The summer is a great time to come up north to the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. There is so much to do and see! You will not want to miss our unique annual premiere events this July. All of these events are family friendly and one of a kind. You will find open air markets that showcase up north goods from the woods; Minnesota delicacies like: lefse, cream puffs, hot dish on a stick and fry bread; and live open air entertainment.
This unique up north annual festival has been going on since 1948. This year the Deer River Lions Club will celebrate their 67th year. This family friendly event is held in downtown Deer River, Minnesota. At this three day event you will find a country carnival with rides, games and prizes. The nightly open air entertainment will include a Pow Wow by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, live music by The Dweebs and Contention MN, and the Grits and Glamour tour by Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan. There are many FREE activities like Sawdust Scramble, Meet Curious George, Lions Medallion Hunt, Kiddy Tractor Pull, Family Movie Night, an Old Fashion Street Parade and Fireworks. The small town of under 1,000 swells to near 10,000 for this annual festival.
This annual event happens each year at the Forest History Center second weekend in July. The Forest History Center is located just 5 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. This 300+acres site is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society. The Forest History Center offers a look into the past with a recreated 1900 logging camp, environmental programs, walking trails and and interpretive visitor center. Sample historic logging camp pies along with modern favorites. Take part in messy pie eating contests. Crank the ice cream maker to enjoy “pie a la mode.” Learn to make pie crusts. Listen to the stories and folk music of Casey Aro.
The Showboat Landing is an outdoor open air 100+ seating stage theatre that is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is one of the last remaining Mississippi River stages remaining of its kind. The Mississippi Melodie Showboat will perform a 60th anniversary show second weekend in July. This Showboat variety show will include colorful performances featuring song, dance and skits, feat. local and guest artists and performers. The Reif Center will hosts their FREE Independant Film Series Tuesdays through July 14th at the Showboat Landing. Showboat Landing has partnered with Uncommon Loons, Grand Rapids Arts and Grand Rapids Players to present Ziibi a visual and musical narrative of song, dance, and large puppetry. A collaboration has been made with local members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to create a culturally collaborative piece of performance art. Ziibi will be performed at the Showboat Landing end of July and first two weekends in August. Two other events that will be taking place monthly at the landing will be Wine on the Mississippi on the last Wednesday of each month and Starry Nights fourth Thursday of each month through the summer. Both of these events will be held open air with wonderful food, beverages and entertainment. Experience open air entertainment right on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The Timberman Triathlon was started in 1985 as part of the Tall Timber Days event in Grand Rapids. This year they celebrate its 30th anniversary! The Sugar Lake Lodge complex located 12 miles southwest of Grand Rapids on Siseebakwet Lake provides athletes with the opportunity to bike and run on a scenic race course over rolling hills and swim in a quiet bay. Siseebakwet comes from the Ojibway word “Ziinzibaakwad”, which means, “sugar”. Siseebakwet is a deep lake noted for its color, clarity, sugar sand beaches, and an abundance of forests and wildlife that surround it. The Timberman is part of the Midwest Multi-Sport Series, which allows athletes to compete for Grand Prix points and awards. The last few years the race has filled to the 400-limit capacity and fills within the first several weeks. Sugar Lake Lodge is a wonderful place to watch the race as a spectator.
The Grand Rapids Arts hosts this annual event that takes place on the Old Central School Park located in downtown Grand Rapids on the second Saturday in July each year. This open air market displays beautiful artwork, clothing, jewelry, furniture and much, much more. Made by Minnesota artisans. A lot of the materials that the artisans use are found in Minnesota’s nature. Come experience live entertainment, art vendors, delish wood fired pizza in the middle of town. Parking is convenient and close. Walk amongst the downtown businesses and taste some Minnesota flavor at a variety of food trucks. This is a family friendly event where children can take part in make and take art.
Bar-B-Que and Brew Fest
The Deer River Chamber of Commerce hosts this annual festival that combines the love of homemade beer and barbecued meat in an open air setting. The Bar-b-que & Brew Fest is held at the White Oak Learning Center just 10 miles north of Deer River. Deer River is approx. 25 minutes west of Grand Rapids on Hwy 2. At this event you will experience live music starting at 4pm. Local brewers will be chilling down their favorite recipes in up to four styles – IPA (India Pale Ale), Stout/Porter, Lager and Brewer’s Choice for sample. $10 per person is general admission. This event is intended for more adult audiences.
KAXE hosts its 11th Annual Mississippi River Music Festival that takes place outdoors along the Mississippi River. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and spread out across the lawn to listen to wonderful blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass music over this two day event. This year they are featuring: Smooth Hound Smith, and Tree Party on Friday and Lamont Cranston, Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, poetry by Danny Klecko. This is a family friendly event so bring the entire family.
The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Northern Cruisers Car Club host the weekend of wheels that takes place the last weekend in July every year. This event brings 40,000+ to Grand Rapids. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Chamber hosts a swap meet that fills every square inch of the Itasca Fairgrounds. On Saturday the Northern Cruisers Car Club hosts a muscle car show at the IRA Civic Center. A shuttle is available that transports people back and forth to the two venue locations on Saturday. Whether you are into muscle and vintage cars or you are into junk and antiques this is the place for you! Minnesota food trucks will be on location for you to sample some local favorite delicacies.
Find more information about these July Grand Rapids Area Premiere Annual Events. Check out Visit Grand Rapids for more information. Download or request a Grand Rapids Visitor Guide today. If you prefer you can talk to a travel specialist at 1-800-335-9740.