Hang Out at These Summer Events in Saint Paul

Hang Out at These Summer Events in Saint Paul

Don’t just sit around this summer. Make it memorable with a stop at these festivals in Saint Paul.

If we aren’t at a brewery, in the lake or on a patio, we’re having a great time at one of these events.

Memorial Day Weekend

There's enough going on for this summer-starting holiday that we gave it its own blog. Click here for our recommendations on how to spend Memorial Day weekend in the Capital City. May 23-May 25.

Flint Hills Family Festival

World-class performances from around the world return to downtown Saint Paul for the Flint Hills Family Festival. In this popular event sponsored by the Ordway, 65,000 people of all ages come together to celebrate art from every corner of the globe. May 29-May 30.


Bring the family to Lake Phalen for the 21st annual WaterFest, a free event offering a variety of watersports including paddling, fishing, sailboating and more. The fun doesn't stop once you're back on land—the event also features arts and crafts, live animals, exhibits, music and food trucks. May 30.

Grand Old Day

Since 1973, Grand Old Day has acted as the official kick-off to summer in Saint Paul. The largest one-day festival in the upper Midwest brings food, entertainment and all sorts of fun to Grand Avenue. June 7.

Lowertown Sounds

Formerly known as Music in Mears, Lowertown Sounds brings outdoor live music from local acts to Lowertown's enchanting Mears Park every Thursday night. Thursday nights.

Deutsche Tage

Join the Germanic-American Institute on their beautiful Summit Avenue grounds for Deutsche Tage, which translates to German Days. The 60th annual celebration of German heritage and community will feature art, music and delicious food. June 13-14.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival spans across the city, but most of the action is in Lowertown and downtown. In this three-day musical extravaganza, national headliners and local legends will attract about 90,000 attendees. Headliners include José James, Nnenna Freelon, the Jams Carter Organ Trio, Grace Kelly and Aurora Nealand with Tom McDermott. June 25-27.

Back to the 50's Weekend

Step back in time at USA Today's #1 Best Car Show, hosted annually at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. With over 12,000 classic cars, live music and tons of vendors, this is a can't miss for car enthusiasts and just about anyone who enjoys an old-fashioned good time. June 19-21.

Hmong International Freedom Festival

Considered the Olympics of the Hmong American community, the Hmong International Freedom Festival will bring all sorts of sports, food and entertainment to Como Park for the 39th year. July 4-5.

Little Mekong Night Market

This three-block nighttime festival in Little Mekong celebrates Southeast Asian culture through food, dance, lights and more. Dates TBD.

Dragon Festival

Best known for its boat races on Lake Phalen, the Dragon Festival showcases performance art and traditional dances from across Asian cultures. Each country in Southeast Asia will have its own dances and music to share at the Phalen Golf Course. Canceled for 2020, will be back summer 2021.

Rondo Days

The development of I-94 destructed most of the Rondo neighborhood, but the spirit of the community lives on during Rondo Days. Parades, vendors, live music, entertainment and the Frank Adams 5K will all contribute to commemorating the memory of this predominantly African-American neighborhood in the festival's 37th year. Dates TBD.

Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest

Held in Mears Park, the Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest is the largest free blues festival in the Twin Cities. The two-day event features both regional and national acts. July 17-18.

Movie Night at the Ballpark

Catch A League of Their Own under the lights of CHS Field at AARP Minnesota's fifth annual Movie Night at the Ballpark. Set up a blanket in the outfield or grab a seat in the stands for this memorable family-friendly (and totally free!) experience. Date TBD.

Little Africa Fest

Little Africa Fest is raising the fun bar in 2020 with two days of free art, music, food and dance along Hamline Park, Snelling and LaFond. The 8th annual family-friendly event put on by the African Economic Development Solutions of Minnesota will be the largest celebration yet. Aug. 1-2. 

Irish Fair

Watch out, Harriet Island. The nation’s largest Irish Fair happens in Saint Paul, and step dance, traditional group dance, Gaelic sports, Celtic marketplace, cultural displays, native Irish dog shows and traditional tea rooms are a small sampling of what you’ll find. August 7-9.


Celebrate the rich heritage, traditions, diversity and culture of India at IndiaFest, an annual event held at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds featuring fantastic food, cricket, a bazaar, live performances and more. August 15.

Summer Beer Dabbler

Though a St. Paul Saints game is one of the best reasons to go to CHS Field, the Summer Beer Dabbler isn't bad either. More than 100 breweries will sample over 300 beers on the diamond in the event's 10th year. Jam to live music and stay to watch the fireworks while you’re sprawled out on the turf. We mentioned over 100 breweries, right? August 15.

Como Zoo’s Japanese Obon Festival

The event is reflective of the Obon holiday, a way in which the Japanese honor the dead, and the Japanese Obon Festival at Como Zoo immerses festival-goers in traditional culture through taiko drumming groups, shakuhachis (bamboo flutes), martial arts, Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), origami demonstrations and more. Take the most stunning photo of the summer at dusk when the lanterns are lit and released in the Japanese Garden and Frog Pond. August 16.

Minnesota State Fair

Of course, you need to make it to the Great Minnesota Get-Together at the end of the summer. For 12 days, eat cheese curds, enjoy live music, ride through the sky and watch people be people at the Minnesota State Fair. It’s been voted one the top of the 10 best fairs in the country, and Princess Kay of the Milky Way is waiting for her selfie with you. August 27-Labor Day, Sept 7.

It’d be silly if you didn’t check out at least one of these events. Let us know when you’re around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL

Upcoming Events

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Resources