Major EventsVisit Mankato
For a full list of current events visit:
1 Civic Center Plaza Mankato, MN 56001January 12, 2019 | Website
The Annual Mankato Craft Beer Expo will be at the Verizon Center from 3 to 6 p.m. The expo will showcase the offerings of craft breweries here in Minnesota, as well as all over the United States. Attendees to the expo will have the opportunity to sample beers from over 40 different craft breweries in a commemorative sampling glass. In addition to this, they can enjoy educational seminars throughout the day covering subjects such as Food Pairing, Homebrewing, and the History of Brewing in Minnesota. With brewery and distributor representatives on hand to answer questions, attendees will be able to have an enjoyable and educational experience learning about beer, its components and flavors.
Spring Lake Park
North Mankato, MN 56003January 26-27, 2019 | Website
In the State of Hockey, there is no better experience than outdoor hockey on a frozen pond in Minnesota. The Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic is a tradition that will create memories of a lifetime, so make it a great addition to your hockey schedule this season. This event was started with rinks made of snow borders and now has 12 rinks with professional boards to make your experience even better.
The annual pond hockey classic takes place at Spring Lake Park in North Mankato, Minn.
Get your legs off to a good start this spring by warming up with a 5K or your first half marathon. This race keeps you up on the hill top so there will be no BIG hills. Incorporated is the Singing Hills Trail into the course (for the half marathons). The Singing Hills Trail is a beautiful part of the course and a significant landmark for Mankato.
1 Civic Center Plaza Mankato, MN 56001April 12-13, 2019 | Website
Speechless is presented by Bethany Lutheran College, a liberal arts college located in Mankato, Minnesota, a community of approximately fifty thousand people. We seek to make connections by bringing the filmmaking community, students, and cinema lovers together for an exciting week of film and special events. Our films are not dialogue-free, but productions will be judged on quality of work as well as use of visual (non-verbal) communication. Video>
On-site registration and activities begin at 8 am. Kid’s K begins at 9 a.m. 10K begins at 9:45 a.m. 5K Run/Walk begins at 10 a.m. Free family activities throughout the event include: happy hair station, face painting and temporary tattoos, bounce house and sign making.
See and enjoy art out in the open on the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. In this annual year long tour, you’ll find twenty-seven sculptures by artists from around the world in mediums ranging from re-purposed vehicular traffic signs to carved granite throughout City Center Mankato.
Find tour maps in the ballot/voting boxes along the route or on the City Center Mankato website.
Remember to vote for your favorite sculpture! The sculpture that receives the most votes wins the People’s Choice Award and is purchased by the City Center Partnership for permanent installation in the City Center. You can vote online or by using the ballot attached to the CityArt brochure.
Enjoy the tour!
The Greater Mankato Bike & Walk Advocates plan a week of biking and walking activities in Greater Mankato to celebrate Bike Month in Minnesota. Each night during bike week different biking and walking events are offered for the general public. There are other biking events celebrated during the whole month of May.
Bike Month activities in Mankato. Go>
Download a Mankato Biking Guide. Go>
Learn more about biking in Mankato. Go>
Don your finest vintage duds and join the Greater Mankato Bike & Walk Advocates for a History Bike Ride, which features historical structures in Mankato. Go>
The ride will depart at 10 am. A 14 mile go slow group bicycle ride through lower North Mankato and lower Mankato, no steep hills, with frequent stops for brief history presentations. We will stop for lunch at the South Front Street restaurant of your choosing (lunch is not provided by the ride).
This event is free and open to the public. Helmets are required and tweed is recommended.
Raw Fusion, presented by the Minnesota River Builders Association, is a high-energy, abstract fashion show dedicated to bringing attention to the local building industry while raising funds and awareness for a local cause. Utilizing raw building materials as the inspiration for their outfit ensemble, each is judged for their uniqueness and flair.
North Mankato Taylor Library
1001 Belgrade Avenue North Mankato, MN 56003May 2019 | Website
Franklin Rogers Ballpark
601 Reed Street, Mankato, MN 56001May-August | Website
The Mankato MoonDogs, a collegiate summer team playing in the Northwoods League, start their season in June each summer. The games continue until the home season wraps up in mid-August, with the hope of playoff games already in the air. Special events and fan-friendly promotions are often part of the MoonDog experience. Giveaways, guest appearances by sports celebrities and entertaining ballgame antics can be expected at many of the games.
309 West Rock Street, Mankato, MN 56001May-September | Website
More musical acts will be announced. Check out this year’s lineup at the park online.
