Aquatennial, Twins game converge Wednesday to clog downtown Mpls.

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 17, 2012 - 11:46 PM

The hot temperature was extra painful for the Aqua Jesters clown group as they waited for the 2011 Torchlight Parade to begin in Minneapolis. Linda Potter "Birdie" squirted a fellow clown with water to keep cool.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

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Summertime doings Wednesday night in downtown Minneapolis are sure to complicate getting around for people on foot and in vehicles.

Two major Aquatennial events -- a 5-kilometer foot race and the Torchlight Parade -- are being staged while the Minnesota Twins are hosting the Baltimore Orioles at nearby Target Field.

The convergence of these activities is prompting city officials to encourage those heading downtown to consider travel options other than the automobile, namely public transit and bicycles. If driving, city officials say coming well before your event and staying a bit late will make getting in and out of downtown less of a hassle.

To accommodate the Aquatennial race and the parade that follows, Hennepin Avenue will close from Dunwoody Boulevard and Lyndale Avenue to Washington Avenue beginning at 7 p.m. That's moments before the first pitch at Target Field, just a couple of blocks from Hennepin.

During this time, numerous cross streets will be closed, although traffic will be able to cross Hennepin at 4th, 5th, 10th and 11th Streets, as well as Maple/16th St. Once the streets are cleaned, they should be reopened by midnight.

As for the parade itself, it will include marching bands, the Twin Cities Unicycle Club and Minneapolis Aqua Jesters. There also will be more than 20 horses and Mexican cowboys representing Cuernavaca, Mexico, and a team of dragon dancers from Harbin, China. Those two communities are sister cities to Minneapolis.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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