Last year's bummer of a summer led to cancellation of a Minnesota favorite: the festival.

Gone were the Pronto Pups, the whirl of carnival rides, crowds swaying to tunes at outdoor concerts and the nightcap of fireworks displays.

This year, with the pandemic waning, we're getting festive once again. With some caveats.

It's game on for many mainstays, including the State Fair, the Aquatennial, the Renaissance Festival, Anoka Riverfest, Columbia Heights Jamboree and most county fairs.

More than a dozen festivals are taking the year off, including Rock the Garden, Discover Aviation Days, Fridley 49er Days and St. Anthony Park Arts Fest.

Other festivals are taking place, but with restrictions. Those attending the St. Paul Summer Beer Festival must be vaccinated and have a vaccination card to prove it. The Minnesota Food Truck Association has trimmed its event to two locations, St. Paul and Anoka.

Some fests are going all virtual (Art in the Hollow and the Scottish Fair and Highland Games), while others (the Twin Cities Jazz Festand the Eagan Art Festival) will offer live events as well as virtual ones.

Here is a sampling of some favorite festivals that will take place this summer.


The popular Father's Day arts and music festival moves to the west side of the Mississippi River. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 19; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 20. West River Pkwy., Mpls.


Gleaming hot rods and vintage autos will once again take center stage with car shows, music and family activities. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. June 18-19; 6 a.m.-3 p.m. June 20. State Fairgrounds, Falcon Heights.


The ode to summer fruit continues with the hunt for the golden raspberry, sports tournaments, street dance, parade and fireworks. July 14-18.


The concert and fireworks are canceled this year, but the festival will continue with vendors, food courts and music stages. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 17-18. Loring Park, Mpls.


Main attractions — the Torchlight Parade (July 21) and fireworks (July 24) — are scheduled to take place. Other activities include water ski shows, piano performances at Peavey Plaza and workout sessions at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. July 21-24.


A celebration of Eastern European cultures with traditional food, polka bands, crafting demonstrations and dance performances. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 7-8. Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, Mpls.


The website declares "Let the shenanigans resume" with music by Gaelic Storm, Young Dubliners and Belfast Cowboys. There also will be vendors, Celtic dancing and demonstrations. 3-11 p.m. Aug. 13; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 14; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 15. $15-$20. Harriet Island, St. Paul.


The magical realm celebrates its 50th season with themed weekends and merriment. Weekends Aug. 21-Oct. 3 and Labor Day. $16.95-$25.95.

Melissa Walker