The North Star Bicycle Festival, presented by North Memorial Health Care, is a multi-day, multi-location celebration of cycling. Riders will come through North Mankato. Held in seven locations across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, the festival features a wide range of events, from the MN Fixed Gear Classic velodrome race to the Life Time Fitness Hillfest recreational ride to the North Star Grand Prix stage race to food trucks, bike expos and kids activities, including the Park Dental Tour de Kids presented by Shimano. To date, the MN Fixed Gear Classic and the North Star Grand Prix have attracted 2,500 of the country’s top professional and elite cyclists, including 32 Olympians. This year, hundreds of cyclists and thousands of fans are expected at the Festival, which will benefit Special Olympics Minnesota. Come for the races, stay for the fun.
Solstice is one of Mankato’s major summer charity events. The schedule is full of local and regional musicians, artists, crafts and food vendors. Bring your sun shades, lawn chairs, bean bags and other lawn toys and enjoy the afternoon. Paddle Jam is a unique experience to float down the river, passing a band on a pontoon! Help raise money to support the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.
Blakeslee Stadium MSU Campus
200 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001July 2019 | Website
The Thunder of Drums is a sight to be seen and HEARD! You will be blown off your bleacher by the fantastic drum corps competing at Minnesota State University, Mankato Campus. The world’s finest drum corps will present a show of soaring musical and visual artistry. Presented by the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club and the Mankato ’77 Lancers Marching Band with net proceeds supporting local Kiwanis youth programs and the Lancers.
Mankato Regional Airport
3030 Airport Rd N Mankato, MN 56001June 15-16, 2019 | Website
Experience the 4th of July with the free, family friendly Rockin’ Fourth of July Concert taking place at Mankato’s Vetter Amphitheater at Riverfront Park. The list of events are as follows:
Audiences will recognize patriotic favorites and theme music performed by the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and City Mouse, Mankato’s favorite blues and classic rock band. The show starts at 7 p.m. with City Mouse and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra begins at 8 p.m.
Donations are encouraged at the gate; however the concert and show are FREE, thanks to generous sponsors. Bingo will also be offered as a fundraiser at 6 p.m. before the concert. Gates open at 6 p.m.
The Red, Hot, Boom fireworks display at 10 p.m. will be set to music choreographed by the Radio Mankato Stations KXLP, KATO and KDOG.
North Mankato Fun Days includes five days of fun for people of all ages. Fun Days offers a variety of activities including a parade, kiddie parade, carnival, softball tournaments, live music and more.
Rockin’ on the Hill is a family-friendly outdoor event on Good Counsel Hill in Mankato. This summer music fest will feature great live music, food trucks, spirits, pull tabs, traveling boutiques and more! Bands will play from 5:30 to 11 p.m., with gates at 5 p.m. Invite your friends and bring your lawn chair for a fantastic evening! All ages welcome.
Get more information about Rockin’ on the Hill. Go>
Blue Earth County Fair Grounds
340 Fair Grounds Street Garden City, MN 56034July 2019 | Website
The 159th Blue Earth County Fair is held in Garden City, Minnesota. A carnival, lots of entertainment, food, 4-H exhibits, animals and grandstand events are all part of this year’s fair. The Blue Earth County Fair is the oldest County Fair in Minnesota and the longest running County Fair in its current spot. The beautiful oak-covered fairgrounds make the Fair quite the relaxing and fun place families want to come spent time doing things together and learning about the agricultural education Blue Earth County has to offer.
Award-winning rib chefs from all across the country gather to provide sticky, spicy eats at Riverfront Park each summer. Bring the whole family and be entertained by a wide variety of live bands and games for the kids.
300 Butterworth Street, Mankato, MN 56001August 2019 | Website
Here’s a great way for kids and adults to get active and have fun. Saturday packet pick up and Sunday is race day. Adults start at 8 am with 1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run. Kids hit the course at 3 pm. Kids ages 4 to 13 can participate in this tri – no experience is necessary. The event divides kids in age appropriate waves. Younger kids have a short course and kids ages 9 to 13 have a long course. Race fees include a t-shirt, swim cap and snacks.
Minnesota State University Mankato
200 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001Year Round | Website
MSU’s teams are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, with the exception of men’s and women’s hockey (these teams are NCAA Division I programs and are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association). The NSIC is a NCAA Division II conference. Minnesota State’s enrollment is nearly 16,000 students.
