Tag Archives: Events

Five Traditional Summer Events in Minnesota That Are Too Fun to Miss

The Fourth of July has passed, the dog days of summer have arrived, and Minnesotans across the state are eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Great Minnesota Get-Together. But before you begin counting down the days until the end of August, make sure you enjoy all the other fun activities our state has to offer this month. With nice weather only sticking around for a couple more months, you have to savor every beautiful warm day while it’s here. What better way to celebrate the joys of summer than by checking out some of Minnesota’s longstanding traditions, beloved by local residents and visitors alike? Here are a few (among many) of our favorite upcoming happenings:

Photo Credit: "kids turtle race Nisswa Mn" by Ken Ratcliff © 2006 (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: “kids turtle race Nisswa Mn” by Ken Ratcliff © 2006 (CC BY 2.0)

1. Turtle Races (Longville, MN; June 8 – August 24)

Each Wednesday during this two-and-a-half month stretch, traffic on the streets of Longville slows to a snail’s pace – well, actually, a turtle’s pace. For fifty years, the now-iconic Turtle Races have yielded tons of fun for children and adults of all ages. The event is even drawing international fans now! Though not quite as lively as, say, the Running of the Bulls in Spain, we’d bet on these adorable racers any day. Prizes are even awarded to each heat’s “Slow Poke,” and we definitely can’t get mad at rooting for the underdog.

Photo Credit: "$200 worth of marbles" by cursed thing © 2007 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Photo Credit: “$200 worth of marbles” by cursed thing © 2007 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

2. Agate Days (Moose Lake, MN; July 16-17)

In case you’re not from Moose Lake and you’re wondering what exactly agate is, don’t worry; we had to look it up too. Agates are actually semi-precious stones typically found in igneous (volcanic) rocks, known for their fine grains and vibrant colors (those found along Lake Superior are designated as the official state gemstone). For 47 years, Moose Lake has dedicated a weekend to these pretty gems, and each year thousands of visitors descend upon the area hoping to claim an agate for themselves. If you happen to be feeling a bit competitive this weekend, then make sure to roll up your sleeves for the Clark-Olsen Agate Stampede and get ready for an epic game of finders keepers. If you don’t feel like getting dirty, no worries; there’s also a gem show, car show, pancake breakfast, and a steak fry to enjoy. Good food and the possibility of going home with your very own piece of history? Sounds like a win-win to us. The only downside to this event? You’ve only got two days to enjoy it!

3. Waterama (Glenwood, MN; July 26-31)

The largest community celebration of its kind in West Central Minnesota, Waterama is now in its 61st year. With events ranging from the Midwest’s only Lighted Pontoon Parade on Lake Minnewaska to a Cornhole Tournament to a Tractor Pull, Waterama couldn’t really get more “Minnesotan”…or more fun. The six days of festivities really do have something for everyone; we can totally understand why Waterama has been a favorite for more than six decades!

Photo Credit: "Blueberries!" by FromSandToGlass © 2013 (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: “Blueberries!” by FromSandToGlass © 2013 (CC BY 2.0)

4. Blueberry Festival (Lake George, MN; July 28-31)

If there’s one berry that screams summer in Minnesota, it would have to be the blueberry. Reminiscent of both the clear blue sky on a perfect summer evening as well as the pristine waters of one of the state’s many lakes, it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t enjoy the beautiful bursting berries. And with summer blueberries at their peak, there’s no mistaking these for strawberries that have turned blue from the cold. Lake Georgians have been paying homage to blueberries for many years with their annual four-day festival, which includes activities such as a blueberry pancake breakfast, a pie sale, a pig roast, and the Fireman’s Bean Feed (no word on whether the beans contain blueberries as well). Our mouths are seriously watering already.

Photo Credit: "Vintage cars" by Maciej Lewandowski © 2008 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit: “Vintage cars” by Maciej Lewandowski © 2008 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

5. Northern Minnesota Car Show & Swap Meet (Grand Rapids, MN; July 29-31)

Auto lovers, start your engines and hightail it up the road to Grand Rapids for the annual Car Show & Swap Meet. This year will mark the 45th show, which has now grown to be the largest event of its kind in Northern Minnesota. Check out vintage cruisers, hot rods, roadsters, muscle cars, and much more! Grab a bite to eat, listen to some live music, close your eyes, and picture yourself owning one of the many shiny cars on display. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming, okay?

What are some of your favorite summer traditions? Share in the comments!

Summer Solstice Celebrations Around the U.S.

