holiday Spirit: Tis the Season!

Winter in Minnesota is the perfect time of year to get together with loved ones, embrace old traditions, or even start some new ones. Here are just five of the many ways to make the most of this special season.

GET IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights, Duluth

A hallmark of the holiday season in Germany and Austria, holiday markets—called Christkindlmarkts—have made their way to Minnesota. Holidazzle will take place in Loring Park again this year and will feature more than 40 vendors selling ornaments, candles and other handcrafted gifts, as well as mulled wine and brats. Other highlights include fireworks, Santa visits, holiday movie screenings and free ice skating. The destination is open Thursdays-Sundays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 23 and is free to attend.

Holiday plays and performances are a tradition for many families this time of year. Festive favorites include “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Rochester Civic Theatre, a dozen iterations of “The Nutcracker,” from classic to hip-hop, and Christmas concerts by artists including Kat Perkins, Blind Boys of Alabama, Lorie Line and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

For light shows worth a drive, don’t miss Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights, the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato and the Trester Trolley Light Tours in Winona. New in 2016, “Bruce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum” is the first large-scale outdoor light display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.

EXPLORE A NATURE CENTER

Great gray owl in Duluth; photo by Amanda Burcar-Annis

Photo by Amanda Burcar Annis

Many of Minnesota’s nature centers are open year-round, offering opportunities to interact with wildlife and the winter landscape. Owls are a big draw at the Agassiz Audubon Center near Thief River Falls, which documented dozens of snowy owl sightings last year in the surrounding Red River Valley.

At the International Owl Center in southeastern Minnesota, Alice the resident great horned owl is so popular that the International Festival of Owls in early March is held in conjunction with her hatch day.

Since nature centers are often surrounded by trails, they make a great starting point for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. Options include the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault (skiing and snowmobiling), Maplewood Nature Center (snowshoeing) and Hartley Nature Center in Duluth (skiing).

CHECK OUT A MUSEUM

At the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul, “Mindbender Mansion” makes critical thinking and problem solving fun, and “A Beautiful Planet” is featured in the Omnitheater. Open until mid-January, the “Gridiron Glory” exhibit at the Minnesota History Center features the Vince Lombardi trophy and other artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While you’re downtown, be sure to stop by Rice Park to see the ice sculptures and live entertainment as part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Other museums worth a winter visit include the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, the recently reopened Spam Museum in Austin, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which recently debuted a new entrance and restaurant as part of its major renovation project.

WARM UP AT A WATER PARK

Family Cascade Bay Water Park 440x440.jpgWaterslides, lazy rivers and splash pads aren’t just for the summer months. Several Minnesota water parks can be found indoors, offering a tropical escape no matter the weather.

Paul Bunyan Water Park, inside Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter, features tube and body slides, a treehouse equipped with water cannons and an indoor/outdoor hot tub. At the Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark in Duluth, a vortex pool allows guests to swim with or against a fast-moving current.

There’s even a waterpark right by Mall of America, so you can take a dip after completing all your holiday shopping. Find more options, from Bloomington to Alexandria to Thief River Falls, on the water parks page.

GO MAPLE SYRUPING

A sure sign that spring is coming, maple syrup demonstrations and festivals start cropping up in March. On Maple Syrup Day, the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone hosts a pancake brunch as part of its syrup celebration. Or see how the sap is gathered and turned into syrup, and get a taste of the end result, at the Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes.

Many Minnesota state parks, including Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Whitewater near St. Charles and Lake Maria near Monticello, offer maple syrup programs. Nature centers and other parks, like the Three Rivers Park District in the metro area, also get in on the fun.