With the last of winter’s icy blasts behind us, it’s time for some sun and fun and a little celebration. From demolition derbies to hot air balloon rides, Washington County plans to deliver, with a long list of community festivals that begin this week.

The festival season begins Friday with Forest Lake’s weeklong Lake Fest. Stillwater follows on Saturday by playing host to St. Croix Valley’s largest art fair, which features handcrafted pieces from more than 100 artists.

Here's a look at the county’s summer festivals, excluding July 4th:

AFTON

Strawberry Festival

Details: June 27-28, Town Square Park, S. St. Croix Trail and 34th Street

About: This free outdoor festival will feature a business expo as well as more than 80 artists selling handcrafted pieces, and vendors selling vintage goods. Food, live music and family activities also will be part of the festivities. Info www.aftonstrawberryfestival.com

Art in the Park

Details: Sept. 26-27, Town Square Park, S. St. Croix Trail and 34th Street

About: Fine arts and traditional craft fair includes more than 90 vendors showcasing fine arts, pottery, woodwork, jewelry, photography, sculpture, fiber and more. Plus food, a small-business fair, and live folk/jazz music both days. Info on both events: aftonartfair.com; 651-321-3535.

BAyport

Rockin’ Ribs on the River

Details: June 19-20, Lakeside Park, 101 Lake St. S.

About: Barbecue treats along the St. Croix River accompanied by live music from Paul Mayasich & RAMM, Crankshaft, Mike Sterling and Cate Fierro. Info: rockinribsontheriver.com; 651-439-4001.

Cottage Grove

Strawberry Fest

Details: June 18-21, Kingston Park, Indian Blvd. and 75th Street

About: Live music, hot-air balloon rides, petting farm, strawberry pie eating contest, kids tractor pull; Grand Day Parade 10:30 a.m. June 20; fireworks at 10:30 p.m. June 20. Info: cottagegrovestrawberryfest.com.

Forest Lake

Lake Fest

Details: May 29-June 5, Lakeside Park, 95 E. Broadway Av.

About: Arts in the Park, waterski show, movie in the park, mini powwow, talent show, running races; Rockin’ Hollywoods perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 29. For more information, go to: fl-lakefest.com.

Hugo

Good Neighbor Days

Details: June 4-7, Hugo Lions Park, 5524 Upper 146th St. N.

About: Petting zoo, carnival rides, pancake breakfast, parade at 11 a.m. June 6. Information at ci.hugo.mn.us.

Lake Elmo

Washington County Fair

Details: July 29-Aug. 2, Washington County Fairgrounds, N. 40th Street and Manning Avenue

About: Animal and craft exhibits, carnival, live music, demolition derby, pig races, magic shows. Admission is $4 to $7; children under 5 are admitted free of charge. Info: washingtoncountyfair.org.

Huff ‘n’ Puff Days

Details: Aug. 6-9, Lions Park, 3525 Laverne Av. N

About: A four-day sports tournament including softball, volleyball and other family events. Info: lakeelmojaycees.org.

Marine on St. Croix

Fireman’s Ball

Details: 5:30 p.m., June 20, downtown

About: Barbecue, street dance, children’s activities to aid the volunteer fire department. Info www.marine­onstcroix.org.

Newport

Pioneer Day

Details: Aug. 9, Pioneer Memorial Park, 2nd Avenue & 6th Street, 11 a.m.

About: Parade, live music, raffle, food, vendors, games, bingo, inflatables and a car show. Info, call 651-556-4601 or reisenbeisz@newportmn.com.

Oakdale

Summerfest

Details: June 25-27, Walton Park, 15th Street and Hadley Avenue.

About: Parade, BMX bike shows, medallion hunt, music, food and fireworks. Info: 651-730-2704 or ci.oakdale.mn.us.

Scandia

Midsommar Dag

Details: June 20, Gammelgården Museum, 20880 Olinda Trail.

About: “Immigrant inspired” children’s activities, raising of the Majstång, craft fair and smörgåsbord. Info: 651-433-5053 or gammelgardenmuseum.org.

St. Paul Park

Heritage Days Festival

Details: Aug. 15-16, Heritage Park, Portland and 13th avenues.

About: Parade, flea market, garden tractor pull, carnival and mud volleyball. Info: 651-775-9565 or stpaulpark.govoffice.com.

Stillwater

Rivertown Art Festival

Details: May 30-31, Lowell Park, 101 Water St. S.

About: St. Croix Valley’s largest art fair with 100-plus artists and vendors. Marketplace with handcrafted items, art in a variety of media. Info: 651-439-4001, rivertownartfestival.com.

Log Jam

Details: July 17-19.

About: Events at Historic Washington County Courthouse and Pioneer, Teddy Bear and Lowell parks. Lumberjack demonstrations, medallion hunt, tethered balloon rides and a fishing tournament. Parade at 1 p.m. July 19. Info: stillwaterlogjam.com.

Woodbury

Woodbury Days

Details: Aug. 28-30, Ojibway Park, 2695 Ojibway Dr.

About: Carnival rides, business fair, children’s coin hunt, martial arts and robotics demonstrations. Fireworks 9:30 p.m. Aug. 29. Info: woodburydays.com.

Staff Report