It’s the day many of us have anxiously been awaiting since September of last year: the first day of summer 2016! Here in the Twin Cities, we can officially declare the new season has arrived at 5:34 PM CDT. Of course, the longest day of the year calls for some longstanding unique celebrations, many of which focus on local art and music, environmental awareness, and family festivities. Check out our list to see how people across the nation mark summer’s arrival.

Downtown Days & More (Anchorage, AK)

With over 22 hours of daylight on this special day, you know Alaska has to have plenty of fun planned. Activities include a parade, half marathon, concerts, sports – basically, anything you can think to do outside to soak in the sun is happening in Anchorage.

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Event (Santa Barbara, CA)

This solstice celebration represents the largest, three-day arts event in Santa Barbara County, and draws crowds of over 100,000 people annually. Each year, the festival has a different theme, and 2016 has been designated the year of “Legends.” We don’t think there’s a more unique way to ring in the new season!

Solstice in Times Square (New York City, NY)

Are you a burgeoning yogi? Make sure to join this Times Square event anytime between sunrise to sunset (in person or via webcast). And since today has been dubbed the International Day of Yoga by the UN General Assembly, expect to see many more public yoga gatherings throughout the country (like this one in Russellville, AR).

Night at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (Cambridge, MA)

Countdown the minutes to the beginning of summer, while taking in some entertainment and education! Children of all ages can enjoy a fun evening with circus performers, music, dance, food trucks, and hands-on activities, with free evening admission to several local museums. Is there a better way to welcome summer? We think not.

Fremont Solstice Music Festival (Seattle, WA)

If your idea of greeting the summer sun involves a bit more free-spirited fun, then this is the event for you. Featuring more than 25 entertainers, along with shopping, art, and food, this fest will definitely get your summer off on the right foot.

How do you plan to say hello to summer? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: “Santa Barbara 2007 Summer Solstice Parade” by William © 2007 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tips for Choosing the Right House Color

Choosing a new house color can be quite tricky. It takes some thinking and observation.  We’ve gathered some pointers that can hopefully help along the way to choosing the perfect color for your dream house.

1. Accentuate


Photo by: Andersen Windows / Flickr: Creative Commons


Photo by: Andersen Windows / Flickr: Creative Commons

That’s right. Accentuate architectural details like window trim in a contrasting color, which in return will add character and charm. It’s always a good idea to emphasize your entryway.

2. Trends

Unlike fashion or sporty car models, color houses seem to stay in style for years. For that reason, what you choose today most likely will still be trending the following day, or even year. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or other neighborhoods that have caught your eye and observe the colors other use. You might get new color ideas, and find they work perfect for your house.

3. Dark vs. Light

Photo by: John / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: John / Flickr: Creative Commons

Consider that darker lights in the lower portion of a house can suggest permanence and stability. Lighter colors make a house appear larger in size and more inviting. Know what you want your house to portray and go from there. It is after all, a reflection of you.

4. Don’t accentuate the wrong things

If you have air conditioning units or gutters, you might want to work them into the house. Don’t work around them, make them work for you. Don’t accentuate them in anyway, just the opposite , try to drive the eye to the better assets your house has. Again, emphasizing on the entryway is always a must.

5. Don’t ignore the neighbors.

Photo by: Daniel R. Blume / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: Daniel R. Blume / Flickr: Creative Commons

Be creative. If you’re one to always stand out, do so. However, when choosing a color don’t choose one that will clash with your neighbor’s. When you take a stroll around the neighborhood, look at the other colors the neighbors use and try to find that median, where you find a color you’ll be happy with, yet also mesh well with the neighborhood’s colors.

6. Don’t ignore the landscaping

Take into account everything that’s around your house. The color you choose might help bring out those beautiful flowers you work so hard to grow. Compare and contrast earth tones if you have a lot of greens growing around you.

7. Do not wing it

Photo by: Erik Söderström / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: Erik Söderström / Flickr: Creative Commons

This is something that not only you’ll have to live with everyday but, also other people. Plan it out at the best of your abilities, and don’t be scared to paint a small portion of the house with the colors you’re considering. At the end, you’ll be sure you got the right one.


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Photo by: Loren Kerns / Flickr: Creative Commons


Well dear readers, this is where we end our post. Do let us know if any of these tips helped you out at all. Feel free to comment below the steps you took before choosing your house color, and why you decided on that color? We’d love to know!


Find the original article here

Antiques, Junk and Gems and Oh My!

This weekend (September 25th-27th) marks Shakopee’s Canterbury Park 9th annual Junk Bonanza! Self-proclaimed as “the best junk round up in the nation,” this one of a kind flea market style experience attracts more than 1,000 people annually. Featuring hundreds of vendors selling vintage items, antiques, unique oddities and artisan-repurposed pieces, we dare you to walk away empty handed. Thirsty shoppers can even satiate their thirst with Canterbury Park’s famous Bloody Mary as they stroll around the grounds.

