Do the Aquatennial

Wednesday, July 24 – Saturday, July 27, 2019

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Aquatennial announces 2019 parade, 5K route

CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, Life Time Torchlight 5K on July 24 head down 2nd Avenue this summer.

MINNEAPOLIS (May 16, 2019) – The Minneapolis Aquatennial announced today new routes for the 2019 Aquatennial CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade and the Life Time Torchlight 5K.

Routes will begin at the Minneapolis Convention Center, heading down 2nd Avenue, and the Life Time Torchlight 5K will continue through downtown along West River Parkway before ending at Boom Island.

“We are excited about the opportunity to showcase a new part of downtown mpls for Minnesota’s largest night-time parade and our fan-favorite 5k during the 2019 Minneapolis Aquatennial,” said Leah Wong, Vice President of External Relations at the mpls downtown council. “Downtown mpls is dynamic and offers incredible experiences for Aquatennial participants and spectators. We invite the community to join us for what’s sure to be a bright night in our city’s core.”

In the past routes have travelled down Hennepin Avenue, but with this year’s construction, the location has been adjusted.

The Life Time Torchlight 5K welcomes roughly 5,000 runners annually. The adjusted route means fewer turns than the previous route, which weaved through the North Loop, and a longer stretch along the Mississippi Riverfront. It puts a focus on the river, which signifies the birthplace of our city and a major symbol of the Aquatennial, and runners will enjoy full use of West River Parkway.  Fans are encouraged to come early and line the route from 2nd Avenue through West River Parkway to cheer on runners as they pass by.

“This year’s new route allows Life Time Torchlight 5K runners to experience some of the best perks of running in Minneapolis,” said Dan Lakin Life Time Run Events Brand Manager. “The city is known for its urban parks, and this route will bring runners along a longer stretch of West River Parkway before crossing the Mississippi River and finishing on Boom Island for the biggest finish festival of the season.”

The CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade will begin at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, July 24. The parade will run along 2nd Avenue from the Minneapolis Convention Center to 3rd Street South. This year’s parade path is located in the heart of downtown, offering plazas and courtyards along with free activities for people to enjoy as they watch. As Minnesota’s largest nighttime parade, the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade welcomes roughly 100 units from across Minnesota each year.

Aquatennial goers will again be able to attend Wednesday’s festivities by using a Free Ride Pass courtesy of Metro Transit. Get there by bus or light rail for free from 4 pm-midnight on July 24 by printing a Free Ride pass, which will be available at Aquatennial.com closer to the event. The Free Ride Passes will also be available on Saturday, July 27 from 4 pm-midnight during the Target Fireworks festivities.

When planning your trip to the Wednesday Aquatennial festivities, remember the Loring Park Pre-Parade Family Fun Night will still take place in Loring Park from 6-8:30 pm. Events include Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoe Rides, Rally the Family tennis activities, family-friendly activities, food trucks and more.

Aquatennial will continue to provide updates on its full schedule of events. Look for the full Aquatennial schedule, including new events for 2019, to be released in early June. Visit www.aquatennial.com or follow @Aquatennial on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information.

About the Minneapolis Aquatennial

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is the Official Civic Celebration of the City of Minneapolis and offers outstanding entertainment and activities in the City of Lakes for all ages. It is managed and produced by the mpls downtown council. For more information, please visit aquatennial.com or call (612) 376-7669.

About the mpls downtown council

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic business associations in the nation, the mpls downtown council (mdc) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The mdc’s collaborative development of the Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan is designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit mplsdowntown.com.

About Life Time® – Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 143 destinations in 39 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages.

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Schedule

Information with the full Aquatennial schedule will be announced in early June.

