• What is the Minneapolis Aquatennial?

    The Minneapolis Aquatennial is the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. Minnesota residents, workers and visitors have come to love and appreciate all that Minneapolis has to offer during the Aquatennial. We invite you to join in the celebration and enjoy summer with us, happening July 24-27, 2019. Check back throughout the year for more information on the 2019 events lineup.

  • Where can I find this year’s Skipper Pin?
  • What does the Aquatennial logo mark represent?


    The Aquatennial mark, created by Minneapolis-based Zeus Jones in 2015, incorporates several elements of the city’s history and identity all rolled into one emblem. The “A” itself represents Aquatennial. The base of the A with the line across is symbolic of the Stone Arch Bridge, which sits above the Mississippi River—symbolized by the lines below the A. The star above the A has a dual meaning—it stands for the L’Etoile Du Nord (Star of the North) symbolizing Minneapolis as the Capital of the North, and it also pays tribute to the iconic Target Fireworks.

  • What precautions do you take regarding the heat concerns?

    Visitor and participant safety is the top concern at any Aquatennial event and the festival staff will make a plan of action that is safe for everyone. Remember to hydrate throughout the day. On Wednesday, Tap Minneapolis will have water locations available at the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and the Loring Park Pre-Parade Family Fun Night. Bring a water bottle and fill up regularly. Locations are placed in Loring Park and along Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica of St. Mary to 5th Street.  Tap Minneapolis locations are located on west side of Hennepin at 6th  and 11th. One will be located on the east side of Hennepin at 9th, and a fourth will be located in Loring Park. Find shade when possible, and if you feel faint, contact an EMT, on-site Aquatennial staff or visit an Aquatennial information/volunteer booth immediately for further assistance.

  • What options are there for avoiding construction?

    Avoid traffic completely on Wednesday during the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade by riding for FREE to the Aquatennial on Wednesday from 4:00 pm-midnight and to the Target Fireworks on Saturday from 4:00 pm-midnight thanks to Metro Transit. Download and print your pass on Aquatennial.com/torchlightparade or Aquatennial.com/fireworks. Arrive early to avoid bottleneck traffic, particularly along Hennepin and Lyndale due to project construction. Will also help with having more options for selecting your parade vantage point.

  • Is there ADA accessible parking at the flagship events: CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade & Target Fireworks?

    Yes, limited ADA parking locations are available at both the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and Target Fireworks. For more information, email us at intern@mplsdowntown.com.

  • What are future Aquatennial dates?

    Each year the Minneapolis Aquatennial takes place during the third full week of July. This year’s Aquatennial will take place July 24-27, 2019.

  • Can I get around Aquatennial easily by bike? Are there biking options available?

    Yes! Aquatennial is more walkable and bikeable than ever thanks to our events being in close proximity. Nice Ride stations are located nearby and are great resources for you to get around Downtown Minneapolis during Aquatennial. Check out their station map here and enjoy.

  • Are Tickets Required to Attend?

    The Minneapolis Aquatennial is free to attend by everyone and anyone; no tickets are required. If you are interested in participating, there are some events that require registration, including the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and the Twin Cities Orthopedics Torchlight 5K. Click Here to see our full schedule of events.

  • Is the Minneapolis Aquatennial on Social Media?

    Yes we are! Like us on Facebook; Tweet with us on Twitter and Follow us on Instagram all using the @Aquatennial handle. Hashtag #Aquatennial for the latest and greatest festival information.

  • How Do I Contact Aquatennial?

    If you are interested in additional information, please contact the Aquatennial at (612) 376-7669 or aquatennial@mplsdowntown.com.

  • Who Do I Contact if I Lost or Found an Item?

    To report a lost item or inquire about a misplaced item, please email aquatennial@mplsdowntown.com.

  • Who produces the Minneapolis Aquatennial?

    The mpls downtown council (mdc) acquired the Minneapolis Aquatennial in 2002 after being asked to save it from near bankruptcy. The Aquatennial was still very popular, but it needed an organization that could provide the economic engine to keep it going successfully. The mdc was proud and still is proud to keep the tradition alive, and it continues to look for ways to keep the event sustainable into the future.

  • How has the Aquatennial changed over the years?

    The Minneapolis Aquatennial has been around for 78 years, and during that time features of the event have changed. For example, the mpls downtown council consolidated the Hennepin Avenue Block Party into the Aquatennial when it acquired the Aquatennial in the early 2000s, and due to changing times that event was taken off the schedule in recent years. The Aquafollies and Grand Day Parade are other examples of past events that existed in previous decades. Watch Aquatennial.com for information on this year’s events and any new changes that are being added to the schedule. In 2016, the Aqua Jam event returned to the lineup as a way to enjoy skateboarding in the heart of the summer.