In addition to vendors, a variety of other activities will be taking place throughout the festival. Stop by and learn the latest in specialty finishes and other decorative paint techniques with a hands on session by Annie Sloan Unfolded. Or come listen to the appraiser Tim Luke from the TV show “Cash in the Attic” as he discusses the hottest flea market trends and the future of collectibles. Additionally, Friday or “Lucky Friday” will have hourly give aways throughout the day. Participants can register to win $25 gift certificates which can be spent at vendors there. Free money?! Yes please! Lastly, while these sessions are free space is limited. Be sure to pick up your ticket the day of the session.

Interested in Tickets? Visitors can opt to buy early bird tickets for entrance at 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 25th and get a two hour head start on the rest of the crowd plus free admission on Friday and Saturday. Likewise, you can always buy a day pass for $9 and get general admission for either Friday or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Finally, maybe the piles of junk will get your creative gears turning and will inspire your next DIY or upcycled home decor project. If you are looking for ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest board which is loaded with suggestions. On it we have tips, tricks, and step-by-step directions for making over and continuing the use of your old furniture and decor. In short, it is jammed pack with inspiration for your next creative venture and may help guide you on your shopping experience.

So whether you are searching for antiques, junk or gems you will be sure to find it all at Junk Bonanza. Because here, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. So let the bonanza begin!





125 Fun Things to Do in Minnesota this June

Festival, State Fair, Large Crowd

Festivals, concerts, and fairs – oh my! From ArtSoup to the Zumbrota Covered Bridge Music & Arts Festival, there’s an event for everyone happening this month. Offering tons of food, music, and good old-fashioned fun, here are some of June’s must-do events in Minnesota (and one in Wisconsin that’s definitely worth the trip).

The events are listed in chronological order. Click the links for more info.

