All the Minnesota foodies and craft drinkers have a lot to celebrate this summer with many festivals coming back after postponing due to the pandemic. Here’s where to find the good stuff.
Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes
On July 13, humungous kettles full of beans, containing a “secret” recipe of beans, sugar, molasses and other ingredients, will be mixed and buried in Pequot Lakes in an annual ceremony — hence the “hole” in “bean hole.” After cooking underground overnight, the beans will be unearthed and served up at a community celebration July 14 — along with a craft fair and the crowning of Queen and King Bean.
Potato Days in Barnesville
French fries, lefse, pancakes, mashed — is there anything potatoes can’t do? Barnesville will be spending Aug. 27 and 28 celebrating this versatile vegetable. There will be contests, a variety of entertainment and sporting events — including potato peeling contests and potato sack racing.
Wild Rice Festival in Deer River
This festival, now in its 72nd year, is a celebration of one of Minnesota’s most precious natural foods. The three-day event starts July 9 and will include a powwow, live music, a “Wild Rice Run,” a flea market and lots of different foods to try.
Tater Daze in Brooklyn Park
You can never have too many potatoes, can you? Find another spud themed festival in Brooklyn Park Aug. 13-14. There will be lots of free entertainment, games, family friendly activities, food vendors and opportunities to learn about the city’s history.
Big Island Bar-B-Que Championship in Albert Lea
You might want to bring a Wet-Nap or 10 to this steak, chili and chicken wing competition, featuring chefs from around the Midwest. Watch the cookoffs unfold Aug. 20 at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds and grab some grub of your own. A lineup of entertainment is also promised, but specifics have not yet been announced.
Twin Cities Veg Fest
Looking for more plant-based options? Look no further than Twin Cities Veg Fest Harriet Island Park, St. Paul on Sept. 19. Vendor registration is open now so there isn’t an official line-up yet, but last year attracted over 100 exhibitors. Keep an eye on their website for details.
Watermelon Day Festival in Vining
Take a big bite out of this refreshing small town festival. In addition to games, art, local vendors and, of course, plenty of watermelon, you can also take part in Run for the Melon 10k — registration for both runners and exhibitors are open.
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
This berry special event is packed with lots of fun for the whole family; including live music, softball and pickleball tournaments and a community marketplace. It’s all happening July 14-18.
Roll out the food trucks
Another great thing about summer is it makes running after your favorite food truck so much easier. If you don’t have a favorite yet, find yours at one of these food truck-themed festivals:
Food Trucks and Trails in Moorhead July 24
Food Truck Festival in Chaska July 25
The Eagan Food Truck Festival Aug. 13
Fargo (N.D.) Food Truck Festival Aug. 13-15
Uptown Food Truck Festival in St. Paul (July 17) and Anoka (Aug. 21)
Grand Forks (N.D.) Food Truck Festival Aug. 27-29
Food Truck Festival in Virginia Sept. 18
Bring on the booze
Remember, all things in moderation, and don’t drink and drive.
Summer Beer Dabblers in St. Paul
Take yourself out to CHS Field Aug. 28 for the chance to sample hundreds of different beers from over 130 different breweries. The field will be opening several of the stadium’s food stands so you can also satisfy the ballpark food craving that’ll hit when you walk through the doors. Or, check out the slightly smaller Pride Beer Dabbler on July 16 at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Waconia Wine Festival
If beer isn’t your thing, head to Waconia July 24-25 for a tour of the three wineries that surround the town. In addition to unique blends you’ll find food and live music. Ticket purchases are required in advance.
All Pints North in Duluth
Rain or shine it’s drinking time at Bayfront Festival Park on July 31. This festival, put on by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, will have over 100 breweries participating. There will also be food and vendor booths though exact details are still pending. You’re encouraged to bring a folding chair or blanket so you can relax between tastings. You should also bring an empty container for water, there will be several stations to fill up — stay hydrated!
Bacon and Beer Classic in St. Paul
Talk about a power couple. This year the Classic is taking over Columbia Golf Course in Minneapolis, this event will feature over 40 different breweries around the region as well as several gourmet bacon dishes to chow down on. There will be fun and games as well as live music. Come thirsty and hungry on July 24.