Major Events in Minnesota

Major Events in Minnesota
Visitors who want to attend one of Minnesota's major events will find a variety of festivals and fairs throughout the calendar year. Many of these events provide visitors with the opportunity to observe, or even participate in, outdoor sporting events and recreational activities such as ice fishing, horsemanship competitions and hockey.

Grumpy Old Men Festival

Every February, Wabasha, Minnesota holds a festival to celebrate its role in inspiring the movie, "Grumpy Old Men." The festival features outdoor recreation both for seniors and young people. Festival attendees can participate in the ice fishing contest, show off their snow-sculpting skills, and join the Grumpy Plunge with a dive into the Mississippi River's icy-cold waters. Other diversions include bingo, a cribbage tournament, youth and senior hockey games, as well as music provided by the local VFW. Home-cooked food at the Grumpy breakfast, the casserole luncheon and the spaghetti dinner warms up festival-goers in between outdoor activities.

St. Paul Winter Carnival

This festival, established in 1886 in an effort to prove that Saint Paul, Minnesota was not the Siberia that a New York Times reporter claimed it to be, is now the largest and oldest winter festival in the United States. The carnival, which takes place in mid-winter, celebrates Minnesota's winter season with appropriately icy activities and displays. The carnival abounds with ice-carving and snow-sculpting events, curling and ice hockey, parades and a variety of talks and demonstrations. Don't leave the carnival without visiting the Royal Courtyard, where ice sculptures carved during the first few days of the festival are placed on display and lit at night. The festival spans 10 days, with each day offering something new to enjoy.

Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair, an annual two-week event that takes place at the end of every summer in St. Paul, is a great place to learn about livestock, enjoy amusement park-style rides and view Minnesota handcrafts. The fair features many agriculturally oriented activities, including: the Moo, Baa and Oink booths, where kids can learn about sheep, cows and pigs; 4-H livestock shows; stock dog trials and equestrian competitions in the coliseum; and the agri-lympics, a multi-event competition that features milking, butter carving and farm animal calling contests. In addition to the agricultural activities, fair-goers can view a juried fine arts exhibition, as well as displays of baked goods and traditional crafts submitted by residents from across the state. The fair's food vendors serve carnival favorites like cotton candy and fried dough, plus a plethora of foods-on-a-stick.

Article Written By Heidi A. Reeves

Heidi Reeves writes in Alexandria, Va. She got her first writing and editing job in 2001, when she worked as editor-in-chief of her undergraduate newspaper. Since then, she's earned a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Alabama, where she wrote and designed artist's books. Reeves writes hobby, lifestyle and wedding planning articles for various online publications.

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