From: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
To: Saturday, July 20, 2024
Aquatennial Minneapolis 2024
Aquatennial Minneapolis celebrates “The Best Days of Summer” and includes a torchlight parade, water ski shows, concerts and one of the top 5 fireworks displays in the United States.
- Visiting Minneapolis? Stay at Loews Minneapolis Hotel, close to the city’s gay bars and top destinations and rated “Excellent” by guests with spacious rooms and high-end amenities.
- Originating in 1940, the Minneapolis Aquatennial is an annual event which highlights the summer activities in and around the lakes and rivers of the City of Minneapolis.
- Traditionally held during the third full week of July.
- Over 70 different events included in the festival are free, including milk carton boat races, sand sculptures, beach volleyball, a tennis invitational, a triathlon, and both daytime and evening parades.
- The Aquatennial features three flagship events: the Beach Bash, the Torchlight Parade, and fireworks on the final night of the celebration.
- Saturday 19th July 2024 – The main fireworks display takes place on the Saturday night of Aquatennial Minneapolis at 10:00pm in West River Parkway.
- Come early to find a spot along the river—bring sunscreen for the afternoon and bug spray for the evening. It’s worth it to see a fantastic show!
- It’s a pyromusical, if you will. The fireworks, which typically last 20-25 minutes, are a spectacle on their own. But they’re intricately choreographed to music, each blast matching with a note or a beat within the song playing.
Best Place to View the Fireworks
- One of the best vantage points to take in the show is on the west side of the Mississippi River, along West River Parkway near Portland Avenue.
- Stay at the Hewing Hotel on Washington Avenue with superb views of the fireworks display from their rooftop pool.
- Wednesday July 17th 2024 – The torchlight parade takes place on the Wednesday night of the festival at 8.30-pm
- Thursday July 18th 2024 – The Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show at 7.00pm on the Thursday night at the Mississippi River, West River Road
Gay Parties during Aquatennial Minneapolis
- 19 Bar – the oldest gay bar in town hosts parties throughout the weekend of Aquatennial.
- Gay 90s – host some great drag parties and dining
- Saloon – open from early ’till late with dance parties and their amateur shower contests.
- Eagle Bolt Bar – a big welcome for leather lovers to celebrate over the weekend. End the party with Sunday Brunch!
Gay Districts in Minneapolis
- Loring Park: Loring Park, located near downtown Minneapolis, is a vibrant and inclusive gay neighborhood known for its picturesque park, LGBTQ+ events, and lively nightlife scene.
- Uptown: Uptown, a trendy area southwest of downtown Minneapolis, boasts a diverse LGBTQ+ community, with hip bars, eclectic shops, and an array of queer-friendly establishments.
- Whittier: Whittier, also known as “Eat Street,” embraces diversity and is home to a mix of LGBTQ+ residents, offering an array of international restaurants, artistic venues, and a welcoming atmosphere.
- Northeast Arts District: This burgeoning neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis has become an emerging LGBTQ+ hub, showcasing local art, craft breweries, and a growing number of queer-owned businesses. Check out the top apartments and condos in this district.
- Downtown East: Downtown East, located near the riverfront, is a trendy area with a diverse LGBTQ+ community, offering chic bars, theaters, and easy access to the city’s cultural attractions.
Where to Stay
- Aquatennial is the biggest festival in the city and dwarfs even the 4th of July celebrations. Plan early and book your hotel or apartment in advance.
Here are the Hotels we recommend that keep you close to all the action,
Recommended Hotels in Minneapolis By Booking
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We have chosen hotels in Minneapolis that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
The Chambers Hotel
5 Star, Luxury
The Chambers has had a front-row seat to the legendary Orpheum Theatre’s groundbreaking performances Our 60 art-infused guestrooms and suites have walk-in rain showers, deep soaking tubs and sweeping views of vibrant downtown. A show-stopping rooftop lounge and lush courtyard with a fire pit
4 Star – Great Amenities
Situated in the centre of downtown Minneapolis, within steps of Nicollet Mall and Target Center, this hotel offers elegant accommodations with free WiFi access and and chic on-site dining options. Each guestroom at the Minneapolis Loews Hotel is equipped with a wall mounted flat-screen TV and a fully stocked minibar
4 Star – Central Location
Connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center via a skyway, this city centre hotel offers easy access to top attractions and features comfortable accommodations, complete with many modern amenities. A 50-inch flat-screen cable TV and iPod docking station are provided in every spacious room
Hampton Inn & Suites
3 Star – Perfect Location
Every room at Hampton Inn and Suites – Minneapolis/Downtown provides a 42-inch flat-screen LCD HDTV with premium cable, a small refrigerator and coffee maker. A 24-hour fitness centre and 24-hour business centre are available on-site at Hampton Inn and Suites. Guests can grab a snack from the 24-hour snack shop.