5/30 – 6/7 Lake Fest Forest Lake
5/31 – 6/7 Hawley Rodeo Fest Hawley
5/31 – 6/7 I Love Burnsville Week Burnsville
6/1 Grand Old Day 2014 St. Paul
6/5 – 6/8 Tower Days Spring Lake Park
6/6 – 6/8 Bullhead Days Waterville
6/6 – 6/8 Cyrus Days Cyrus
6/6 Dairy Day Celebration Hutchinson
6/6 – 6/8 Edina Art Fair Edina
6/6 – 6/8 Father Hennepin Festival Champlin
6/6 – 6/7 Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Festival Nisswa
6/6 – 6/8 Pine Island Cheese Festival Pine Island
6/6 – 6/20 Spring Art Expo Cook
6/6 Twin Cities Electric Run St. Paul
6/7 – 6/8 Annual Fountain Trail Days Fountain
6/7 Art in the Hollow Swede Hollow Park, St. Paul
6/7 St. Paul Summer Beerfest St. Paul
6/7 Explore your Parks Day Lake Elmo
6/7 Frazee Crazy Daze Frazee
6/7 Greyfest 2014 Shoreview
6/7 – 6/8 June Bloom Wine Event Great River Road
6/7 OtterJam 2014 Ottertail
6/7 Rhubarb Festival Lanesboro
6/7 St. Anthony Park Arts Festival St. Paul
6/8 – 6/15 Buffalo Days Buffalo
6/8 Lyn Lake Street Festival Minneapolis
6/9 – 6/15 Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival Hutchinson
6/10 – 6/15 2014 Wizard of Oz Festival Grand Rapids
6/11 – 6/15 Albertville Friendly City Days Albertville
6/11 Friends of Ramsey Park Jamboree Redwood Falls
6/11 – 6/14 Kick’n Up Kountry Music Festival Karlstad
6/11 – 6/16 Steamboat Days Winona Winona
6/12 – 8/3 2014 Minnesota Biennial St. Paul
6/12 – 6/15 50th Annual Tater Daze Brooklyn Park
6/12 – 6/15 Barnum Spring Fever Days Barnum
6/12 – 6/15 Mapleton Town & Country Days Mapleton
6/12 – 6/15 Parktacular Celebration St. Louis Park
6/13 – 6/15 Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Crosby
6/13 – 6/18 Foley Fun Days Foley
6/13 – 6/15 Gammel Dag Fest Peterson
6/13 – 6/14 Interlaken Heritage Days Fairmont
6/13 – 6/14 Lake Crystal Duck Days Celebration Lake Crystal
6/13 – 6/15 Onamia Days Onamia
6/13 – 6/14 Fergus Falls Summer Fest Fergus Falls
6/13 – 6/14 Wannigan Days Taylor Falls
6/13 – 6/14 Winstock Festival Winsted
6/14 3rd Annual Northeast Ride Northeast Minneapolis
6/14 – 6/15 Art on the Lake Excelsior
6/14 Bigfork Wilderness Days Bigfork
6/14 Finnish-American Summer Festival Embarrass
6/14 Japanese Garden Festival Bloomington
6/14 Juneteenth Minneapolis
6/14 Midsommar Celebration Minneapolis
6/14 National Get Outdoors Day Multiple locations
6/14 Northern Spark Minneapolis
6/14 – 6/22 Perham Turtle Fest Perham
6/14 – 6/15 Solstice Outdoor Music Festival Mankato
6/14 – 6/15 Stone Arch Bridge Festival Minneapolis
6/14 Twin Cities World Refugee Day St. Paul
6/15 Chocolate, Shakespeare, & Champagne Winona
6/15 Falls Festival on Foot Little Falls
6/15 Lanesboro Art in the Park Lanesboro
6/17 – 6/21 Farmington Dew Days Farmington
6/17 Fourth Summer Food Fest Blaine
6/17 – 6/22 Willmar Fest Willmar
6/18 – 6/19 Faribault Heritage Celebration Faribault
6/18 – 6/22 Rockin’ Rogers Days Rogers
6/19 – 6/22 Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest Cottage Grove
6/19 – 6/22 Dan Patch Days Savage
6/19 – 6/22 Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Howard Lake
6/19 – 6/22 Hennepin County Fair Corcoran
6/19 – 6/21 June Jubilee Family Fun Day Wadena
6/19 – 7/4 Manitou Days White Bear Lake
6/19 – 6/22 Zumbrota Covered Bridge Music & Arts Festival Zumbrota
6/20 – 6/22 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration of Redwood Falls Redwood Falls
6/20 – 6/22 Prairie Fest Long Prairie
6/20 Redwood Falls Community Parade Redwood Falls
6/20 – 6/29 Rochesterfest Rochester
6/20 – 6/21 Roseau Scandinavian Festival Roseau
6/20 – 6/22 Sherburn Holiday Festival Sherburn
6/21 3rd Annual Summer Party in New Ulm New Ulm
6/21 50th & Bryant Street Fest Minneapolis
6/21 – 6/22 Afton Strawberry Fest Afton
6/21 Freedom Days of Becker Becker
6/21 – 6/22 GermanFest St. Paul
6/21 – 6/22 Rock the Garden Minneapolis
6/21 Solstice Music and Arts Fair Clearwater
6/21 Walk Around the World International Festival Rochester
6/23 – 6/28 Plein Air Art and Music Festival Red Wing
6/25 – 6/29 58th Annual Columbia Heights Jamboree Columbia Heights
6/25 – 6/28 Norman County Fair Ada
6/25 – 6/29 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
6/26 – 6/29 Cass County Fair Pine River
6/26 Walker Crazy Days Walker
6/26 – 6/29 Dawson Riverfest Dawson
6/26 – 6/28 Earle Brown Days Brooklyn Center
6/26 – 6/29 Fridley ’49er Days Festival Fridley
6/26 – 6/28 Jazz Festival St. Paul
6/26 – 6/29 Riverside Days Springfield
6/26 – 6/30 Rosefest Roseville
6/26 – 6/28 Watertower Festival Pipestone
6/27 – 6/29 Blaine Festival Blaine
6/27 – 6/29 Browerville Heritage Days Browerville
6/27 – 6/28 Ethnic Dance Theatre: 40th Anniversary Minneapolis
6/27 – 6/29 Kaposia Days St. Paul
6/27 – 6/29 Meadowfest 2014 Grand Meadow
6/27 – 6/28 Melrose Riverfest Melrose
6/27 – 6/28 Midwest Viking Festival and Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival Moorhead
6/27 – 6/29 Pine River Summerfest Pine River
6/27 – 6/29 Red Lake County Fair Oklee
6/27 Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games 5k Oak Park Heights
6/28 ArtSoup in Elk River Elk River
6/28 Burwell Art Fair Minnetonka
6/28 Burwell House Festival Minnetonka
6/28 – 6/29 Eagan Art Festival Eagan
6/28 – 7/4 Freedom Days in Apple Valley Apple Valley
6/28 – 6/30 Paul Bunyan Days Akeley
6/28 Pet-A-Palooza St. Paul
6/28 St. Boni Spass-Tagen Fun Days St. Bonifacius
6/28 – 6/29 Twin Cities Pride Festival Loring Park, Minneapolis
6/28 – 6/29 Wayzata Art Experience Wayzata
6/29 MN Food Truck Fair Uptown Minneapolis
6/29 Svenskarnas Dag Minnehaha Park
6/29 Vikingland Band Festival Alexandria
6/30 – 7/6 Military Family Week at the Minnesota Zoo Apple Valley



Earth Day Events Around the U.S.

