30 Things to Do this Summer
Festivals and events you don't want to miss!
Photo Credit: Flint Hills Family Festival
Can't-Miss Summer Events in Saint Paul
Looking for things to do this summer? Here are 30 festivals in Saint Paul to make it a summer you won't forget!
We love to celebrate in Saint Paul, so most weekends throughout the summer you'll find us gathering at festivals in neighborhoods throughout the city. From the arts to craft beers, jazz and blues to classic cars, the many cultures of the city to our beloved state fair, these festivals are the perfect experiences to immerse yourself in entertainment, food, and fun - and many of them are free to attend!
St. Anthony Park Arts Festival | June 3
Make a trip to the St. Anthony Park Library for this outdoor celebration of fine arts and community. The festival features over 70 juried artists, delicious food, live music, used book sale, garden club plant sale, art activities for children, and activities for all.
Art in the Hollow | June 3
Proclaimed “the best hidden art festival in the Twin Cities”, this is one you’re going to want to find! Swede Hollow Park will be filled with local art. You can park your car at Saint Paul Brewing (one of the coolest patios around) and make your way to the park for art, nature, food history and community.
Northern Spark | A Night with the River | June 10
Gather with friends and strangers for Northern Spark's final program. Wander through installations by artists Bayou Bay and Studio Strange. Linger at the Northern Spark Memory Station and contribute your remembrances from long nights of art in the city from 9pm-1am at Upper Landing Park.
WAKPA Public Art Triennial | June 24-September 16
The inaugural Wakpa Triennial Art Festival in the Twin Cities will feature newly commissioned artworks by more than 30 Minnesota artists, coupled with public programs and tours featuring additional artists, writers, performers, and cultural commentators.
Chroma Zone Mural & Arts Festival | September 14-16
The Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival returns this fall with new murals and 3 days of programs and events on September 14, 15 & 16.
Minnesota Songkran Festival | May 27-28
Experience the excitement of Thai New Year firsthand with the sights, smells, and sounds of Thailand and Southeast Asia at the Minnesota Songkran Festival. In addition to authentic street food, souvenir vendors, traditional arts and crafts and entertainment, don't miss the infamous papaya eating contest.
Deutsche Tage | June 10-11
Join the Germanic-American Institute on their beautiful Summit Avenue grounds for Deutsche Tage (Deutsche Tage? Oh, German Days!). The annual celebration of German heritage and community will feature art, music and delicious food.
Hmong International Freedom Festival | July 1-2
Considered the Olympics of the Hmong American community, the Hmong International Freedom Festival returns with all sorts of sports, food and entertainment to Como Park.
Little Africa Fest | August 6
Little Africa Fest is a day of free art, music, food and dance along Hamline Park, Snelling and LaFond. The annual family-friendly event put on by the African Economic Development Solutions of Minnesota will include an African fashion show, entertainment and more.
Irish Fair of Minnesota | August 11-13
Join in the fun at this annual 3-day celebration of all things Irish on Harriet Island! Bigger and better than ever, the event features a fantastic line-up of international, national and local music, dance, storytelling, sports, children's activities, cultural exhibits, marketplace activities and more. Tickets
Japanese Obon Festival | August 20
Bonsai, martial arts, singing, dancing, drumming, delicious food and other aspects of Japanese culture, will be featured at this family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, Held on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park, don’t miss capturing the most stunning photo of the summer at dusk when the lanterns are lit and released in the Japanese Garden and Frog Pond.
Fiesta Latina | September 16
Gratis para toda la familia (free family fun!) at Fiesta Latina celebrating the richness of Minnesota Latinos through arts, health and wellness, fitness, food and entertainment.
Fun for the Whole Family
Flint Hills Family Festival | June 2-3
World-class performances from around the world return to downtown Saint Paul for the Flint Hills Family Festival’s 23rd year. This popular event sponsored by the Ordway will include low-cost indoor performances, face painting and balloon artists, food trucks and more.
WaterFest | June 3
Bring the family to Lake Phalen for 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, exhibits, performances and food trucks.
Train Days | June 3-4
All aboard to Union Depot for a weekend of train-inspired activities including tours of locomotives, model railroads, family activities, vendor marketplace and special events for all ages.
