The "best days of summer," aka The Minneapolis Aquatennial, is here! But of all the crazy fun events happening, the parade is our favorite.

Nine years ago a friend invited us to go to the parade so we went with two young kids and a 2-month old. It's been a tradition ever since. We are there every single year. Rain, sunshine, weather advisory heat. It doesn't matter because we are there.

The parade starts at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night [July 22] and runs about 2 hours. Yes, this means your kids will be outside on Hennepin Avenue after dark. After bedtime.

They'll get dirty and they'll be so tired they'll likely pass out in the car and the next morning you'll not only have to scrub them clean but clean out the contents of your car which will surely be full of stickers and candy and glow sticks and everything else that is handed out at the parade.


It is worth it. {And really nothing a good bath and a quick cleaning of the car can't handle!}

It is one of our favorite summer traditions and though yes it's a parade, what I enjoy about it is so much more than the parade.

It's the up-past-bedtime, ice cream treats and glowing, twinkling lights. It feels like something special and magical that breaks all the parenting rules and is so fun. Those are the memories I want my kids to remember amidst the long days, the battles, the times they think I am no fun at all. I want them to remember that when they were little, they stayed up way too late and stood watching marching bands and lighted floats pass by on Hennepin Avenue. I want them to remember that we let them choose whatever ice cream treat they wanted and that we let them eat it as it melted all over their little hands and that they were so deliriously tired by the end that they could barely walk to the car afterwards. That is why Wednesday night matters to me and why I'll keep my kids out til nearly midnight when all is said and done. 

The Minneapolis Aquantennial Torchlight Parade takes place Wednesday, July 22 at 8:30 p.m. on Hennepin Avenue from Dunwoody to 5th Street

Do you have plans to attend the Torchlight Parade Wednesday night?

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