What’s a raspberry festival without raspberries? Why, that would be the Hopkins Raspberry Festival in Minnesota! When the festival began, in 1934, the area was surrounded by raspberry farms. The farms are long gone and, while the festival continued to be held, the raspberries eventually disappeared from the raspberry festival as well. In 2009, for the 75th edition of the raspberry festival, they experimented with bringing the raspberries back – pints of berries were sold all over the festival, just like in the old days. But the gesture towards a new tradition didn’t take.
The festival opens on Saturday, July 11th and will run through Sunday the 19th, in the Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins. Raspberry Festival Royalty plays a big part at this festival, with a Senior Royalty coronation and dinner on Sunday the 12th, a Junior Royalty Coronation and dance on Tuesday night, and the Royalty Coronation and Royal Ball Thursday evening.
Some of the other events taking place during festival week include kids fishing, live musical performances, bowling with Raspberry Royalty, Senior Game Day, bingo, street dances, and tournaments for softball, rugby, and tennis. There will also be fireworks Saturday night in Central Park. Some of the food events include meat raffles (?!), a steak fry, brats, and pork chops on sticks. We’ve even heard about a local brewery that makes a special raspberry cream soda for the occasion. Sunday will see a pancake breakfast, the Grande Day Parade (one of Minnesota’s largest), and a pig roast at the VFW. For more information, see the festival website.