Here in Minnesota, there’s something fun going on in every season. We don’t let the cold stop us, nor do we waste a single minute of good weather. That’s why we have so many fun festivals going on all over the state this year. From kite festivals to polar plunges each of these 12 weird and wacky festivals is chock-full of Minnesota flavor.
1. Fish House Parade
Every November, Atikin, Minnesota comes together to celebrate the coming winter season. A parade of creatively decorated fish houses makes its way through town, each more wacky than the next. Perhaps more than any other, this festival captures the true spirit of Minnesota. In 2018, it will take place on November 23.
2. Defeat of Jesse James Days
As the site of one of the most famous crimes to ever take place in Minnesota, the small town of Northfield is the place to be every September. The festival includes live reenactments, food, and much more.
3. International Eelpout Festival
The International Eelpout Festival is a small-town even that brings huge crowds to Walker, Minnesota each winter. It celebrates one of the ugliest fishes you will ever see, but the event is much more than fishing. There is food, live entertainment, and so much more. Join the festivities on February 23-26, 2018.
4. Grumpy Old Men Festival
Did you know the movie
Grumpy Old Men takes place in Wabasha, Minnesota? That's why every year, the town goes all out to celebrate its claim to fame. Many events take place during the Grumpy Old Men Festival, but perhaps the most well known is the Grumpy Plunge, in which dozens of brave souls plunge into the icy waters of the Mississippi River. If you'd like to take part in the festivities, head out to Wabasha on February 23-24, 2018.
5. Icebox Days
As the Icebox of the Nation, it only makes sense that International Falls would host a festival called Icebox Days. This annual event is a celebration of the winter in Minnesota's coldest town. Head on up to take part in the many fun events and games that are on offer during the event. From turkey bowling to skiing, Icebox Days is a wacky festival you don't want to miss. This year, it takes place on January 17-21.
6. Fisherman's Picnic
In Grand Marais, the Fisherman's Picnic (hosted by the Lions Club) is one of the most fun events in northern Minnesota. It's full of craft fairs, sales, fun games, and delicious food. If you want to experience small-town life in the far reaches of northern Minnesota, check it out on August 2-5, 2018.
7. Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival
Who says the winter isn't full of color? The Winter Kite Festival at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis is a rainbow of hues that will bring some brightness to a dreary winter day. Guests can bring their kites or just enjoy the elaborate and colorful ones brought by others. Regardless, it's sure to be one of the most unforgettable days of the season. The festival takes place on January 27, 2018.
8. Pie Day
As the Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota, the small town of Braham plays host to one of the tastiest events of the year. Pie Day is full of games, sales, and - of course - as much delicious pie as you can eat. It takes place in Braham every August.
Spass-Tagen, which translates to Fun Days, lives up to its name. This festival takes place every year in St. Bonifacius, where thousands gather to enjoy quirky events like dog racing. But that's not all you can do. Spass-Tagen is full of live music, food, and more. In 2018, the festival takes place on June 23.
10. Potato Days
Do you like potatoes? Then you'll definitely want to pay tribute to the humble spud at Barnesville, Minnesota's annual Potato Days celebration. In addition to potato-themed events like a french fry feed and a potato-peeling contest, many other games, foods, and activities are available for your enjoyment. If you want to visit a weird and wacky festival full of small-town flavor, visit Barnesville on August 24-25, 2018.
11. Sauerkraut Days
Even if you aren't a fan of sauerkraut, Henderson's Sauerkraut Days is still well worth visiting. Head on down the southern Minnesota town to eat, drink, and take in the small-town charm of this fun festival. There will be parades, games, live music, and more. Sauerkraut Days takes place on the last weekend in June each year.
12. Bean Hole Days
Here's another festival that celebrates a food that doesn't get much love. In Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, thousands gather for a bowl of beans and cabbage served from a huge cast iron pot. The event is completely free - and delicious. In addition to your meal, you can browse a craft fair, a food market, play games. This year, Bean Hole Days takes place in July. If you're in the area during that time, be sure to check out this weird and wacky festival.
Minnesota’s weird and wacky festivals are what makes our state so great. Have you been to any of them? Would you add any others to the list? Let us know in the comments below!