Grand Old Day | June 4
It's been 50 years since the first Grand Old Day, and 3 years since it was last held, so there's lots of excitement for the return of this event, long known as the largest one-day festival in the Midwest. Includes a fun run, parade, family area, art fair, car show, festival gardens and a plethora of food and drink, all along Grand Avenue.
STP Pride Festival | June 10
St. Paul Pride Festival is a LGBTQIA+ Pride event that inspires, educates, and celebrates our diverse community and world. Spend the day in Rice Park for vendors, food and drink and live entertainment.
Back to the 50's Weekend | June 23-25
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 lots of vendors, this is a can't-miss for car enthusiasts and just about anyone who enjoys an old-fashioned good time.
Twin Cities Pride Family Fun Day | June 18
The Twin Cities Pride Festival is one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation. Each year, it includes a Family Fun Day in Saint Paul’s Como Park with food, fun and games for kids.
West 7th SUMMERFEST | July 22-23
The second annual West 7th SUMMERFEST will take place on the grounds at Keg & Case Market. It's a summer gathering packed with great local music, fantastic artists and makers, delicious food, and fun for the whole family!
Cat Video Festival | August 3
Lovers of cat videos unite! The Cat Video Festival celebrates all things funny and feline and brings together cat lovers, cat-video lovers and those who just love laughing under the stars at CHS Field. Tickets
Minnesota State Fair | August 24-Labor Day, September 3
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 of the 10 best fairs in the country, and Princess Kay of the Milky Way is waiting for her selfie with you.
Food & Drink Events
GrillFest | June 3-4
Burgers, beer, barbecue and bloody marys at the baseball field. Taste your way through your favorite grilled foods and sample refreshing drinks at CHS Field for the 11th annual GrillFest.
Rosé Fest | June 10
This celebration of everyone's favorite summer sippers returns to Kellogg Park in sunny downtown Saint Paul. Now in its second decade as an annual rite for the city’s wine drinkers, Rosé Fest is back and bigger than ever before. Tickets include 10 wine samples, a light bite catered by Revival and access to live entertainment and other activities.
St. Paul Summer Beer Fest | June 10
Held at the MN State Fairgrounds, the Summer Beer Fest is an outdoor event dedicated to craft beers. Be ready for samples from over 50 breweries, live music, food and a fun atmosphere.
St. Paul Food Truck Festival | July 22
Head to Union Depot for the 6th annual St. Paul Food Truck Festival. Over 40 food trucks - plus craft beers, live music, and games and giveaways adds up to a whole lot of truckin’ fun.
Lowertown Sounds | Thursday nights, June-August
Formerly known as Music in Mears, Lowertown Sounds brings outdoor live music from local acts to Lowertown's enchanting Mears Park every Thursday night.
Twin Cities Jazz Festival | June 23-24
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival spans across the city, but most of the action is in Lowertown. In this two-day musical extravaganza, national headliners and local legends will attract music lovers to hear from headliners Paquito D’Rivera and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience, Christian McBride, Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Quartet, Davina & the Vagabonds, Lucia Sarmiento and Nabate Isles.
Midtown Blues & Funk Fest | July 22
Blues & funk festival featuring live music from national and local artists including Walter Trout, Corey Stevens, Mick Sterling, The Jellybean Johnson Experience and TC Women of the Blues.. Still all-ages and still free, the shows will take place outdoors in front of Dual Citizen Brewery.
Don't let summer pass by without checking out at least one of these events. Let us know when you’re around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL.
More to Explore
Minnesota State Fair
1265 Snelling Ave N Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 (651) 288-4400 Como Park Website >
301 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 222-7027 Cathedral Hill Website >
109 4th St. W. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 632-5111 Downtown Website >
Irish Fair of Minnesota
Harriet Island Regional Park 200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd Saint Paul, Minnesota 55107 Downtown Website >
Irish Fair of MinnesotaHarriet Island Regional Park
200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55107
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 224-4222 Downtown Website >
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
Twin Cities Jazz Festival
236 East 6th Street Sant Paul, Minnesota 55101 Lowertown Website >
State Capitol Historic Site
75 Rev Dr MLK Jr Blvd Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155 651-296-2881 (tours) North End/State Capitol Website >
State Capitol Historic Site75 Rev Dr MLK Jr Blvd
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155