Jumping for joy! Summer Fun in Moorhead

Moorhead lifeguards at the Municipal Pool. (Photo/Melissa Discher.)

Summer is the best time of all to see Moorhead in all its glory. From nearly 20 miles of bike and walking trails to public arts events, from swimming or wading in its pools to taking in the glories of a night of dazzling fireworks, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained, day and night in the fresh Minnesota air.

Here’s a sampling of activities to enjoy in the beautiful days to come.

River Arts

June, July and August evenings come alive in Memorial Park downtown starting next Tuesday. The June 14 edition of River Arts – like all but one of the biweekly events, which continue through Aug. 9 – draws families with a combination of children’s activities and entertainment. Each of the free gatherings, all starting at 5:30 p.m., features a special activity and entertainer. A petting zoo and musician Zach Thomas headline next week’s edition.

Other features include barrel car races and Rick Adams, June 28; a photo booth and performers Brianna and Lars, July 12 (the only one to be held at Woodlawn Park); a fishing clinic and the Gina Powers Band, July 26; and carnival games and the Front Fenders, Aug. 9.

Moorhead Farmers Market 

Get fresh and go local on Tuesday afternoons through September from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Moorhead Farmers Market. This year local producers are gathering in the parking lot of the Hjemkomst Center to sell their vegetables, fruit, baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, pet products, and hand-crafted goods. Recreation specialist Trevor Magnuson predicts around a dozen vendors at these early summer markets, but expects the number to ramp up substantially as fields and gardens begin produce their bounty. Food vendors will also be on hand to provide early suppers.

Musicians are featured, too, at each of this year’s markets. Mike Morse will provide tunes at next week’s market. Among others to take the spotlight throughout the summer are Richard Freeman, John Ingemar, Red Monk, Tumbleweed Trio, Rachael Ianiro, Jim White, Doug Thompson and Mick Klein.

Fresh Air Music at the Library 

On the north side of Moorhead Public Library, crowds will gather on the third Thursday of the next three months for outdoor evening concerts. Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome takes the parking lot stage on June 23 at 7 p.m., playing classic 1960s and 1970s rock with a swinging horn section and some serious funk.

Moving Parts plays vintage folk and Americana classics, country and neo-folk tunes on July 28. The Meat Rabbits play a family-friendly set of high-energy polka and rock on Aug. 25. Their repertoire includes a mixture of older polkas and modern music adapted to fit their unique style.

Summer Library Experience for Kids – SUBHEAD

The library’s annual Summer Library Experience reading challenge focuses on underwater exploration this year. People of all ages are invited to read to win prizes, while a pair of fun, interactive virtual events will be staged for children.

The first is Wednesday, June 15. Cartoonist Rick Stromoski will demonstrate how to draw all sorts of aquatic creatives – sharks, narwhals, octopi and even Minnesota natives like walleye, muskies and bass. It begins at 2 p.m.

So does the second kids program on Saturday, June 25. “Music with Siama and Dallas” is an afternoon of songs and storytelling. Siama made his name in Africa, recording hundreds of soutkous hits. He takes audiences on a musical journey to the largest continent with his intricate guitar, catchy tunes, spirited vocals and traditional African instruments. He and Dallas encourage everyone to sing along with the boisterous tunes.

Other upcoming events include River Keepers Water Adventure Wednesday, June 22; the Rain Gutter Recycled Boat Race (with Shannon Thompson of Clay County Solid Waste), June 29; and a water safety program with Sanford Safe Kids, July 6. All are free and begin at 2 p.m.

Cars, Cars, Cars

Moorhead Cruise Night has already scored two hits, with three more to come on the first Thursdays of July, August and September. Forced to move to the north side of the Center Mall by the Center Avenue reconstruction project, it is packing in record numbers with its monthly collections of impeccably restored classic cars, accentuated by food vendors and music. The Uptown Band takes the stage July 7. The headliner on Aug. 4 is October Road, and on Sept. 1, Tripwire.

The American Legion has more in store for car-lovers, as well as motorcycle fans. Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 941 sponsors Veterans Vintage Car and Motorcycle Nights on the third Wednesdays of summer months – June 15, July 20 and Aug. 17, all from 5 to 8 p.m.. Owners of classic bikes, cars and trucks are invited to take part in the no-fee shows, competing for People’s Choice trophies … and stay for the Legion’s Butcher Block steak night.

Moorhead Lights Up the 4th of July 

The height of Moorhead summer fun happens high overhead at dusk on the Fourth of July. That’s when the Moorhead Business Association and a long list of community sponsors light up the sky over Horizon Shores Park with an extravagant burst of color … and noise.

The spectacular Moorhead Proud 56560OOH & AAH fireworks display begins at about 10:30 p.m., with a musical score broadcast on BOB 95 FM to the rhythm of the aerial bangs and booms. It’s the 49th edition of the big event, originally hosted by MSUM but taken over by the MBA five years ago.

While the audience is barred from the park itself for safety reasons, the bursts of color can be viewed from most corners of Moorhead. Nearby, VIP parking will be available for $10. Proceeds from the lot at Vista Education Center are earmarked for St. Joseph’s Catholic School, while parking fees from Horizon Middle School and Dorothy Dodds Elementary, with proceeds supporting the Moorhead Legacy Education Foundation.

For details on upcoming events, be sure to watch the Extra’s weekly calendar.

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