Gather in the GreenSeam is a celebration of the entire spectrum of people, organizations and businesses that make this area the most special agricultural region in the country. Take part in fun themed weekends focused around food, harvest and natural resources. Learn more about agriculture through Gather in the GreenSeam partners providing an ag-related special, activity, service or education component throughout the event.
Indian Island Winery
18018 631st Ave Janesville, MN 56048September 2019 | Website
Sign up now for the annual Grape Stomp. Four heats of stompers will compete in groups of two. There will be great prizes for the top four teams. There will also be a costume contest for the best dressed group.
Don’t feel like stomping? Come out and cheer on your favorite teams. Vote for your favorite costumes. Enjoy the live music. Do some shopping among all the vendors that will be set up. Admission is $2 all day.
Land of Memories Park
100 Amos Owen Lane, Mankato, MN 56001September 2019 | Website
Every September Native Americans from a number of tribes gather in Mankato’s Land of Memories Park, where the Dakota people held many ceremonies and gatherings before the US-Dakota War of 1862. The conflict resulted in the execution of 38 Dakota warriors in Mankato on December 26, 1862. In keeping with the theme of reconciliation visitors and participants, native and non-native alike, are welcome to attend. The Pow-Wow has been held in Mankato since 1972. The three-day event includes the beautiful regalia of the dancers, traditional music, delicious foods and beautiful crafts.
Activities include ceremonial first beer with city officials, Music, along with brat eating contest, bean bag toss area and hammerslagger. Wear your lederhosen and receive an extra free beer ticket with the $10 admission.
Morgan Creek Vineyard
23707 478th Avenue New Ulm, MN 56073October 6, 2018 | Website
Harvest Festival with competitive grape stomping – an honorable salute to the past growing season! Take off your shoes and get ready to dance! Traditional Morris Dancers and Satori Violet Belly Dancers perform on the winery grounds. Dancing, Stomping, and Revelry throughout the afternoon. Lost Walleye Orchestra is performing as well.
Winning Stompers receive a free case of wine ($200 value). Best Stomping costume wins a bottle of our seasonal dessert wine, Black Ice, or Sweet E. Costumes are not required!- but sure make the stomping more fun!
Land of Memories Park
100 Amos Owen Lane, Mankato, MN 56001October 7, 2018 | Website
The Mankato River Ramble embraces the best of both bicycling worlds — off-road paved trails and quiet country roads. Riders can choose a scenic route of 16, 30, or 42 miles. The 16-mile Minneopa Falls Loop will visit the beautiful state park. The 30-mile “Pie Run” takes riders over the river and through the woods to reach the Rapidan Dam Rest Stop where you find an array of award winning pies. Riders seeking a greater challenge will love the 42-mile Lake Crystal Loop that visits the handsome towns of Rapidan, Lake Crystal and Judson.
Top 5 Reasons to Participate in the Mankato River Ramble. Go>
2018 River Ramble Ride Guide. Go>
History Fest is held the second weekend of October at Jack McGowan’s farm outside of Mankato. It’s a wonderful weekend of historical, hands-on education and recreation. From the 17th century re-enactments to fire eaters, belly dancers, and cannon shooting, the festival offers a taste of the past to kids and adults of all ages. The event and all the activities within it are designed to teach children about the past in an engaging manner. This is a day of storytelling, singing, dancing, playing and learning.
Minnesota State University Mankato
200 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001October 20-21, 2018 | Website
Mankato Marathon is the Midwest’s boldest race, showcasing a dynamic course and determined racers. This exceptional course features a vast countryside run and culminates in the beautiful Mankato river valley. There’s a race for every runner – a full marathon, relay, half marathon, 10K, 5K, KidsK, Toddler Trot and Diaper Dash. A host of accompanying weekend activities abounds for your whole family. The Mankato Marathon is a USATF certified course, making it a Boston Marathon qualifier.
900 Mound Avenue, Mankato, MN 56001daily from November 23 through December 31, 2018 | Website
Walk or drive through a Winter Wonderland for free during the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato’s Sibley Park. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights use more than 1.5 million LED lights in an animated and choreographed display. Enjoy the Mary Dotson synthetic Skating Rink, ice sculpting, live reindeer and visits with Santa on the weekends. Warming houses and concessions are available. The event kicks off with a holiday parade featuring illuminated parade floats. Visitors of the Holiday Lights can donate money or canned goods to be distributed to several local food shelves.
Top Reasons to Attend Kiwanis Holiday Lights Go>
Belgrade Avenue North Mankato
301 Belgrade Avenue North Mankato, MN 56003December 1, 2018 | Website