The Aquatennial is a 10-day annual festival in Minneapolis. It’s a civic celebration of the city. What is a civic celebration? As far as I can tell, it’s basically a celebration of anything and everything the city has to offer: museums, arts, outdoors, etc. The celebration includes everything from sandcastle-building competitions to 5ks to smoothie sampling events. The official kick-off of the event is the Torchlight Parade – a two hour extravaganza along Hennepin Avenue downtown.
Noah and I went to check out the fun. The parade started at 8:30pm when it was still light outside:
There were a lot of city floats with various ‘royalty.’ Several organizations, bands, and civic groups also made an appearance:
I don’t have a picture, but Mayor Rybak was there and I saw him get funky with it with a staff member from Total Entertainment. The parade really started to pick up once it got dark and a fire truck came through spewing flames:
We saw the MN Roller Girls and Snoopy:
Minneapolis got one-stream recycling over the past year – woohoo!
If I were a MN princess, I would want to live on this float:
Overall, the parade was really fun and it was awesome to see so many people out on the streets in support of a Minneapolis celebration.
Besides the parade, we went to one other Aquatennial-related event. The Bakken Museum – a museum all about electricity! – offered free admission on one of the days, focusing particularly on the connection between art and science.
The museum is located right by Lake Calhoun, and it seemed like a great family destination (but we weren’t too old to enjoy it!).
The museum is located within a beautiful old house:
And almost all of the exhibits are interactive. Look at these kissing dogs – drawn together through magnetism.
As part of the aquatennial, there were a few special activities that linked art with science. Like this battery-powered Scribblebot:
Even though I only participated in two Aquatennial events this year, it could definitely keep you busy for the full ten days. It’s a great community event, and definitely a symbol of how Minneapolis cares about the civic life of its citizens. But, you don’t need to convince me – the Minneapple already has my heart. 🙂