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Consider this the be-all end-all of everything that is, was and will be for your 4th of July in Minneapolis. We guarantee that if you read this comprehensive, expert-compiled list that you’ll have a day worthy of your name being etched into the history books next to the country’s most patriotically-awesome people. Click the options below for everything that is 4th of July in Minneapolis.
1. Stone Arch Bridge: This is the absolute best place to see the skies. Watching fireworks on the Stone Arch Bridge is like watching history, as the bridge is a link to the rich past of Minneapolis. You’ll be right above the Mississippi River and right below the action. Get her early, though; as this is the best spot, it fills up quick.
2. Gold Medal Park: One of the most underrated spots in downtown Minneapolis, Gold Medal Park offers a more traditional viewing experience. Throw a blanket on the grass, throw a ball around and gaze up at the fireworks while you lie down and relax.
INSIDER TIP: “Bring bug spray.” -Scott
3. Powderhorn Park: Powderhorn Park shoots off their own fireworks on the 4th, so this is a great alternative for people who’d like to be close to the action but away from the crowds. Like Gold Medal Park, Powderhorn provides the opportunity to throw down a blanket and share some ground with that special someone. Plus, the park will have a complete lineup of musicians playing until the fireworks go off.
INSIDER TIP: “Parking can be a challenge because the lots at the park fill up fast. So, you should get there at 7pm and park along one of the streets to the south and walk in.” -Anne
4. Mill City Museum: Watching fireworks from the Mill City Museum Observation Deck is as close to a VIP setting as you’ll get. Only 50 people get access, and you have to pay ($35), but the view is absolutely worth the cost. As an added bonus, you get admission into the museum beforehand.
INSIDER TIP: “If you’re reading this, then you need to stop what you’re doing and order tickets NOW! These tickets go very quickly and the view is sublime.” -Kristen
5. Guthrie Endless Bridge: A more unconventional place to watch fireworks, true, but it has that same VIP feel that the Mill City Museum Observation Deck has. You’ll be off the ground and closer to the action, and you’ll have a completely unobstructed view of the fireworks.
6. Restaurant Rooftops: A lot of people don’t generally think of restaurants as prime places to watch fireworks, but we say, “Why not?!” You’re up in the air, you’ll have a great view AND there are people that will serve you food and alcohol. Check out a map of some cool places here, or read this Top 10 Patio list we compiled.
INSIDER TIP: “Last year I chilled out on the roof of the Uptown Cafeteria and got some great views while I relaxed on a couch with a drink in one hand and tiny, delicious burgers in the other. That was legit.” -Sean
7. Lake Calhoun: Parks are great, and buildings are very cool places to get closer to the fireworks. But, if you want the most authentic 4th of July “I LOVE AMERICA” experience, Lake Calhoun is where you want to be. Grill out, play some volleyball, kayak/paddle on the lake and chill on the beach while you get a great view of the downtown fireworks.
*All fireworks start at 10pm.
-Red, White & Boom!
6:30am: TC Half Marathon, Historic Main Street TC Half Marathon>>>REGISTER HERE
6-9pm: Family Activities, Live Music and Food Vendors at Father Hennepin Bandshell and Mill Ruins Park
10pm: Fireworks, Minneapolis Riverfront District
-Fireworks Celebration at Powderhorn Park
1:00 RARE Productions’ Open Stage
2:30 Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue (Aztec dancing)
3:30 Alma Andina (Latin folk music)
4:45 Greg Herriges (whirled music)
6:00 Phil Heywood (fingerstyle guitar and country blues)
7:15 Powderhorn Park Ideawerks Recording Studio
8:00 Detroit Don King (electric blues)
9:30 Minneapolis Fire Collection (fire dancing)
INSIDER TIP: “Get here around 7pm and claim a spot for the fireworks at 10pm. You’ll get prime real estate AND great music until the sky lights up.” –Anne
Apple Valley: Freedom Days
8am: Freedom Days 2 and 5 Mile Run >>>REGISTER HERE
1pm: Freedom Days Parade
3pm-11pm: Amusement Carnival (Rides, Games)
5pm-11pm: Pre-Fireworks Party (DJ Entertainment, Fantastic Food)
Blaine: Fireworks Extravaganza
Dusk: Fireworks, National Sports Center
Chanhassen: 4th of July Celebration
7am: Adult Fishing Contest
10am: Classic Car Show, Taste of Chanhassen, Rotary Beer and Wine Garden, Carnival Rides
11am: Sand Sculpture Contest, Medallion Hunt, Kids Fishing Contest
12am: Live Music
2:30pm: Parade Downtown
6pm: Chanhassen Redbirds Baseball Game
(All events occur at Lake Ann and downtown Chanhassen)
Eagan: July 4th Funfest
10am: Funfest Big Bang Parade
12pm-12am: Carnival Rides and Games
1pm-5pm: Classic Car Show
1pm: Brain Freeze Contest
6pm-10pm: Texas Hold ‘em Tournament
8pm-12am: Funfest Concert
Eden Prairie: 4th of July Hometown Celebration
9am: Optimists 5k Run
3pm: Kiddie Parade, Face Painting
4pm-7pm: BMX Demonstrations, K-9 Demonstrations, Splash Pad Grand Opening
7:30pm: AM Rotary Golf Ball Drop
Excelsior: Lake Minnetonka 4th of July Celebration
8am: Two Mile Firecracker Run, Excelsior Commons
8:30am: 10k Firecracker Fun Run, Excelsior Commons
9-10:30am: Sand Sculpture Contest, Beach at W. Lake, Excelsior Commons
9:30am: Patriotic Popsicle Social, Band Shell Arena
11-11:30am: Kid’s Patriotic Parade
11:30am-1pm: Kid’s Fishing Contest
6:15-9:15pm: Live music, vendor/food booths
Dusk: Fireworks, Lake Minnetonka
INSIDER TIP: “Watch the fireworks out on Lake Minnetonka and you can see the fireworks from Excelsior , Wayzata, Mound and Lafayette Club from any direction.” -Ruth
Fort Snelling: Independence Day Celebration
10am-5pm: Celebrate the nation’s independence as people did in the early 1800’s – cannon salutes, patriotic speeches, theatrical presentation put on by the fort’s soldiers, military dress parade, patriotic and military fife and drum music, historic games.
* Adults $11, seniors/ college students $9, children ages 6-17 $6, children under 5 free
Richfield: 4th of July
6pm: Street Dance
INSIDER TIP: “Head to Veterans Park. The best place to view the parade is by walking up by the park’s hilly areas. It is cool and shady by the trees, yet you get to enjoy the nice up-close view. Lots of people don’t know about that area so there’s a nice and cool breeze that hits you.” -Hassan
St. Louis Park: July 4th Fireworks Celebration
7-9:30pm: Performance by Stevie and the Rockers, Aquila Park
10pm: Fireworks, Aquila Park