Wednesday, July 24 | Thursday, July 25 | Friday, July 26 | Saturday, July 27

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

  Red Cross Aquatennial Blood Drive
Wednesday, July 24, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | IDS Center Crystal Court, 80 S. 8th St.
Sign up to make a blood donation and help the Red Cross meet their goal of 120 pints (the capacity of an average beer keg). In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Aquatennial Blood Drive is taking place Wednesday through Friday, at IDS Center Crystal Court. The Red Cross has a severe blood shortage and needs your help to reach their goal of collecting 120 pints during the Aquatennial Blood Drive. Blood donations are low during the summertime, so register in advance at http://bit.ly/Aquatennial2019BloodDrive, or stop by Crystal Court and sign up the day of the blood drive.

  Wednesday Lawn Games and Activities | Go Outside with Hennepin County
Wednesday, July 24, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza, 300 S. 6th St.
Escape the office and play a game of bags or connect four, or calm your mind in a meditation area with blankets and yoga mats.

JB Hudson Family Fun Fest
Wednesday, July 24, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. | JB Hudson, 901 Nicollet Mall
The JB Hudson Family Fun Fest is a FREE family-focused event hosted by the iconic JB Hudson Jewelers located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Celebrating the legacy of Aquatennial and the history of Minneapolis, this event gives your children a chance to create with lots of fun hands-on crafts and demonstrations.

Activities include beading projects, color-your-own tiaras and watches, rock painting and a family photo station, plus hot dogs and cool treats. The JB Hudson on-site goldsmiths and watchmakers will also have live demonstrations.

  Loring Park Pre-Parade Family Fun Night
Wednesday, July 24, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. | Loring Park, 1382 Willow St.
Free canoe rides and tennis lessons, carnival games, food trucks and more family fun before the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade. Loring Park Family Fun Night is a family-focused event held just blocks from the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade. Bring the family down and enjoy dinner in the park from a collection of local food trucks. Kids can learn to paddle with free Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur canoe rides, channel their inner Serena Williams with free tennis lessons presented by USTA, and burn off some summer energy with pony rides, inflatables, a kids’ dance party, and carnival games.

NEW ROUTE! Life Time Torchlight 5K
Wednesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m. start | Starting line at the Minneapolis Convention Center
Whether you are a dedicated runner or just someone who jogs from the couch to the fridge, the Life Time Torchlight 5k in Minneapolis is the fun run for everyone! Grab your family, friends and running shoes because the Torchlight 5k starts with a bang and ends with a brew. That’s right, Life Time Fitness’ legendary post-race party features musical entertainment and complimentary refreshments. Then take the NEW shuttle bus system back to the start area. It’s the party of the year that just happens to start with a run!

Learn more and register online at Torchlight5k.com. Race day registration is available as space allows at the Minneapolis Convention Center. There is also a team challenge: sign up your group of 15+ runners and everyone will receive a free gift.

FLAGSHIP EVENT! NEW ROUTE! CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade
Wednesday, July 24, 8:30 p.m. | 2nd Ave., starting at the Minneapolis Convention Center and ending at 3rd St. S.
The largest nighttime parade in Minnesota features royalty, floats and marching bands from more than 42 cities across the state. The traditional start to the Aquatennial celebration, the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade steps off on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. Join friends, neighbors and the community to watch bright and colorful floats, displays and marching bands roll down 2nd Ave. in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis.

Get to the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade for FREE by bus or light rail with a MetroTransit Free Ride Pass!

  1. Visit Aquatennial.com/TorchlightParade
  2. Print your Free Ride Pass (good on Wednesday, July 24 from 4 p.m. – midnight).

ABOUT THE CENTERPOINT ENERGY TORCHLIGHT PARADE
The Minneapolis Aquatennial CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade is a longstanding Aquatennial tradition, which is recognized by Family Circle as the best festival and flagship event in Minnesota. This is CenterPoint Energy’s 19th year being part of the Aquatennial and sponsoring the popular nighttime parade. As a flagship Aquatennial event and the unofficial kick-off to the Best Days of Summer, the popular parade continues to grow and is the largest nighttime parade in Minnesota.


