1. Red Wing
What: A “Special Night of Music” in Central Park, featuring Matthew Inkala & The Hostages, The Bored, and Back Channel Blues. Grab a bite from the local food trucks and settle in for the fireworks!
When: Music begins at 4 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Thursday
Where: Central Park, Central Park St., Red Wing
What: Rochester’s Salute to the 4th includes a car, truck, and motorcycle show, kids’ activities, food trucks, and live music (including a Salute to Tom Petty). Watch the fireworks and that tribute in Silver Lake Park!
When: 3-11:45 p.m. Thursday
Where: Various locations, 7th Street NE, Rochester
3. Treasure Island
What: If you’re free tonight, you can head to TI Casino & Resort a day early for the “largest fireworks display in Southern Minnesota.” According to the Red Wing city website, 4th of July “Spirit of the Water” cruises begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 11 p.m. at TI Thursday.
When: Thursday Cruises begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 11 p.m.
Where: 5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd, Welch
What: Tonight, a beer tent and DJ Karaoke, courtesy of the Harmony Conservation Club. Tomorrow, balloon animals and children’s entertainment, a smoked pork meal (and other food vendors), kiddie and grand parades, and a petting zoo (plus fireworks at dusk)!
When: Main events start at 11 a.m. Thursday
Where: Various locations, mostly Selvig Park, Harmony
What: A classic car show for adults. A kids’ carnival for the younger ones.
When: Car show 10 a.m.–4 p.m., carnival 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Where: Hammond Ball Park, Hammond
Editor's note: Due to ground conditions from the recent floods, the car show has been canceled.
6. Historic Forestville
What: Historic Forestville is open from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday. But you’ll want to head out there for Vintage Baseball Family Day Saturday, with a pie-eating contest and recitation of the Declaration of Independence.
When: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Historic Forestville, 21899 County Road 118, Preston
7. Blooming Prairie
What: Two full days of events, including a tractor pull, hula hoop/stick horse contest, and teen dance Wednesday, and car show, carnival, fine arts fair, music, and fireworks Thursday.
When: 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Thursday
Where: Various locations, Blooming Prairie
What: The day starts with Summerfest runs, then continues with Arts in the Park and a car show in the park.
When: Runs at 8 a.m., events 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday
Where: Florence Park, Lakeshore Drive, Stewartville
9. Cannon Falls
What: Free grounds admission to the Cannon Valley Fair on Thursday! Admission is usually $4. Today has harness horse racing and fireworks at dusk, as well as live music from the Lyndon Peterson One-Man Band and Dave Carpenter Contraband.
When: 2 p.m.–dusk Thursday
Where: 800 N 9th St., Cannon Falls
What: Austin’s Freedom Fest culminates with a parade, entertainment in the park and fireworks Thursday. You can catch a family day in the park and another fireworks show tonight.
When: 2-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
Where: Bandshell Park, 4th Street and 9th Place SW, Austin
What: Fireman’s Dance, grand parade, Wanamingo Fire and Rescue water fight, and fireworks at dusk.
When: Various times Thursday
Where: Downtown Wanamingo