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Visiting during Aquatennial?

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Mason City, Iowa
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Visiting during Aquatennial?

My family will be visiting the Twin Cities this July from the 19th through the 24th. We have visited the area many times with our three children ages 5, 7, and 12 and are looking for new and affordable things to do. Tonight while researching I saw that the Aquatennial will be going on during our stay and I'm a bit curious about it.

I'm wondering if it's too crowded to even bother with first off? I'm a bit afraid of driving around areas we don't know when they are super crowded. I'd love to check out the Star Tribune Beach Bash and the pre parade and parade as well. We just aren't at all familiar with the lakes and where we would need to go.

I guess what I'm getting at is if this is something that is too overcrowded and expensive to be worth it? I'd just like to get a better handle on what we would be getting ourselves into.

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1. Re: Visiting during Aquatennial?

They call Aquatennial "The Ten Best Days of Summer." They are also historically the hottest.

The events are not at all overcrowded and they are very affordable, in fact most are free. Obviously you want to arrive somewhat early to get the best parking (or take public transit), seating, etc.

Aquatennial goes on for ten days, so the events are spread out, timewise and geographically. I don't think there are alot of "visitors" here for these days, so not sure you'll see any kind of increase in hotel rates because of it. It's pretty home-grown.

Hope you've checked out the website: http://www.aquatennial.com/

I really love the Torchlight Parade. Plenty of places to eat downtown beforehand. Try Brit's Pub.

The River Rats waterski show is pretty fun, too, and free. Assuming it's in the same place as usual, bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on the riverbank. Afterwards, you might plan to eat at the nearby Broadway Pizza at 2025 West River Road (intersects Broadway), Minneapolis. Great pizza and good for kids, as there are railcars inside the building.

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for Minneapolis, Minnesota
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2. Re: Visiting during Aquatennial?

The Aquatennial is a great time to visit and the parade is really great, old-fashioned fun. Know that several of the highway exits to downtown close early, I think around either 4 or 6 pm. Plan to spend the evening, it starts at 8:30 and the last floats roll by around 10-10:30. Head over to Brits after for some rooftop lawn bowling, or go grab a patio seat along St Anthony Falls at one of the many eateries. BTW, I feel the Saturday night fireworks are bar none the best of the year. I almost rented a boat to have my wedding underneath them!

While the events are spread out, know that the lakes do get crowded during summer, as do the patios. However, all the parks and outdoor spaces have tons going on, including lots of live music, performances and markets.

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for Minneapolis
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3. Re: Visiting during Aquatennial?

Catch the Torchlight Parade - get a shady area on the route.

Catch the Fireworks .. but not RIGHT at the river. Viewable from many locations downtown.

Ask your hotel.

4. Re: Visiting during Aquatennial?

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