In the spring of 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to push environmental protection to the forefront of the national agenda, and later that year the Environmental Protection Agency was born out of the same necessity.

Since then, Earth Day has become an international phenomenon, with communal efforts being made worldwide to ensure our planet’s longevity. In the United States alone, thousands of individuals, schools, corporations, and other organizations come up with projects and events to aid environmental efforts and help spread awareness. These happenings may include campus beautification projects, beach clean-ups, or charity events, just to name a few. Click the links below the image to learn more about a sampling of the many Earth Day celebrations around the country this year:Earth Day

If you don’t live near any of the locations listed above, be sure to check for similar events and projects in your neighborhood.

Even if you don’t have the chance to get involved in a project in your community, there are easy adjustments you can make right in your own home to help protect the environment. For example:

  • Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room.
  • Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best).
  • Compost food scraps, grass and other yard clippings, and dead plants.
  • Keep your yard healthy – dethatch, use mulch, etc.

For more earth-friendly ideas, visit the EPA Website.

Lastly, always keep in mind that just because we only celebrate Earth Day once a year, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything possible to protect our universal home (i.e., the planet) on a daily basis. As a real estate company, we know that most people are diligent when caring for their own homes, so wouldn’t it make sense to do the same for the one we all share?

Know of any fun Earth Day projects happening in your area? Do you have any environmentally friendly home maintenance or repair tips? Share them in our comments below!

Dubai’s Dazzling New Year’s Celebrations

For the full original post, go to: Dubai’s Dazzling New Year’s celebrations lead to soaring room rates for tourists.

Dubai's incredible fireworks display. Photo credit: "Dubai NYE 2014" © 2014 by Gabriela Purri R. Gomes (CC BY 2.0)

Dubai’s incredible fireworks display. Photo credit: “Dubai NYE 2014” © 2014 by Gabriela Purri R. Gomes (CC BY 2.0)

Everyone knows about the spectacular New Year’s celebration held annually in Times Square, with its world-famous Ball drop and celebrity performers. Perhaps less known stateside, but still quite an epic international tourist attraction, is the dazzling fireworks display in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Because of the sheer number of people who travel to the country just for the event, hotel rates skyrocket as high as the fireworks that are shot into the air. Read more here.

7 Ways to Ring in the New Year in Minneapolis

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching once again and everyone is busy making their plans on how they want to greet 2014.  We’ve compiled a list the best places to ring in the New Year in style, from the refined to the rocking. Click the headers for more info on each Minneapolis event.


Crystal Ball

International Market Square, Minneapolis

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this event has grown into one of the largest and longest running NYE events in the Midwest. This year’s lineup includes local headliner, Har Mar Superstar and tons of other performers and DJs. An added plus – a shuttle service running to and from downtown and uptown will help people avoid the nearly impossible task of getting a cab on NYE.


A Masked Affair

Muse Event Center, Minneapolis

Complimentary masks will be handed out to those without their own at this North Loop party. The Muse Event Center recently underwent a $4 million renovation and no expense will be spared in providing attendees with two rooms of music and world class aerialists.



Varsity Theater, Minneapolis

This Dinkytown venue is one of the best in the city and this NYE it’ll have people swaying to the American folk-rock of Los Angeles band, Dawes. Having grown wildly popular amongst listeners of The Current, this event is sure to be packed with fans and the fact that it’s also a NYE party is just icing on the cake.


Baby New Year’s Time Traveling Diaper Party #3

Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Minneapolis

And now for something completely different, an early-bird event for families who are looking to be home when the clock strikes midnight. Complete with a faux countdown, the show will feature comedians and is safe for all ages.


A Black & White Affair

Uptown Cafeteria, Minneapolis

Just a $5 cover gets you into this Uptown gathering. DJ Brian Poulson will provide the music and a black and white photo booth will be available to capture the memories. Contests, prizes and party favors are also promised.


Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Bash

The Tangiers, Minneapolis

Head into the New Year by traveling back in time at this roaring 1920s themed party. The swanky setting of The Tangiers restaurant will fittingly act as a speakeasy for the night to all of the flappers and bow-tied gents in attendance.


Now brush up on your “Auld Land Syne” lyrics and get ready to stay up way past your bedtime. Happy New Year!