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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

2. Rochester

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

4. Harmony

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

5. Hammond

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

8. Stewartville

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

10. Austin

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

11. Wanamingo

What: Fireman’s Dance, grand parade, Wanamingo Fire and Rescue water fight, and fireworks at dusk.

When: Various times Thursday

Where: Downtown Wanamingo

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Anne writes for Rochester Magazine and the Post Bulletin, and edits 507 Magazine. She hails from Lafayette, Indiana and enjoys reading, tea-drinking, and her cat, Newt Scameownder.