Minneapolis Aquatennial organizers are refreshing the event’s image with new logos after trimming days and cutting activities from the festival’s lineup.
The new logos designed by local branding company Zeus Jones feature iconic Minneapolis landmarks including the Stone Arch Bridge and the Mississippi River.
Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said at a news conference that the refreshed look is part of a larger commitment to activate and re-energize the downtown area.
Since 1940, locals have celebrated the festival honoring the city’s lakes and the Mississippi River.
Organizers looked to downsize the Aquatennial event this year, said Aquatennial festival director Leah Wong.
“I think as we look to the future for Aquatennial, we are really excited about layering in some new events that would be a little bit more relevant in today’s landscape and showcase the changing landscape of Minneapolis,” said Wong, who is also the vice president of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
The Downtown Council saved the Aquatennial from slipping into bankruptcy in 2002.
Aquatennial organizers have cut events like the Lake Calhoun milk carton boat race and sand castle competition in an effort to draw attendance to the downtown riverfront as part of the council’s 2025 plan, which aims to build assets downtown.
Festivity dates were also trimmed down from two weeks to four days. The event is scheduled to take place from July 22 to 25, and all activities will be held downtown.
Organizers have added new events to the Aquatennial. Attendees can partake in the Twin Cities Carifest, which will celebrate Caribbean culture, Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur canoe rides at Loring Park and a “Rockin’ The Waves” aquatic dance party.
Long-standing traditions including the Twin Cities River Rats water ski shows and the Target fireworks will remain a part of the event.
Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey, who represents a large share of downtown, said the rebranding of the Aquatennial signifies the rejuvenation of the event and the downtown riverfront.
“This refresh of the logo, and the Aquatennial in general, coincides with a refresh of our entire central riverfront,” he said.
“We are seeing redevelopment, revitalization and repurposing of previously vacant and underutilized land.”