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Minneapolis outlines Aquatennial safety plan, MPD to have 'significant presence'

The 2022 Aquatennial has multiple safety partners for the three-day event, including the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Metro Transit Police and private security.

MINNEAPOLIS — The 83rd Minneapolis Aquatennial gets underway in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday night and continues through Saturday, July 23.

Hosted by the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Aquatennial schedule is packed with dozens of events and activities, starting with the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade on July 20 along Nicollet from 12th to 4th Street.

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.

The "official civic celebration of Minneapolis" comes just weeks after a chaotic Fourth of July holiday where seven people were injured in a shooting at Boom Island Park. Police responded to the shooting and learned that most people had already left the area, but later Minneapolis Park Police said six of the seven victims were teenagers, including three juveniles.

The same night, people spent hours shooting off fireworks from the street in the nearby Mill District Neighborhood, in some cases firing them in the direction of other pedestrians and nearby apartments and condos.

"I was coming around the corner and it was just absolute chaos out here," said resident and building manager Nick Zillges. "People were hanging out the roof of cars, throwing fireworks at people."

It took police hours to clear the crowd, and at a press conference the next day, Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman said Minneapolis received more than 1,300 911 calls from 9 p.m. Monday to 4 a.m. Tuesday.

A bulk of the 2022 Aquatennial events take place along Nicollet Avenue, Peavey Plaza, West River road near St. Anthony Falls/the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill District area. Click here for a full schedule.

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