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Where to Watch Fireworks in the Twin Cities This Year

twin cities fireworks

It’s that time of year…

Time for fireworks!

Wait a minute, isn’t it always time for fireworks? Well, in the Twin Cities, it sure is!

Whether it’s July 4th, New Year’s Eve, or that mysterious celebration called Aquatennial, our city brings the bang all year long.

This is our updated guide to finding the best fireworks shows in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities.

Enjoy!

Red White and Boom (The Best July 4th Fireworks Show near Minneapolis)

Note: Red White and Boom is cancelled in 2021.

The largest Independence Day fireworks display in the Twin Cities happens right in downtown Minneapolis. More than 75,000 people line the banks of the Mississippi River near Water Power Park to watch each year.  Although the display has taken a hiatus in 2020 and 2021, historically, this has been the spot for 4th of July fireworks in Minneapolis.   

If you’d like an up-close view, plan to stake a spot early.  It’s not all that uncommon to see families with picnic blankets and lawn chairs arriving 4-5 hours early for the 10 PM show. Most popular views:  the Stone Arch Bridge, Gold Medal Park, and St. Anthony Main.  Some restaurants and rooftops in the area host special fireworks events (check out Guthrie Theater for a top-notch view).  If you’re on the adventurous side, there’s always a group of kayak and boat viewers who take in the Red, White, and Boom celebration from the water.

Other Fourth of July Fireworks around the Twin Cities Metro

Don’t fret! Outside of Red White and Boom, the Twin Cities hosts a ton of other fireworks shows:

Aquatennial (July 24th, 2021 – 10 PM)

If you miss the 4th of July fireworks this year, don’t worry. 

A few weeks later, for the official civic celebration of Minneapolis, the Aquatennial show sponsored by Target is where the fireworks magic happens in Minnesota. Held annually on the fourth Saturday in July, the Aquatennial fireworks are sponsored by Target, who forks up BIG bucks for the show.  The display consistently ranks as one of the top 5 largest fireworks shows in the United States, and it’s really something everyone should see at least once. 

Expect deep-in-your chest booming for 20+ minutes and the latest in pyro technology.  The impressive smoke cloud produced by the grand finale can be seen for miles some years. 

Trust us.  There are fireworks.  

And then there are the Aquatennial fireworks.  

A few other tips to know about the show:  

  • The Aquatennial display is choreographed to music and broadcast on a local radio station frequency.  Although I’ve never really been able to hear the music over the nearly constant explosions, you might want to bring a radio along just in case. 
  • The fireworks are hosted in the same location (Water Power Park) as the 4th of July display, so the same viewing rules apply. Arrive early for the 10 PM show.  Take public transportation or expect to walk several blocks to find parking downtown. 
  • Many other events are happening city-wide for Aquatennial worth checking out, including the Torchlight Parade (Wednesday evening near the Minneapolis Convention Center) and a city-wide scavenger hunt. 

For more info, check out Aquatennial.com’s fireworks page.

And if you want some spoilers of just how wild this show really gets, check out this video from a few years ago:

Fireworks at Target Field (Friday home games June-August)

July doesn’t have to be the only month to catch fireworks in Minneapolis.  The Minnesota Twins host a firework show immediately following all Friday night home games from June to August. Typically it’s twice per month, or around 5-7 shows total per season. 

Fireworks run for about 15 minutes and are set to music broadcasted in the stadium. It may not be as heart-pounding as the Aquatennial display, but still, a great way to spend a summer evening.

Given the height of the show and the proximity to downtown, the only way to view the fireworks is from inside the stadium. It possible from some of the nearby parking ramp roofs, but not a reliable option we’d recommend.  Once you’re in the stadium, though, there’s excellent viewing anywhere in the main seating bowl.  

2021 Target Field Fireworks Dates: 

  • June 11th
  • June 25th
  • July 9th
  • July 23rd
  • August 13th
  • August 27th

St. Paul Fireworks Shows

On the St. Paul side of the cities, here are some other options worth checking out this summer:

CHS Field Fireworks – Friday Home Games

For the last several years, St. Paul has not hosted a city-wide 4th of July display, instead encouraging residents to watch fireworks after Friday night Saint Paul Saints home games.  Sponsored by Xcel Energy, the fireworks display happens immediately after the game (usually beginning right around 9:30–10:00 PM)  

Inside the stadium will get you the best view of the show. Try sections 101 to 111 or the bar rail area in right-center field. Or, if tickets are hard to come by, try one of the many viewing places to catch fireworks in the neighborhood around CHS Field. There’s excellent viewing along E 7th Street (although traffic and parking can get tricky post-game) from the parking area for Swede Hollow Park, or from the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.

Minnesota State Fair – following each evening’s Grandstand show 

The Great Minnesota get-together also happens to be one of the great end-of-summer opportunities to catch fireworks near Minneapolis. Following each evening’s grandstand show, the State Fair has a short fireworks display.  There’s no set start time, but generally, they start between 10 and 10:30 PM.  For a schedule of grandstand entertainment, check out the State Fair website: Grandstand Info

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Displays in the Twin Cities

Some winters braving the frigid weather on New Year’s Eve for fireworks in Minneapolis seems pretty unlikely. We don’t have as many annual displays to ring in the new year as other cities, but for the extra cold-hearty fireworks fans, there’s one option worth checking out: 

Buck Hill – Midnight Fireworks

As part of their New Year’s Eve party, Buck Hill Ski Area has hosted fireworks for the last several years.  Come for an evening of downhill skiing or tubing and then stay for live music and fireworks display at Midnight. This is a popular family-friendly event that can be tricky to snag tickets to.  Call the ski area early in the year to find out when the ticket sales open up for the best chance at seeing the midnight show. 

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