Major EventsVisit Mankato
For a full list of current events visit:
1 Civic Center Plaza Mankato, MN 56001January 13, 2018 | 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 27-28, 2018 | 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.
The Landing on Madison Lake
803 Main Street Madison Lake, MN 56063February 3, 2018 | Website
Head out to The Landing on Madison in Madison Lake for the Humminbird Big Bobber Ice Fishing Contest. For just $50 contestants will get two holes and a chance to win several prizes including $4,000 in cash. Registration begins at 10 a.m., hole selection goes from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the tournament runs from 12 to 3 p.m. There will be pre-event beer sampling, raffles, pull tabs, and concessions with food and beverage. Tickets are available in advance or the day of the event.
1 Civic Center Plaza Mankato, MN 56001April 12-14, 2018 | 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.
Join the fun playing FootGolf on the beautiful Minneopa Golf Course in Mankato! If you have never played FootGolf, you are in for a treat. It is so much fun, and there are prizes involved! The goal like traditional golf is to get a standard #5 soccer ball from the tee into the 21″ hole in the least number of kicks possible. Walk-up registration is available, but no free t shirt is included. Concessions will be available for purchase. Proceeds will support the area Young Life organization. Great fun for a great cause!
To register: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details will be shared on the Greater Mankato Young Life Facebook page. Go>
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.
Free Guided Sculpture Walk Tours
first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., June through October
Get a FREE guided tour of the 2017 CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour, featuring 27 sculptures from artists across the U.S. The fabulous sculpture walk docent will lead you through City Center Mankato and North Mankato and provide fun facts on the artists and inspiration behind each artwork. Bring a water bottle, comfortable shoes and camera to tag yourself (#cityartkato) with these beautiful sculptures! Meet at the first sculpture at Civic Center Plaza to join the tour. For more information, contact Twin Rivers Council for the Arts at 507-387-1008 or email email@example.com.
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.
Stay tuned for a list of Bike Month activities in Mankato.
Download a Mankato Biking Guide. Go>
Learn more about biking in Mankato. Go>
Communities and individuals along the byway are invited to join the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway Garage Sale the first weekend of May. All you have to do is put up a sign and red balloons along the byway route and join the fun. The goal is to get people out-and-about along the 287-mile long Byway including Mankato to learn about our natural and historic sites. If you would rather shop along the by-way that is fine too, just look for the red balloons to guide your way to great deals.
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.
Franklin Rogers Ballpark
601 Reed Street, Mankato, MN 56001May - August 2018 | 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.
North Mankato Taylor Library
1001 Belgrade Avenue North Mankato, MN 56003June 2, 2018 | Website
20461 Minnesota 66, Mankato, MN 56001June 2018 | Website
This Cross-Country Mountain Bike Race is held at Mt. Kato. Mt. Kato has played host to several MTB races each season since opening 7+ miles of wooded singletrack trails in 1996. This venue was designed, built & is maintained by riders for riders. The course starts with a nice warm-up climb to the top of the ski area. Once on top, all racers make a large traverse along the front of the ski area. The course has a good balance of climbs, descents and technical sections with switchbacks. The approximate vertical gain per lap is 500 feet. No one will be disappointed with this course. The event is organized entirely by volunteers, Peace Coffee Racing, and all profits are donated back to the cycling community.
The North Star Bicycle Festival, presented by North Memorial Health Care, is a multi-day, multi-location celebration of cycling. On June 16, 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 coolers, sun shades, lawn chairs, bean bags and other lawn toys and enjoy the afternoon. Help raise money to support the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.
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.
Blakeslee Stadium MSU Campus
200 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001July 2, 2018 | 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.
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.
Blue Earth County Fair Grounds
340 Fair Grounds Street Garden City, MN 56034July 2018 | 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.
LoyolaPalooza is a family-friendly outdoor event on Good Counsel Hill in Mankato. This summer music fest will have food trucks, live music, beverages and tons of fun! 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 LoyolaPalooza. Go>
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 12, 2018 | 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 15, 2018 | 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 21-23, 2018 | 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 12, 26, 42, 50 or 58 miles. The 12-mile Minneopa Falls Loop will visit the beautiful state park. The 26-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>
Download a 2017 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 and My Bold Walk. 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 24 through December 31, 2017 | Website
Walk or drive through a Winter Wonderland for free during the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato’s Sibley Park. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights will use more than one million LED lights in an animated and choreographed display. Enjoy the Mary Dotson synthetic Skating Rink, 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 2, 2017 | Website