MINNEAPOLIS — The 83rd Minneapolis Aquatennial kicks off Wednesday, July 20 and runs through Saturday July 23.
Starting off with a blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross on Wednesday morning, the "Official Civic Celebration" of the city will have around 20 events spanning four days.
The events, both indoors and out, will take place around Peavey Plaza, The Commons, Nicollet Avenue and West River Road.
Mark Remme, the director of communications and research with the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said each year, they try to have around 20 events, while mixing in some new ones.
"We always try to continue to add and improve things happening throughout the weekend," Remme said. He added that there's been an emphasis on planning events that are fitness-related.
New this year is a "Learn to Roller Skate" event at the Commons on Thursday night, and an Alchemy 365 class at the Sculpture Garden.
Wednesday night one of the signature events will light the night as the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade winds down Nicollet Avenue at 7:30 p.m., followed by a showing of "Black Panther" at The Commons.
Thursday morning there will be music and the Nicollet Market, then in the afternoon you can catch a showing of "Aquaman" at Target Field Station and watch the Twin Cities River Rats Waterski Show on the Mississippi River as the sun starts to set.
On Friday the American Red Cross blood drive continues. There will be an Alchemy 365 outdoor fitness class, and another performance from the River Rats.
On Saturday the party really kicks into high gear, with Twin Cities Carifest, Minnesota's only Caribbean festival, a salsa cookoff at Midtown Global Market, the Mpls Craft Market and more.
The big event that caps off the Aquatennial every year is the fireworks display, and pre-fireworks celebrations start at 6 p.m. at the West River Parkway near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday evening.
Remme says that's something you won't want to miss.
"They're a top five annual celebration in the country, from a fireworks perspective," he said. "They are simulcasted from KDWB; we call it a pyro-musical. The fireworks are choreographed down to 1/100th of a second of a beat to the full simulcast."
You can find more information and a full list of events and times at the Aquatennial website, here.
And with so much going on throughout the city over the next three days, event organizers and city officials have shared what steps they're taking to keep Aquatennial visitors safe.
According to the city, Minneapolis Police will have a "significant presence" for Aquatennial events, including bike patrols, mounted patrols and K-9 units. The Aquatennial has also partnered with the Minneapolis Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Violence Prevention, Metro Transit Police, violence interrupters, private security and other groups for safety.
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