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

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