THURSDAY, JULY 25

  Red Cross Aquatennial Blood Drive
Thursday, July 25, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. | IDS Center Crystal Court, 80 S. 8th St.
Sign up to make a blood donation and help the Red Cross meet their goal of 120 pints (the capacity of an average beer keg).  In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Aquatennial Blood Drive is taking place Wednesday through Friday, at IDS Center Crystal Court. The Red Cross has a severe blood shortage and needs your help to reach their goal of collecting 120 pints during the Aquatennial Blood Drive. Blood donations are low during the summertime, so register in advance at http://bit.ly/Aquatennial2019BloodDrive, or stop by Crystal Court and sign up the day of the blood drive.

  Go Outside with Hennepin County | Piano Performance
Thursday, July 25, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m | Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza, 300 S. 6th St
Grab a spot on the South Plaza and relax and enjoy a live piano performance from a community member.

Outdoor Trivia Night
Thursday, July 25, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m | Target Field Station
Join us for an outdoor trivia night at Target Field Station courtesy of Go Outside with Hennepin County! Outdoor trivia nights are free and open to all ages. Bring your team and face off against other groups as you test your general trivia knowledge with chances to win great prizes on the line.

  FAMILY FAVORITE! Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show Team
Thursday, July 25, 7:00 p.m. | Mississippi River, West River Rd. between the Broadway St. and Plymouth Ave. bridges.
The River Rats waterski team is back with a thrilling new show featuring jumps, pyramids and acrobatics. The 100-person team, featuring skiers ranging in age from 5 to 55 years, puts on a gravity-defying hour long show filled with incredible high-flying stunts, fast-paced barefooting, graceful swivel skiing, and even a 36-person pyramid – all while being pulled 30 MPH behind a speedboat on the Mighty Mississippi.


FRIDAY, JULY 26

  Red Cross Aquatennial Blood Drive
Friday, July 26, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | IDS Center Crystal Court, 80 S. 8th St.
Sign up to make a blood donation and help the Red Cross meet their goal of 120 pints (the capacity of an average beer keg).  In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Aquatennial Blood Drive is taking place Wednesday through Friday, at IDS Center Crystal Court. The Red Cross has a severe blood shortage and needs your help to reach their goal of collecting 120 pints during the Aquatennial Blood Drive. Blood donations are low during the summertime, so register in advance at http://bit.ly/Aquatennial2019BloodDrive, or stop by Crystal Court and sign up the day of the blood drive.

Alchemy 365 at Aquatennial
Friday, July 26, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. | Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 726 Vineland Pl.
Start the weekend with a free fitness class at the picturesque Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Alchemy 365 at Aquatennial combines elements of yoga, strength and intense conditioning in a fun and challenging A10 fitness class open to all abilities. Come early to reserve your spot! Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m.; no pre-registration required.


SATURDAY, JULY 27

LOCAL FAVORITE! Loring Park Art Festival
Saturday, July 27, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. | Loring Park
New to Aquatennial, Loring Park Art Festival began in 2000 and has combined creative expression and community connectedness to surprise and delight all who attend. With beautiful ponds and formal gardens, Loring Park makes an idyllic spot to celebrate art, music, food, and entertainment for two days each summer in downtown Minneapolis.

The event features 140 visual artists selling original work, with something for everyone. Visitors will encounter strolling musicians, scheduled stage performances, engaging children’s activities, and adventurous culinary options.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Open House
Saturday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. | Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, 1 Portland Ave. 
The National Parks Service is offering free tours of the Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam.

LOCAL FAVORITE! Twin Cities Carifest
Saturday, July 27, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. | West River Road between Plymouth Ave. & Broadway Ave.
New to Aquatennial, Twin Cities Carifest has been the premier Caribbean Festival featuring Caribbean food, music, arts, crafts, and a traditional carnival parade with colorful costumes and dance for more than two decades. Held along the banks of the Mississippi River, you can see the Minneapolis Aquatennial Target Fireworks!

