This is the Explore Minnesota events report from the Minnesota Office of Tourism.
Downtown BARNESVILLE will be the site of a Potato Days Festival on Friday and Saturday. Highlights of this unique family festival include mashed potato wrestling, the national lefse cook-off, potato picking and peeling contests, sowing and stacking contest, a strongman contest, Miss Tater Tot, a potato scramble for the kids, historic wagon tours, arts and crafts, a flea market, large parade, regional potato food specialties and more. For further information, dial 1-800-525-4901.
The annual Embarrass Region Fair, a family event since 1935, will be held at Timber Hall Grounds in EMBARRASS Friday-Sunday. Festivities will include a craft show, a flea market, a tri-state mud run, antique car show, horse show, a parade and traditional fair exhibits. To lean more, dial 218/984-2155.
Hokah Fun Daze will be held in HOKAH Friday-Sunday with music and refreshments, a rendezvous, tractor pulls, fireworks, a volleyball tournament and more. For further information, dial 507/894-4990.
The Fisherman's Point Campground in HOYT LAKES will present the Hoyt Lakes Bluegrass Festival on Saturday and Sunday with two full days of bluegrass entertainment, including a Sunday gospel show. To find out more about tickets and times, dial 218/225-2344.
An Ideal Township Centennial Celebration will take place Friday and Saturday in IDEAL TOWNSHIP with games, exhibits, a lumberjack show, fireworks and street dance. Ideal Township is two miles north of Pequot Lakes on Highway 371, and then 10 miles east on County Road 16. To find out more, dial 218/543-4714.
The Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Association Showgrounds in LE SUEUR will be the site of the 29th annual Pioneer Power Show on Friday-Sunday. Highlights during this agricultural heritage show will be displays and working exhibits, antique tractors, farm machinery, steam engines, 25 buildings, an Ag Expo museum, stage entertainment, a children's barnyard and playground, and a parade of equipment. John Deere equipment will be this year's feature. For tickets and times, dial 507/357-6263.
The Lower Sioux Agency in MORTON will present Minnesota's Civil War: Visiting The Sites Of The U.S./Dakota War each Saturday through Aug. 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. A series of driving tours, led by Minnesota Historical Society staff, will focus on the places and events of the war. To learn more, dial 507/697-6321.
Moore Park in PIPESTONE will be the site of a Keepers' Pow Wow from Friday-Sunday. This event celebrates Native American arts, culture and history, with a pow wow, a feast, school reunion and the annual blessing of the quarries. To find out more, dial 507/825-3734.
The State Fairgrounds in ST. PAUL will be the site of the 139th annual Minnesota State Fair today through Labor Day, Sept. 2, with national acts at the grandstand, an amateur talent contest, a giant midway, fireworks each evening, the Miller Lite 300 stock car race, a high dive show, a Teen Fair, Robot Combat, a skate park, the Miracle of Birth Center, the Budweiser Clydesdales, mall parades, horse shows, livestock displays, farm products, creative and fine arts, more than 1,200 vendors, more than 500 types of foods and much more. For further information, dial 651/642-2200.
The 32nd annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival, held just south of SHAKOPEE on Highway 169, will take place each Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 29, including Labor Day and Friday, Sept. 27. This 16th century fair includes musicians, jugglers, mimes and entertainment on 11 stages throughout the village grounds. In addition, there will be hundreds of unique artisans, demonstrations and a wide array of food and drink. For further information, dial 952/445-7361 or 1-800-966-8215.
STAPLES will present Railroad Days on Friday evening and all day Saturday. Featured will be a chili cook-off, a classic car show, parade, street dance, fireworks and more. For further information, dial 218/894-3974.
Kernel Days will take place in WELLS from Friday-Sunday. Festivities will include a carnival, a variety of vendors, live entertainment, a kids' pedal pull, a car show, tournaments, a street dance, a large parade and free sweet corn. For more information, call toll-free at 1-866-553-6450.
And, just some of the upcoming concerts and performances in the TWIN CITIES vicinity will include: Alicia Keys at the State Fair Grandstand in St. Paul, Friday; Boz Scaggs at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Saturday; Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood at the State Fair Grandstand, Saturday; Santana at the Xcel Energy Center at RiverCentre in St. Paul, Sunday; Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett at the State Fair Grandstand, Tuesday; Billy Ray Cyrus at the State Fair Grandstand, Wednesday; REO Speedwagon and Styx at the State Fair Grandstand, Aug. 30; Cake at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, Aug. 31; Poison at the State Fair Grandstand, Aug. 31; Tool at the Xcel Energy Center at RiverCentre in St. Paul, Sept. 4; Michael Bolton at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Sept. 5; The Last Chance Summer Dance at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Sept. 7; Powerman 5000 at the Xcel Energy Center at RiverCentre, Sept. 8; Cher at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Sept. 15; the 22nd annual Minnesota Music Awards at the Touchstone Energy Place in St. Paul, Sept. 18; Boyz II Men at the Qwest Club in Minneapolis, Sept. 24; Graham Nash at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Sept. 24; Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at the Xcel Center in St. Paul, Sept. 30; The Who at the Excel Energy Center at RiverCentre in St. Paul, Sept. 24.
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