Fourth of July Activities in Minnesota | Fireworks, Grilling, and Lakes

Fourth of July is an exciting time in Minnesota – hitting the lake, having a cookout, and watching fireworks! Here is a list of a few fun Fourth of July activities to try out this year in Minnesota.

#1. Grilling, Flag Food, & Patriotic Drinks

Flag Cake Fourth of July

Fire up the grill and have yourself an old fashion barbeque! Throw some burgers on the grill or hotdogs, or if you’re going more vegetarian, try a grilled vegetable recipe. Here’s a recipe for portobello burgers or a top 10 list of amazing traditional burgers. And after all that, you’ll need something sweet to finish it all off, why not finish off with one of these American flag inspired desserts, like the flag cake pictured here.

I also found this delicious recipe to a red, white, and blue sparkling sangria that I highly recommend! In one large picture combined:

4th of July Sangria

  • Sliced Strawberries, blueberries and pineapple (cut into stars to make it more festive!)
  • Two bottle of white wine
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 berry flavored vodka (I used Raspberry Smirnoff)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup

#2. Fireworks

Minnesota fireworks mississippi river

Or how about watching some fireworks! A great spot is downtown St. Paul on Harriet Island. Fireworks start at 10pm and are an incredible inspiring sights as they boom and bang over the river. Going to be closer to Minneapolis? What a great light show at the Xcel Energy Water Power Park. This firework spectacle also takes full advantage of the Mississippi river. Find more information and great parking spots about both these Minnesota firework shows here!

#3. Minnesota Lakes

Minnesota definiely is not short on lakes to cruise around on! Try out Lake Minnetonka, a very popular lake. Located right outside Minneapolis, the large lake is a great spot to launch the boat or jet ski. Not to mention it is also a great lake to fish. But try to get out there as early as you can, because the lake will fill up, even though it spans over 14,000 acres.

Lake Vermilion Minnesota

Or if you’re headed to northern Minnesota around Duluth, you will really want to hit up Lake Vermilion. This lake is filled with countless bays and hundreds of miles of shoreline. The lake also houses several islands where you can dock the boat and take a little break. I love this lake! It seems to go on forever and always has new bays and inlets to discover.

And if you find yourself even farther north in Baudette, Minnesota, you must check out Lake of the Woods, which is one of the states more scenic lakes. For more infomation on both these lakes, visit CBS Local for all the details

Maybe you’re looking for a smaller lake to hangout at, if so consider Long Lake in New Brighton. The lake is still big enough for many boats and jet ski’s and also has a large sandy beach for the children. I visited this lake a lot as a kid and if you’re in the area, it really worth checking out. It’s located only about 10 minutes north of St. Paul. The DNR has more information about Long Lake on their website.

If you have any other favorite 4th of July activities in Minnesota, or any other state, please let me know I’d love to hear about them!

By Danielle Norgren

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Soundset 2013, a Cold Minnesota Success | Concert Review

Over 28,000 music lovers turned out to make the 6th annual Minnneapolis hip hop festival, Soundset, another raging success. Rhymesayers knows how to put on a show, that’s for sure!

Soundset 2013 Atmosphere

Although ticket prices went up this year, that didn’t deter many from attending Soundset. In fact, this was the biggest turn out in the 6 year history of the Minnesota hip hop music concert.  Most people don’t think of Minneapolis being a huge hip hop scene, but this proves the state has both a large following and no shortage of amazing talent. Even though the weather cold/windy/awful, Minnesotans still showed we can put on a hellofa hip hop concert!

The Ryhmesayers hosted event featured 40 artists, including big name Snoop Dogg (or Lion, I’m not sure), Tech N9ne, Mac Miller, Atmosphere, and more. Sway from MTV even helped out, announcing the next acts on the main stage. P.O.S even showed up and killed it, giving his first concert in 5 months since having major kidney problems. P.O.S always has an amazing stage presence, and this was no exception. The Doomtree artist played plenty of hits off his latest album We Don’t Even Live Here and the crowd knew basically all of them. One song, Get Down, got everyone especially amped up to dance!

Soundset P.O.S

Soundset 2013 Tech N9ne

Another highlight was Tech N9ne, white face paint and all. I’ve seen him in concert once before at the Myth, and he is one hell of a performer. His Soundset appearance brought a slightly different hip hop genre to the mix, which was cool. He got the crowd extra pumped up and excited with his booming lyrics (although at times a little creepy…) and mosh pit encouragement. Mac Miller was also a crowd favorite, busting out many of his popular hits.

Personally though, I didn’t prefer Snoop Dogg at all. The Cali-based artists is old and was boring on stage. His back-up dances were more of a show than he was. He hardly rapped most of his lyrics and played too many songs he was only featured on for one verse, including California girls. Sorry Snoop, this is a MINNESOTA concert filled with home state pride. Thanks for reminding up we’re not in sunny and 90-degree Cali at the moment. He needed to rap more of his old school classic music many people know him for. But, I’ve never been a huge Snoop fan, so his less than stellar appearance didn’t disappoint me too much.

Soundset 2013 Snoop Dogg

Social media also played a fun part in Soundset. There was a giant screen capturing tweets and Instagram pictures that included #soundset. It was cool seeing how much fun everyone was having, plus figuring out with artists have a bigger following. The concert also featured a break dancing tent with great DJs and talented dancers.

But with all the success of Soundset 2013, there are still minor fixes they can work on for next year. For one, the cell phone service was Terrible! I know, when you get 28,000+ cellphones into once area, you’re bound to have slower service, but I basically had ZERO service the entire concert. This made it impossible to find lost friends, and share my amazing tweets with the rest of Sounset. (*ahem, if you want to see those amazing tweets, follow me at @dani_norgren).

Soundset 2013 Minneapolis Minnesota

The main stage also had sound issues during, Aesop Rock, P.O.S., and Mac Miller. This is not acceptable!! The sound basically cut out so you couldn’t even hear the artist rapping. This was extremely frustrated, especially because I am a huge P.O.S fan. The issues eventually got resolved, but not after sound major crowd disappointment.

And the next item, please have better weather next year! Please…

But all in all, Soundset 2013 was a raging success! I already can’t wait for next year. Keep up the Minnesota hip hop (local artist) pride!

But what did you think of the concert? Favorite artist… something missing? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear!

By Danielle Norgren

Credits: Star Tribune | My own experience