  AAO Ambassador Coronation
Saturday, July 27, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. | Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St.
Who will take home the tiara, and who will join her as Aquatennial Princesses? 49 young women from across Minnesota compete to be named the 2019 Queen of the Lakes. Join the excitement and support the Aquatennial Ambassador Organization. Tickets are $35 and will be available for purchase starting July 2.

  Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities
Saturday, July 27, 6:00 p.m. | West River Pkwy. near Portland Ave.
Come early to get your viewing spot for the Target Fireworks! The Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. and include a Kids Zone near the Stone Arch Bridge with a mini-waterslide, games, prizes and more; food trucks on West River Parkway between Gold Medal Park and Mill City Museum; live music and much more.

  FEATURED EVENT! Target Fireworks
Saturday, July 27, 10:00 p.m. | West River Pkwy. between Gold Medal Park and the 3rd Ave. bridge
The 2019 Minneapolis Aquatennial ends with a BOOM on Saturday night! Bring your picnic blanket and bug spray to see the Aquatennial’s Target Fireworks light up the Minneapolis night sky on Saturday night beginning at 10:00. One of the largest annual fireworks displays in the country, the sparkling 20-plus minute long show is choreographed to music by pyrotechnical wizards at Zambelli Fireworks and can be heard in simulcast on Go 96.3.

Get to the Target Fireworks for FREE by bus or light rail with a MetroTransit Free Ride Pass!

  1. Visit Aquatennial.com/Fireworks
  2. Print your Free Ride Pass (good on Saturday, July 27 from 4 p.m. – midnight)

ABOUT THE TARGET FIREWORKS
The Target Fireworks are a longstanding Aquatennial tradition. This is Target Corporation’s 14th year being part of the Aquatennial and sponsoring the closing night’s fireworks display. Choreographed by Zambelli Fireworks, this dazzling display uses more than 10,000 pounds of explosives, making it one of the five largest shows in the country.

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Participate

Volunteer with the Aquatennial

The Aquatennial wouldn’t be what it is without the hundreds of volunteers that generously donate their time through the Aquatennial Volunteer Program sponsored by U.S. Bank. This year, you can be part of all the fun! Aquatennial volunteers take part in events including the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, Target Fireworks and more.

This annual Aquatennial Volunteer Program sponsored by U.S. Bank offers a chance for individuals or corporate groups to have fun while giving back to the community during Minneapolis’ Official Civic Celebration. Perks include access to the premier viewing area at the Target Fireworks on Saturday, July 27, a t-shirt and more. The earlier you or your team sign up, the more volunteer times and locations you’ll have to choose from. For more information or to sign up, visit Aquatennial.com/Volunteer.

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Getting Here

NEW! 5K Route
The Life Time Torchlight 5K will begin at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, July 24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and continue down 2nd Ave., through downtown along West River Parkway, before ending at Boom Island.

NEW! Parade Route
The CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade will begin at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, July 24. The parade will run along 2nd Ave. from the Minneapolis Convention Center to 3rd Street South. 

Transit
Metro Transit services the area through Light Rail Transit (Green Line to and from St. Paul, Blue Line to and from MSP International Airport/Mall of America) as well as bus routes connecting across the metro area.

Parking
Surface and ramp parking locations are available throughout downtown.

Bike Sharing
Nice Ride bikes are located at convenient stations throughout the downtown area. Find one near you here: https://secure.niceridemn.org/map/

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Resources

Press Releases

High resolution images for media use. Click image to download.

2019 CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade Route


2019 Life Time Torchlight 5K Route

Life Time Torchlight 5K
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec, via Aquatennial

CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec Photography

      

Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show Team Waterskiing Performances
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec, via Aquatennial

  

Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec, via Aquatennial

    

AquaJam
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec, via Aquatennial

  

Target Fireworks
Photo Credit: Dusty Hoskovec, via Aquatennial

    

Aquatennial Logos and Graphics