I’m a St. Cloud native, born and raised. When I think of what summer means to me, these are just a few of the events that automatically come to my mind. These events are part of what make central Minnesota so unique. If you’re looking for some fun things to do that capture the St. Cloud experience, check these out!

1. SummerTime By George. It happens every Wednesday night starting June 14th. Thousands of people gather to watch live music, drink beer and sample food from local vendors.

2. Lemonade Concert and Arts Fair. This is such a fun and unique event at St. Cloud State University on Thursday, June 22.

3. Benton County Fair. I have been going to the Benton County Fair every year since I’ve been alive. I have my go to booths and exhibits that I check out every year. This year’s fair gets underway on Tuesday, August 1.

4. Music in the Garden. The 2016 series kicks off on June 11.

5. Art Crawl– I love art crawls, but summer art crawls are my favorite. The next St. Cloud down town art crawl is coming up on Friday, June 9 and Friday, August 11.

6. Outdoor Movie Nights. There are so many outdoor movie nights and drive-in theaters around central Minnesota. There’s nothing better than watching a film under the stars.

7. Paddle Boat Rides at Lake George. I used to do this all of the time as a kid. Lake George rents out paddle boats and canoes for some fun outdoor exercise.

8. Liberty Savings Block Party. This event is part of Granite City Days on Friday, June 23. It’s an annual music event that usually draws in thousands of central Minnesota residents.

9. Neighborhood/Citywide Garage Sales. There are numerous citywide and neighborhood garage sales going on throughout August!

10. Rapids River Food Fest. I am such a fan of this event because there are so many food vendors gathered at one place at one time. It’s a small scale version of the state fair happening on Saturday, June 24

11. Granite City Parade. It’s such a fun event for the whole family. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 24.

What other events are unique to central Minnesota?