  • How is Aquatennial funded, and are the events free?

    Aquatennial is privately funded by sponsors and partners, meaning no public money or tax dollars are used to put on the events. The majority of the events are free and open to the public.

  • What was the idea behind condensing the Aquatennial to 4 days?

    The Minneapolis Aquatennial has always been associated with the third full week in July, but it has also been more than a week-long and has often occurred over two weekends. With so many events taking place during the summer, including cabin life, sporting events, concerts, weddings and other happenings, it became increasingly harder to navigate two summer weekends with Aquatennial events. This year’s schedule condenses the dates into four days, packing almost all of the events that took place last year into a more manageable timeframe. The Aquatennial’s four-day schedule is book-ended by two of our most popular flagship events: The CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and the Target Fireworks. The timeframe also played into being able to celebrate the Queen of the Lakes Scholarship Program Coronation during the Aquatennial dates. It allows people to enjoy more events in a centralized location, which provides the opportunity to take part in more Aquatennial events. As we continue working to create a consistently compelling downtown experience, bringing these events together in a shorter timeframe and closer proximity will better allow us to celebrate together. We want to make sure the festival continues to be relevant in today’s changing landscape as well as being sustainable for the years ahead.

  • Why was the decision made to cut the Aquatennial Beach Bash?

    Of all our Aquatennial flagship events, the Beach Bash’s attendance and participation was experiencing the least growth. While there were a core group of annual participants, there were very few new entrants. That, coupled with the condensed schedule and focus on proximity near the Mississippi Riverfront, made Beach Bash an event that did not fit with the Aquatennial’s future vision. In 2015 the Aquatennial—consistent with the mpls downtown council’s Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan’s vision to “create a consistently compelling downtown experience” while also showcasing the riverfront—put more of a focus on the area near the Mississippi River. Efforts were made to try and preserve the Beach Bash as an event outside of the Aquatennial festival, but at this point there was lack of interest or resources from others in order to take on the event. Aside from the Milk Carton Boat Races and the Sandcastle competition, other activities from the Beach Bash like the Memorial Blood Centers, the Minneapolis Fire Department and the Kids’ Zone will be included in other Aquatennial events.

  • How Can I Volunteer at the Aquatennial?

    Each year the Minneapolis Aquatennial utilizes hundreds of community volunteers to help make each event possible. In addition to helping create wonderful Minneapolis memories for thousands of attendees, Aquatennial volunteers, as part of the Aquatennial Volunteer Program sponsored by U.S. Bank, also enjoy great benefits. To request more information on volunteering, please contact aquaintern@mplsdowntown.com.

  • How Can I Get More Information on Event Sponsorship?

    Each year the Minneapolis Aquatennial utilizes community Sponsors and Partners to help make the festival possible. If you would like more information on event sponsorship, please email us.

  • What Aquatennial Events Can I Participate In?

    Each year the Aquatennial invites the community to get involved and have some fun! There are many events that you can participate in. Some of the most popular include the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, Life Time Torchlight 5K, AquaJam, and others. You can also participate in Aquatennial by taking part in the Aquatennial Volunteer program sponsored by U.S. Bank.

  • How Can I Get More Information on Promotional and/or Vendor Opportunities?

    The Aquatennial is now accepting vendor and sampling applications. Please email us for more information.

  • Are There Public Transit Options to get to the Aquatennial?

    Metro Transit is a great way to arrive at Aquatennial events. For more information on bus and light rail routes, schedules, and to plan your trip, click here. Metro Transit is also offering a FREE ride pass to the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and Target Fireworks. Download your pass for the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade or Target Fireworks.

  • How Do I Get to Each Event?

    As the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis, all Aquatennial events are located in Minneapolis. Visit our events page for a full map of the locations and how you can go from event to event during Aquatennial.

  • Is there an Aquatennial Map?

    Yes! Visit our Aquatennial Events page for an interactive map that gives you information on each event.

  • Are the Milk Carton Boat Races or Sandcastle Competition still part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial?

    The Milk Carton Boat Races and Sandcastle Competitions are no longer a part of Aquatennial. Of all our Aquatennial flagship events, these events were experiencing the least growth in attendance and participation. While there were a core group of annual participants, there were very few new entrants. That, coupled with the condensed schedule and focus on proximity near the Mississippi Riverfront, made these two events not fit with the Aquatennial’s future vision.