Top 7 Things to Do in August
Summer Fun Shines in RiverSouth
It’s hard to believe August is already here! Don’t worry—there’s still plenty of summer fun to be had in RiverSouth. Here’s a look at this month’s top seven ways to enjoy summer in the Land of Big Fun.
- The Minnesota Renaissance Festival kicks off its 45th year of entertainment on Saturday, August 22. Experience this unique blend of sixteenth century fun including nearly 1,000 entertainers and artisans and over 120 food booths. The Renaissance Festival spans seven themed weekends through October 4. The season kicks off with Highland Fling August 22 and 23. Watch the World Amateur Highland Games test strength and agility using Scottish traditions. Plus, enjoy a Keg Toss and Haggis/Scottish egg eating contest. On August 29 and 30, the Renaissance Festival takes on an eastern feel with Silk Road: Discover the Riches, a themed weekend that includes belly dancing performances, long bow competition and magical spirits of the Realm.
- Wacipi is the Dakota word for pow wow, and you don’t want to miss this one! The annual Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Wacipi returns August 14 – 16 with a weekend of dancing, singing, visiting and shopping. It’s open to the public with a $5 admission button good for the whole weekend, and elders over 60 and kids under 10 are free. Highlights include Native American dance, a free meal and fireworks on Saturday night, and the Grand Entry each day. You can also catch a Wacipi preview Thursday, August 13 at Mall of America. Invited Native American dancers of all ages in full regalia will perform to live music. Spectators can experience a Native American Grand Entry and will have the opportunity to join the dancers and participate in the Intertribals and Round Dance.
- Beer enthusiasts, you’re on the right track! Canterbury Park’s Beerfest returns Saturday, August 1 and combines hundreds of beer options with live music and horse racing. Advance general admission tickets are just $35 and include unlimited beer samples and admission to live racing. Upgrade to VIP status for $55 for food, special “early access” to the beer, a private area seating with restrooms and other special perks.
- August marks the start of Valleyfair Cares. Get a day of thrills and give the gift of hope! The purchase of special Valleyfair Cares tickets (available online only) will benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Last year, Valleyfair Cares generated over $50,000 for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the goal is to beat that number this year. Valleyfair Cares kicks off on August 21 and 22 with special performances by Kat Perkins—a semi-finalist from Season 6 of The Voice—performing on the Valleyfair Live stage! Valleyfair Live! hosts great local bands every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.
- Get your motor runnin’ and head on down to Mystic Lake for the second annual Northern Thunder Motorcycle Rally August 21 – 23. The free all-ages event promises a full weekend of slow bike races and bike contests, live entertainment, shopping, food and drink tents, and some of the coolest custom bikes and hot rods around. Local bands will play throughout the weekend, with headliners The Fabulous Thunderbirds on Friday night, Blue Oyster Cult on Saturday night and Chris Hawkey on Sunday afternoon. Erik Estrada from the hit TV show CHiPs will make an appearance, and Hollywood stuntman Monte Perlin performs the heart-stopping Globe of Death stunt throughout the weekend.
- The final weekend of the month features a trio of events at Canterbury Park, any one of which could have made this top seven list on its own! Indian Horse Relay returns August 27 – 29 and is unlike any race you’ve seen before. This traditional Native American bareback relay horse race features high speed and high thrills horsemanship. Canterbury also hosts an Indian Market in their Expo center that weekend with a wide array of handmade Native American arts and crafts. The weekend is capped by the fourth running of the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby on August 29. It’s Canterbury Park’s richest race of the season, drawing top horses from around the country.
- If you enjoy community festivals, check out two great city celebrations this August in RiverSouth. Shakopee Derby Days starts the month, with four days of festivities July 30 – August 2. A Derby Days highlight is the Saturday night concert by Boogie Wonderland and fireworks along the riverbanks. Other Derby Days activities include a food festival, beer garden, soap box derby, international celebration and bean bag tournament. The following weekend Prior Lake takes its turn with Lakefront Days August 6 – 8. It’s three days of festivities set in the beautiful Lakefront Park. Events include live music, a wine tasting, kayak lessons, carnival rides and more.
There’s so much to do this month we didn’t have room to list everything. For even more options, check out our calendar listings for a complete guide to summer fun in RiverSouth.